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Cole's Plus/Minus - Penguins vs. Canes (12.3.11)

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Old
12-04-2011, 12:33 AM
  #76
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Originally Posted by zhenya71 View Post
How far away does everybody think Despres is from being a long-term fixture on the team?
At least one more season, maybe a season and a half. I'd like to see him get this entire season in the AHL (apart from the odd injury call-up, of course). Then next year, either start in the minors or earn a spot in the bottom pairing.

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12-04-2011, 01:57 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by SidTheKid8787 View Post
I agree with alot of this except i believe Sid's line needs the jam. Right now theres too many finishers. Yes Dupuis is a finisher right now and like i said the whole reason we got Neal was to play with Sid. Sid needs that big body on his line right now to open up more room for him imo. Plus Neal can finish.
Problem: Sid's line has too many finishers
Solution: Add 6th ranked goalscorer in the league

Makes sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Where did Jordan Staal come from this season? The confidence he has with the puck is amazing. I didn't even think he had this in him.
I've been blown away by his play over the last month or so, particularly in the offensive zone. He has added so many deft little plays where he's able to shake free of his checker and create a scoring chance. His first burst has become so explosive. I was skeptical if he'd ever emerge into a real weapon offensively, but he's definitely making tremendous strides this season. A Kesler-lite, if you will.

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12-04-2011, 01:59 AM
  #78
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Regarding Despres, I'm convinced he could step in full time if needed, and with the injuries that keep piling up on the blueline I'd expect him to get a good chunk of NHL experience this year - likely emerging as a full time starter in 2012-2013.

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12-04-2011, 03:28 AM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
Problem: Sid's line has too many finishers
Solution: Add 6th ranked goalscorer in the league

Makes sense to me.



....and just because Malkin is playing great hockey opening up all sorts of chances for Neal, why consider that a good thing? Hell, why would one want to have a finisher on Malkin's line with Sullivan being so gun-shy?

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12-04-2011, 04:02 AM
  #80
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+ Defensive depth. Our blue line has been repeatedly obliterated, so naturally we're... 4th in the league in shots against per game? With Letang, Michalek, Lovejoy and Strait out, we still find good d-men to fill in holes. Considering most teams in the league can't even put together a reliable third line, that's remarkable.

+ PK. The last few minutes speaks for itself but it was good all game. It's a damn shame the Canes scored in the final few seconds of that one penalty, because our PK had been excellent for that kill.

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12-04-2011, 05:00 AM
  #81
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12-04-2011, 06:49 AM
  #82
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+++ That PK at the end was epic, that's why guys like Adams are on our team.
+ I ****ing love this Asham guy. Awesome.

But why did Park take the final faceoff and not Crosby?

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12-04-2011, 06:49 AM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
Regarding Despres, I'm convinced he could step in full time if needed, and with the injuries that keep piling up on the blueline I'd expect him to get a good chunk of NHL experience this year - likely emerging as a full time starter in 2012-2013.
This seems pretty accurate to me. I think he could be on the NHL without looking completely out of place. I also think when healthy we have better options at the moment. I could definitely see him sticking full time by the end of next season whether it is straight out of camp or as an injury call-up that just never goes away.

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12-04-2011, 06:51 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Frederick Stanley View Post
+++ That PK at the end was epic, that's why guys like Adams are on our team.
+ I ****ing love this Asham guy. Awesome.

But why did Park take the final faceoff and not Crosby?
With Root Sports camera work I wouldn't be shocked if we missed Sid get kicked out

Honestly though, it was probably because it was the right side of the ice. They put a lot of stock on handedness and which side of the ice they are on.

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12-04-2011, 07:03 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by SidTheKid8787 View Post
Sid's a proven finisher, Kunitz has been the finisher on the line in the past and Dupuis has a bajillion goals this year. If Sid, Dupes, or Kunitz won't go into 1on1 battles in the corners and get pucks then you have what you have right now. Sid is tentative to stay with the battle right now. He's in and out and doesn't hang around. That may change as he becomes more comfortable. But thats what i see he needs on his line right now. Sully's not going to do that. Neal is.

This is all my opinion of course and you have yours. I wish we could try these things out IRL other than in video games.

One small move i'd try is putting Dupes down and Neal up. You're not really losing much and it may be the little move that gets both lines rolling.

I don't see TK on the top 2 lines right now and Dupuis has actually earned his spot there so far.
So, when Malkin finally is looking like the Malkin of old(Neal being a huge reason), we need to break up his line because Kunitz and Dupuis "doesn't go into 1on1 battles in the corners"? I'm sorry, but when has Dupuis or Kunitz ever failed to grind in the corners?

Also, because Dupuis and Kunitz are "finishers" this year we need to change one of them out for our leading goalscorer? Please.

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12-04-2011, 08:25 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
Problem: Sid's line has too many finishers
Solution: Add 6th ranked goalscorer in the league

Makes sense to me.



I've been blown away by his play over the last month or so, particularly in the offensive zone. He has added so many deft little plays where he's able to shake free of his checker and create a scoring chance. His first burst has become so explosive. I was skeptical if he'd ever emerge into a real weapon offensively, but he's definitely making tremendous strides this season. A Kesler-lite, if you will.
Staal actually has a power forward look to him. He's stealing pucks down low, and guys are completely unable to get it back once he establishes position.

I just love the way he was playing. I love that he has adding a playmaking dimension to his game (even though it's not showing up on the stat sheet).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
Regarding Despres, I'm convinced he could step in full time if needed, and with the injuries that keep piling up on the blueline I'd expect him to get a good chunk of NHL experience this year - likely emerging as a full time starter in 2012-2013.
I agree. I've been quite impressed with him. He's a very big and strong defenseman. I haven't seen him get muscled up on yet.

The only thing I have really seen him do that just won't fly, are the passes he's giving some guys that are going to get them killed.

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12-04-2011, 08:46 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Staal actually has a power forward look to him. He's stealing pucks down low, and guys are completely unable to get it back once he establishes position.

I just love the way he was playing. I love that he has adding a playmaking dimension to his game (even though it's not showing up on the stat sheet).
This is like bizarro world...

I never thought I would make this statement, but Staal needs to be moved up with better linemates because his playmaking skills are being wasted on the third line.

Staal looks so completely dominant and is seeing the ice at an unreal level. He is an offensive weapon now and should be treated as such....

I am really starting to hope that we see these as permanent lines:

Neal Crosby Malkin
Kunitz Staal Sully
Cooke Vitale Dupuis

Crosby and Malkin have always shown phenomenal chemistry and they constantly make things happen. It is difficult enough to contain both of them, then you add a sniper like Neal to that line and I can't see how it doesn't become one of, if not the best line in hockey.

Kunitz and Staal have always had good chemistry together and Sully would be able to get the puck to Staal when he sets up in the high slot like he loves to do.

Vitale showed really good chemistry with Dupuis and Cooke early in the season, then people got healthy and he was sent to the 4th line because he was a rookie.

TK doesn't deserve top 9 minutes right now so I have no problem letting him play on the 4th line. At least we know Vitale will create things for his linemates and actually, you know, pass the puck.

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12-04-2011, 09:08 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Frederick Stanley View Post
+++ That PK at the end was epic, that's why guys like Adams are on our team.
+ I ****ing love this Asham guy. Awesome.

But why did Park take the final faceoff and not Crosby?
Likely because the faceoff was to the right of Fleury, meaning if the righthanded Park wins the draw he pushes the puck to the corner, but if the lefthanded Crosby wins the draw he pushes the puck right toward the net.

If the faceoff was to the left of Fleury, chances are Crosby takes the draw with Park as the "winger".

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12-04-2011, 09:13 AM
  #89
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I'd be all for the Pens trading for a 3rd line center and moving Staal up a line. As far as assets go, it would be a lot cheaper than trading for another top 6 forward.

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12-04-2011, 09:53 AM
  #90
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I'd be all for the Pens trading for a 3rd line center and moving Staal up a line. As far as assets go, it would be a lot cheaper than trading for another top 6 forward.
If we could get a guy like Frans Nielsen I wouldn't be against this.

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12-04-2011, 10:03 AM
  #91
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If Dustin Jeffrey can get healthy and return to form, I think he's an ideal 3rd line center. I don't know if I like Vitale in that role.

I've already brought up Jason Arnott as a 3rd line center. Still not entirely sure how much I like the idea, as I've only seen him once this season. He's just like Staal though...big, strong, good scoring ability, solid two way game.

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12-04-2011, 10:07 AM
  #92
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I think it's time Staal plays top 6 hockey. He's got the skills and the hands and the strength and size. /Bill Cosby

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12-04-2011, 10:09 AM
  #93
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The interference was there, thought Malkin really hit Boucher when the puck is already in, he was layed and totally beaten.

The penalty killing yet tremendous helped to earn those 2 points, i'm waiting the big forces to concretize the real occasions when the momemtum is acquired.

Again a weird defense in transitions but less giveaways, and more physicallity. Brent was here.

Off game concern, Dupuis was a beast with Staal on the same line, i would try give a shot to T.K. on the first line even if he's not the pest he's used to be so far.

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12-04-2011, 10:24 AM
  #94
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If Dustin Jeffrey can get healthy and return to form, I think he's an ideal 3rd line center. I don't know if I like Vitale in that role.

I've already brought up Jason Arnott as a 3rd line center. Still not entirely sure how much I like the idea, as I've only seen him once this season. He's just like Staal though...big, strong, good scoring ability, solid two way game.
When/If Jeffrey is ever healthy, I have maintained he is an ideal third line center.

I would be extremely comfortable with this down the middle:

Crosby
Staal
Jeffrey
Vitale

The whole big three down the middle made more sense to me when Staal was a defensive specialist who added a little offense here and there. Now I think DB needs to make it a priority to put him with better players so his development isn't hindered. He looks like a 2nd line center right now... and it looks like his ceiling can be even higher. It is hard to believe this is the same guy who looked so offensively ******** before.

Keeping Staal with less talented players is just going to hurt his production and slow down his development.

I'm starting to feel that old saying "divided we fall" applies to the Pens big 3. Keeping them on three separate lines is watering down the impact the can have together/with better linemates.

Malkin I firmly believe needs to play with Crosby to get the maximum production out of both of them. People argue it is easier to key in on them when they are together, but good luck trying to contain those two, then you have Neal sneaking around looking to get off his wicked shot... Crosby gets to play with Neal and Malkin gets to play with Neal.. oh and each other...... win-win-win...

People also argued when they were together, there would be no offense from the second line because Staal wasn't a good enough playmaker/goal scorer. Well he looks dominant now, even with less talent on his wings.


Last edited by Mr Jiggyfly: 12-04-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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12-04-2011, 10:33 AM
  #95
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....and just because Malkin is playing great hockey opening up all sorts of chances for Neal, why consider that a good thing? Hell, why would one want to have a finisher on Malkin's line with Sullivan being so gun-shy?
Sullivan being gun shy is the least of his problems. His holding the stick where plays go to die on his line is a bigger one.

I wrote this last night: James Neal is not a grinder. He's a scorer in a big body. The more he has to grind, the more he (and Geno) have to make up for Sully's shortcomings in terms of helping to sustain offensive zone pressure, the less he (and Geno) can focus on putting himself into scoring position when he doesn't have the puck. Right now, I look at that line and see one big flaw: Unless Geno's in God mode in the puck possession department, pretty much all of what that line generates comes off the rush. They can sustain offensive zone pressure sometimes but not with the consistency or to the extent that you would expect to see from a line with Geno.

As I wrote last night, the line needs some jam, because you can't have Malkin being the best puck battler along the boards on his own line for it to work as well as it could. Flipping Neal and Dupuis isn't the solution.

I still like Sully to Sid and Kunitz, TK to Geno and Neal, and Duper to Staal and Cooke. I'm not averse to TRYING Kunitz-Sid-Neal and Sully-Geno-TK, although I am worry about the size of that second line, whether it really addresses the need for jam, and whether it will serve to undermine one of the Pens big matchup advantages.

That said, it's pretty clear that the coaching staff doesn't see TK as a top six forward, and I can't fathom anyone being especially comfortable with BOTH Duper AND Sully rounding out the current top six in the 3C model.

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12-04-2011, 10:33 AM
  #96
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I think people get too hung up on lines. I think it would be great if DB just came out and said that we don't have any lines on this team. Obviously to maintain minutes some people will play with others more often, but for the first time in years, everybody on this team can succeed playing next to any other player. I mean Duper scored with Geno as his center last night. Adams scored with Sid as his center. Interchangeable parts = lines do not matter.

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12-04-2011, 10:36 AM
  #97
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I think people get too hung up on lines. I think it would be great if DB just came out and said that we don't have any lines on this team. Obviously to maintain minutes some people will play with others more often, but for the first time in years, everybody on this team can succeed playing next to any other player. I mean Duper scored with Geno as his center last night. Adams scored with Sid as his center. Interchangeable parts = lines do not matter.
Duper scored 4 on 4 with Geno last night, and I personally think HOW the coaches handled 4 on 4 last night is worth a lot of praise. Instead of sticking Sid and Geno together, both Sid and Geno were out with their own units, and their respective wingers were grinders. It allowed for Sid and Geno to exploit the extra space. Sid's unit owned possession and almost scored. Geno's unit owned possession and did score.

BUT, there's a big difference between 4 on 4 and 5 on 5. In 5 on 5, with a line, you have to look at how all of the parts work together. Put Duper with Geno . . . no problem, but that means the other winger can't be someone like Sully.

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12-04-2011, 10:39 AM
  #98
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I think people get too hung up on lines. I think it would be great if DB just came out and said that we don't have any lines on this team. Obviously to maintain minutes some people will play with others more often, but for the first time in years, everybody on this team can succeed playing next to any other player. I mean Duper scored with Geno as his center last night. Adams scored with Sid as his center. Interchangeable parts = lines do not matter.
Chemistry and cohesion matter if you want maximum production from your players, not to mention the mental mistakes line juggling leads to in your own end.

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12-04-2011, 10:42 AM
  #99
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I am really starting to hope that we see these as permanent lines:

Neal Crosby Malkin
Kunitz Staal Sully
Cooke Vitale Dupuis
I would totally love those lines.

The only thing I would possibly change there is maybe consider Jeffery somewhere in the top 9, or trade him as part of a package for an upgrade on Sullivan come the deadline.

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12-04-2011, 10:43 AM
  #100
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When/If Jeffrey is ever healthy, I have maintained he is an ideal third line center.

I would be extremely comfortable with this down the middle:

Crosby
Staal
Jeffrey
Vitale

The whole big three down the middle made more sense to me when Staal was a defensive specialist who added a little offense here and there. Now I think DB needs to make it a priority to put him with better players so his development isn't hindered. He looks like a 2nd line center right now... and it looks like his ceiling can be even higher. It is hard to believe this is the same guy who looked so offensively ******** before.

Keeping Staal with less talented players is just going to hurt his production and slow down his development.

I'm starting to feel that old saying "divided we fall" applies to the Pens big 3. Keeping them on three separate lines is watering down the impact the can have together/with better linemates.

Malkin I firmly believe needs to play with Crosby to get the maximum production out of both of them. People argue it is easier to key in on them when they are together, but good luck trying to contain those two, then you have Neal sneaking around looking to get off his wicked shot... Crosby gets to play with Neal and Malkin gets to play with Neal.. oh and each other...... win-win-win...

People also argued when they were together, there would be no offense from the second line because Staal wasn't a good enough playmaker/goal scorer. Well he looks dominant now, even with less talent on his wings.
I'm really torn on that one, Jiggy.

I agree wholeheartedly with your Neal-Sid-Geno line. It's been tried very little, but I don't see how that gets contained.

On the other hand, I love the 3C model. I think the team needs another top 6 forward to make it work (not an elite guy, but something better than Duper or Sully in terms of style to play with Sid or Geno), but that's how you overwhelm the opposition.

I write that about needing another forward because it's clear that the staff won't even TRY TK in that capacity, and if you look at how the model has fared since Sid's return against playoff caliber defensive teams, the answer is not well . . . Pens beat the Blues if they stack earlier, they beat the Habs because they stacked earlier to turn momentum.

In an ideal world, this team would have one more top six forward and have the luxury of, rather than the need for, running a stacked two lines against the really good teams. In this world, Malkin would be your lineup wild card, coming out at center or wing, but with whom and when, nobody would know for sure.

It's why I've mentioned a Kulemin before or why I'd look at Calgary and see the price tag for Bourque or Glenncross. The Pens have the pieces for one of those type of guys . . . you've got TK, maybe a Jeffrey or Tangradi, Bennett or a #1 if the deal is totally right (i.e., cap friendly and longer term). Plus, guys like those would work under the cap and still allow Shero to make another deadline move, maybe for a defensive upgrade.

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