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

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12-04-2011, 10:47 AM
  #101
KIRK
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Originally Posted by HandshakeLine View Post
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.
I love Neal-Sid-Malkin too, and I really want to see them out together more no matter what. BUT, for a team with cup aspirations, Kunitz-Staal-Sully/TK/Duper as a full time second line and then the third line just scream out 'meh'. You've taken the depth down the middle advantage and made this into a top line heavy team. Maybe it works. Eh, I'll keep hoping for another top six forward and, whether or not one is added, for the coaches to show the type of creativity in their use of Malkin that they showed against the Habs.

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12-04-2011, 10:50 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Chraa View Post
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.
You know, with the way Malkin is going, I think he could survive well without Neal IF the guy replacing him had some size, some natural chemistry with Geno, and played like a power forward along the boards and in terms of going to the net. The problem is that the guys some people propose to replace Neal with on Geno's line, either TK or Dupuis, aren't it, and the limitations of Sully on a line with Geno would be exposed way more than they are with Neal on the right side.

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12-04-2011, 11:10 AM
  #103
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The best shift I've seen possibly all season was when Staal/Neal were paired in the third period against the Rangers.

Both were just straight muscling guys off the puck and creating scoring chances left and right. I don't like that Neal is reverting back to more of a pure sniper. I love the goal scoring from the wing position this year, but I want him involved on the forecheck and using his size. I think it's time to break up Sully-Geno-Neal. It's a great line, but not nearly enough offensive zone time for how much talent there is.



Kunitz-Sid-Neal/Geno
Sully-Staal-Geno/Neal
Cooke-Dupuis/trade-TK

Just as a few of us have been saying, pick up a 3C if we don't have one inhouse this year.


Last edited by mpp9: 12-04-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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12-04-2011, 11:13 AM
  #104
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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.
Even if the Pens add another top 6 guy, it still leaves Staal without any legit top 6 guys - see what I mean?

I watch a ton of hockey and there are few guys I have seen this season who look as dominant with the puck as Staal. I defended him for years, but never truly believed he could look like this - ever. I just had hope as he matured he wouldn't look like a goober anymore... that was my best hope for him.

His skating now is close to elite (for a guy his size)... he blows by people up the ice and controls the puck well. When he pulls up he doesn't lose his balance and actually comes out of his turn with his head up and looking for his options...

He is making sick plays all over the ice. The only thing holding him back now is the lack of top 6 wingers.

That is why you push Malkin and Neal up with Crosby and give Staal, Sully and Kunitz.

Now when Malkin or Crosby dish the puck - it will always be to a guy who can finish or get him the puck back. That is exactly how you max out your two stars potential impact each game.

After that line is off you send your big dominant center out and let him wreck havoc with guys who have the ability to keep up with him.

With Staal's emergence, I see the big 3 model as something that waters down the impact they can have. Combine your two superpowers and let the other one max out his potential - don't hold him back DB.

I really can't think of a better way to utilize your big three right now.

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12-04-2011, 11:14 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
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 have a singular beef with Sid and Geno together, and that being that both guys play their best when being the main puck carrier.

I have no doubt it would work out though.

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12-04-2011, 11:15 AM
  #106
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Originally Posted by mpp9 View Post
The best shift I've seen possibly all season was when Staal/Neal were paired in the third period against the Rangers.

Both were just straight muscling guys off the puck and creating scoring chances left and right.

I just want to see Staal in the top six more often. Just as a few of us have been saying, pick up a 3C if we don't have one inhouse this year.
Why not pick up another more legit top six forward? Then, you can use 3C as the base and go to a stacked top six more often where that stacked top six is Sid, Geno, Staal, Neal, Kunitz, and the forward you pick up.

I don't know, but I've just always preferred exploiting matchups and using Geno at BOTH center and wing accordingly. Sometimes, that comes through 3C. Sometimes, it's through stacking lines. Other times, it's through mixing it up from shift to shift. Adding a top six forward (not a star mind you, just someone from the Bourque, Glenncross class) better equips the Pens to do that.

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12-04-2011, 11:18 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by HandshakeLine View Post
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.
I didn't mention Jeffrey because he is hurt. I've been saying for a couple of years I want him to be this team's third line center. That is where he is best utilized IMHO.

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12-04-2011, 11:20 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
Even if the Pens add another top 6 guy, it still leaves Staal without any legit top 6 guys - see what I mean?

I watch a ton of hockey and there are few guys I have seen this season who look as dominant with the puck as Staal. I defended him for years, but never truly believed he could look like this - ever. I just had hope as he matured he wouldn't look like a goober anymore... that was my best hope for him.

His skating now is close to elite (for a guy his size)... he blows by people up the ice and controls the puck well. When he pulls up he doesn't lose his balance and actually comes out of his turn with his head up and looking for his options...

He is making sick plays all over the ice. The only thing holding him back now is the lack of top 6 wingers.

That is why you push Malkin and Neal up with Crosby and give Staal, Sully and Kunitz.

Now when Malkin or Crosby dish the puck - it will always be to a guy who can finish or get him the puck back. That is exactly how you max out your two stars potential impact each game.

After that line is off you send your big dominant center out and let him wreck havoc with guys who have the ability to keep up with him.

With Staal's emergence, I see the big 3 model as something that waters down the impact they can have. Combine your two superpowers and let the other one max out his potential - don't hold him back DB.

I really can't think of a better way to utilize your big three right now.
Oh, I don't want Staal playing a whole game with whatever either. BUT, you know the matchups are always different. Some games, Sid and Geno together rocks. A playoff matchup against at the B's, you're better off keeping them apart and maybe running Neal-Staal-Geno or 3C to exploit their second and third pairings.

Honestly, here's my vision: Stick with Kulemin as an addition and TK as the roster piece going in a package. 3C, Neal goes with Sid and Kunitz, Kulemin goes with Geno and Sully. Then, Staal can slide up and center Kulemin and Geno. OR, Geno can slide up with Sid and Neal and Staal centers Kunitz and Kulemin. On balance, I think it should be around 50/50 at even strength. Geno 50% center and 50% wing (for Sid OR Staal), and Staal 50% 3C and 50% 2C . . . again, the determining factor shouldn't be who deserves what but instead who the opponent is and how the matchups shake down.

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12-04-2011, 11:24 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
I have a singular beef with Sid and Geno together, and that being that both guys play their best when being the main puck carrier.

I have no doubt it would work out though.
I've heard people say that before, but everytime I see them together that argument goes out the window I feel.

Crosby and Malkin have always known how to work both the neutral and off. zone without the puck and exploit the soft spots. The problem is they never had anyone to get them the puck in space, so they carried the puck.

When they are together it is a thing of beauty to watch their off. instincts and how easily they find the soft spots AND actually get each other the puck with their feet moving. Teams can't double them down low and they have a knack for getting each other the puck in prime scoring areas at exactly the right time. Players like Dupuis, Kunitz and even Neal may wait that split second, which allows the defense to recover and make a play...

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12-04-2011, 11:26 AM
  #110
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I've always wanted Kulemin on this team. But I just don't see how Toronto trades him with them being a playoff team thus far. He hasn't been the same player as last year and maybe Shero can buy low, but it's still not going to be cheap to get him.

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12-04-2011, 11:28 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I've heard people say that before, but everytime I see them together that argument goes out the window I feel.

Crosby and Malkin have always known how to work both the neutral and off. zone without the puck and exploit the soft spots. The problem is they never had anyone to get them the puck in space, so they carried the puck.

When they are together it is a thing of beauty to watch their off. instincts and how easily they find the soft spots AND actually get each other the puck with their feet moving. Teams can't double them down low and they have a knack for getting each other the puck in prime scoring areas at exactly the right time. Players like Dupuis, Kunitz and even Neal may wait that split second, which allows the defense to recover and make a play...
I've wanted Geno up with Sid since he came back. Sid isn't himself yet, even though he looked very good last night, and could use another puck carrier. Staal's emergence has allowed us to let them play together more often at the very least.

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12-04-2011, 11:29 AM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I've heard people say that before, but everytime I see them together that argument goes out the window I feel.

Crosby and Malkin have always known how to work both the neutral and off. zone without the puck and exploit the soft spots. The problem is they never had anyone to get them the puck in space, so they carried the puck.

When they are together it is a thing of beauty to watch their off. instincts and how easily they find the soft spots AND actually get each other the puck with their feet moving. Teams can't double them down low and they have a knack for getting each other the puck in prime scoring areas at exactly the right time. Players like Dupuis, Kunitz and even Neal may wait that split second, which allows the defense to recover and make a play...
It's barely a gripe at all for me. Watching them is fantastic. I have no doubt it would work.

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12-04-2011, 11:31 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I've heard people say that before, but everytime I see them together that argument goes out the window I feel.

Crosby and Malkin have always known how to work both the neutral and off. zone without the puck and exploit the soft spots. The problem is they never had anyone to get them the puck in space, so they carried the puck.

When they are together it is a thing of beauty to watch their off. instincts and how easily they find the soft spots AND actually get each other the puck with their feet moving. Teams can't double them down low and they have a knack for getting each other the puck in prime scoring areas at exactly the right time. Players like Dupuis, Kunitz and even Neal may wait that split second, which allows the defense to recover and make a play...
I've seen the magic of Sid and Geno from their limited time together more this year than probably the last two years combined. Still, as I noted above, it's about the matchups for me. I'm still married more to 3C as a base but using Malkin 40-50% of the time at ES as a winger with Sid and/or Staal in the same game. This way, nobody gets short-changed, and where and with whom Malkin comes out on a particular shift is determined by the opponent in general and the matchup specifically.

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12-04-2011, 11:31 AM
  #114
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
Oh, I don't want Staal playing a whole game with whatever either. BUT, you know the matchups are always different. Some games, Sid and Geno together rocks. A playoff matchup against at the B's, you're better off keeping them apart and maybe running Neal-Staal-Geno or 3C to exploit their second and third pairings.

Honestly, here's my vision: Stick with Kulemin as an addition and TK as the roster piece going in a package. 3C, Neal goes with Sid and Kunitz, Kulemin goes with Geno and Sully. Then, Staal can slide up and center Kulemin and Geno. OR, Geno can slide up with Sid and Neal and Staal centers Kunitz and Kulemin. On balance, I think it should be around 50/50 at even strength. Geno 50% center and 50% wing (for Sid OR Staal), and Staal 50% 3C and 50% 2C . . . again, the determining factor shouldn't be who deserves what but instead who the opponent is and how the matchups shake down.
I would rather take my chances with Crosby, Malkin and Neal together. When you have a dynamic line like that, you aren't going to shut them down completely. You just have to try and contain them and limit their scoring chances. They will generate chances - it is envitable.

Then let Staal exploit the other matchups.

The three line model is going to water down Staal's impact IMHO.

I also hate line juggling and believe you need continuity when the playoffs start.

Unless Staal reverts back to "The Goober" I can't see how putting him with grinders benefits this team more than playing him with top 6 talent.

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12-04-2011, 11:34 AM
  #115
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Not to make excuses, but I'd love to see how these two teams do against one another if the Pens weren't so banged up, especially on the blueline.

Without Letang and Michalek (and potentially Engelland), it's going to be a tall order trying to contain Boston's offense. Especially if Staal (our best defensive forward) is also out.
Well, that does sound like excuses though.

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12-04-2011, 11:41 AM
  #116
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I've always wanted Kulemin on this team. But I just don't see how Toronto trades him with them being a playoff team thus far. He hasn't been the same player as last year and maybe Shero can buy low, but it's still not going to be cheap to get him.
Kulemin is in the slump from hell, of James Neal last year proportions. No goals in 19 games, playing less consistently in the little things, and even got benched in the third period yesterday against Boston. Check out the Leafs page here and the thread on him . . . very illuminating. Where this summer his trade value was too high for the Pens to be a trading partner, his value might be so low that Burke sees no point in trading him. BUT, if someone comes along with an offer based upon the type of player Kulemin traditionally has been rather than based upon how he's playing now, then I wonder if Burke might listen, especially with Armstrong due back soon and a few promising prospects in the minors.

I just think that solves a lot in a TK+ for Kulemin deal. Cap hit is like 200K prorated for the rest of the year. In the 3C model, Neal slides up with Sid and Kulemin slides in for Neal. Kulemin isn't Neal as a shooter, but his playing style along the boards and in terms of going to the net might be a slightly better fit with Geno (not to mention, they've played together since they were toddlers). Then, you get Cooke-Staal-Dupuis, which IMO is better as a line than with Kennedy. You run that as a base say 50-60% at even strength. Then, you want to stack lines, you run Kunitz-Sid-Neal + Kulemin-Staal-Geno or Neal-Sid-Geno + Kunitz-Staal-Kulemin depending on the matchup.

The only problem is the '+' part of the deal . . . TK + Tangradi + #2 seems like, TK + Bennett seems heavy, TK + #1 seems like a risk. Earlier in the year, BEFORE Kulemin went on his cold streak, I think I proposed TK + Tangradi + #1 for Kulemin + #2/#3, depending on whether the Leafs made the playoffs. Leafs fans then thought the value was about right but that the Leafs saw Kulemin as part of a package to upgrade (I'm not sure he's that now, which makes me wonder if a value deal based on Kulemin pre-slump could be done).

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Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I would rather take my chances with Crosby, Malkin and Neal together. When you have a dynamic line like that, you aren't going to shut them down completely. You just have to try and contain them and limit their scoring chances. They will generate chances - it is envitable.

Then let Staal exploit the other matchups.

The three line model is going to water down Staal's impact IMHO.

I also hate line juggling and believe you need continuity when the playoffs start.

Unless Staal reverts back to "The Goober" I can't see how putting him with grinders benefits this team more than playing him with top 6 talent.
I definitely see where you're coming from, I trust you know that. But, you mention let Staal (and Kunitz, with TK/Duper/Sully as the roster is now) exploit the other matchup . . . does he 'exploit' Boston or Philly or Vancouver or Detroit second lines and pairings flanked by say Kunitz and Duper?

The three center model can water down Staal's impact by putting him with 'goobers'. It also can help it by having him draw third defensive pairings and lesser defensive forwards than a stacked Pens line. It's also a comparable tradeoff with Malkin. Does Staal (or Malkin) give you more with less help against lesser matchups or more help against top matchups. It's why I keep saying the answer is that it depends upon what the specific matchup is and why I'd like the team to add a top six forward, so it has the flexibility to make a team pay equally whichever way the Pens go.

EDIT: Jiggy, I think the best way to put it is that I'd like to see Bylsma use Geno like Babcock uses Datsyuk in terms of the matchups and situations.


Last edited by KIRK: 12-04-2011 at 11:54 AM.
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12-04-2011, 11:43 AM
  #117
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Well, that does sound like excuses though.
Not really. It's respecting your opponent. We have no business being the first team to beat them in regulation in over a month without possibly Letang, Michalek, Engelland and Staal. Sorry, but I'll be happy keeping Boston to under three goals in that scenario. Sid/Geno would need to have big nights.

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12-04-2011, 11:46 AM
  #118
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You know, with the way Malkin is going, I think he could survive well without Neal IF the guy replacing him had some size, some natural chemistry with Geno, and played like a power forward along the boards and in terms of going to the net. The problem is that the guys some people propose to replace Neal with on Geno's line, either TK or Dupuis, aren't it, and the limitations of Sully on a line with Geno would be exposed way more than they are with Neal on the right side.
Yes, but we don't have decent replacement for Neal on Malkins line yet. It's dumb to break up Malkin and Neal just to give Crosby our two best wingers, Dupuis has played well enough this year to stay on Crosbys wing until the deadline (if/when another top6 winger is brought in). I don't buy the "we need to break up our second line because Kunitz/Dupuis aren't winning 1on1 battles" argument one bit.

If we somehow manage to get a Kulemin type player without trading away a core-piece (3C's, Letang + Fleury) then fine, go ahead and move Dupuis down and give Neal to Crosby, until then: No thank you.

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12-04-2011, 11:49 AM
  #119
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Kulemin is in the slump from hell, of James Neal last year proportions. No goals in 19 games, playing less consistently in the little things, and even got benched in the third period yesterday against Boston. Check out the Leafs page here and the thread on him . . . very illuminating. Where this summer his trade value was too high for the Pens to be a trading partner, his value might be so low that Burke sees no point in trading him. BUT, if someone comes along with an offer based upon the type of player Kulemin traditionally has been rather than based upon how he's playing now, then I wonder if Burke might listen, especially with Armstrong due back soon and a few promising prospects in the minors.

I just think that solves a lot in a TK+ for Kulemin deal. Cap hit is like 200K prorated for the rest of the year. In the 3C model, Neal slides up with Sid and Kulemin slides in for Neal. Kulemin isn't Neal as a shooter, but his playing style along the boards and in terms of going to the net might be a slightly better fit with Geno (not to mention, they've played together since they were toddlers). Then, you get Cooke-Staal-Dupuis, which IMO is better as a line than with Kennedy. You run that as a base say 50-60% at even strength. Then, you want to stack lines, you run Kunitz-Sid-Neal + Kulemin-Staal-Geno or Neal-Sid-Geno + Kunitz-Staal-Kulemin depending on the matchup.

The only problem is the '+' part of the deal . . . TK + Tangradi + #2 seems like, TK + Bennett seems heavy, TK + #1 seems like a risk. Earlier in the year, BEFORE Kulemin went on his cold streak, I think I proposed TK + Tangradi + #1 for Kulemin + #2/#3, depending on whether the Leafs made the playoffs. Leafs fans then thought the value was about right but that the Leafs saw Kulemin as part of a package to upgrade (I'm not sure he's that now, which makes me wonder if a value deal based on Kulemin pre-slump could be done).
I'd love to have Kulemin here longterm. I wholeheartedly agree he'd be money with Geno. People don't realize how big he is. 6'2 235 is what I've seen listed. He's a beast along the boards which is really the type of game Geno needs to feed off of.

I just dont' know if Shero will be trading TK this year. I'd absolutely do TK+2nd though.

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12-04-2011, 11:49 AM
  #120
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I've seen the magic of Sid and Geno from their limited time together more this year than probably the last two years combined. Still, as I noted above, it's about the matchups for me. I'm still married more to 3C as a base but using Malkin 40-50% of the time at ES as a winger with Sid and/or Staal in the same game. This way, nobody gets short-changed, and where and with whom Malkin comes out on a particular shift is determined by the opponent in general and the matchup specifically.
I'm more a fan of that than anything else.

Use Geno as a utility infielder where you can just stick him here or there depending on need on that particular night.

That's why I liked last night so much. They were never trailing and dominated the game after period one, so they just kept rolling lines. On nights when things aren't going so well and they're trailing, they're rotating guys in and out.

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12-04-2011, 11:56 AM
  #121
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Hard to expect a win against Boston unless we get a few guys back from injury. You never know though. One strange thing in the 2nd half of last season was we were able to beat Boston twice in Boston even with all the injuries we had down the stretch. Hockey's a strange game sometimes.

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12-04-2011, 12:39 PM
  #122
lirit
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Any vids of the injuries?

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Old
12-04-2011, 02:23 PM
  #123
Darth Vitale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDBluth View Post
I don't think the refs were bad. They made the right calls.
Yah I watched on DVR late and so was not totally focused but the no-goal call was a good call. You can easily argue Geno interfered with Boucher's ability to swipe at the puck. There was some grey there but put the shoe on the other foot and Pens fans would've gone ape-**** if they allowed that goal for Carolina.

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Old
12-04-2011, 02:28 PM
  #124
Ogrezilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
Yah I watched on DVR late and so was not totally focused but the no-goal call was a good call. You can easily argue Geno interfered with Boucher's ability to swipe at the puck. There was some grey there but put the shoe on the other foot and Pens fans would've gone ape-**** if they allowed that goal for Carolina.
the problem is that it was called a goal on the ice and I'm pretty sure interference can't be reviewed. Probably was the right call, just done oddly. The last set of penalties were all pretty bad though. E.Staal bought 3 in a row. Whatever, it happens.

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Old
12-04-2011, 02:32 PM
  #125
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There is 0% chance Boucher gets to that puck, absolutely no chance. Plus it was called a goal on the ice.

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