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Special Teams: The Real Source of Our Problems

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Old
04-14-2012, 03:17 PM
  #1
AquaticBirdman
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Special Teams: The Real Source of Our Problems

While we've gone on endless rants about how bad our defense, coaching, and to an extent, goaltending has been over the first 2 games of this series, I think that many of us are overlooking another noticeable concern: Special teams play.

Our PK, which was arguably the best in the league throughout the season, and has been one of the best in the league for a couple of years now, has been made to look absolutely dreadful these first two games. Combine that with a PP that has been rather sloppy, giving up embarrassing SH goals at the same time, then its easily to see how Philly has managed to better us thus far.

Lets be realistic here, their defensively play and goaltending has been just as average or bad as ours. The blue line is hurting without Pronger, while Bryz has still been VERY shakey (aside from a couple huge saves). IN fact, I think the disparity between these two teams has been minimal at best.

In the end though, it has come down to Philly being more opportunistic than us, and making the most out of those opportunities. I think that special teams play is the main culprit in this.

Your thoughts?

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04-14-2012, 03:42 PM
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billybudd
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Their team defense has definitely been better at even strength. That's on us more than them.

But as to special teams, their powerplay is simply better than ours. A lot better. That's why their pk is also more effective, relatively speaking.

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04-14-2012, 03:52 PM
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Dan Barr
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It would seem that the coaching staff agrees with you, given the changes they've made to the special teams units.

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04-14-2012, 04:06 PM
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SundanceKid
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I may be too intoxicated during the games to TRULY know what's going on but here is what I have gathered as a seasoned fan:

Defense is just awful as of late. Look no further than the scoreboard for our last 20 games. It's staggering. As of lately, we have given up like 4 or 5 goals per game like it's clockwork. Feels like the 1970s again. We haven't battled for a 1-1 or 2-1 or even 3-1 game in forever it feels like (give or take a random 1 or 2). I don't know what our complete break down is, whether we are missing a big body d-man like Hall Gill who obstructs at the blue line, or if it is just lack of responsibility on all parts.


We are scoring just fine, at least 4 or 5, which should be enough to win against any team in the league if we could keep our goals against to a reasonable number. Although the issue I notice is our offensive guys are just kind of floating, hoping for a stray puck to come loose so they can get an odd man rush or a quick transition.

I'll say my disclaimer again. I don't watch these games sober by any means and this is only my opinion.


EDIT: I just thought of something else. Our PP gives up way too many SHGs. Gave away 2 last game that cost us the game. That's just disheartening and kills momentum/confidence.


Last edited by SundanceKid: 04-14-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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04-14-2012, 04:19 PM
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My pre-series important factors were SHGs and D-Zone coverage. That's what I was worried about and it's the MAIN factor in these 2 games.

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04-14-2012, 04:28 PM
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SundanceKid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
My pre-series important factors were SHGs and D-Zone coverage. That's what I was worried about and it's the MAIN factor in these 2 games.
And what the hell is up with Staal? I used to praise him as an unsung hero of sorts but since his burst of productivity after his return, he has been all but invisible to me (and the score sheet).

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04-14-2012, 04:37 PM
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Terrapin
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Special teams, coaching, pathetic defense, not physical enough, blah blah blah. All of it's true. For me, it all boils down to this team, from Shero to Byslma to each player, being way too overconfident. From Shero not making any deadline moves, to Byslma's unwillingness to change and adjust, to the players thinking the Cup is already theirs, a meltdown was a distinct possiblity. They got Sid back, they're finally healthy, all the media, pundits, and bookmakers said they're the favorites, they had the winning streak, etc. I really believe they all felt like they could coast through the playoffs due to their offensive talent. They never really worried about their scheme, defensive shortcomings, PP, etc, cause their talent made up for a lot of mistakes. But the playoffs are a different animal. I thought Wednesday would finally be their wakeup call, and it was, sort of. But it wasn't nearly enough. This won't be fixed till next year, hopefully.

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04-14-2012, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
My pre-series important factors were SHGs and D-Zone coverage. That's what I was worried about and it's the MAIN factor in these 2 games.
I would add goaltending to that.


Yes our d has been atrocious but Fleury has to make some ****ing saves.

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04-14-2012, 05:51 PM
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Was wondering the same thing after yesterday's game. 2 PP's against and 2 SH's.

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04-14-2012, 06:15 PM
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Ziggyjoe21
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It seems as if Laviolette found our weakness on D and is exploiting it. Outcoaching DB thus far, imo.

I can't get over the fact that Pens dominate the 1st period, take 2 goal lead, Flyers call TO, and it's all downhill from there. Like clockwork.

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04-14-2012, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Now let’s examine other teams whose top-6 forwards/star players get significant time on the penalty kill: Giroux (PHI); Toews, Hossa & Sharp (CHI); Datsyuk & Zetterberg (DET); Kopitar, Richards & Brown (LA); Roy & Pominville (BUF); Parise, Kovalchuk & Elias (NJ); Bergeron (BOS); Kesler & Burrows (VAN); Pavelski & Marleau (SJ); Eriksson (DAL); Plekanec (MTL); Backes, Oshie & McDonald (STL); Ladd & Little (WIN); Koivu (MIN); Eric Staal (CAR); Alfredsson & Michalek (OTT); Weiss (FLA); Perry (ANA)…..even J. Thornton, L. Couture, R. Getzlaf, R. Vrbata & N. Backstrom all averaged one minute or more per game on the PK.

Now let’s examine the Pens top 6 forwards’ PP time (in minutes): Malkin (0:02); Neal (0:02); Kunitz (0:08); Crosby (0:07, and likely only that for face-offs); Kennedy & Sullivan (both 0:00). Jordan Staal is our only “star” forward who gets significant PK time, and he’s not even technically in our top 6. We are one of the only teams in the NHL who doesn't use our top players on the PK, and while that's a decent & practical strategy for the regular season, we could really take advantage of having those options for the playoffs.

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04-14-2012, 09:15 PM
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Ziggyjoe21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
____
I don't see this as a problem. Other teams have to match up against us, not vice versa. The Pens play their own game and other teams have to adjust. This is a good thing.

This series has been about breakdown of defense and goaltending. If that gets resolved there's no reason why the Pens can't win this series.

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04-14-2012, 09:33 PM
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What our powerplay now this series? +2 / -2 over 8 chances? YUCK!

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04-15-2012, 06:07 PM
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Bump.

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04-15-2012, 06:15 PM
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Even if you look at the PP, the biggest problem is the D. Is that 3 SHG in three games now? Our team defense is guaranteeing us defeat even when we score 4 and 5G on them. Addressing the D should come before anything else Shero does.

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04-15-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Chancellor Vitale View Post
Even if you look at the PP, the biggest problem is the D. Is that 3 SHG in three games now? Our team defense is guaranteeing us defeat even when we score 4 and 5G on them. Addressing the D should come before anything else Shero does.
What burns more is that Max is continuing his "proven playoff performer" reputation against us. Sucks when you're on the other end of it I must say.

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04-15-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AquaticBirdman View Post
What burns more is that Max is continuing his "proven playoff performer" reputation against us. Sucks when you're on the other end of it I must say.
Yah it sucked but his goals were ****ing downy soft... Jagr's too. Those pucks all should've been kicked to the boards if the D was in position and Fleury wasn't mental. None of the shots had good velocity on them and all were... you know what I'm saying. This whole mess isn't about Max Talbot. Max is a likable guy when he's on your team but I'll take Vitale any day at those salary levels and given our current structure.

Tangent: Nothing is pissing me off more today than seeing some of these "Jagr is making Shero look dumb comments", as if Philly wouldn't be up 3-0 right now if he'd been scratched all three games (hint they would still be up 3-0).

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04-15-2012, 07:20 PM
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Snooki Stackhouse
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Well let's be honest. I think it's a damn shame that we're sitting with 2m in Tyler ****ing Kennedy and could have potentially coughed up marginally more $$ for Jagr. Wouldn't change anything in this series, but it is a source of regret for me, personally.

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04-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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It's bizarro world. 3rd best PK in the league has been horrid. 40 game winning goaltender who can't stop anything.

After game 1, i thought, ok now thats out of the way. Let's see some real playoff hockey. 2 games later and i'm picking my jaw off the floor.

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04-15-2012, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Snooki Stackhouse View Post
Well let's be honest. I think it's a damn shame that we're sitting with 2m in Tyler ****ing Kennedy and could have potentially coughed up marginally more $$ for Jagr. Wouldn't change anything in this series, but it is a source of regret for me, personally.
I don't think the Flyers would be sitting at #5 without Jagr.

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04-15-2012, 09:33 PM
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Awesome stat of the night through three games... Philadelphia powerplay: 60% (6 goals). Pittsburgh powerplay: 33% (3 goals). Flyers (let's call it) shorthanded play: 33% (3 goals). Yes folks, you read that right. The Flyers have scored just as many shorthanded goals as the Penguins have scored powerplay goals. Not going to win many (any?) series that way...

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04-15-2012, 09:37 PM
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I don't think the Flyers would be sitting at #5 without Jagr.
If you mean standings... implying they'd be worse (?), he scored less than 20G. Jagr has been pretty much a non-factor most of the year and most of this series. IMO playing on the line he did, it would've been shocking to not have the number of assists he had. People just fixate on the guy for no reason. Shero was SMART not to sign him. We'd still be getting our ass kicked if he was wearing black and gold because he sure as hell isn't going to be the kind of guy to lead by example on team D.

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04-15-2012, 09:41 PM
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Ugene Malkin
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Put this in the wrong thread.


Quote:
I know why the PK isn't working against the Flyers after seeing it countless times over the last few days.

The Pens are getting pulled out of their box chasing. Just get in the lanes and hold the box and they'll pass it around the perimeter. Information that would have been good as far as a month ago.

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04-15-2012, 09:43 PM
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Put this in the wrong thread.
I noticed the chasing as well today. Bad news. Means the coaches are not recognizing it / adapting their game plan.

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04-15-2012, 09:43 PM
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Put this in the wrong thread.
No discipline. It's just a complete mental failure, which is pretty much all this series has been.

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