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I want a defensive powerhouse

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Old
04-25-2012, 09:53 PM
  #1
Grave77digger
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I want a defensive powerhouse

All that high powered scoring got the Pens really far this year aye? Look at what the Caps just did to Boston. Hardly any penalties either, besides a few Boston dives. Scoring titles are a nice personal achievement but it wont win a cup. Solidify the defense, ditch the one dimensional grinders (im looking at you Adams, Asham, etc.) This team needs to go in a different direction and it starts with coaching.

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04-25-2012, 10:05 PM
  #2
vikingGoalie
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Watching the Caps-Boston game tonight I couldn't help but think that *THIS* is playoff hockey.

Defense and Goaltending wins championships.
We've lacked for both (in the playoffs) ever since Blysma has had the team for a full season.

I think there is a lot of good that Blysma offers, but Shero please bring in an assistant at least that will shore up the Defense. Heck I might be ok with Therrien coming back to run the Defense.

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04-25-2012, 10:19 PM
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eXile59
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Preaching to the choir. Preaching to the choir.

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04-25-2012, 10:20 PM
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SidGenoMario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave77digger View Post
Scoring titles are a nice personal achievement but it wont win a cup.
Right, no offense-first teams ever win the Cup. It's clearly impossible.

A defense-oriented team is just as likely to choke and play bad defense as an offense-oriented team is to choke and play bad offense. If Crosby and Malkin had played more Giroux-like this thread wouldn't exist.

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04-25-2012, 10:25 PM
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eXile59
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Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
Right, no offense-first teams ever win the Cup. It's clearly impossible.

A defense-oriented team is just as likely to choke and play bad defense as an offense-oriented team is to choke and play bad offense. If Crosby and Malkin had played more Giroux-like this thread wouldn't exist.
How were Crosby & Malkin suppose to make the Flyers turn the puck over at their blue line?

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04-25-2012, 10:33 PM
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Killswitch7187
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We don't need a defensive powerhouse, but we surely do need some size and grit on the back-end and in the bottom-6. But that's nothing UFA can't fix, considering there's a lot of those guys out there this upcoming July 1st.

Once that happens... I'm not sure we'll be a defensive powerhouse by any means, but we'll be much harder to play against. Which is all we need IMO.

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04-25-2012, 10:35 PM
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eXile59
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Originally Posted by Killswitch7187 View Post
We don't need a defensive powerhouse, but we surely do need some size and grit on the back-end and in the bottom-6. But that's nothing UFA can't fix, considering there's a lot of those guys out there this upcoming July 1st.

Once that happens... I'm not sure we'll be a defensive powerhouse by any means, but we'll be much harder to play against. Which is all we need IMO.
Yeah UFA has helped our defense so much in the past.

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04-25-2012, 10:36 PM
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River Man
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Regardless, I think this team needs some new players. The team has looked "stale" the last couple of seasons.

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04-25-2012, 10:39 PM
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We have the two best offensive powerhouses in the league. Hard to add a defensive powerhouse...and depth with a cap.

We need to ditch Paul F'in Martin. We need to ditch a grinder or two. We need a decent back up that can support Fleury.

Here's the problem...we have a lot of grinder based talents...problem is...we DON'T GRIND ANYMORE! In 2009 our forecheck, puck pursuit, and pressure were relentless...it worked...then we lost some people...replaced people...and something happened...we lost that spark.

Now we have a GM and a head coach that believe that steady and slow wins the race. In todays cap world and a league with this much parity...you can't have that. It's their job to make the necessary adjustments to help the team win.

We needed some help at the deadline...and Shero passed. We needed adjustments against Philly...Blysma passed. I saw this as very similar to the MTL series. This team (or at least the staff) thought it would win on star power...or just finesse their way by...that it would come together and happen and they could just be objective observers. Guess what...doesn't work that way. You can always just say "I'm confident in our roster" and "North" and expect everything else to happen.

We need to rid ourselves of this we need grinders mentality as well. Again I ask you to look at the 09 lineup:

Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Feds-Malkin-Talbot
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Dupuis-Adams-Satan/Sykora

That has some grind in it...but its not overly grindy. That lineup did just fine. The grittyness came from pressure, possession, and pursuit...NOT less skill, more grind players.

Get rid of:

Martin
Orpik
Sullivan
Kennedy
Asham
Adams

Asham-Vitale-Adams while a very good energy, grit line...they ultimately did very little for us. Nice to have Asham out fighting...but we can have Engo do that if needed. Vitale needs to stay as he defines 4C IMHO. Adams, go. Anyone can be a PK'er with practice.

We then need a defense that can play the defensive system. Our defense can not play the system we have in place. Change the defense or change the system.

So there...ummm...what was the question again?

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04-25-2012, 10:42 PM
  #10
eXile59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEALBound View Post
We have the two best offensive powerhouses in the league. Hard to add a defensive powerhouse...and depth with a cap.

We need to ditch Paul F'in Martin. We need to ditch a grinder or two. We need a decent back up that can support Fleury.

Here's the problem...we have a lot of grinder based talents...problem is...we DON'T GRIND ANYMORE! In 2009 our forecheck, puck pursuit, and pressure were relentless...it worked...then we lost some people...replaced people...and something happened...we lost that spark.

Now we have a GM and a head coach that believe that steady and slow wins the race. In todays cap world and a league with this much parity...you can't have that. It's their job to make the necessary adjustments to help the team win.

We needed some help at the deadline...and Shero passed. We needed adjustments against Philly...Blysma passed. I saw this as very similar to the MTL series. This team (or at least the staff) thought it would win on star power...or just finesse their way by...that it would come together and happen and they could just be objective observers. Guess what...doesn't work that way. You can always just say "I'm confident in our roster" and "North" and expect everything else to happen.

We need to rid ourselves of this we need grinders mentality as well. Again I ask you to look at the 09 lineup:

Kunitz-Crosby-Guerin
Feds-Malkin-Talbot
Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
Dupuis-Adams-Satan/Sykora

That has some grind in it...but its not overly grindy. That lineup did just fine. The grittyness came from pressure, possession, and pursuit...NOT less skill, more grind players.

Get rid of:

Martin
Orpik
Sullivan
Kennedy
Asham
Adams

Asham-Vitale-Adams while a very good energy, grit line...they ultimately did very little for us. Nice to have Asham out fighting...but we can have Engo do that if needed. Vitale needs to stay as he defines 4C IMHO. Adams, go. Anyone can be a PK'er with practice.

We then need a defense that can play the defensive system. Our defense can not play the system we have in place. Change the defense or change the system.

So there...ummm...what was the question again?
Completely ignoring the large systemic problem. Plus Kennedy actual showed up in the playoffs so why get rid of him?

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Old
04-25-2012, 10:44 PM
  #11
Killswitch7187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXile59 View Post
Yeah UFA has helped our defense so much in the past.
In Shero's defense, Martin/Michalek should be the exception, not the rule. He's done a pretty manageable job otherwise with the defense. We're not going to be spending a large majority of cap-space towards individual defenseman anyway, so it's a moot point. Think more along the likes of Bryan Allen, Shane O'Brien, etc. In Shero's tenure, he's been pretty good with those type of signings. So yes, I believe it is nothing UFA can't fix.

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04-25-2012, 11:04 PM
  #12
River Man
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As much of a disappointment Michalek and especially Martin have been at times, I think if the system is tailored a bit to their strengths, they can be effective.

Heck, just as recently as the last half of the 2010-2011 season proved that.

As I've mentioned before, there are many issues with this team right now. However, we have assets, if managed properly, that can be extremely useful.

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04-25-2012, 11:21 PM
  #13
Rowdy Roddy Peeper
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This team doesn't need to go in a different direction in terms of coaching. It needs to hurl Paul Martin into the sun and replace MAF with a goalie who can manage not to put up the worst statistical performance by a goalie in the playoffs ever.

A coaching change won't allow Fleury to stop slow rollers without throwing the puck in his own net, or make Martin grow balls, or stop Lovejoy from giving breakaways to opponents.

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04-25-2012, 11:44 PM
  #14
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I don't know. Boston was a very high scoring team and it seemed like they rarely got a dangerous shot off against Washington because of how conservative Washington plays it these days. That does help the goalie. That style also helps the D-Men. Playing like that could help Fleury and our D, but we have big money invested in the D and goalie. You'd like to think they can do the job in any system. It's what they are supposedly getting the big bucks for.

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04-25-2012, 11:44 PM
  #15
Jacob
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I'd like a defensive powerhouse that is also an offensive machine. I think we have the talent and personnel for both.

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04-25-2012, 11:49 PM
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Sidney the Kidney
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Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
I'd like a defensive powerhouse that is also an offensive machine. I think we have the talent and personnel for both.
This. Why does it have to be either or? This team could have been both, but three-quarters of our top-4 on defense played badly (Martin and Orpik beyond bad), our forwards didn't seem to want to back check or cover their defensive responsibilities, and our goalie played like he couldn't stop a beach ball.

A couple of tweaks this summer, and I think we've got the potential to be a team that's both strong defensively and offensively.

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04-26-2012, 03:50 AM
  #17
Karnage420
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yeah this whole blysma system needs to go.

its probably the best system for the regular season, but is porous as ever in the playoffs.

bring back therrien! (or really any old school type coach)





its not gonna happen tho. we are pot committed to bylsma and his system because it "worked". even though it was clearly therriens old defensive mindset that won it.


FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK

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Old
04-26-2012, 04:27 AM
  #18
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You need both.Offense and defense.

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Old
04-26-2012, 04:56 AM
  #19
TravisUlrich
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Another over-reactionary thread, hey?

I feel like if there's one thing that has been proven, it's just how short an attention span your average HF poster has.

Don't get rid of Fleury. Don't get rid of Bylsma. They aren't the problem. I will agree though that some turnover (on any team) is necessary but anyone who has regularly excelled (yes, even in regular reason) shouldn't be looked to. If that weren't the case, Mike Babcock should have been fired a long time ago.

I still strongly believe in the core and philosophy of this team. Your bottom earners need to be able to grind *****es down. We addressed the issue of not having scoring wingers and we thought we had maybe even over-addressed our defense but we couldn't have anticipated two years ago that Paul Martin would have played this poorly. I'm not sure why but our defensive game became unravelled as the season came to a close. Casual observers will say that our issues started in the playoffs but all of us were a bit wary. If the regular season would have ended 2 weeks earlier, that would have been the perfect time but we began declining, meanwhile Philly was equally as hot as us and then didn't stumble going into the playoffs.

I would agree with the "stale" comment. Or as I always put it, every team needs a healthy dose of turn-over and while I'm not exactly sure what that will look like, I feel like a good first step is to clear Paul Martin's Cap hit. We also need to address our backup goaltender situation. it doesn't happen every year but a common playoff theme for successful teams is to have a good goaltending tandem. I refuse to blame Fleury for our playoff woes. He was not great but he also was in no position to steal that series. but pulling him for Brent Johnson in order to maybe turn things around was just never an option. If we had had a reliable backup then DB has that card to play to shake up our team.

Also, it seems like Shero used to try to collect a stable of 7-8 healthy, reliable defenseman. The last little while it seems like he's been collecting forwards that can jump in and chancing things a bit on the blueline.

To summarize, there are way more positives then negative's on this team and that includes coaching. I don't really think any big changes are needed (I guess I don't count PM's $5M contract a "big" change). Mostly just some tweaks and to hedge our odds better with numbers.

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Old
04-26-2012, 05:01 AM
  #20
Uncle Jorgi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
This team doesn't need to go in a different direction in terms of coaching. It needs to hurl Paul Martin into the sun and replace MAF with a goalie who can manage not to put up the worst statistical performance by a goalie in the playoffs ever.

A coaching change won't allow Fleury to stop slow rollers without throwing the puck in his own net, or make Martin grow balls, or stop Lovejoy from giving breakaways to opponents.
This is pretty much it. I'm not advocating dumping MAF at this point, but if people want to change the coaching or system the team employs, they either do so because they think the players have stopped playing for DB, or they don't really understand the individual issues that have caused the early round exits of the past few years. They just want to look at the whole thing collectively and say, "We aren't getting to where we are supposed to be, so it must be the coach's fault."

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXile59 View Post
Yeah UFA has helped our defense so much in the past.
It sure didn't look so bad last year, when they were part of a defense that helped us get into the playoffs with a high seed after a slew of injuries had almost the entire hockey world writing us off for dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grave77digger View Post
All that high powered scoring got the Pens really far this year aye? Look at what the Caps just did to Boston. Hardly any penalties either, besides a few Boston dives. Scoring titles are a nice personal achievement but it wont win a cup. Solidify the defense, ditch the one dimensional grinders (im looking at you Adams, Asham, etc.) This team needs to go in a different direction and it starts with coaching.
Funny, but back when Therrien was coaching all everyone ever said was that we needed a new coach because he was too defense-minded for the team Shero had assembled. And as to one-dimensional grinders ... what exactly are you looking for out of fourth line players? Asham can hit, he can cycle, he can fight, and he can pot the occasional goal. Adams is a good PKer, he wins faceoffs, he plays with energy, he sticks up for his teammates, and he does his job when it comes to grinding it out too. Not sure what "dimension" you're expecting.


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Old
04-26-2012, 06:15 AM
  #21
The Old Master
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as bad as our de played....they got absolutely no help from the forewards...and no help from maf....any player can have a bad yr we just had everybody have one.

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04-26-2012, 07:16 AM
  #22
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We have the defense in our system. We just have to bring them up and give them a chance. Strait and Bortuzzo have been the top shutdown pairing in the AHL the past two years and Despres is ready to step in also. Get rid of Lovejoy and Martin this off season. Start season with 8 D-men and let them fight it out for playing time. If Despres can't cut it he can be shipped back to WBS. If Strait or Bortuzzo can't cut it then waive one of them. It's time to see if these guys can take the next step.

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Old
04-26-2012, 08:21 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
This team doesn't need to go in a different direction in terms of coaching. It needs to hurl Paul Martin into the sun and replace MAF with a goalie who can manage not to put up the worst statistical performance by a goalie in the playoffs ever.

A coaching change won't allow Fleury to stop slow rollers without throwing the puck in his own net, or make Martin grow balls, or stop Lovejoy from giving breakaways to opponents.
I do think that they should get a new goalie coach at the very least.

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04-26-2012, 08:39 AM
  #24
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We have the defense in our system. We just have to bring them up and give them a chance. Strait and Bortuzzo have been the top shutdown pairing in the AHL the past two years and Despres is ready to step in also. Get rid of Lovejoy and Martin this off season. Start season with 8 D-men and let them fight it out for playing time. If Despres can't cut it he can be shipped back to WBS. If Strait or Bortuzzo can't cut it then waive one of them. It's time to see if these guys can take the next step.
This. Now is the time to see what these guys have. I agree we should start with 8 and see what happens. It's not like Bort or Strait will be wasted in the press box, because the other option is to lose them to waivers. If it's Despres sitting then send him down.

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Old
04-26-2012, 08:44 AM
  #25
jmelm
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I still think the biggest difference we could make to our team would be to replace Paul Martin's contract ($5million) for Ryan Suter (will probably make $6 to $6.5 million).

Michalek wasn't "awesome" this year, but I think he can be part of the solution. Maybe part of the problem was he wans't paired up with the best player. He certainly needs to play better, but I suppose you have to look at those guys in the context of pairs they played with.

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