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Old
01-01-2013, 07:52 PM
  #1
ColePens
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2013 Expectations & Thoughts

IF we get a game going.. what do you expect from the Pens? Are we Cup contenders? Do we make trades? Any schematic changes? Will Crosby/Geno be on fire at the same time? Will Paul Martin get back to original form? Will any prospects show they are ready to dominate? Is Joe Victory going to lead this team single-handed to a Stanley Cup?

A million questions... so you tell me what your expectations are of the 2013 Pens.

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01-01-2013, 07:56 PM
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Ogrezilla
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any year we have Crosby, Malkin and Letang we have to be considered a contender going into the season.

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01-01-2013, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
IF we get a game going.. what do you expect from the Pens? Are we Cup contenders? Do we make trades? Any schematic changes? Will Crosby/Geno be on fire at the same time? Will Paul Martin get back to original form? Will any prospects show they are ready to dominate? Is Joe Victory going to lead this team single-handed to a Stanley Cup?

A million questions... so you tell me what your expectations are of the 2013 Pens.

Good question, and I'll tell you what I think will be the key factors. We know Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Neal will all be great. So...

- will Paul Martin rebound and play like a top 4 Dman? If not, will one of the rookies be able to fill that role? Two questions with very uncertain answers.

- will guys like Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi be ready to not merely play, but excell as 4th line/2nd unit PP guys who can chip in offensively?

- will Dupuis be able to retain his career-year type of performance and be an adequate winger for Crosby?

- Will Niskanen & Engelland continue to surprise and be as good or better as they were last season

- We now have Vokoun in the fold in case Fleury falters, which is an amazing insurance policy.

The answers to the above questions, as well as general health & lack of signifcant injruies, will really dictate just how well this team can perform.

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01-01-2013, 08:19 PM
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Stanely Cup or bust as long as Sid & Geno are on the team.

Some quick hitters

-Vokoun will be the primary goalie in the playoffs
-Martin will be serviceable, nothing more, and expect his complete lack of physicality to be even more apparent come playoff time
-Don't expect Tangradi or Jeffrey to do much of anything
-Dupuis will come down from his career year but it'll be masked by playing with Sid
-Everyone will be pleasantly surprised by Sutter's play
-would not be stunned to see BB get a shot on the wing for one of the top two lines if a long-term injury happens
-expect Sid & Geno to both finish in the top 3 in scoring
-Letang will be one of the top 3 scorers for d-man and get a Norris nomination
-expect a trade for a veteran d-man, just don't see Shero being confident in the current group to make a Cup run as is
-everyone will forget that the team signed Tanner Glass in the never-ending off-season and wonder for a minute who the hell he is and where did he come from

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01-01-2013, 08:30 PM
  #5
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With a shortened season, I think there will be more sellers come trade deadline. A bad start can really take bubble teams out of playoff contention.

If there aren't any deals lined up come start of the season, I think we'll be able to find a trade partner later in the season.

I think Tangradi will be more than a 4th liner. He should be given a spot in the top 9. I think Jeffrey is trade bait sooner or later. Don't see a role on the team for him unless he translates his game to wing.

If Martin is still a train wreck. I wouldn't mind seeing what Nisky can do with Letang. Plays a simple game, pretty reliable in his own end, likes playing the left side and succeeded before in a big role with a #1 D-man. Wouldn't be a bad stopgap option. And see if a guy like Despres can work with Orpik.

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01-01-2013, 08:35 PM
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Ill also add, if Calgary is one of those bubble teams that has a bad start, I think Shero is going after Iggy if available. We have assets that a team would covet in a rebuild.

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01-01-2013, 08:44 PM
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I predict Vokoun will prove to be just as effective as Fleury in net; perhaps more-so in the playoffs.

I think Orpik will continue to be unimpressive. He's a guy that has only gotten worse since the Cup finals. I would trade him now assuming his reputation still overshadows his actually performance among NHL GMs.

Paul Martin will not be bought out. 40-50 games does not make a career. He was trending up near the end of the season. It was a low base, but he was actually getting better.

Crosby will put up 87 points.

I also wouldn't be surprised to see Shero pull the trigger on a trade as soon as the ink drys on a new CBA. The man was Uber-pissed after the playoffs. He did not strike me as a guy that would be happy just signing a goalie, resolving the Staal dilemma, and moving one defenceman. Staal was perhaps the best Penguin in the playoffs; moving him is not Shero 'fixing' something that didn't work. Michalek wasn't great, but Shero's post season press conference suggested more than one guy needing a new zip code...

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01-01-2013, 08:50 PM
  #8
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I think losing Michalek & Staal makes us a considerably worse team than last year. Our additions don't offset those losses. Especially Staal. Of course I thought the same thing after losing Hossa.

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01-01-2013, 08:55 PM
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Ogrezilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXile59 View Post
I think losing Michalek & Staal makes us a considerably worse team than last year. Our additions don't offset those losses. Especially Staal. Of course I thought the same thing after losing Hossa.
I think we have worse players. I don't think we will perform as badly. It would be difficult to perform as badly as we did last year in the playoffs. As you alluded to, I think we had a worse team on paper in 2009 compared to 2008 too.

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01-01-2013, 08:59 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
IF we get a game going.. what do you expect from the Pens? Are we Cup contenders?
Like Ogre said, I think we'll be Cup contenders for as long as we have Crosby, Malkin, and Letang.

Quote:
Do we make trades?
I've given up on trying to guess what we will do based on what I think we should do roster-wise, haha.

Quote:
Any schematic changes?
Nothing worth mentioning. We're still going to employ the same unorthodox puck retrieval system, preach ASAP transition, and encourage our defensemen to pinch at every opportunity, and our inherently passive veterans will still look uncomfortable.

Quote:
Will Crosby/Geno be on fire at the same time?
They're both gonna come out with a purpose this year, I have no doubts about that.

Quote:
Will Paul Martin get back to original form?
I figure he'll have a little bump and look like a serviceable middle-pairing defenseman, but he'll still falter under aggressive forechecks and physical play when it matters. His urgency level does not adapt to the situation.

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Will any prospects show they are ready to dominate?
Tango might land a 3rd line role and Despres could secure a spot next to Letang. They looked very natural together last year.

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Is Joe Victory going to lead this team single-handed to a Stanley Cup?
Of course.


Last edited by Rowdy Roddy Peeper: 01-01-2013 at 09:07 PM.
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01-01-2013, 09:01 PM
  #11
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I don't see us adding a defenseman. I think we're better off going with what we have in-house than bringing in someone unfamiliar with our system in a shortened season. Fix the way we defend first. Give our youth a chance to show what they have and see where we are in a few weeks.

Losing Staal and adding Sutter+top line forward is an upgrade for this team IMO. I think we'll see a deal made. Shero wasn't ****ing around last summer. I think with a new CBA in place, we'll see that again.

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01-01-2013, 09:06 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideline View Post

I also wouldn't be surprised to see Shero pull the trigger on a trade as soon as the ink drys on a new CBA. The man was Uber-pissed after the playoffs. He did not strike me as a guy that would be happy just signing a goalie, resolving the Staal dilemma, and moving one defenceman. Staal was perhaps the best Penguin in the playoffs; moving him is not Shero 'fixing' something that didn't work. Michalek wasn't great, but Shero's post season press conference suggested more than one guy needing a new zip code...
could definitely see this

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01-01-2013, 09:07 PM
  #13
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I expect Orpik and especially Martin to not **** around and work hard for their paycheques.

I hope Geno and Sid can BOTH tear the league up...and stay healthy while doing so.

I expect Bylsma to adjust his coaching style this year instead of trying the same crap or line combos night in night out even if it doesn't work. Since as we all know, his refusal to adjust his strategies is one of the main reasons why Peter The Purple and the Flyers took us out last year in the playoffs. No more getting outcoached Dan, your a veteran coach now and you won a Cup in your first year here. Now try and get that second one...please.

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01-01-2013, 09:20 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by mpp9 View Post
I don't see us adding a defenseman. I think we're better off going with what we have in-house than bringing in someone unfamiliar with our system in a shortened season. Fix the way we defend first. Give our youth a chance to show what they have and see where we are in a few weeks.

Losing Staal and adding Sutter+top line forward is an upgrade for this team IMO. I think we'll see a deal made. Shero wasn't ****ing around last summer. I think with a new CBA in place, we'll see that again.
Maybe I'm reading your post out of context, but you want to change the defensive system in a shortened season, but not bring in defender via trade because you're worried he won't have time to adjust to the system? That just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm also not sure what you mean by give our youth a chance to show what they have. In a shortened season, you don't have time to experiment or give shots. Pittsburgh could easily fall out of playoff contention. Unless the Pens start off hot, or later in the schedule have pushed away from bubble teams, I don't want roster spots filled with rookies.

I just don't see the Pens winning the SC with the defense as it stands. It's exactly the same and will be exploited the same.

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01-01-2013, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dangles78 View Post
Maybe I'm reading your post out of context, but you want to change the defensive system in a shortened season, but not bring in defender via trade because you're worried he won't have time to adjust to the system? That just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm also not sure what you mean by give our youth a chance to show what they have. In a shortened season, you don't have time to experiment or give shots. Pittsburgh could easily fall out of playoff contention. Unless the Pens start off hot, or later in the schedule have pushed away from bubble teams, I don't want roster spots filled with rookies.

I just don't see the Pens winning the SC with the defense as it stands. It's exactly the same and will be exploited the same.
Adjusting how we defend in our zone is something that absolutely needs addressed. We don't win a Cup if we don't. We don't have to change the system to do that.

Inserting our NHL ready D prospects into roles they can handle is a better scenario than watching another defensive D-man struggle in our system. We'll see what happens.

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01-01-2013, 10:27 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
IF we get a game going.. what do you expect from the Pens?
Not sure. Part of me says the personnel isn't quite there yet, another part of me says in a season this short with everyone extra rested and recovered from any hurt, and a MUCH better situation in goal (should MAF falter), they could make a huge run at it.


Quote:
Are we Cup contenders?
My gut tells me no. Not quite.


Quote:
Do we make trades?
If the CBA next year is close to $60M and we can ship Martin out for a dependable but less expensive D (or a 2nd or 3rd year type F with some skill), he's gone IMO.


Quote:
Any schematic changes?
Not without a coaching change, and that seems unlikely. I don't think Shero will be in "win at all costs" mode. I think as long as Disco has a .500 or better record this year there's no chance because any coaching change will by definition leave the team with a very short amount of time to adjust and you can't count on lightning striking twice in that respect.


Quote:
Will Crosby/Geno be on fire at the same time?
No idea. As long as both are healthy and playing well overall, I don't care.


Quote:
Will Paul Martin get back to original form?
Does it matter? IMO he's history unless the cap next year is a lot higher than $60M. He would have to make a dramatic improvement over ANY year he's played here, to stick around IMO.


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Will any prospects show they are ready to dominate?
Dominate? No chance. I would expect flashes of great play from someone like Bennett along with some dumb mistakes and perhaps being overwhelmed at times. From Tangradi I would expect solid play with some points to appease the doubters. From Despres I expect about the same thing as I would Bennett. But none of our prospects are close to being mature enough / good enough to dominate at their position in the NHL. [Maybe Zatkoff. ]


Quote:
Is Joe Victory going to lead this team single-handed to a Stanley Cup?
Without Joe, there can be no Victory. We'll just leave it at that.

Overall my expectation is if we stay healthy, a trip to the Conference Finals although who we meet there is anyone's guess. Just not sure we're complete enough, especially if we give some of the young guys a full shot (Tango, Despres, one of Strait and Bortuzzo). I think next year and the year after we could be very strong depending on how some of these young guys pan out (and save us money enough to sign a good FA at position of need, at the same time).


Last edited by Darth Vitale: 01-01-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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Old
01-01-2013, 10:33 PM
  #17
Ogrezilla
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Not sure. Part of me says the personnel isn't quite there yet, another part of me says in a season this short with everyone extra rested and recovered from any hurt, and a MUCH better situation in goal (should MAF falter), they could make a huge run at it.

My gut tells me no. Not quite.

Overall my expectation is if we stay healthy, a trip to the Conference Finals although who we meet there is anyone's guess. Just not sure we're complete enough, especially if we give some of the young guys a full shot (Tango, Despres, one of Strait and Bortuzzo). I think next year and the year after we could be very strong depending on how some of these young guys pan out (and save us money enough to sign a good FA at position of need, at the same time).
I truly believe that if Sid and Geno are both healthy, we can beat anybody on any given night. That makes us contenders imo. My only real concern is the 2nd D pairing.

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01-01-2013, 10:38 PM
  #18
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I truly believe that if Sid and Geno are both healthy, we can beat anybody on any given night. That makes us contenders imo. My only real concern is the 2nd D pairing.
Without a doubt we're good enough to beat anyone, in any given series. The question will be consistency from the bench and the team, and if the odds are in our favor on account of that. Even with everyone healthy, in this system we can do the jekyl and hyde thing sometimes. We'll see how a team possibly sans Kennedy, with Glass and Tangradi shoring up the 3rd and 4th lines, and with our new 3C, how things go.

Mostly I am eager to watch Sutter and Despres. Those two could be huge difference makers if they fit in right away. I don't expect guys like Bennett or Dumoulin to get more than a few games (if that) in a shortened season. IF we have a season.

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01-01-2013, 10:40 PM
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No Michalek is addition by subtraction..Seriously, he was our worst defenseman by a decent gap. He blocked a ton of shots because the puck was always in his zone. Why do you think we got nothing in return for him?

Sutter will effectively replace 85% of J Staal (who is by far the biggest loss).

Tanner Glass is terrible. So was Asham. meh. Craig Adams still on roster...face palm.

MAF? Who knows what happens to him, but I will certainly curse much less with Vokoun actually between the pipes instead of floundering around between the faceoff circles. MAF has the talent, but not the head of a champion. Big question is how many starts does TV get?

TK should be ready to get a shot on top six with Crosby (I think he will surprise people once he gets a shot). If he doesn't work out, BB might get a shot if he's ever healthy.

Pens weaknesses still are below average goaltending from MAF, a minus 4th line, and depth of quality defensive defensemen in that order. The biggest problem should have a decent plan B now.

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01-01-2013, 10:42 PM
  #20
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If Sid and Geno stay healthy, along with the acquisition of a top 6 winger (preferably right-handed) and a top 4 d-man (heard Shero was interested in getting Gonchar back), then the Pens should be in the mix come playoff time.

No more first round chokes please.

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01-01-2013, 10:43 PM
  #21
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If Kennedy gets more than the random 5 minutes a week on the Top 6, I will cry tears of pain.

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01-01-2013, 10:52 PM
  #22
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Biggeest mystery in the last two playoff losses has been penalty killing that was lights out during the season and then vanished in the playoffs. Part of that last year was Fleury's horrible play. Part of it last year I also attribute to Staal's discovery of a consistent scoring touch and a concomitant lack of interest in his role as the team's "shutdown" center. I think Sutter will help that. Still doesn't make up for loss of Michalek (who was hurt and is better than anyone waiting in WBS). On the other hand, presence of Vokoun (and shorter season) will help Fleury, as fatigue would seem to have played a big factor in his late season and playoff woes.

Bottom line - predicting team will make playoffs, but without an upgrade in defense will again be an early exit.

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01-01-2013, 10:54 PM
  #23
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If Kennedy gets more than the random 5 minutes a week on the Top 6, I will cry tears of pain.
I will cry tears of pain if Gonchar or Adams is signed again. TK has very little competition for that top 6 role FWIW. It is between him, Cooke, and BB IMO. He will probably start the season there. It is up to him how well he performs with an elite scoring center. TK is still a fine little wing for 2mil. His leash will probably be short.

I much rather hear rumors of the Pens bringing Scuds back instead of Gonchar. Or that DJ is replacing Adams on the 4th line.

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01-01-2013, 10:59 PM
  #24
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If the issues on defense can be solved (whether it be personnel, systems, or both), then I think the team will go to the SCF.

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01-01-2013, 11:01 PM
  #25
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I will cry tears of pain if Gonchar or Adams is signed again. TK has very little competition for that top 6 role FWIW. It is between him, Cooke, and BB IMO. He will probably start the season there. It is up to him how well he performs with an elite scoring center. TK is still a fine little wing for 2mil. His leash will probably be short.

I much rather hear rumors of the Pens bringing Scuds back instead of Gonchar. Or that DJ is replacing Adams on the 4th line.
If they bring Gonchar back for just one year I can live with that. A lot of young guys with potential on D for the Pens, but none are quite ready for top 4 just yet.

As for Adams, he's on the last year of his contract right? No way he should be resigned. Let other guys kill penalties and give some younger guys a chance to play instead.

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