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Will the Pens keep up the defensive style with the new guys?

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Old
03-28-2013, 04:22 PM
  #1
Jaded-Fan
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Will the Pens keep up the defensive style with the new guys?

I have been pleasantly shocked with the Pens play the last month, 9 goals allowed in the last 9 games. They spoke openly of having a meeting and consciously becoming more defensive. Something like winning games 6-5 felt like losing.

I was already worried a little bit if the style of play and commitment to 'playoff' style of hockey would wane when Malkin returned. Now the Pens have a LOT of shiny new toys, including the most shiny of this trade deadline Iginla. The temptation to open up the game I would think would be strong, just like a little kid at Christmas getting a spectacular new hot wheels set and being told to keep it in the box. You want to play with your new toys. I just hope that they do not though. Meaning that they do not abandon the new commitment to a much tighter more responsible game.

Do you think that the new toys may hamper the strides that they have made or not?

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03-28-2013, 04:28 PM
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sf expat71
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This is a real fear, especially since this is pretty much exactly what happened last year when Sid returned. Not to mention, the target is squarely on our backs, every team will play their most physical, inspired, borderline dirty agitating style against us. I hope Bylsma has enough control over the team to keep it from happening, because if we respond to the nasty stuff like we did against the flyers last year, our chances of success decrease dramatically. Keep up the solid D, turn the other cheek (to an extent) against the Hartnells and Neils of the league, point at the scoreboard at game's end. Then, I like our chances.

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03-28-2013, 04:29 PM
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No. The guys they brought in will do whatever they think it takes to win. Morrow, Iggy...there's no arrogance or self-satisfaction in their games. No reading their press clippings and patting themselves on the back.

Murray has always seemed a little pleased with himself, but he doesn't run and gun. His game is defensive in nature.

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03-28-2013, 04:30 PM
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No matter how much HCDB tries to preach defense unto the boys, I have to think that the game will open up a bit with the addition of Iggy (and the trickle down effect he will have on the rest of our lines). Honestly, I think that's fine. I would like a team that plays half way between our "run and gun" team and our "protect the 1-0 lead" team.

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03-28-2013, 04:31 PM
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The best part about getting Iginla and Morrow is they are two guys DESPERATE to win the Cup. They aren't going to tolerate people getting out of line. They'll be the hardest workers on the back-check and they won't tolerate others getting out of line.

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03-28-2013, 04:34 PM
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sf expat71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
No. The guys they brought in will do whatever they think it takes to win. Morrow, Iggy...there's no arrogance or self-satisfaction in their games. No reading their press clippings and patting themselves on the back.

Murray has always seemed a little pleased with himself, but he doesn't run and gun. His game is defensive in nature.
It's not so much who they brought in, but the team mentality changing. I'm pretty sure Crosby is willing to do whatever it takes to win, but the team as a whole got overly cocky, imo, thinking they can play however they want and still win. Because none of these guys wants to play a rigid style, but they want to win more. Unfortunately, the lineup was so good that they could win a majority of games without playing a rigid style, and it inevitably bit them in the ass in the playoffs.

edit: talking about last year, of course, in case it wasn't clear...

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03-28-2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
It's not so much who they brought in, but the team mentality changing. I'm pretty sure Crosby is willing to do whatever it takes to win, but the team as a whole got overly cocky, imo, thinking they can play however they want and still win. Because none of these guys wants to play a rigid style, but they want to win more. Unfortunately, the lineup was so good that they could win a majority of games without playing a rigid style, and it inevitably bit them in the ass in the playoffs.
Maybe the experience last year, as you said getting cocky with Sid back, taught them a lesson. And yes having three captains on this team should help keep things in line. But I would not have posted the question if it was not a worry.

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03-28-2013, 04:37 PM
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The focus better remain on defense.

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03-28-2013, 04:37 PM
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Iginla, Morrow and Murray are warriors. I don't worry about them. They do the little things. Malkin I worry about sometimes because he's the one that kind of does what he feels like. He can be a beast defensively if he wants to be but sometimes he looks totally disinterested in that part of the game.

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03-28-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by IcedCapp View Post
The best part about getting Iginla and Morrow is they are two guys DESPERATE to win the Cup. They aren't going to tolerate people getting out of line. They'll be the hardest workers on the back-check and they won't tolerate others getting out of line.
Absolutely.

Players are of course going to do their best for themselves, but they also don't want to let down their new teammates who are desperate for a Cup.

I remember during the Isle dynasty teams, IIRC it was Potvin or Trots that said you needed about a good 2, 3, 4 new guys every year to keep things fresh. You needed change so the locker room, despite being all season Cup winners, wouldn't get stale. And the new guys would serve as motivation to keep striving for the Cup, despite already winning it. Because you didn't want to let them down.

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03-28-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
Maybe the experience last year, as you said getting cocky with Sid back, taught them a lesson. And yes having three captains on this team should help keep things in line. But I would not have posted the question if it was not a worry.
I hope so, because last year was a tough pill to swallow, even if I was proud of the players for fighting back and taking it to game 6. But if the lesson was learned, then I'd say it was worth the experience.

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03-28-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Hook View Post
Iginla, Morrow and Murray are warriors. I don't worry about them. They do the little things. Malkin I worry about sometimes because he's the one that kind of does what he feels like. He can be a beast defensively if he wants to be but sometimes he looks totally disinterested in that part of the game.
Sound like someone we know very well?

I have always said that Malkin reminds me the most of Mario of any player since Mario. Of course that is a loose analogy, and Mario is in a league all by himself, but it is scary at times how many factors dovetail when comparing them.

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03-28-2013, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
It's not so much who they brought in, but the team mentality changing. I'm pretty sure Crosby is willing to do whatever it takes to win, but the team as a whole got overly cocky, imo, thinking they can play however they want and still win. Because none of these guys wants to play a rigid style, but they want to win more. Unfortunately, the lineup was so good that they could win a majority of games without playing a rigid style, and it inevitably bit them in the ass in the playoffs.

edit: talking about last year, of course, in case it wasn't clear...
Yeah, I know what you're saying. They were already the highest scoring team, got the best player back, started reading their own press and pulled a globe-trotter routine.

What I'm saying is bringing these guys in sends a completely different message than a team that's already playing firewagon hockey getting the sports best offensive player back from injury.

The message that's sent by bringing in Morrow, Murray and now Iggy (2 of which aren't even really offensive players) is "losing is unacceptable."

I mean, the guys in the room know what those guys were brought in to do. And it wasn't to bury the league in goals.

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03-28-2013, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Yeah, I know what you're saying. They were already the highest scoring team, got the best player back, started reading their own press and pulled a globe-trotter routine.

What I'm saying is bringing these guys in sends a completely different message than a team that's already playing firewagon hockey getting the sports best offensive player back from injury.

The message that's sent by bringing in Morrow, Murray and now Iggy (2 of which aren't even really offensive players) is "losing is unacceptable."

I mean, the guys in the room know what those guys were brought in to do. And it wasn't to bury the league in goals.
All in. Yup, Stamkos can have the Art Ross for all I care, there is only one trophy, anything else is failure. I hope Disco can keep them focused and grounded, because, like Shero said, lineups on paper don't mean a whole lot (paraphrasing here).

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03-28-2013, 04:54 PM
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If I was Bylsma, I would keep with the current defensive style. It works.

Firstly, having more skill and talent in the line-up will only make it even more successful.
Secondly, offensive opportunities often stem from good defensive plays. You see it in so many team sports. You need great defense to win championships and the modern NHL is no different.

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03-28-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
Maybe the experience last year, as you said getting cocky with Sid back, taught them a lesson. And yes having three captains on this team should help keep things in line. But I would not have posted the question if it was not a worry.
Honestly, you could see a shift after that 7-6 victory over the Habs. The team has really gotten more and more defensively responsible pretty much every game since then. We're due to give up 3 or 4, but with our game of late, we just haven't been giving up many quality chances.

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03-28-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Hook View Post
Iginla, Morrow and Murray are warriors. I don't worry about them. They do the little things. Malkin I worry about sometimes because he's the one that kind of does what he feels like. He can be a beast defensively if he wants to be but sometimes he looks totally disinterested in that part of the game.
A cup-run Malkin is a different beast though. That Malkin plays all the ice and wins Conn Smythe's like it ain't no thang.

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03-28-2013, 05:02 PM
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Was wondering this as well. I wouldn't mind the Pens putting up a few more goals, but really don't want the other teams doing the same.

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03-28-2013, 05:03 PM
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I do hope we will be a better puck posession team than we have been of late. Sure we need to be able to play solid defense, but that doesn't mean giving the other team the puck.

We need to be able to win 1 goal games, but that doesn't mean we arent able to win by more than 1 goal.

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03-28-2013, 05:40 PM
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Our team sometimes seems to lose their heads when they're at full health and get all those superlatives thrown around in the media. Always get their stuff together when Sid or Geno is down. So this is a real concern for me, too. I hope Bylsma learned something from last year's "Let them score 5, we'll score 7" playoffs debacle, and kicks their ***** if they get sloppy. Though Morrow and Iggy should automatically improve us in that regard.

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03-28-2013, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by td_ice View Post
Absolutely.

Players are of course going to do their best for themselves, but they also don't want to let down their new teammates who are desperate for a Cup.

I remember during the Isle dynasty teams, IIRC it was Potvin or Trots that said you needed about a good 2, 3, 4 new guys every year to keep things fresh. You needed change so the locker room, despite being all season Cup winners, wouldn't get stale. And the new guys would serve as motivation to keep striving for the Cup, despite already winning it. Because you didn't want to let them down.
Very good point on your last paragraph.

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03-28-2013, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Slabber Chops View Post
If I was Bylsma, I would keep with the current defensive style. It works.

Firstly, having more skill and talent in the line-up will only make it even more successful.
Secondly, offensive opportunities often stem from good defensive plays. You see it in so many team sports. You need great defense to win championships and the modern NHL is no different.
They will. Playing this style with his fire power will still produce 4-5 goals a game.

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03-29-2013, 09:56 AM
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I think last night, Cooke and Orpik were inspired by some of the new folks, they seemed to really be delivering some good hits.

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03-29-2013, 10:03 AM
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The thing I have liked most about the win streak is they went from an opene dned style of play to a more playoff style of defense. I don't think it's a coincidence the streak has continued in part because of that and I'm willing to bet the players think as much. For that reason I'm thinking they will keep this up; both Murray and Morrow are in the lineup and it didn't change anything in the style.

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03-29-2013, 10:07 AM
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I think the system still needs some work on, but not players. Too many times we are just standing around in our d-zone. Our thing is to protect the front of the net, but we will leave the high slot open. It's really weird. Unless we block shots at a high rate, teams get good chances.

That being said - our goaltending has been tremendous. If the d-zone gets upgraded even slightly, this is one hell of a dangerous team. I still think there are holes by fast moving teams in our d-zone. It won't be the players, though.

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