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Old
03-05-2013, 01:00 PM
  #1
plaidchuck
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Mid-season plus/minus

With game 24 almost upon us, I thought this would be a good time to maybe discuss more in depth how certain players have played up to this point. We obviously know the surprises like Martin and the meltdowns like Vokoun, but I'd like to see what the board thought about other players up to now.

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03-05-2013, 01:48 PM
  #2
LetangInTheSO
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+
Bortuzzo: Provides much-needed grit to our D and has played reliably for a rookie Dman.
Crosby: #1 in the world even though he was not at his personal best to start the season, hitting stride now.
Despres: Reminds me of Letang in his rookie season, minus the skating ability. Future top pairing Dman IMO.
Fleury: Fighting pucks less, usually giving us a chance to win games.
Kunitz: Playing out of his mind after a poor start. Hustling his butt off.
Martin: Different player than last year. 180 degree turn in conditioning, decision-making, confidence.
Niskanen: Loved what he showed w/ Letang early in the season. Trade fodder?
Sutter: Obvious downgrade on Staal, but plays a very smart game and is starting to produce, too.

=
Adams: DB's love buddy has done as much as you can ask from a $600k 4th line vet.
Dupuis: Can't expect him to repeat last year's career year. Acceptable 3rd wheel on the Crosby line.
Letang: Raw talent making up for questionable decision making in all 3 zones.
Malkin: Talent-wise he's the best in the game, needs to be at his personal best more often.
Neal: Needs to play with grit on more nights, but at least the production is there.

-
Orpik: Played well for the first few games of the season before reverting to his play circa last season.
Vokoun: 3.61 GAA and .883 SV%? So much for pushing MAF...

EDIT:
How did I forget to give the biggest minus possible to TK?


Last edited by LetangInTheSO: 03-05-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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Old
03-05-2013, 02:01 PM
  #3
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+Sutter : really like what he brings every game
+Crosby: back to his old self
+Kunitz: unloading his shot whenever he can and making the most of his chances
+Despres, Bortuzzo, Bennet: like what I see from the young guys
+Martin: a revelation
+PP: looks good, keep Letang off it. Martin works well there
+Shero: made a bold move choosing Martin over Michalek, clearly the right one though

=Malkin: started out poor but has been getting better and better
=Fleury: Not stealing games but playing well

-Blysma : stretch passes, timeouts with 12 seconds left, playing the old favorites rather than those who deserve it, etc
-Vokoun : just awful
-Defense: just bad
-Discipline: we need some
-Kennedy: needs to sit for a while or be traded
-PK: this needs to go back to being a big strength


Last edited by Beau Knows: 03-05-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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Old
03-05-2013, 02:22 PM
  #4
Candyman
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+ Crosby leading the league in points and assits
+ Kunitz trolling the scoreboard
+ Fleury Bounceback engage!
+ Niskanen I've loved him so far this season especially his shot
+Martin Complete turn around.
+ Despres Especially as of late he's played fantastic.
+Vitale Love him
+Adams has played really well defensively so far
+ Jeffrey I've loved him in his few starts he adds a different element
+Bennett hasn't been amazing, but he'll adjust and I think he could be a huge part of our future.

= Orpik, he's looked good at times, he's looked awful at times.
=Malkin He's putting the points there, but his lines defensive game is abysmal.
= Neal Production is there like Malkin, but still as of late he's been barely noticeable.
= Letang Cancer on the Powerplay, not bad not great elsewhere
= Cooke Not bad, not great.
= Dupuis He's a solid 3rd wheel, but i'd still love to see his presence a little more.

-Tyler Kennedy Do i need to elaborate?
-Tanner Glass I know he plays 4th line, but he still hasn't registered a point.
-Thomas Vokoun What the hell?

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Old
03-05-2013, 02:28 PM
  #5
sf expat71
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+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.

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Old
03-05-2013, 02:30 PM
  #6
alcanalz
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Letang's a cancer on the number three powerplay.

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Old
03-05-2013, 02:39 PM
  #7
plaidchuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.
Agree with this for sure, case in point last night. He had a below 90% save pct yet if you watched the game he made some key stops. He has been in the top 10 in wins for a few years now in spite of the Pens more recent fast and loose approach to defense.

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Old
03-05-2013, 02:43 PM
  #8
sf expat71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidchuck View Post
Agree with this for sure, case in point last night. He had a below 90% save pct yet if you watched the game he made some key stops. He has been in the top 10 in wins for a few years now in spite of the Pens more recent fast and loose approach to defense.
I just want to make clear that I am not a MAF apologist. He stunk it up in the playoffs last year, and I thought Vokoun would be a tremendous signing, either to push MAF or take the reins himself should MAF falter. So the + I gave is actually the biggest minus there is, because if we play defense like we did last spring and continue to in our recent stretch, no goaltender is going to bring home the lord's cup.

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03-05-2013, 03:08 PM
  #9
UnrealMachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.
Vokoun had respectable numbers before the last 3 starts, so your theory that the Pens defense is uniquely bad is only substantiated by those 3 games. What were your thoughts early in the season when Vokoun was among the league leaders in sv%?

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Old
03-05-2013, 03:45 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnrealMachine View Post
Vokoun had respectable numbers before the last 3 starts, so your theory that the Pens defense is uniquely bad is only substantiated by those 3 games. What were your thoughts early in the season when Vokoun was among the league leaders in sv%?
You mean when his numbers were weighted by one good start?

Jan 20 at NYR - 3 GA, .912 sv%
Jan 25 at WPG - 3 GA, .903 sv%
Jan 29 vs NYI - 0 GA, 1.000 sv% (faced 7 shots in relief of Fleury)
Jan 31 at NYR - 0 GA, 1.000 sv% (shutout)
Feb 3 at WSH - 3 GA, .875 sv%
Feb 10 vs NJD - 3 GA, .870 sv%
Feb 20 vs PHI - 6 GA, .813 sv%
Feb 26 at FLA - 4 GA, .818 sv%
Mar 2 at MTL - 6 GA, .846 sv%


As you can see, it's been a lot more than 3 starts.

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Old
03-05-2013, 03:49 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.
Yeah man, giving up rebounds on 10mph shots, and goals from the icing line are all on the D.

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Old
03-05-2013, 03:54 PM
  #12
plaidchuck
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Eh I give him a pass on the Florida game and most of the Philly one. The montreal one was just bad though.

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Old
03-05-2013, 04:02 PM
  #13
Darth Vitale
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Keep it short and simple but:


Forwards

+ Sid is back, doing his thing most nights.
+ Kunitz having a great offensive year / showing some consistency.
+ Geno having a good offensive year overall. Not worried about him at all. People freak out when he's not leading goal charge.
+ Neal making the most of his chances, most of the time
+ Sutter starting to get comfortable within the system, making some offensive plays
+ Bennett so far has been a pleasant surprise

= Dupuis does what we pay him for most nights
= Cooke same thing
= Vitale is Legend but I am disappoint he has not bagged 30 pts yet. Time to be more selfish!

-- Kennedy is a big bag of suck without Staal most nights. $2M we don't want against the cap.
- Glass cuts no one
- Adams has pictures of Bylsma... it's the only explanation



Defense

++ Eggs Martin with Canadian Bacon, Hash Browns now being served at The Blueliner Cafe
+ Elmer
+ Niskanen

= Engo
= Letang (good when not paired with Orpik, most of the time... good offensive numbers but useless on PP)
= Bortuzzo started strong but has had some bad nights. He's not Elmer-ready but a typical rookie D.

- Orpik has been lousy most of the year, certainly not leading by example


+ Fleury has been good most nights
- Vokoun has been dissapoint, especially lately. We got him for stability / predictability and he's not delivering.

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Old
03-05-2013, 04:04 PM
  #14
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Lot of - for Vokoun in here. And I agree, but I'd give him an = because he was great in his first few games. But definitely tailing off without consistent PT. And by tailing off i mean being absolutely terrible.

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Old
03-05-2013, 04:05 PM
  #15
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+ Crosby
+ Kunitz
+ Martin
+ Fleury

- Orpik (he's done, trade him now)
- Kennedy (worthless)
- Vokoun
- Glass (worst penguins full time player since the x generation)
- Bylsma
- Shero ($14 million in cap space and he signs Glass and picked up Boychuk and Kostopolous)

The rest are decent.


Last edited by Fire Shero*: 03-05-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old
03-05-2013, 04:54 PM
  #16
Sidney the Kidney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.
I don't think this is proof of that at all. It's only proof if Vokoun has been outstanding for the most part, but the defense is leaving him hung out to dry. That's not really the problem. Vokoun's play has been the problem.

-----

Anyway, my grading for this season so far:

Plus:
Crosby
Kunitz
Fleury
Martin
Letang (he's a plus even with some questionable decision making simply because he's a difference maker on defense)
Despres
Bortuzzo
Bennett
Sutter
Dupuis

Even:
Malkin
Neal
Cooke
Adams
Niskanen
Engelland
Eaton
Vitale

Minus:
Orpik
Vokoun
Orpik
Glass
Orpik
Kennedy
Orpik
Team defensive play
Orpik

(I'm being really down on Orpik, even though he looked pretty solid early in the season when him and Martin were the shutdown pairing. But his game has really, really fallen off the past dozen or so games).

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03-05-2013, 04:58 PM
  #17
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Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury have been great. They're covering up a lot of flaws in the team right now.

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03-05-2013, 05:26 PM
  #18
Malkin4Top6Wingerz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf expat71 View Post
+ Vokoun, showing us, finally, that indeed we do give up more quality chances than your average team, and, mayhaps MAF is an elite goaltender hung out to dry on most nights. Still not excusing his play from the last playoffs, but I'm now leaning towards the school of thought that says Pekka friggin' Rinne would have mediocre stats on this team.

- Said team defense.
Earlier I compared the save percentages of our previously established backups to Fleury and they were identical. MAF probably has a slight advantage now that Vokoun has crapped the bed on numerous occasions, but it pretty much disproves that theory entirely.

And as much as I loved the signing of Vokoun and thought highly of him in the past, he's been horrendous. Nobody can deny that. There were a couple games where he was hung out to dry, but mostly it's been his own poor play that has lead to his poor outings.

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Old
03-05-2013, 05:27 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Sideline View Post
Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury have been great. They're covering up a lot of flaws in the team right now.
Malkin hasn't been great. He's been good on the powerplay and not much else.

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Old
03-05-2013, 05:46 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnrealMachine View Post
Vokoun had respectable numbers before the last 3 starts, so your theory that the Pens defense is uniquely bad is only substantiated by those 3 games. What were your thoughts early in the season when Vokoun was among the league leaders in sv%?
You mean right after the shutout? Not exactly the best time to take gauge goalie stats, especially after only 4 starts (its called sample size). Vokoun has had 8 starts. He's allowed 3 or more goals in 7 of those starts.

And that's not all on Vokoun at all. He's gotten a harsh welcome to Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, opposed to the Jacque Martin system he's used to. When the Penguins get involved in games like they do against Philly, or like the one in Montreal, its extremely hard for any goaltender to excel as they not only lose confidence in themselves, but also in the defence in front if them, always second guessing themselves, feeling they have to cheat off post and all in all just not able to get comfortable or in a groove. And so far, in Pittsburgh-Philly games that get out of control, all goalies, on both teams have failed miserably when trying to keep their composure and I think you'd be hard pressed to find many if any goalies that would.

Back on topic, obvious pluses go to:

Crosby: picking up where he left off, the best player in the NHL. He's been absolutely dominant out there since the first week or so.

Malkin: I almost put him as even because I know he can play better. He has shown that he can be without a doubt 2nd only to Crosby (and possibly even challenge Crosby for the title) but still, I like what I see from him more often than not even if he's not playing up to last years standards.

Kunitz - after a horrible start, Kunitz has become the perfect winger for Sid. Their chemistry is unbelievable

Fleury: he's been extemely solid in net, even if his numbers don't always say it.

Martin: Awesome turn around and looks really good on PP

Minuses:

Orpik: Most disappointing player of the season so far

Kennedy: I'm not on the TK hate train but he has been pretty invisible. Our secondary scoring has been pretty poor and Kennedy is a good reason for that

Letang: points aside, I still don't like his transition game, and has too many deficiencies in his game that persist for me to consider him the elite Defenceman that so many fans want to appoint him as. He's terrible on the PP, still has a highly inaccurate shot and has yet to be that consistent with his pass. I think he's a great D-man, but feel he can be so much better. He's such a strong skater and smooth stick handler, it makes up for most of his deficiencies, but I still want to see some improvements in certain areas and I haven't

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Old
03-05-2013, 06:32 PM
  #21
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Aside from the obvious +'s (Sid, Geno Kuni, MAF) I'll list a few guys that I think have played above what I expected.

Martin. Our best defenseman this year.

Engelland. He makes the occassional mistake, like every other player in the league. But he's probably our most consitent d'man, our only physical presence, and rarely tries to do 'too much'. Also give him props for fighting all the goons in the league. People forget he's only 200lbs. Hate to see him battling these 240lb oafs.

Depres/Bortuzzo. Depres has been very good. Bort has been ok. Both have played better than I thought.

Adams. I can't believe I'm writing this. I hate him. But honestly, he does play hard every night, blocks a ton of shots, and is a good PK'r. I wouldn't lose sleep about replacing him w/ a bigger, more physical player, but he's been pretty solid. Also like the way he sticks up for his teammates, when he knows 9 times out of 10 he'll get his ass kicked.

Now for the -'s.

Ray Shero. Talk all you want about how he 'tried' to get Parise. How he 'tried' to get Hossa to resign, get Jagr, etc, etc. He hasn't succeeded, and that's what he should be judged on. But my beef with him isn't just not signing a big name FA winger. It's that the team he's assembled is very soft and easy to play against. Gone are the days of forechecking, hitting, pestering, and intimidating the opposition. I still stand by my opinion that the mass exodus of grit is more Mario's doing than Shero's, but it's frustrating, and will likely get us bounced from the playoffs, again.

Bylsma. Coaches, regardless of how good they are, get a lot of blame. Hell, Bruce Arians was a pretty damn good OC, and people crucified him constantly. But Bylsma's criticism is well deserved. He is a one-trick pony in regards to his system. He cannot make an adjustment to save his life. Ever notice how we come out flying in the 1st period, then completely fall apart in the 2nd? Why does that happen nearly every game? Because the other team makes adjustments in between periods. DB rarely counters those changes. Instead, square peg-round hole.

Orpik. Honestly he's sucked for a few years now. He was always said to be injured, but this year there are no excuses. I don't care if he's not a top D'man in the league. He looks completely lost at times, and seems to refuse to make simple hits (instead trying for the huge hit, that always gets him out of position). Just clear the net Brooks.

Kennedy. Scrub. Enough said.

Glass. Who? You know, Tanner Glass. The dude on the 4th line that you see in the penalty box a good bit. I hated replacing Asham with him. But I thought we'd at least be getting a relentless hitter, similar to Clutterbuck. He's been more like Cal O'Reilly than Cal Clutterbuck.

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Old
03-05-2013, 07:39 PM
  #22
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Neal is second in the league in goals and people don't have him as a plus player? Some people are never happy. I know he can play better in other areas, but c'mon.

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03-05-2013, 07:45 PM
  #23
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Neal is second in the league in goals and people don't have him as a plus player? Some people are never happy. I know he can play better in other areas, but c'mon.
I think a lot of that is an attempt to absolve Malkin for his decidedly mediocre play thus far(for his standards). For some, the failure of the second line at even strength will be blamed on everything else in the world before it's blamed on Malkin.

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03-05-2013, 10:29 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by Terrapin View Post
Aside from the obvious +'s (Sid, Geno Kuni, MAF) I'll list a few guys that I think have played above what I expected.

Martin. Our best defenseman this year.

Engelland. He makes the occassional mistake, like every other player in the league. But he's probably our most consitent d'man, our only physical presence, and rarely tries to do 'too much'. Also give him props for fighting all the goons in the league. People forget he's only 200lbs. Hate to see him battling these 240lb oafs.

Depres/Bortuzzo. Depres has been very good. Bort has been ok. Both have played better than I thought.

Adams. I can't believe I'm writing this. I hate him. But honestly, he does play hard every night, blocks a ton of shots, and is a good PK'r. I wouldn't lose sleep about replacing him w/ a bigger, more physical player, but he's been pretty solid. Also like the way he sticks up for his teammates, when he knows 9 times out of 10 he'll get his ass kicked.

Now for the -'s.

Ray Shero. Talk all you want about how he 'tried' to get Parise. How he 'tried' to get Hossa to resign, get Jagr, etc, etc. He hasn't succeeded, and that's what he should be judged on. But my beef with him isn't just not signing a big name FA winger. It's that the team he's assembled is very soft and easy to play against. Gone are the days of forechecking, hitting, pestering, and intimidating the opposition. I still stand by my opinion that the mass exodus of grit is more Mario's doing than Shero's, but it's frustrating, and will likely get us bounced from the playoffs, again.

Bylsma. Coaches, regardless of how good they are, get a lot of blame. Hell, Bruce Arians was a pretty damn good OC, and people crucified him constantly. But Bylsma's criticism is well deserved. He is a one-trick pony in regards to his system. He cannot make an adjustment to save his life. Ever notice how we come out flying in the 1st period, then completely fall apart in the 2nd? Why does that happen nearly every game? Because the other team makes adjustments in between periods. DB rarely counters those changes. Instead, square peg-round hole.

Orpik. Honestly he's sucked for a few years now. He was always said to be injured, but this year there are no excuses. I don't care if he's not a top D'man in the league. He looks completely lost at times, and seems to refuse to make simple hits (instead trying for the huge hit, that always gets him out of position). Just clear the net Brooks.

Kennedy. Scrub. Enough said.

Glass. Who? You know, Tanner Glass. The dude on the 4th line that you see in the penalty box a good bit. I hated replacing Asham with him. But I thought we'd at least be getting a relentless hitter, similar to Clutterbuck. He's been more like Cal O'Reilly than Cal Clutterbuck.
Tanner glass is ranked #20 in the league in hits. His TOI is also less than many guys above him.

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03-05-2013, 11:50 PM
  #25
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Yeah man, giving up rebounds on 10mph shots, and goals from the icing line are all on the D.
It kind of is. The goalies are scambling because they are trying to cover up for a defense thats scrambling in front of them with shots just being thrown on net from everywhere.

A lot of teams seem to overload one side of the ice when the puck is there but I think its nonsense and just leads to mistakes. The worst of all is that the Pens use their defense to double up on pucks while playing a zone defense. Then when things don't go their way the defense has to scramble back into position leading to mass confusion.

Look at all the backdoor goals scored on MAF last playoff. He's so worried about going side to side to shut the back door that he can't focus on pucks. Then he overplays pucks and starts looking sloppy while allowing bad goals.

I hate an overactive D. Flat out hate it. Its 90's Caps way of thinking and it was garbage then. I understand that the pens like coming up the wall and when that gets taken away the players deep in the defensive zone have to carry the puck but when the defense has to carry the puck up the ice, force plays all over the ice and double up with his partner its to friggin much.

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