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Malkin's Line Concerns Me Deeply. Panic!

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02-11-2013, 08:24 AM
  #1
Will Hunting
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Malkin's Line Concerns Me Deeply. Panic!

I think the problem is big enough to deserve its own thread. Letīs talk about our Achillesī heel here.

Some shocking facts about their Even Strength production:

Evgeni Malkin: - 13 games: 1g + 6a = 7pts
James Neal - 13 games: 3g + 0a = 3 pts, -6
Tangradi/Jeffrey/Kennedy/Glass/Boychuk - 13 games with them: 0g + 0a = 0 pts !!!

When one of Malkinīs wingers is not able to produce a single point in 13 consecutive games, I think itīs time to something big. Solution has to come sooner than later, itīs becoming extremely frustrating for the fans and especially for Geno.
Itīs also worth mentioning that some of Malkinīs rare ES points came when he was occasionally playing with Crosby.

This struggle is absolutely alarming. I have no problem with losing 2 games vs red-hot Devils (especially when without Letang), but I have a real problem to watch this line 5-on-5. All season long. They arenīt playing a good defense either. Something is clearly wrong and I wonder if Ray S. knows about it.

Opinions? Are Geno and Nealer responsible for this awful stuff, or itīs more about Boychuk/Tangradi/Jeffrey/Kennedy/etc... ?


Last edited by Darth Vitale: 02-11-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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02-11-2013, 08:34 AM
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time to make some changes imo: roll with this...

Malkin - Crosby - Neal
Kunitz - Jeffrey - Dupuis
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Glass - Vitale - Adams

need to acquire a top 6 winger asap

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02-11-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelFish87 View Post
time to make some changes imo: roll with this...

Malkin - Crosby - Neal
Kunitz - Jeffrey - Dupuis
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Glass - Vitale - Adams

need to acquire a top 6 winger asap
You'd have each teams best defenders on them most of the time. They may be world class players, but we've seen them contained before. If that happens, the team has a limited chance of winning on a consistent level since there would be a lack of secondary/balanced scoring.

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02-11-2013, 08:36 AM
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I posted my opinion in the GM thread.

I do think Malkin and Neal are at fault somewhat, but they need a defensive presence on that line, which is why I think Kunitz should be moved there if a similar player can't be acquired.

Our best line last year was Kunitz-Malkin-Neal, if Shero can pull off a trade for a Kulemin or a Malone to play that role on that line, then that would be fine, but if not, we should consider putting Kunitz on that line and acquiring a winger for Sid, like a Clarke MacArthur or someone similar.

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02-11-2013, 08:44 AM
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Mike Lange brought up a good point last night on the radio that was something to this effect: "Ever since Volchenkov leveled Malkin last week, he really hasn't been the same player."

I tend to agree - it seems like his game has dropped off since taking that hard check.

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02-11-2013, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelFish87 View Post
time to make some changes imo: roll with this...

Malkin - Crosby - Neal
Kunitz - Jeffrey - Dupuis
Cooke - Sutter - Kennedy
Glass - Vitale - Adams

need to acquire a top 6 winger asap
We'd essentially be playing with two 3rd lines and a 4th line to support L1. I think that's too much of a "putting all your eggs in one basket" philosophy that does more to limit us rather then help us prosper. I'm all for using the two-headed monster sparingly instead of on a full time basis.

That being said, I too think that the acquisition of one more good top 6 winger could make all the difference in the world. Doesn't have to be an elite goal scorer by any means. Get me a grinding, 20-25 goal guy that is responsible defensively (basically another Kunitz) and I'll be content.

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02-11-2013, 08:53 AM
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They had the perfection plays on the jumbotron last night and again Malkin going thru the entire lightning was #1, where is that guy? when was the last time he even tried to drive the net and get a shot. This loop de loop around and around the o zone only leads to the puck going the other way. IMO he is trying to force it to Neal which is apparent to everyone on the ice. Sid is doing the same, gaining the zone than pulling up and looking for a pass.

But yes Malikin's kine is a big concern.

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02-11-2013, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
They had the perfection plays on the jumbotron last night and again Malkin going thru the entire lightning was #1, where is that guy? when was the last time he even tried to drive the net and get a shot. This loop de loop around and around the o zone only leads to the puck going the other way. IMO he is trying to force it to Neal which is apparent to everyone on the ice. Sid is doing the same, gaining the zone than pulling up and looking for a pass.

But yes Malikin's kine is a big concern.
The play you are referring to isn't something that a player can pull off regularly. Most of the time a drive like that will result in a horrible turnover that can lead to numerous odd man rushes in our own end. They can't always be highlight reel plays I'm afraid.

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02-11-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
They had the perfection plays on the jumbotron last night and again Malkin going thru the entire lightning was #1, where is that guy? when was the last time he even tried to drive the net and get a shot. This loop de loop around and around the o zone only leads to the puck going the other way. IMO he is trying to force it to Neal which is apparent to everyone on the ice. Sid is doing the same, gaining the zone than pulling up and looking for a pass.

But yes Malikin's kine is a big concern.
Malkin is looking for Neal a little too much it seems. Even his shots are down which is direct evidence for this. I think the best thing for the coaches to tell Malkin is to play like it's all up to him. I think you'd see him take charge of that line and he'd still pass to Neal when it was warranted.

As for the RW on that line, Tangradi stunk, Jeffrey only had one game with them, and Boychuk has gotten literally 5-6 really nice chances and not put any in. I'm not going to fault Malkin and Neal for that. You can lead a scrub winger to water, but you can't make him score (pretty sure that's how it goes).

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02-11-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
They had the perfection plays on the jumbotron last night and again Malkin going thru the entire lightning was #1, where is that guy?
Yeah, Malkin is nowhere close to that MVP caliber right now.

Neal is amazing on PP, but he sucks 5-on-5 so far. He has a great shot, but thatīs basically all. James doesnīt get enough chances 5-on-5. He depends on Malkin heavily, he wonīt create the things on his own. But if Malkin will be good, Neal most probably wonīt let him down.

Those random wingers definitely arenīt helping it, question is how big of impact does it have on this line? Are Geno and Neal able to dominate the league with someone like Kulemin instead of Boychuk there? Is it fair to really blame Boychuk/Tangradi/Kennedy/Jeffrey? Are they all killing Malkinīs effort? Or is it Malkin who isnīt helping them enough? I am just curious why this line sucks so much.

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02-11-2013, 09:22 AM
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Those random wingers definitely arenīt helping it, question is how big of impact does it have on this line? Are Geno and Neal able to dominate the league with someone like Kulemin instead of Boychuk there? Is it fair to really blame Boychuk/Tangradi/Kennedy/Jeffrey? Are they all killing Malkinīs effort? Or is it Malkin who isnīt helping them enough? I am just curious why this line sucks so much.
I'm putting it on Malkin. He makes passes to Neal he doesn't have to avoiding an open ET, Jeffrey, TK, or Boychuk. If we put any of his rotating wing with Crosby the results would be better.

If Shero sat Crosby down this summer and said Malkin is taking Kunitz and you need to work with ET(closest we have to Kunitz clone). We can't trade for a top 6 winger w/o selling too many assets(completely theoretical). I really believe Crosby could make it work and work well.

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02-11-2013, 09:27 AM
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Ideally this team needs two top six forwards, and a checker for the third line.

Tyler Kennedy stinks. Dupuis needs to slid into his role. You need a combination of a Defensively aware skilled guy (Kulimen) for Malkins line. Then you need a sniper for Sid's line.

Dupuis needs back to the third line. His hand grenade hands kill Crosby's line. Kunitz is perfect as the third wheel. Sid needs a goal scorer (jarome iginla)

If you want to have a chance at the cup.

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02-11-2013, 09:30 AM
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It's been quite worrying how impotent Malkin and Sid have been in scoring goals this year compared to the past. Hopefully just a fad.

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02-11-2013, 09:34 AM
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It's been quite worrying how impotent Malkin and Sid have been in scoring goals this year compared to the past. Hopefully just a fad.
I see Sid getting his chances; his timing is still a little off.

I see Malkin getting some chances, certainly, but he is playing with his head up his ass. Five on five Boychuck and his cowardice kills the line sure-but you have a 50 goal man and a 40 goal man, you need to score with a one legged senior citizen on that line.

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02-11-2013, 09:37 AM
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One thing that annoys me about Malkin is his constant charges into the zone where he loses the puck almost effortless and it's gives the other team a chance going forward.

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02-11-2013, 09:39 AM
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There are at least 60 1st/2nd lines in the NHL. None have the kind of talent the Penguins have on the Malkin line (except for maybe the kind of talent the Penguins have on the Crosby line). No other line is as dissected and discussed. Could the LW position be upgraded? Yep. But some of the onus actually has to be on the "all-stars" on that line.

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02-11-2013, 09:48 AM
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There are at least 60 1st/2nd lines in the NHL. None have the kind of talent the Penguins have on the Malkin line (except for maybe the kind of talent the Penguins have on the Crosby line). No other line is as dissected and discussed. Could the LW position be upgraded? Yep. But some of the onus actually has to be on the "all-stars" on that line.
I'm not sure how it's their fault that the Penguins don't have one single winger in their entire system that can muster up one friggin' point. That really needs to sink in. Like, one of them couldn't even have accidentally been the last guy to touch the puck before Malkin made a nice dish to Neal on one of his goals. That's horrid.

They're playing minus one NHL player on their line I don't see how that's their fault. They're clearly at a disadvantage. I cannot stress enough how different it is to play with someone that you literally don't want to pass to because you justfiably feel like you won't get the puck back. Meanwhile the other team is pretty much ignoring that guy completely and focusing all their attention on you.

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02-11-2013, 09:54 AM
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I dont think malkin and neal have played great this year but im not worried long term about these guys. We have had a tough schedule so far played a ton of division and road games. If you look at our schedule coming up we play alot more home games and teams outside the division expecting alot more 4 5 6 goal games and lots of points for geno neal and whoever is on there wing.

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02-11-2013, 09:56 AM
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I'm really sick of watching our world class talent players playing with scrubs every god damn year. Shero has completely failed in this regard. It's been a problem literally the entire time he's been the gm. He found some nice solutions in Hossa and we had Malone and Sykora.

It's like all is forgiven because he acquired Neal. Last time I checked you needed 4 wingers in your top 6.

Dupuis is an ideal 3rd liner. Kunitz is a second/third line tweener. Do I even need to mention the hole on Malkins wing?

Shero had a horrible offseason. No he can't make people sign here, but at some point he needed to sign somebody.

I feel like us pens fans are basically living the life of that bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. It's the same **** over and over.


Last edited by Fire Shero*: 02-11-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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02-11-2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by UnderratedBrooks44 View Post
I'm not sure how it's their fault that the Penguins don't have one single winger in their entire system that can muster up one friggin' point. That really needs to sink in. Like, one of them couldn't even have accidentally been the last guy to touch the puck before Malkin made a nice dish to Neal on one of his goals. That's horrid.

They're playing minus one NHL player on their line I don't see how that's their fault. They're clearly at a disadvantage. I cannot stress enough how different it is to play with someone that you literally don't want to pass to because you justfiably feel like you won't get the puck back. Meanwhile the other team is pretty much ignoring that guy completely and focusing all their attention on you.
I disagree with the premise that the LWs have been so bad that they are playing 4-on-5.

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02-11-2013, 10:03 AM
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Kunitz is a second/third line tweener.

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02-11-2013, 10:06 AM
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The problem is that the probability of acquiring the winger we want/need this early is unlikely unless Shero is able to find that perfect trading partner. An impact trade is likely to come later in the season when things are more settled.

Honestly, I know it's been discussed (and I have my only apprehensions), but it'd be interesting to see Shero create a roster spot to allow BB to come up. You never know if he could be the missing piece to that line until you try it. If not, you send him back down and develop in WBS and go full charge on getting that winger.

The Pens have been experimenting with the 2 LW all season. I see no foul in giving our one legitimate potential top-6 winger the green light. The problem is opening a roster spot.

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02-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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This thread makes my brain hurt.

The selective logic among Pens fans is pretty funny sometimes. Always the fear is with Malkin, never the Golden Boy. Stats can be twisted any way you want and not surprisingly they're always twisted in the worst way after a couple disappointing losses.

Try these on for size and tell me again where the "problem" is (definitively):

Season
Crosby - 5G, 12A
Malkin - 3G, 13A (UNDERACHIEVEMENT!)
Neal - 8G, 2A
Kunitz - 6G, 9A (SID HAS GRANTED HIM SUPER POWERS!)


Last 7 games
Crosby - 3G, 4A
Malkin - 2G, 6A (ALARMINGĄĄĄ)
Neal - 5G, 0A (DEVASTATING!!!)
Kunitz - 1G, 3A (NOT SID'S FAULT)


Bottom line guys, Malkin and Crosby and Neal (even Kunitz) are not consistent right now, but statistically not that far off where they should be, considering the season started less than a month ago after a long lay-off. We're not deep enough offensively and teams who can play hard-nosed D give us problems. We need a couple more wingers with some skill, that's it. That's always it. Don't go looking for signs that aren't there.

There is 0.0 problem with Malkin right now. The team is strugling to be consistent, that's it.

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02-11-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor Vitale View Post
This thread makes my brain hurt.

The selective logic among Pens fans is pretty funny sometimes. Always the fear is with Malkin, never the Golden Boy. Stats can be twisted any way you want and not surprisingly they're always twisted in the worst way after a couple disappointing losses.

Try these on for size and tell me again where the "problem" is (definitively):

Season
Crosby - 5G, 12A
Malkin - 3G, 13A
Neal - 8G, 2A
Kunitz - 6G, 9A

Last 7 games
Crosby - 3G, 4A
Malkin - 2G, 6A (ALARMINGĄĄĄ)
Neal - 5G, 0A (DEVASTATING!!!)
Kunitz - 1G, 3A


Bottom line guys, Malkin and Crosby and Neal (even Kunitz) are not consistent right now, but statistically not that far off where they should be, considering the season started less than a month ago after a long lay-off. We're just not that deep of a deep offensively and teams who can play hard-nosed D give us problems. We need a couple more wingers with some skill, that's it. That's always it. Don't go looking for signs that aren't there.

There is 0.0 problem with Malkin right now. The team is strugling to be consistent, that's it.
Our PP is just fine so far. 60% of that production is coming from there. Letīs look on those stats in first post of this thread. There is a reason to be concerned.

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02-11-2013, 10:13 AM
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cheesedanish87
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I'm really sick of watching our world class talent players playing with scrubs every god damn year. Shero has completely failed in this regard. It's been a problem literally the entire time he's been the gm. He found some nice solutions in Hossa and we had Malone and Sykora.

It's like all is forgiven because he acquired Neal. Last time I checked you needed 4 wingers in your top 6.

Dupuis is an ideal 3rd liner. Kunitz is a second/third line tweener. Do I even need to mention the hole on Malkins wing?

Shero had a horrible offseason. No he can't make people sign here, but at some point he needed to sign somebody.

I feel like us pens fans are basically living the life of that bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. It's the same **** over and over.

Neal 8g 2a 10 points
kunitz 5g 9a 14 points
dupuis 4g 4a 8 points

All 3 of these wingers are producing this year and all 3 produced last year. Before the year alot of people including myself wanted to give ET a chance it didnt work out. Im assuming BB is gonna get a chance lets see what he can do if he dont work out shero has til april 3rd to get somebody.

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