- It is spastic continuing with Cooke - Malkin - Talbot when clearly there is absolutely no complementarity there. We can all ask for more from Malkin and that is fine and right, but look at the line as a whole and no one knows what they're supposed to be doing. Cooke especially has been a non-player in every other sense than as a penalty killer since being put on this line.
Further, I have noticed this in several games without commenting, but I think Malkin's line has Gogo/Engelland out there on D much more so than any other forward line. With this being obviously by far the inferior defense pairing, it adds to the problem, because Malkin's line comes to look even more dodgy than it ever should compared to line 1 and 3.
I agree, this line has shown little ability to create scoring chances and maintain puck possession; there is no cycling game at all. Talbot was actually starting to play well, in his role, up until he was placed on the second line.
+ It is great to see the M&M signings showing dividends already. I am definitely impressed what Michalek has done since recovering from injury. With overall team defense much improved since the start of the season, the Penguins PK is now ranked #1 and the team is also 4th in goals against (even with Fleury's poor start).
+ Sidney Crosby is carrying this team offensively right now. Not sure what more can be said.
+ Kunitz made a nice move to drag to puck around Lundqvist; it would have been sweet had he not rung it off the post.
- I don't know why we dress Godard, although Asham likely cracks the lineup in New York if healthy.
- Malkin has been taking too many loops around the rink. He needs to add a little more starting and stopping to his game. I like that coach Byslma was giving Geno more ice time with Crosby to try to jump-start him, it just wasn't working last night unfortunately.
- Having to wait until trade deadline/summer to upgrade our wingers.
I owe this all to the non emergence of Gonchar, it has let these guys go to the next level(Letang & Gogo). Gonchar ate up all the time these two could have had to blossom last year. IMO
Except Martin is playing just as much as Gonchar did (a ways more ES) and also on a different pairing than Kris - at least since we started winning.
Clearly there's more room on the PP, but that isn't what is making Letang stand out more now. Not arguing Shero's decisions here, it is water under the bridge, but do you really think Letang would be worse off right now if Michalek was paired with Gonchar, and Letang played the left point on a PP that had Sarge instead of Martin/Gogo?
As for Gogo... in theory sure. Except of course he hasn't taken the chance to run the PP (yet at least) and is playing exactly the same role and minutes as last season with rather comparable results.
My point, Letang is looking a lot better this season, because he has grown as a player and is more experinced. He is stronger, making better decisions and seems to have more confidence. It makes more sense to say that he is benefitting from a better partner (Orpik s. Eaton) than saying that he is improved because Gonchar, who he hardly ever played with, isn't there.
Last edited by Tender Rip: 12-01-2010 at 01:12 AM.