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+/-, Devils @ Penguins 4/05

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Old
04-06-2011, 08:10 AM
  #51
Malkin4Top6Wingerz
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I tend to agree with SteelTown here. As it stands now our only reliable line is the KSK trio, that simply can't be the case if we're going to have any success in the playoffs without Crosby. If we're not going to try a different center between Neal and Kovalev, they need to be split up. It's as simple as that. They can't go practically entire games without generating scoring chances.

I actually find it weird that Bysma has stuck so much with that line given how he has relentlessly juggled lines in the past.

Anyways, breaking up the KSK line makes sense because they are the three best play drivers we have, where as Letestu, Neal, and Kovalev are more of the complimentary type. Basically you have three players that can all effectively anchor their own lines playing together and three players that need support to create offense on another. Not surprisingly, the first line is dominant while the other goes long stretches without being a factor. Hopefully Bylsma realizes this soon and spreads the wealth.

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04-06-2011, 08:15 AM
  #52
MrBurgundy
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I can understand some peoples reservations about not wanting to break up KSK, but I honestly think that moving Staal won't hurt that line as much as some people think it would.

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04-06-2011, 08:19 AM
  #53
Dupree13
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Staal has had several assists in the past fee weeks that were on plays that Letestu simply could not have made. All 3 work together and that line is simply too good to break up. Hence:

Kunitz-Staal-Kennedy
Dupuis-Letestu-Kovy
Neal-Talbot-RW

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04-06-2011, 08:30 AM
  #54
SuburbanRhythm
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Have we received word yet how Asham injured himself on this?



Torn rotator cuff? Tommy John surgery?

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04-06-2011, 09:05 AM
  #55
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Great team effort tonight:
+ Staal playing like the horse we'd hoped for.
+ Fleury played yet another solid game.
+ Michalek on the PP. I like the shots from the point.
+ Dupers, takes alot of grief, needs props when deserved. May not have hands, but he sure skates his butt off out there.

-Letang and Lovejoy. Bad passes against the trap on breakouts led to way too many give aways in the neutral zone. Need to work on that as Tampa is now playing a similar trap.

One thing is starting to worry me a bit. The past two or three games I've seen several great scoring chances against as teams seem to adjust to our two defense on the puck scheme. Not sure if this is a case of our 3rd forward not getting back in time, but that has to stop, there have been several cases of wide open wings on the opposite side of the puck off the rush due to both defense going to the same side of the ice.

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04-06-2011, 09:33 AM
  #56
#66
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Originally Posted by gogasson View Post
Great team effort tonight:
+ Staal playing like the horse we'd hoped for.
+ Fleury played yet another solid game.
+ Michalek on the PP. I like the shots from the point.
+ Dupers, takes alot of grief, needs props when deserved. May not have hands, but he sure skates his butt off out there.

-Letang and Lovejoy. Bad passes against the trap on breakouts led to way too many give aways in the neutral zone. Need to work on that as Tampa is now playing a similar trap.

One thing is starting to worry me a bit. The past two or three games I've seen several great scoring chances against as teams seem to adjust to our two defense on the puck scheme. Not sure if this is a case of our 3rd forward not getting back in time, but that has to stop, there have been several cases of wide open wings on the opposite side of the puck off the rush due to both defense going to the same side of the ice.
Good call. It happened a few times last night and it even happed to a defensive rock like Orpik. I almost fell out of my chair during the first period but the Devils didn't score.

I'm all for Kovy and Neal being split up. I think Neal would work well with Staal and TK but that line is really clicking right now with Kunitz so why break up a good thing? I don't think Neal needs that elite playmaker as much as working with two other players that can establish plays down low and make the simple pass off the end boards. Maybe...

Neal-Talbot-Dupuis
Conner-Letestu-Kovy

I think Neal would really feed off of Talbot and Duper's energy. IMO they've been playing well for about a month now and Talbots had a nice 2nd half of the year.

Gotta give a + to Talbo and a - to Orpik. I think Orps had his worst game since his comeback.

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04-06-2011, 09:40 AM
  #57
Shady Machine
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Originally Posted by gogasson View Post
Great team effort tonight:
One thing is starting to worry me a bit. The past two or three games I've seen several great scoring chances against as teams seem to adjust to our two defense on the puck scheme. Not sure if this is a case of our 3rd forward not getting back in time, but that has to stop, there have been several cases of wide open wings on the opposite side of the puck off the rush due to both defense going to the same side of the ice.
Yeah I agree with this. On NJ's first goal, while Lovejoy made a bad play on the puck, the goal still should have been prevented by Niskanen covering Steckel in front. As Lovejoy goes behind the net to get the puck, Niskanen follows him vacating the front of the net. After Lovejoy coughs up the puck, both D are stuck behind the net and have to watch helplessly as Steckel is wide open for the goal. I like the 2 D puck retrieval system, but in that situation I don't think Niskanen should abandon the front of the net unless he knows he has a forward covering that spot. It was a stupid turnover, but didn't need to be a goal. I'm not sure if that's the kind of situation you are referring to, but I watched the replay of that goal several times and couldn't understand why Niskanen didn't just stay in front.

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04-06-2011, 09:44 AM
  #58
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If Sid comes back, and I know it's a big IF at this point, I wouldn't mind seeing Kovy on the line with Dupuis and Talbot. I know it sounds crazy, but Kovy can do a lot of improvisation when there are really responsible players on the ice with him. Talbot and Dupuis play well together, and they're always hustling. I don't know, seems like it might be crazy enough to work. That would be Line 3, with all three guys key special teamers for us. I don't know who I would put next to Neal and Letestu, but once Sid came back I'd maybe try that Neal-Crosby-Kunitz idea, then stick someone (anyone) onto the Staal-Kennedy unit until we can insert Cooke there again.

I'm really not too sure how we're going to find enough offense to win in the playoffs without Sid, to be perfectly blunt.

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04-06-2011, 09:58 AM
  #59
MrBurgundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shady Machine View Post
Yeah I agree with this. On NJ's first goal, while Lovejoy made a bad play on the puck, the goal still should have been prevented by Niskanen covering Steckel in front. As Lovejoy goes behind the net to get the puck, Niskanen follows him vacating the front of the net. After Lovejoy coughs up the puck, both D are stuck behind the net and have to watch helplessly as Steckel is wide open for the goal. I like the 2 D puck retrieval system, but in that situation I don't think Niskanen should abandon the front of the net unless he knows he has a forward covering that spot. It was a stupid turnover, but didn't need to be a goal. I'm not sure if that's the kind of situation you are referring to, but I watched the replay of that goal several times and couldn't understand why Niskanen didn't just stay in front.
This is exactly how the Pens want their D to play though. Lovejoy tried to skate with the puck when he was supposed to chip the puck back to Niskanen. That's their defensive system. Both defensemen go back for the puck and the one that's first to get there chips the puck to the other. Lovejoy ****ed it up because Niskanen was in perfect position to execute the system properly.

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04-06-2011, 10:22 AM
  #60
Shady Machine
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
This is exactly how the Pens want their D to play though. Lovejoy tried to skate with the puck when he was supposed to chip the puck back to Niskanen. That's their defensive system. Both defensemen go back for the puck and the one that's first to get there chips the puck to the other. Lovejoy ****ed it up because Niskanen was in perfect position to execute the system properly.
I know it just seems like in that instance Nisky could wait an extra second and still get behind the net for the outlet pass.

On an unrelated note...I just lucked out and got 2 tickets to round 1 home game 2 of the playoffs!!! I never get that lucky with ticketmaster online. Super pumped.

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Old
04-06-2011, 12:14 PM
  #61
KiuasWarrior
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Originally Posted by Shady Machine View Post
On an unrelated note...I just lucked out and got 2 tickets to round 1 home game 2 of the playoffs!!! I never get that lucky with ticketmaster online. Super pumped.
Nice! Enjoy the game.

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04-06-2011, 12:16 PM
  #62
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Whatever center plays with Neal and Kovalev looks terrible.

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04-06-2011, 01:49 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
Whatever center plays with Neal and Kovalev looks terrible.
I think when they had Staal on that line they at least created chances. They might have not been able to finish those chances, or screwed them up, but they were at least creating. Letestu really hasn't done much of anything at all since being put on that line. He had maybe one or two good plays that I can remember. Other than that, if I didn't check the box score, I wouldn't even know he played (let alone anybody else on that line on most nights).

Then Kovalev and Neal have zero chemistry together. Add that to the mix and you can see why they suck right now. I actually think that line did better when Talbot was centering it and that's not saying much...

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04-06-2011, 01:58 PM
  #64
regard
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Originally Posted by #66 View Post
Neal-Talbot-Dupuis
Conner-Letestu-Kovy
Maybe thats not such a bad idea really, Conner might bring an element of speed to get to loose pucks that the current "first line" is having trouble getting to.

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04-06-2011, 02:19 PM
  #65
AquaticBirdman
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+ NJ is no longer the kryptonite to us that they used to be.
+Staalzy
+Asham's insane drive to the goal where he deked out 2 players and almost beat Hedberg
+FLeury making HUGE saves
+2 goals for Duppers. One was a poke-in off a rebound, and the other was an empty netter, but hey...2 goals are 2 goals


Last edited by AquaticBirdman: 04-06-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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04-06-2011, 02:26 PM
  #66
Puckhog27
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
I think when they had Staal on that line they at least created chances. They might have not been able to finish those chances, or screwed them up, but they were at least creating. Letestu really hasn't done much of anything at all since being put on that line. He had maybe one or two good plays that I can remember. Other than that, if I didn't check the box score, I wouldn't even know he played (let alone anybody else on that line on most nights).

Then Kovalev and Neal have zero chemistry together. Add that to the mix and you can see why they suck right now. I actually think that line did better when Talbot was centering it and that's not saying much...
I concur.

Letetsu seems a good player, but Staal was creating more space for Neal and Kovy with the style of game he plays. Letetsu seems more of a perimeter guy. I would put Neal with a playmaker if availabe and put Kovy with two young guys that work really hard to counter balance his extreme finesse game.

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04-06-2011, 02:27 PM
  #67
AquaticBirdman
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Maybe thats not such a bad idea really, Conner might bring an element of speed to get to loose pucks that the current "first line" is having trouble getting to.
I really love Conner's game. He's insanely fast, is a great skater, and actually has pretty damn good hands. One would wonder how effective a player would be if he were a bit bigger and better at finishing.

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04-06-2011, 02:55 PM
  #68
JTG
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Originally Posted by SteelTownFever View Post
I think when they had Staal on that line they at least created chances. They might have not been able to finish those chances, or screwed them up, but they were at least creating. Letestu really hasn't done much of anything at all since being put on that line. He had maybe one or two good plays that I can remember. Other than that, if I didn't check the box score, I wouldn't even know he played (let alone anybody else on that line on most nights).

Then Kovalev and Neal have zero chemistry together. Add that to the mix and you can see why they suck right now. I actually think that line did better when Talbot was centering it and that's not saying much...
I know it might sound crazy, especially considering how well the line has been playing, but I'd give TK the chance at center. It'd also give us a chance to see what Letestu would look like as a winger. Even if the Kunitz-Staal line take a slight step back (as long as it's slight) any gain made on that 1st line would be huge, because right now, our 3rd and 4th lines are contributing just as much.

TK has played center before. Crazier things have worked. Fact is, if Sid can't come back, with that line being a complete dud, I can't see us doing anything noteworthy.

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04-06-2011, 02:57 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
I really love Conner's game. He's insanely fast, is a great skater, and actually has pretty damn good hands. One would wonder how effective a player would be if he were a bit bigger and better at finishing.
He's an ideal 13th forward, IMO. His problem is that you can noticeably see the grind the season takes on him. If he didn't play every night, I think his effectiveness would be higher.

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04-06-2011, 03:10 PM
  #70
KiuasWarrior
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He's an ideal 13th forward, IMO. His problem is that you can noticeably see the grind the season takes on him. If he didn't play every night, I think his effectiveness would be higher.
I'm curious to know how effective he can be in the playoffs.

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04-06-2011, 03:13 PM
  #71
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+ Michalek: I'll admit I only saw this guy less than 10 times before Pittsburgh acquired him, but he's the glue of our entire defense. A lot of props go out to Letang, Orpik, Martin, and the rest of the gang... but Z is the reason our defense is so good. His recovery is great. His first pass is great. He keeps his shot low. He blocks anything coming his way. I just love Michalek. An absolute steal for $4M.
When the Pens season ended short last Spring, I started to try to watch a few of the defenseman who would be available come July 1st. Unfortunately, Martin and Michaleks team did not advance but NHL Network began playing replays of the Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings series. For some reason, everytime I got a chance to watch Michalek in that series, I came away impressed. But even I'll admit, I knew very little about his game until I started watching him around Mid-Late June.

I was excited to see us grab him and I knew he would be a good shut-down defenseman. The word "good" does not do Michalek justice at this point. How he isn't rated one of the top few shut-down defenseman in the game is beyond me. You always here about Volchenkov, Pronger, Reghyr, heck even Orpik etc. but you never hear this guys name listed.

I think part of it is that people like to see shut-down defenders who are physical. Zbynek is just a stud positionally, has an unreal stick, forces players to the outside, has a great gap, is an excellent shot blocker, an excellent PK'er and hits players at the right time (not "big hits" or the highlight real type of hits but simply rubs players out). People said they would compare him to Scuderi but I see a defender who is a class above Scuderi and thats just talking about his defensive side of the game. Then factor in his excellent break out passes, a rip from the point and his general poise and this guy, along with Letang, is the backbone of this teams defense. Then add in Martin, who I think has been a solid aquisition and is much better than he gets credit for (a solid number 2 defenseman IMO) and Orpik, who at the very least, is a solid number 3 defenseman and you got yourself an excellent young defensive core.

I'm so glad that we have our top 4 locked up for an additional three years after this season. Great things are to come with this group.

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04-06-2011, 03:32 PM
  #72
Pigs On The Wing
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Conner, Talbot, and Dupuis seem to have a weird chemistry going on.

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04-06-2011, 03:38 PM
  #73
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Conner, Talbot, and Dupuis seem to have a weird chemistry going on.
They're all retarded offensively is the same way to the point where they don't have to think about what the other guys are doing. When one guy has the puck the other two know what kind of derp move they would make and anticipate accordingly. It's like three broken compasses all pointing in the same direction.

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04-06-2011, 03:41 PM
  #74
KiuasWarrior
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It's like three broken compasses all pointing in the same direction.
Haha nice.

But yeah, during the game last night I thought to myself "Well, check these guys out... hmmph, not bad, keep it up".

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