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Which is more important? Part I

View Poll Results: Which is more important?
Special Teams 52 78.79%
Secondary Scoring 14 21.21%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-27-2011, 12:03 PM
  #1
ColePens
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Which is more important? Part I

I'm going to start a series called "Which is more important?" What we are going to do is take two parts of the Penguins game and basically debate which one is more important (even though they both will be important) to winning hockey games and taking us to our 4th Stanley Cup. Hopefully this will give us a bit of x's/o's discussion and take away from the drama of Sid's injury.


For the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Penguins, which of these is more important?



1) Special teams: Penalty Killing & Powerplay


2) Secondary scoring: Guys not named Sid/Geno scoring goals.




Remember, we all know both of these are important, but I want you to pick one over the other and explain why.

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Old
08-27-2011, 12:10 PM
  #2
Ugene Malkin
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Special teams can mask a lot deficiencies.

Having a great PP & PK will definitely hide the shortage of secondary scoring. Pens had secondary scoring but could never put games away with it. A great PP could and has before.

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Old
08-27-2011, 12:24 PM
  #3
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special teams, especially in Pens case.

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08-27-2011, 12:31 PM
  #4
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Special teams, for me. So many times last season, it would be a close game and the Pens would go on a late PP with a chance to either tie it up or go ahead, and the PP ended up stinking and costing them a chance at a point or two.

The PK was great last year, but the PP, IMO, was the difference between winning the division and not winning the division. It was also the difference against TBay when even strength offense was hard to come by, especially over the final three games of the series when we needed just one more win to eliminate them and couldn't.

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08-27-2011, 12:32 PM
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Darth Vitale
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Great thread idea Cole. Time to get away from all the injury and workout talk.


I think, based on how how unsuccessful our PP was at times the last couple years, that it's likely teams will continue to try to "handle us" by taking penalties, when we're possessing the puck a lot in their end and getting too many chances, daring us to score on the PP. At least initially I do. Maybe by mid-season, that won't be true anymore if we're pounding people on the PP.

I also think the re-addition of Geno, plus Neal and Sully (two legitimate scoring wingers with good skills and all-around games) will unquestionably make our PP better, even if the movement part doesn't improve as much as you'd like (i.e. coaches stick to their guns / don't change the scheme much). Our PK was and will continue to be great IMO *knock on wood*, so AFA that goes I think we'll take some liberties of our own when protecting a lead, and most of the time it will work (although if they do the no-ice rule that will change things considerably for all teams).


However I voted for Secondary Scoring, going by the logic that if we consistently have other guys (especially on the 2nd and 3rd lines) chipping in goals, it makes it much harder for the other team to automatically put their two best D against Geno's line all game long. Not that many teams have 2-3 top-notch D to begin with, so if we get Kunitz, Staal, and TK going (owning the cycle game and getting gritty goals every week) that will be almost as tough for teams to defend as when we had Sid and Geno on lines 1 and 2, but nothing much going with lines 3 and 4 other than playing tough / smart defensively. Maybe tougher if TK continues to develop his scoring touch and Staalsy gets some mojo back, and definitely tougher if Jeffrey turns out to be a 3C who can score consistently with guys like Asham on his wing.

To me, having two lines with strong, reasonably skilled forwards at all positions (and one extremely skilled forward on line 1) playing that sort of fast-transition-to-physical-puck-control-game, will wear teams down quickly. Add our PK / our ability to take a few liberties to protect a lead and I think it's a recipe for success. So a little bit of a cheat there (elements of both are required for consistent success), but that's my take. Put another way: if we only had say 3 skilled forwards to mix among the top 2 lines, then it becomes easier to take liberties and wear the #1 line down both by putting the best D on them all game and getting them out on the PP when they're tired, and possibly not confident in said PP (as was the case last year). Yet another way: It will be easier to win with one great line and two decent lines that consistently chip in goals, plus a below average PP, vs. one great line and a better-than-average PP.


Last edited by Darth Vitale: 08-27-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old
08-27-2011, 12:43 PM
  #6
Dylonus
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Neither. I'll go with "Making sure no one pushes Sid to come back too soon"

On topic, It's definitely Special Teams. We could have made our way to the ECF even without the two-headed monster if Special Teams didn't FAIL in the playoffs.

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08-27-2011, 01:11 PM
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secondary scoring is great in the reg season but you win and lose by your PP and PK in the playoffs. I vote for special teams as I want the cup more than reg season success.

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08-27-2011, 01:14 PM
  #8
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The choice that produces the most goals for us, and the least for the opposing team.

Seriously, without some details, it really is a choice that is near impossible to call. How much secondary scoring, how many PP goals, how many goals given up? You also are going to have skewed results because the PP specifically has been such a sore spot for so long. It is human nature. PK, secondary scoring, have been strong points, or at the very least not a concern.

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Old
08-27-2011, 01:15 PM
  #9
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Special teams. It's not very often when someone can say Matt Cooke not scoring a goal lost us a game, but if a power play or penalty kill at a crucial time fails, the team as a whole fails.

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08-27-2011, 02:21 PM
  #10
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Judging from last year season I went with special teams. I think are secondary scorers really stepped up once Sid & Geeno were out.

Our powerplay last year was pathetic, however. I think we're fine on our PK, if we just get a solid PP going I think the pens will be set.

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08-27-2011, 02:53 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruncher11 View Post
Judging from last year season I went with special teams. I think are secondary scorers really stepped up once Sid & Geeno were out.

Our powerplay last year was pathetic, however. I think we're fine on our PK, if we just get a solid PP going I think the pens will be set.

Except that our secondary scorers this year are James Neal and Sully, in addition to the guys that stepped up last year. That could make a big difference, playoffs and otherwise.

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08-27-2011, 03:15 PM
  #12
Hans Rutherford
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The more quality scoring potential we can get behind Sid and Geno the better. Special teams is basically just gravy to me, they can definitely help change the momentum of a game but you just can't rely on it to convert every chance and what are you going to do if you're up against a very disciplined team in the playoffs? Having secondary scoring is more dependable and can have a much better overall impact on a game than special teams imo. The Bruins PP was just as bad as ours were, at least in the beginning of the playoffs, and look how far they got with their scoring depth.

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08-27-2011, 03:18 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
Except that our secondary scorers this year are James Neal and Sully, in addition to the guys that stepped up last year. That could make a big difference, playoffs and otherwise.
I consider Neal and Sully to be part of our primary scoring this season.

As for the OP's question it has to be special teams since it's accounting for both scoring And preventing goals. I'd say that secondary scoring and PP scoring would be closer to an equivalent set of options.

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Old
08-27-2011, 03:26 PM
  #14
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I voted special teams.

I consider primary scoring the offensive contribution you get from your best 6 scoring forwards and best 2 or 3 scoring defencemen. So I count Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Neal, Staal, Sullivan, Letang, Martin, and Michalek as primary offence.

Under that definition I think PK and PP gives a much bigger swing in goals for and against than productive years from secondary players.

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Old
08-27-2011, 03:41 PM
  #15
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What's the second power play.. secondary scoring or special teams? hmm.

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08-27-2011, 03:56 PM
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ColePens
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So much talk about wingers 24/7 and the Montreal series has me surprised by the dominance in the poll. I agree with everyone but am surprised the Kunitz and Neal haters aren't out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
The choice that produces the most goals for us, and the least for the opposing team.

Seriously, without some details, it really is a choice that is near impossible to call. How much secondary scoring, how many PP goals, how many goals given up? You also are going to have skewed results because the PP specifically has been such a sore spot for so long. It is human nature. PK, secondary scoring, have been strong points, or at the very least not a concern.
You are over thinking the thread. If one could improve while the other stays the same, which one improves the team as a whole more. If our power play sucks still, but 5-5 we get more secondary scoring... Does that make the team better or vice versa.

We would love to see both, but which is more important?

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Old
08-27-2011, 04:24 PM
  #17
mashsoccer37
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I'm going with secondary scoring... Especially in the playoffs where special teams opportunities are limited, it's the deep teams that are the most successful. Detroit, Penguins, Blackhawks and Bruins are all examples of very deep teams who get a lot of secondary scoring help

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08-27-2011, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashsoccer37 View Post
I'm going with secondary scoring... Especially in the playoffs where special teams opportunities are limited, it's the deep teams that are the most successful. Detroit, Penguins, Blackhawks and Bruins are all examples of very deep teams who get a lot of secondary scoring help
Well, after reading Cole's latest post, I think if the secondary scoring stays the same and the special teams improves it would be in the best interest of the team as it is always best to be well rounded.

Having said that, I would rather be in the upper echelon of the league in secondary scoring and average in the special teams department than the other way around

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08-27-2011, 04:34 PM
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We won't get back to the ecf finals without an improved PP, it's that simple. We can get a dominant series out of Geno or Fleury but sooner or later we need to put opponents away on the PP.

I don't think we've seen how good this team can be until our PP is rolling with a proper scheme in puck movement and scoring threats on both sides of the ice. Our philosophy is to keep the puck in the opponent's end as much as possible, thus drawing penalties especially with a guy like Geno buzzing around. Being able to capitalize after our dominantion at ES will make us far better than any 20 goal scorer on the 3rd line.

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Old
08-27-2011, 04:34 PM
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Florentino Ariza
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The penalty kill and power play make or break every nhl team. If our power play was good, wed'd have won against tb

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08-27-2011, 05:05 PM
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mashsoccer37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florentino Ariza View Post
The penalty kill and power play make or break every nhl team. If our power play was good, wed'd have won against tb
But at the same time, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to even play in the first round of the playoffs if it weren't for our secondary scoring... Our secondary scoring also got us three wins against Tampa. Asham, Talbot, Letang, Orpik and Kennedy (Though, I guess at that point due to injuries he was a primary scorer) led us in playoff scoring. We were within one win of beating an opponent simply on secondary scoring (missing 30-40% of our salary cap) and that was despite a 2.9% PP.

I mentioned that if I could improve on either secondary scoring or PP, it would be the PP. However, all our success last year was based on secondary players stepping up. I know they are independent of each other, but if improving the power play meant a regression in secondary scoring, I wouldn't make that deal

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08-27-2011, 05:08 PM
  #22
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I've never done this before...I'm busting out the old "voted this, meant this".

I voted Secondary scoring, but going special teams.

A premier PK can, for lack of better wording, extend a game. If you're struggling to score, the PK is huge in keeping things even/close. Add in an above average PP, and you can steal some games just on the back of those two.

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Old
08-27-2011, 05:21 PM
  #23
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the secondary scoring it's just that, the secondary scoring. it would pretty much be the same without Sid/Geno, as we've seen in Neal's case. plus when healthy the Pens were 5th in the league in scoring anyway. that just tells me they don't need the secondary scoring.

the PP/PK on the other hand, and especially in the playoff is by far more important. as it has been already mentioned, with a decent PP/PK, we would have eliminated TB easily.

edit: it doesn't matter which way you flip it anyway. take out the two best players out of any team in this league and there's a good chance the secondary scoring and the PP/PK goes down for a variety or reasons. especially when the said players are forwards.

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Old
08-27-2011, 05:26 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mashsoccer37 View Post
But at the same time, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to even play in the first round of the playoffs if it weren't for our secondary scoring... Our secondary scoring also got us three wins against Tampa. Asham, Talbot, Letang, Orpik and Kennedy (Though, I guess at that point due to injuries he was a primary scorer) led us in playoff scoring. We were within one win of beating an opponent simply on secondary scoring (missing 30-40% of our salary cap) and that was despite a 2.9% PP.

I mentioned that if I could improve on either secondary scoring or PP, it would be the PP. However, all our success last year was based on secondary players stepping up. I know they are independent of each other, but if improving the power play meant a regression in secondary scoring, I wouldn't make that deal
PK, defense, MAF and SOs brought us in the playoff. the secondary scoring was the least of the reasons why we made it. Pens scoring decreased with a goal per game with Sid/Geno out.

secondary scoring killed the Pens on that game 7, in which they were solid defensively.

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08-27-2011, 05:31 PM
  #25
KaylaJ
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Can we vote for secondary scoring on the PP?

Anyway, definitely special teams. I like our PK already, but it gets quite annoying when we have the players we do and yet no PP to speak of. It has gotten so bad that you can see it coming when the Pens go 0/for who knows what and not only lose the momentum, but then a close game.

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