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Tag:Pittsburgh Penguins
Posted on: February 15, 2009 2:28 pm
 

Pittsburgh Penguins seson so far and offseason

The Piittsburgh Penguins come out of last nights game against the Maple Leafs with a record of 27-25-5 which is good (or not so good) for tenth place in the eastern conference.  They are 5 points out of a playoff spot, just one year after losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings.

 

It is time for a change.  I, usually, am the last person to panic, but how this team is playing it is hard not to.  After the Penguins beat the Sharks 2-1 and played a great game, many thought they had turned the corner.  They had to keep the momentum going into their next game.  What do they do?  Get a quick 2-0 lead and everything looked good.  Then it all went down from there.  They lost the game 6-2, giving up 5 third period goals.  You can't blame Marc-Andre Fleury for those goals, his defense let him out to dry.  He faced 41 shots, and honestly the game could have been 10-2 if he was not in goal.

 

What needs to change:

  • Coaching: We are constantly outcoached, and Therrien is probably the worst coach at making adjustments.  An adjustment for him is changing all of his lines and stop chemistry between players from forming.  He is not the good coach many think of him to be.  Last year we went to the SCF in spite of him, and this year his poor coaching is starting to show.  He has lost the room, and until a change is made I do not see the Penguins playing with the emotion we saw early this year and last year. 
  • Coaching (again):  Therrien is not our only coaching problem.  Mike Yeo should have been gone a while ago.  We are currently 24th in the league on the Power Play, and dead last on the power play on the road.  Pathetic.  We are also 20th in penalty kill.  Something needs to change with special teams, a team with players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should never be that bad on the power play, and a team with Jordan Staal, Rob Scuderi, and Hal Gill should not be that bad on the Penalty Kill.
  • Wingers: We have one legitiment winger in Petr Sykora.  After that it is all down hill.  We have Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, and Eric Godard.  Not one of those 5 are top 2 line wingers.  When you need 4 wingers for the top 2 lines, and only 1 on the whole team that belongs there you can only blame management. 
  • Defense: We are 21st in the league in goals against per game, and you cant blame Fleury for that.  We give up 31 shots a game, and he can't stop all of them.  Ryan Whitney is a -13 and Brooks Orpik is a -5.  They are suposedly our best defensman (not counting Sergei Gonchar because of injury) and are both paid big money. 
  • Grit:  We are a soft team.  Besides Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik, and Eric Godard we do not have much grit.  Last year we had Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Jarkoo Ruutu, and Georges Laraque to go alone with Brooks Orpik.  No one goes in front of the net this year, and we have no one to put fear into the other teams when they take a cheap shot on one of our players

 

Who needs to go:

  • Michel Therrien: Reasons I stated above
  • Jordan Staal: I like Staal, but he is making 4 million to be our third line center.  He has all the potential in the world, but we need wingers and Staal has already failed at being a winger for us.
  • Ryan Whitney: Has played in 24 games this year and is already a -13 to lead the team.  Pathetic.  I know he had a foot injury, but his skating has been horrible.  He has not been the same since he got his contract after his 59 point season.
  • Miroslav Satan: His play speaks for itself
  • Mark Eaton: He has been better as of late, but he is not playing at a level that would justify his 2 million dollar salary.

 

Who we need to resign after the season:

  • Petr Sykora: We need his scoring ability, and he wants to stay here.  Only legitament winger. He is a UFA after the season.
  • Alex Goligoski: Amazing potential, played great this year until they sent him down.  He is a RFA after the season.
  • Rob Scuderir: Our most consistant defensman, our penalty kill and defense would take a hit without him.
  • Mike Zigomanis: His faecofffs were huge this year, we have no one on the team that can consistantly win draws, and he will win 60% of his every year as long as he comes back healthy from his injury.

 

Thoughts for the rest of the season:

I do not have very high expectations the rest of this season.  They often quit, and are not hungry to win.  I doubt they make the playoffs, and even if they do they won't get out of the first round.  I think it is time to focus on the offseason.

 

Who we should target this offseason:

  • Alexei Kovalev: He was loved here before, and we would welcome him with open arms.  Great fit to play with Crosby (even though he would probably want to play with Malkin).
  • Johan Franzen: He can put the puck in the net, as simple as that.
  • Chris Neil: Gritty player that we need.
  • Martin St. Louis:  In a trade of course, if we could get him in a deal and give up either Staal or Whitney, would be a good deal as long as Caputi or Goligoski are involved.

Here are the moves I'd make this offseason (starting with 0 cap space):

Salaries coming off the payroll:

  • Satan 3.5 million
  • Fedotenko 2.5 million
  • Boucher 2.5 million
  • Gill 2.075 million
  • Garon 1.1 million
  • Total: 11.675 million

Hopefully through trade:

  • Whitney 4 million
  • Staal 2.2 million (all that cost against cap this season)
  • Total: 17.875 million

Salaries that are counting against cap next season:

  • Malkin 8.7 million
  • Talbot 1.05 million
  • Kennedy 725,000
  • Cap Left: 12.575

Players resigned, signed:

  • Sykora 3 million
  • Scuderi 2 million
  • Goligoski 1 million
  • Zigomanis 650,000
  • Kovalev 4 million
  • Neil 1 million
  • Cap space left: about 1 million

 

2009 Dream and Realistic Lines:

Kovalev-Crosby-Cooke

Caputi-Malkin-Sykora

Dupuis-Talbot-Kennedy

Godard-Zigomanis-Neil

Gonchar-Orpik

Letang-Scuderi

Goligoski-Eaton

 

Don't have time to proofread, and sorry if my thoughts are all over the place.

 

 

 

 

Category: NHL
Posted on: November 28, 2008 1:26 pm
 

Pittsburgh Penguins 1st Quarter review

When this season first started, I was worried about how the Penguins were going to start the season.  The past 2 seasons, they have struggled at the beginning of the year and I had a feeling that was going to happen again this year.  To my surprise, they have been one of the better teams all season.

Through 21 games, they are 13-5-3 (29 points).  Last year through 21 games they were 8-11-2 (18 points).  That is a significant improvement and can make a huge difference in playoff seating when that time of year comes around. 

Key Additions:

  • Miroslav Satan- He is second on the team in goals (9) and 3rd on the team in points (17).  He has had his ups and downs, playing on the 1st and 3rd lines at times.  He has been a good signing and is starting to get chemistry with Sidney Crosby.  I think he will easily get to 40 goals if he stays on Crosby's line.
  • Ruslan Fedotenko- He has shown flashes of how good he can be, and flashes of how bad he can be.  He has been at his best when playing with Jordan Staal.  They got some good chemistry.  His start has been better than the guy he is replacing (Ryan Malone), who I will talk about a little later.
  • Matt Cooke- I really like this guy.  He is a great hitter, and is a lot more skilled than Jarkko Ruutu is.  He has shown how he can get under the other teams skin, but his only weakness is that he cannot fight at all.  He is a great 3rd line pick up from what he has shown so far.
  • Mike Zigomanis-This early season pick up has shown to be a big one.  One weakness for the Penguins in the past has been being weak in the face-off circle and having no righties to take draws.  Zigomanis has changed that, in a big way.  He currently leads the league in FO percent.
  • Eric Godard- Not much to say here.  He is a more exciting fighter that has been overlooked because of guys like Laraque.  I would take him over Laraque any day because he is more physical on the ice.
  • Philippe Bouchar- Not much to say on him yet.  Give him time.

Key Subtractions:

  • Ryan Malone- Tough start for him so far.  8 points and a -3 is not what the Lightning expected from him.  Feds has been better than Malone so far.
  • Gary Roberts- Another Lightning player.  He has 4 points, is a -4, and is currently on the IR.  No loss there.
  • Adam Hall- The last of the Lightning players.  He has 2 points and is a -3, and under 50% FO win.  He was nice for us in the playoffs, but we aren't missing much.
  • Jarkko Ruutu- 7 points is better than expected from him, but he has already been suspended 2 games for a cheap shot, funny I don't remember him taking cheap shots here.
  • Georges Laraque-Only has played in 11 games, been hurt, and probably still won't hit anyone.  Haven't seen him play but it doesn't look like hes worth what he's getting paid.
  • Marian Hossa-Been the best player on the Red Wings so far, but we do not miss him.  He did nothing for us in the regular season last year.
  • Darryl Sydor- He was riding the bench for us, not a loss at all.

So far this year:
Hossa > Satan
Malone = Fedotenko
Zigomanis > Hall
Cooke > Ruutu
Godard > Laraque
Bouchar > Sydor

Best performers:

  1. Evgeni Malkin- Leads the league in assists and points, and shows why he is the best all around player in the game.
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury- Proving his hater wrong once again, but is injured and may be out for 4-5 weeks.
  3. Sidney Crosby- The scary part is, he is not playing his best hockey right now.  Once he gets going watch out!

Surprise Performers:

  • Jordan Staal-After his lack-luster 2007-2008 Season, this year he has come to play.  12 points so far and 7 goals, but still not what we want from him.  He should be better, but he still has almost matched his goal total from last year.
  • Tyler Kennedy- Us Penguins fans love him.    He has great energy, is talented and very underrated.  He is top-6 foreward potential.  All 13 of his points have been earned.
  • Dany Sabourin- Many people were questioning what happens if Fleury goes down.  Well I think Sabu's 1.96 GAA and .923 save percentage tells what we will do.

Questions that will be answered

  • What will happen when Ryan Whitney returns sometime in December?
  • How serious is Fleury's injury?
  • Will Janne Pesonen stick with the team or be sent back down?

Who to look out for:

  • Petr Sykora-Slow start, but he started slow last year.
  • Alex Goligoski- Great start to his rookie year, and is a top Calder cantidate.
  • Maxime Talbot- If his injury is not serious, watch out for him playing with Crosby and Satan.  He is a very talented player that has been stuck on our 3rd and 4th line until now.

2nd Quarter Predictions (Through 41 games):

Penguins: 24-10-7 (55 points)
Malkin: 23-38-61 points
Crosby: 19-40-60 points




Category: NHL
 
 
 
 
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