2018 Summer Game Plan

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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:19 pm

The reason DeSmith didn't look all that awful, I imagine, has to be that Murray had a rough season. Hes not a good NHL backup, but he'll do. Getting a cheap veteran is no guarantee of improvement. DeSmith did far better than Niemi. Which isn't saying much I know.

Tbh, you can safely out Jarry in the WBS crease and let him play. Kid is our #2 and everyone knows it. It's like Fleury, Murray and Zatkoff. DeSmith in the Zatkoff role, though he's not a vet.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Henry Hank on Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:10 pm

DeSmith objectively did well. I don't think he's as low as Zatkoff tier, he was apparently a well-regarded goalie prospect at one time who had his career derailed by criminal accusations. As others have said, I would probably view him, in reality as the #3 goalie in the organization but it makes sense for him to open as the NHL back-up because he would have to go through waivers (with a good chance of being claimed) while Jarry does not.

As far as Murray/Jarry long term, it's highly presumptuous to make any judgments on what they're going to have to do with them. Jarry is a nice prospect but far from a blue chip or sure thing. Vegas had a lot of similar options and ended up not selecting any of them (though eventually ended up with Subban on waivers). They really just need to let things play out the next couple years. We could have very different opinions of Murray and/or Jarry by then.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Hatrick on Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:13 pm

Henry Hank wrote:DeSmith objectively did well. I don't think he's as low as Zatkoff tier, he was apparently a well-regarded goalie prospect at one time who had his career derailed by criminal accusations. As others have said, I would probably view him, in reality as the #3 goalie in the organization but it makes sense for him to open as the NHL back-up because he would have to go through waivers (with a good chance of being claimed) while Jarry does not.

As far as Murray/Jarry long term, it's highly presumptuous to make any judgments on what they're going to have to do with them. Jarry is a nice prospect but far from a blue chip or sure thing. Vegas had a lot of similar options and ended up not selecting any of them (though eventually ended up with Subban on waivers). They really just need to let things play out the next couple years. We could have very different opinions of Murray and/or Jarry by then.

the waiver situation isn't the only reason why, I think because jarry is the better potential(possibly the best out of the three of them) they want him to be able to play everyday and develop more which would not be possible at the NHL level(even last year when murray was healthy but struggling Sullivan started him on more back to backs than expected so would be hard to get jarry into any games if Sullivan plans on doing that again). DeSmith is not gonna be the goalie of the future and he isn't a goalie who needs to play in the same way so if anybody is gonna sit there and not play much it makes sense for them to make it be DeSmith.
agreed with the murray/jarry long term debate, stuff changes and there is nothing certain as to who will be better in a few years.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:56 am

The Pens are well situated with the contract situation in goal. Of course they have to get Jarry signed, but they will. He has zero leverage. DeSmith is a UFA at season's end, and get a chance to establish himself as an NHL back up. Jarry replaces him next season, which is also the last season of Murray's contract. That's not a bad route to make a decision on the best direction for the team. Either Murray gets a long term big money contract, or they move him if they believe Jarry is the better long term option. They just would need to find another backup.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby no name on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:12 pm

longtimefan wrote:The Pens are well situated with the contract situation in goal. Of course they have to get Jarry signed, but they will. He has zero leverage. DeSmith is a UFA at season's end, and get a chance to establish himself as an NHL back up. Jarry replaces him next season, which is also the last season of Murray's contract. That's not a bad route to make a decision on the best direction for the team. Either Murray gets a long term big money contract, or they move him if they believe Jarry is the better long term option. They just would need to find another backup.


I would want to get the larger sample size of Jarrys NHL ability if we are going to make a determination of our future starter. But all in all I think you are right we are in the best possible play to make that decision. Murray being so injury prone scares me in going long term with him in net. But when that guy is on he is money.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:17 pm

NHL.com has an off season write up on the Pens. They took a shot at the lines. A view from the outside.

https://www.nhl.com/news/pittsburgh-pen ... =281151520


Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Daniel Sprong

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Bryan Rust -- Derick Brassard -- Phil Kessel

Riley Sheahan -- Matt Cullen -- Zach Aston-Reese

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jack Johnson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry


This is probably the most note worthy quote.

What they still need
Another depth defenseman. Although Ruhwedel has been serviceable at times, relying on him during a lengthy stretch if one of the six regular defensemen is injured likely isn't ideal.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:31 pm

longtimefan wrote:NHL.com has an off season write up on the Pens. They took a shot at the lines. A view from the outside.

https://www.nhl.com/news/pittsburgh-pen ... =281151520


Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Daniel Sprong

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Bryan Rust -- Derick Brassard -- Phil Kessel

Riley Sheahan -- Matt Cullen -- Zach Aston-Reese

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jack Johnson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry


This is probably the most note worthy quote.

What they still need
Another depth defenseman. Although Ruhwedel has been serviceable at times, relying on him during a lengthy stretch if one of the six regular defensemen is injured likely isn't ideal.


I think the depth defenseman will come from within. I think one of Riikola, Birks, Elliot, Czuczman, Trotman, Taylor, Almari, etc will emerge to be a capable depth defenseman.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby pens_CT on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:39 pm

longtimefan wrote:NHL.com has an off season write up on the Pens. They took a shot at the lines. A view from the outside.

https://www.nhl.com/news/pittsburgh-pen ... =281151520


Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Daniel Sprong

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Bryan Rust -- Derick Brassard -- Phil Kessel

Riley Sheahan -- Matt Cullen -- Zach Aston-Reese

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jack Johnson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry


This is probably the most note worthy quote.

What they still need
Another depth defenseman. Although Ruhwedel has been serviceable at times, relying on him during a lengthy stretch if one of the six regular defensemen is injured likely isn't ideal.


Unless the guy they signed from Europe, Rikola, can prove he is NHL ready, I would agree they probably need to add another defensemen at some point. Nobody else at WBS projects to be a NHL player, at least not as a long term injury replacement.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:13 pm

How many teams have 7 true NHL level Dmen? How many have 8? Your 13+F or 7+D are 13+ and 7+ for a reason.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby no name on Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:33 pm

Daniel wrote:
longtimefan wrote:NHL.com has an off season write up on the Pens. They took a shot at the lines. A view from the outside.

https://www.nhl.com/news/pittsburgh-pen ... =281151520


Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Daniel Sprong

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Bryan Rust -- Derick Brassard -- Phil Kessel

Riley Sheahan -- Matt Cullen -- Zach Aston-Reese

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jack Johnson

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry


This is probably the most note worthy quote.

What they still need
Another depth defenseman. Although Ruhwedel has been serviceable at times, relying on him during a lengthy stretch if one of the six regular defensemen is injured likely isn't ideal.


I think the depth defenseman will come from within. I think one of Riikola, Birks, Elliot, Czuczman, Trotman, Taylor, Almari, etc will emerge to be a capable depth defenseman.



That guy would have to prove himself in WBS then get some NHL playing time to prove he can contribute. Other wise I see I deadline deal for a UFA to be defenseman that can play. They are a dime a dozen when those teams are eliminated from the playoffs.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby pens_CT on Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:46 pm

Jim wrote:How many teams have 7 true NHL level Dmen? How many have 8? Your 13+F or 7+D are 13+ and 7+ for a reason.


How many defensemen played on the Penguins NHL roster in 16-17? I think the number was something like 13 or 14. Certainly needed Hainsey that year who was a trade deadline acquisition.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:09 pm

pens_CT wrote:
Jim wrote:How many teams have 7 true NHL level Dmen? How many have 8? Your 13+F or 7+D are 13+ and 7+ for a reason.


How many defensemen played on the Penguins NHL roster in 16-17? I think the number was something like 13 or 14. Certainly needed Hainsey that year who was a trade deadline acquisition.


Going from most games to fewest:

In 2015-16 we had 11:
Dumoulin, Letang, Cole, Määttä, Lovejoy, Daley, Scuderi, Pouliot, Schultz, Warsofsky, Clendening

In 2016-17 we had 14:
Cole, Schultz, Dumoulin, Daley, Määttä, Letang, Ruhwedel, Streit, Hainsey, Gaunce, Oleksy, Pouliot, Warsofsky, Corrado

In 2017-18 we had 10:
Määttä, Dumoulin, Letang, Schultz, Oleksiak, Cole, Ruhwedel, Hunwick, Corrado, Trotman



The real question is, how much these guys that fill in for a few games impact the team negatively. We weren't going to see the likes of Warsofsky, Oleksy and Clendening in the playoffs.

There has been one acquisition of note each year the past three years: Schultz 15-16, Hainsey 16-17, Oleksiak 17-18.
Your #7 D in terms of games played: Scuderi* 15-16, Ruhwedel 16-17, Ruhwedel 17-18. The Scuderi trade slants the numbers, you can make cases for Pouliot and Lovejoy that year.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby thehockeyguru on Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:05 pm

Orpik back to the Caps on a cheap 1 year deal.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:12 pm

thehockeyguru wrote:Orpik back to the Caps on a cheap 1 year deal.


Probably felt sorry for him not getting any offers from anyone else... Including KHL
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Pens4Life on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:25 am

Our primary defensive core is very solid, 7 including Chad ! 1-2 among all those AHL guys will be ready as well to play
some games,if needed,when injuries occur..
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby thehockeyguru on Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:13 am

Pens4Life wrote:Our primary defensive core is very solid, 7 including Chad ! 1-2 among all those AHL guys will be ready as well to play
some games,if needed,when injuries occur..


I think everyone is pinning their hopes on a bounce back season from Letang, what if that doesn't happen and he struggles again in 18-19? To me the reason why they brought in JJ was to take minutes away from Letang if that does happen but JJ himself doesnt have the best track record and will be looking to bounce back himself.

It could work out perfectly and Letang / JJ both get to the top of their game, or the status quo could remain and both under perform.

To say that the core is very solid at this point to me is a stretch.. Personally I feel worse going into this season than I did after the last even knowing the fatigue, turnover, ect. After seeing the shift in our D corp from one that included Hainsey, Daley, and Cole to one that will now features Letang and JJ I feel like we arent as good defensively but are better at moving the puck.

I'm going to predict a lot of the same in 18-19. Poor defensive zone coverage and poor neutral zone containment, that Murray will be seeing a lot of the same. Lots of breakaways and odd man rushes which see is GAA rise and his Save % decrease.

I hope I'm wrong but we will see.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby LimerickPensFan on Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:03 am

thehockeyguru wrote:
Pens4Life wrote:Our primary defensive core is very solid, 7 including Chad ! 1-2 among all those AHL guys will be ready as well to play
some games,if needed,when injuries occur..


I think everyone is pinning their hopes on a bounce back season from Letang, what if that doesn't happen and he struggles again in 18-19? To me the reason why they brought in JJ was to take minutes away from Letang if that does happen but JJ himself doesnt have the best track record and will be looking to bounce back himself.

It could work out perfectly and Letang / JJ both get to the top of their game, or the status quo could remain and both under perform.

To say that the core is very solid at this point to me is a stretch.. Personally I feel worse going into this season than I did after the last even knowing the fatigue, turnover, ect. After seeing the shift in our D corp from one that included Hainsey, Daley, and Cole to one that will now features Letang and JJ I feel like we arent as good defensively but are better at moving the puck.

I'm going to predict a lot of the same in 18-19. Poor defensive zone coverage and poor neutral zone containment, that Murray will be seeing a lot of the same. Lots of breakaways and odd man rushes which see is GAA rise and his Save % decrease.

I hope I'm wrong but we will see.

I don't see how you can feel worse this year than last. We have basically the same unit, with the exception of the addition of Johnson and the loss of Cole. Hainsey and Daley were gone before last season. Again, this was a defense that was on a team that came a few breaks away from beating the cup champion.

You do realize that many breakaways and odd man rushes are the fault of the forwards, don't you?
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:24 pm

And they have a quality 3rd line center in place, healthy and practiced in the Pens style.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby thehockeyguru on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:13 pm

LimerickPensFan wrote:
thehockeyguru wrote:
Pens4Life wrote:Our primary defensive core is very solid, 7 including Chad ! 1-2 among all those AHL guys will be ready as well to play
some games,if needed,when injuries occur..


I think everyone is pinning their hopes on a bounce back season from Letang, what if that doesn't happen and he struggles again in 18-19? To me the reason why they brought in JJ was to take minutes away from Letang if that does happen but JJ himself doesnt have the best track record and will be looking to bounce back himself.

It could work out perfectly and Letang / JJ both get to the top of their game, or the status quo could remain and both under perform.

To say that the core is very solid at this point to me is a stretch.. Personally I feel worse going into this season than I did after the last even knowing the fatigue, turnover, ect. After seeing the shift in our D corp from one that included Hainsey, Daley, and Cole to one that will now features Letang and JJ I feel like we arent as good defensively but are better at moving the puck.

I'm going to predict a lot of the same in 18-19. Poor defensive zone coverage and poor neutral zone containment, that Murray will be seeing a lot of the same. Lots of breakaways and odd man rushes which see is GAA rise and his Save % decrease.

I hope I'm wrong but we will see.

I don't see how you can feel worse this year than last. We have basically the same unit, with the exception of the addition of Johnson and the loss of Cole. Hainsey and Daley were gone before last season. Again, this was a defense that was on a team that came a few breaks away from beating the cup champion.

You do realize that many breakaways and odd man rushes are the fault of the forwards, don't you?


At the beginning of last season there was questions around how the Pens would ease Letang back into the lineup. I like many people thought it would be gradual, that the PP was working with Schultz, Cole was a key part of the PK, and there was no need to get him back to 23-25 minutes a night given his health issues. That wasn't the thinking of the staff, the beginning part of the season they literally sank with Letang while they waited for him to swim. I feel worse this season because of their insistence of Letang's use, so if anything my uneasiness is more to do with the coaching staff than the players. If I knew that JJ could step in and take some of those minutes and Letang was at 20-22 minutes I would feel a lot better.

I do realize that, I dont have any numbers to support it but there seemed like a lot more bad defensive pinches last season compared to others. I've said it and others as well that as a defenseman you pinch only when you know you have forward coverage. To me the defenseman has to err on the side of caution. If they pinch and think a forward can get back but ultimately cant you cant blame the forward.

I agree with Jim's point that 3C is an extreme improvement, but again there is already talk of Brassard getting LW time. I really dont want to see that happen because that goes against the reason the Pens got him in the first place to have 4 scoring lines
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby LimerickPensFan on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:36 pm

thehockeyguru wrote:
LimerickPensFan wrote:
thehockeyguru wrote:
Pens4Life wrote:Our primary defensive core is very solid, 7 including Chad ! 1-2 among all those AHL guys will be ready as well to play
some games,if needed,when injuries occur..


I think everyone is pinning their hopes on a bounce back season from Letang, what if that doesn't happen and he struggles again in 18-19? To me the reason why they brought in JJ was to take minutes away from Letang if that does happen but JJ himself doesnt have the best track record and will be looking to bounce back himself.

It could work out perfectly and Letang / JJ both get to the top of their game, or the status quo could remain and both under perform.

To say that the core is very solid at this point to me is a stretch.. Personally I feel worse going into this season than I did after the last even knowing the fatigue, turnover, ect. After seeing the shift in our D corp from one that included Hainsey, Daley, and Cole to one that will now features Letang and JJ I feel like we arent as good defensively but are better at moving the puck.

I'm going to predict a lot of the same in 18-19. Poor defensive zone coverage and poor neutral zone containment, that Murray will be seeing a lot of the same. Lots of breakaways and odd man rushes which see is GAA rise and his Save % decrease.

I hope I'm wrong but we will see.

I don't see how you can feel worse this year than last. We have basically the same unit, with the exception of the addition of Johnson and the loss of Cole. Hainsey and Daley were gone before last season. Again, this was a defense that was on a team that came a few breaks away from beating the cup champion.

You do realize that many breakaways and odd man rushes are the fault of the forwards, don't you?


At the beginning of last season there was questions around how the Pens would ease Letang back into the lineup. I like many people thought it would be gradual, that the PP was working with Schultz, Cole was a key part of the PK, and there was no need to get him back to 23-25 minutes a night given his health issues. That wasn't the thinking of the staff, the beginning part of the season they literally sank with Letang while they waited for him to swim. I feel worse this season because of their insistence of Letang's use, so if anything my uneasiness is more to do with the coaching staff than the players. If I knew that JJ could step in and take some of those minutes and Letang was at 20-22 minutes I would feel a lot better.

I do realize that, I dont have any numbers to support it but there seemed like a lot more bad defensive pinches last season compared to others. I've said it and others as well that as a defenseman you pinch only when you know you have forward coverage. To me the defenseman has to err on the side of caution. If they pinch and think a forward can get back but ultimately cant you cant blame the forward.

I agree with Jim's point that 3C is an extreme improvement, but again there is already talk of Brassard getting LW time. I really dont want to see that happen because that goes against the reason the Pens got him in the first place to have 4 scoring lines

Letang doesn't have the health issues that had him have the slow start last season, though.

Whether or not a defensive pinch is bad is not necessarily due to the defenseman is my point. During the playoffs, even NBC pointed out in one of their pregame shows how many of the forwards were not covering for a pinching defenseman. One person they pointed out was Guentzel. They can't think for a forward. If there is a forward in a position to cover, they should feel safe pinching. If the forward fails to cover, that's on them.

Even if Brassard moves up (not my favorite option, either), bringing back Cullen should help there, along with other acquisitions.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:55 pm

Like I said before, I like this team. It's the dog days of summer. There's not a lot to talk about. The team is set going into training camp. I know there's still occasional talk about Pacioretty or Skinner, but I can't see them doing anything unless the deal just fell in their laps. Any moves complicates the cap. They now have 15 forwards with a legitimate shot at a roster spot, and 11 scored in double figures last year. I don't believe they have nay plans to move Brassard to LW permanently. I do believe they'd like the flexibility of being able to throw him up when Geno when you're down late, the same way Sheahan replaced Guentzel in defensive spots late in the season. They said the initial plan was to have Cullen play LW. Remember, they started last season with McKegg as the 3C, and Rowney the 4C. Reaves , Kuhnhackl and Wilson in reserve. Throw your four C's out and see where the wings land. They are in better position to roll four lines than at any other time perhaps in their history.

On defense, the thing about Letang is his errors were all mental. He still is among the standard setters for defenseman in term of advanced stats. The errors were mental. Big, ugly ones. Which he's always been guilty of, but last season was his worse. They were mental though. It wasn't a physical decline. Compared to last season, you've replaced Cole and Hunwick with Johnson and Oleksiak. Which I'll take. Ruhlwedel is still #7.

In goal, I fully expect Murray to bounce back. His track record is pretty long, although his track record of getting hurt is there too. Jarry and DeSmith are much more known commodities than last season.

I like the depth more than anything. A NHL caliber forward or two is going to be sent down.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:56 pm

We've got some awesome lines at the start of this season. Coach only has to find things that click. He's got plenty of workable material.

OUT: Sheary, Sundqvist, Reaves, Pouliot, Wilson, Archibald, Cole, Gustavsson, McKegg/Jooris, Kühnhackl, Rowney, Niemi, Hunwick
IN: Brassard, Sheahan, Oleksiak, Cullen, Johnson, Hayes, Grant

Add Sprong, Simon and ZAR in the mix for spots.

They really missed the ball on Hunwick. Other than that, that's a great job!

Imagine if we could have started last year with Brassard-Sheahan instead of Rowney-McKegg... The contrast is so stark, it ain't even funny. It makes our LW stick out, though. Lost Sheary and Kunitz in recent years. That's something we haven't replaced, though a combination of Cullen, ZAR and Simon might be functional.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Puck-Lurker on Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:08 pm

longtimefan wrote:Throw your four C's out and see where the wings land.

This sounded like fun!

Simon-Guentzel-Hörnqvist
Hagelin-Cullen-Kessel
Rust-Blueger-Sprong
ZAR-Grant/Dea-Hayes

:scared: :thumb:
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby ville5 on Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:40 pm

Puck-Lurker wrote:
longtimefan wrote:Throw your four C's out and see where the wings land.

This sounded like fun!

Simon-Guentzel-Hörnqvist
Hagelin-Cullen-Kessel
Rust-Blueger-Sprong
ZAR-Grant/Dea-Hayes

:scared: :thumb:

I chuckled.
Unrelated- Zucker 5 years, $5.5 million aav with the Wild.
Hamhuis 2 years, $1.25 million aav with the Preds.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby thehockeyguru on Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:59 am

LimerickPensFan wrote:Letang doesn't have the health issues that had him have the slow start last season, though.

Whether or not a defensive pinch is bad is not necessarily due to the defenseman is my point. During the playoffs, even NBC pointed out in one of their pregame shows how many of the forwards were not covering for a pinching defenseman. One person they pointed out was Guentzel. They can't think for a forward. If there is a forward in a position to cover, they should feel safe pinching. If the forward fails to cover, that's on them.

Even if Brassard moves up (not my favorite option, either), bringing back Cullen should help there, along with other acquisitions.


Correct, he's now relatively healthy. I'm not a doctor and certainly dont know what kind of medicine if any he's taking but I think you still need to have a level of concern for a player who is only 30 and had a stroke.

I see your point and I dont really agree. I remember the segment you are talking about and it was also covered heavily on local sports radio. At some point if the forwards continually aren't covering for defensemen you just have to stop pinching. Its not a gamble worth taking.

I just dont know what the Pens are expecting to get out of Cullen. Minnesota went out of their way last season to sign Cullen and after the season didnt even consider resigning him. To me that raises a flag.
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