2018 Penguins Postmortem

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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby penny lane on Tue May 08, 2018 7:51 am

Peaking too soon? They played a series against their schedule in moving up in the standings. Then came the injuries. NHL dealt them a blow with all of the back 2 back games, criminal.
Praise Holtby or blame the penguins power play/scoring. Never able to score in bunches- which is their DNA. Holtby made the saves.
The defense played well enough to win another series. Only Saturday’s game got crazy with goals. Brian Dumoulin and all very good.
Somebody needed to make the difficult decision that Phil’s streak was less than the team’s overall improvement. During the season, Sprong could have gotten minutes and been with the team. In the Washington series, a 50% Phil was ineffective. The pens needed a blood transfusion of skill. Coach Sullivan is going to have to trust players who he hasn’t coached or been with in WBS.
Too much desperation on the CAPS to beat the pens. The pens injuries; they could not match that all out will to win. Damn Columbus why could not they have taken out Washington. I’ll never cheer actively for a caps team and especially one with Wilson.

All these ramblings – I am lucky to have been caught up in the JOY of 2 Cups. Love these guys.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Wyopen on Tue May 08, 2018 7:57 am

DelPen wrote:
Wyopen wrote:What concerns me is this, looking to the next season(s) who do the Pens have as high prospects? They have no first round pick, they have difficult contracts to move in trades, a number of players over 30, spent to the cap limit, etc. How do they get any better than they are now?

Need to find undrafted players or college free agents. ZAR and Bellerive are as good or better than anyone they would drafted in the first round the last 5 years. Need to keep hitting home runs with those finds.

My main concern is on the back end, is there an UFA that the Pens might go after? I know the capitals Carlson would be out of their price range. Thanks.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby no name on Tue May 08, 2018 7:59 am

Didn't like the team going into the playoffs. Not that the Brassard deal was a bust or he wasn't a good player. I liked the idea of getting a winger instead of Brassard and hated losing Cole. But as Rutherford said the deals were harder to make this season. No regrets' back to back sure was fun. Love the playoffs, it brings friends together and is always a good time.

I really think Murray will bounce back, the team wasn't as strong as it was the past 2 seasons.

Our guys sure could use the rest and time to regroup and get in a good mental frame of mind for next season.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 8:02 am

Looking at how Letang played pretty much all year it’s safe to say we don’t repeat if he’s in last year.

NHL ratings are going to plummet now the Pens are out.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Jim on Tue May 08, 2018 8:05 am

Air your grievances her no matter how ... heat of the moment.


No matter how heat of the moment? Okay... the average Pens fan appears to be little more than a whiny beotch that knows much less about hockey than they think they do...

... Act like you have been there before...
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Southern Fan on Tue May 08, 2018 8:07 am

penny lane wrote: NHL dealt them a blow with all of the back 2 back games, criminal.



This. It seemed like they weathered the storm but its wrong (and they didn't). Plus, all the national games where we have to listen to old school experts that pine for the good old days when goalies didn't wear masks and players didn't wear helmets.

Our curse being the best tv market in the US. It's our fault.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby alancac98 on Tue May 08, 2018 8:16 am

Zalapski33 wrote:It was such a joy and honor to watch this team win back to back Stanley Cups,they played with poise,determination and spirit and in this era earned their place in history for their accomplishments.

The disappointing end to the 2018 season in going for 3 in a row stings now.They never were able to play to the level the past 2 years,IMHO I would give these reasons:

Matt Murray simply never played as well as he did the past 2 playoff runs. Undoubtedly he was affected by the loss of his Dad and perhaps not having MAF on the roster was a factor.Maybe Fleury's presence got him to have an extra focus,he surprisingly allowed a lot of soft goals against the Caps.The Pens don't get the 2 Cups without him,and I expect him to learn from this loss

Phil Kessel had to be hurt,he struggled throughout the playoffs with puck handling,bad giveaways and reluctance to shoot.He has been a very good playoff performer in his career and I have to think his play was impacted by an injury late in the year

Derek Brassard disappointed throughout the playoffs,and in hindsight the trade for him never got the Pens what they were looking for.He also had a good playoff track record and will likely be a solid 3rd line Center next year,but was basically a non factor.

Kris Letang.Sheesh...Simply put,the Pens put a lot of faith in his logging a ton of minutes,but in the long run his play in Games 5 and 6 were huge factors in why they were eliminated.He deserves a ton of credit for perseverance and dealing with serious injuries,but as he has shown throughout his career,he makes poor decisions and is not a #1 D-Man.The Letang-Dumoulin pairing is not one that should stay in place going forward.

I truly believe the Pens missed what Chris Kunitz,Matt Cullen,Nick Bonino,Trevor Daley and Ian Cole brought to the 2 Cup runs.Somehow one of these guys found a way to get a big goal,play solid D or just elevate their games with their experience.Intagibles cannot always be measured,but it reminded me of the 93 Pens team not having Bob Errey,Bryan Trottier,Phil Bourque and Gordie Roberts .Guys that did the little things but brought a lot with their leadership

Crosby,Guentzel,Hornqvist and Dumoulin were outstanding.Without them,the Pens don't even get to Game 6.

Malkin might have been banged up,he didn't play as well as he usually does come playoff time.Usually he creates a lot of chances for his linemates,but as the Caps series wore on he looked tired.

The amount of Hockey this team played over the past 3 years had to take a toll.No way to measure what 307 Games does physically and mentally but they had to be a little worn down.

Lastly, this team gave all us fellow Penguins Fans so much great hockey and memorable moments these past 3 springs.Thanks to Coach Mike Sullivan and GM Jim Rutherford for what they put together.It would have been great to see them get a 3rd Cup but incredibly,the last 5 back to back Cup Champs have all lost in the 2nd round.It makes what the 80-83 NY Islanders did that much more impressive.Thank You to the Penguins Players,this run was one for the books.

My sincere best wishes to fellow Penguins Fans,enjoyed all the passion you guys showed here on LGP


Here, Here! Love this team and what they have done for the city of Pittsburgh! I have totally enjoyed the last 3 years - what an awesome ride! These guys deserve a good rest and the fans will be there to greet them in 5 months.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby LimerickPensFan on Tue May 08, 2018 8:27 am

Southern Fan wrote:NHL Neanderthal broadcasters. This is the year I went full radio and synch mode. Their narratives were written years ago. They just googled their old comments. And stop praising that psychopath Wilson. He deserved a lot worse

It sounded to me like Pierre and Milbury were auditioning to be Caps' home announcers next year or something.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby alancac98 on Tue May 08, 2018 8:29 am

FLPensFan wrote:With back to back Cups, and 3 total Cups for Sid and Geno, it's hard to be disappointed, however, I do feel that this team was much, much better than they showed. I'll go the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly route for my season summary

The Good
=========
- Maatta's game really turned around this season as a whole. After being crucified the last 2 seasons, he plays all 82 games and puts up numbers comparable to his rookie season.
- Brian Dumoulin was shaky at times during the season, but he was easily the Penguins best defenseman in the playoffs. With Letang's frequent gaffes, Dumoulin often had the poise and presence of a #1 d-man for the Penguins.
- Jamie Oleksiak was a cheap addition that worked out well. Some ups and downs, but his size is welcome, he is mobile, and has more offensive ability than you would expect.
- Riley Sheahan on this team as a 4C next year is some serious depth down the middle. It took him a bit to get going, but he got his career back on track. He was a faceoff beast in the playoffs. Another shrewd move by Rutherford.
- Great overall seasons by Sid, Malkin, and Kessel.....as well as Jake and Hornqvist.

The Bad
===================
- I think GMJR and Sully need to work a little better together next season. The Cole situation and the usage of Ryan Reaves seemed to be two big areas where players coach and GM didn't mesh well.
- I will go ahead with this hot take......IMO, I saw a bit of "Bylsma stubborness" in Sullivan in the playoffs. We can debate up and down whether Sprong is NHL ready or would have helped, but, Simon should not have been getting the ice time and looks he did. He had one good 3 game stretch this year. That's it. With a banged up Kessel, and honestly, Hagelin didn't look normal after returning from injury, Sully continued to trot out the same players, refusing game after game to try and shake things up. Sprong could have went in for Sheary, Hagelin, or Simon very easily, to try and light a fire. But Sullivan continued trotting out the same ineffective players, not even really juggling lines that much until these final two games.
- Matt Murray - a down year for Murray, compared to his previous seasons. The heat is on him. The fans are down on him. I believe he'll bounce back.

The Ugly
===================
- Kris Letang - Just an awful season by him. Last year, it was injuries. This year, his decision making was just downright horrible. Just like I said for Murray, players can have a down year. I'm willing to chalk this up to a down year and see how Letang is next year. But.....if someone came along with a good offer, I think this team could survive without Letang on the backend.
- The Brassard trade - Yes, I would have made this trade 10 times out of 10, and would still make it today. Not every trade works out, and certainly not right away. While Brassard failed to produce this year, he wasn't a rental. I think a full training camp and more practices will see a completely different Derick Brassard next year.
- Secondary scoring / bottom 6 - This needs to get better. Sheary, Hagelin, Rust, Brassard, Sheahan, Kuhhackl, Simon, and Kessel.....way too many players who barely contributed offensively this post season. That can't happen again.


I agree with everything you said here. The stubbornness of Sully just rubs me. He no problem benching the Flower after a bad game, but made no decision about trying DeSmith when it was clear that Murry was struggling and fighting the puck badly. He also made no roster changes like he has done the last two seasons. I would venture to say that he entered the Tomlin Zone this post season where his guys were his guys and were irreplaceable. Malkin and Kessel had nothing! We were a one line team and actually played rather well, even with Malkin out of the lineup for the first two games. Move our Centers up, put Malkin and Kessel on the bench, insert Sprong and others to try and get things moving, but it became same-ole, same-ole with him.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby pronovost19 on Tue May 08, 2018 8:32 am

Great ride for 9 series in a row. Had to end at some point. Caps deserved to win. Murray shows a ton of class in his interview after the game by tipping his hat to the Caps and saying they deserved to win. That is the difference between a great organization and one like the Caps who made excuses and never really admitted the Penguins were better when they lost (always we didn't play well or the refs or the ice or bad bounces, etc.)

Murray has his head on squarely. The Penguins are a great team that got beat. It happens. I think they are surprised that they couldn't do it again, but it also should allow them the opportunity to reflect upon the epic 1,109 day journey and how hard it is to do that. Now, get some rest and reload for next year.

As far as personnel moves and such, I am sure that the organization will assess and break down everything in due time, but right now is not the time to do that. You always need a one or two week window to allow everything to sink in.

Lastly, as a fan base we have been dealt some great cards. We have won 5 cups in basically a half a century and are one of only two fan bases that have 5 baseball, 5 football and 5 hockey championships. That being said, I have nothing to vent about or air out other than I enjoyed the ride and the organization is in good hands.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Fat Old Frank on Tue May 08, 2018 8:49 am

Second line scores zero goals
Third line scores zero goals
Fourth line scored one, hey hey
Goaltender allows one or two soft goals every game
Multiple odd man rushes against every period, blame the forwards not the defensemen
Caps should have had an easier time
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby jreed on Tue May 08, 2018 8:51 am

It's been a great run and we are so fortunate as fans to have witnessed it! As much as it stings, the extra time in the off-season is going to do them a lot of good. Come back next season re-set. Murray ha been through alot this season and will come back strong next year.

The Caps are a much better team without Wilson. Vrana is going to be a very good player.

Brassard will be a big asset next season. That third line was creating chances and playing well, they just couldn't seem to find the back of the net.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby topshelf66 on Tue May 08, 2018 9:19 am

Nothing but appreciation here.

2 Cups, 9 consecutive series wins, 61 playoff games, over 1100 days between series losses.

The team in essence played 4 seasons over the past 3 years.

It isn't anyone's fault. If we bring back 100% of last year's team, odds are we still run out of gas.

For two seasons we were the aggressors, didn't have the gas to do it again. This manifested in the difficulty we had when pressured by the Caps. They would not have been this aggressive, or this successful, in the past years.

Yes, Phil had a physical issue. Brassard was a good trade that will still pay dividends. He never really got the chance to gel with a healthy Phil.

Yes, the D had some big gaffes. They played well enough for us to lead or be tied in the 3rd period of 3 of our 4 losses in this series.

Murray was a little off of his past two playoffs. Nearly every other goalie will come up short of the standard he set over the past two runs.

I would have signed up for only giving up 1 in 60 minutes last night.

No windows are closing here. We are young and skilled.

Ill take this team with an extra 6 weeks of rest going into the 2018-2019 season.

Let's Go Pens
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby RisslingsMissingTeeth on Tue May 08, 2018 9:51 am

Head is in so many places. It has been a great run. The 2016 Cup we looked completely unstoppable. 4 lines surging and flying. In 2017, once we closed in on the playoffs, it was clear no one was beating us in 7 even though Ottawa came within inches.

This season was different. The team rarely looked good for any length of time. Gassed. Our stars are easing past their prime and the rest of the NHL copied the speed-press formula with younger players. It may be a long time before we get back to the Cup again but I think we will be a playoff team for at least a couple more years.

JR missed on his trades but c'mon, we had nothing to trade. No good picks and we can't risk losing any of our young prospects with the immobility and age of our centerpieces.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby pcmforless on Tue May 08, 2018 10:37 am

Play DeSmith..??? Really, eh... NO. That was never a viable or smart option.
Do look forward to seeing if Sprong can be an impact player this coming year.
Last year they had the surprise of Guentzel
2016 had the surprise of Rust and Sheary.

I think Sullivan was out of options due to injuries to make any big changes.

Brassard will pay off in 2018/2019. Wonder how badly he was playing hurt too.

Luckily I just bought a condo in Vegas and have my own plane to fly down from Reno so maybe I will still catch a finals game this year :)
Sadly though I won't be making the trek to Pittsburgh for finals games this year (saw 2 in 2016 and 3 last year). They were all wins and each and every one is beyond memorable. I got to take my wife to a few, took my mother to one and my cousin to another and they had the time of their lives too. Was in San Jose for game 6 in 2016 as well.

Thanks Pens for a great run and always giving me a great value for my entertainment dollar! Take a break and come out flying in October for a run to the 2019 CUP!!!!!
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Steve on Tue May 08, 2018 10:50 am

Image
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Steve on Tue May 08, 2018 10:51 am

topshelf66 wrote:Nothing but appreciation here.



Let's Go Pens


This was a topshelf post. Looking forward to next year, the Pens will be in the mix as the contenders next year for sure, and they'll have their edge back.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby scpensfan on Tue May 08, 2018 10:57 am

It's kinda crazy to think they could pull off three straight.
It's not at all crazy to think they should have been able to beat the Caps the last two games without Wilson and Backstrom.
Get healthy. Figure out how to not to be a one-line team next postseason.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Mango Salsa on Tue May 08, 2018 10:57 am

As bad as Phil was in the playoffs he was a big part of the reason they made the playoffs at all. He pretty much carried the team through much of a pretty bad regular season.

Ah well, nice try boys. See you next year.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 10:58 am

Mango Salsa wrote:As bad as Phil was in the playoffs he was a big part of the reason they made the playoffs at all. He pretty much carried the team through much of a pretty bad regular season.

Ah well, nice try boys. See you next year.

Until he got hurt at the end of March and than sank us because for some reason he didn’t take a break.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Great58 on Tue May 08, 2018 11:06 am

Penguins could have had their entire roster from last season back and it still might not have mattered. There were dozens, if not more, magical moments in their Cup runs that made them possible. Sheary with the OT winner off the draw in the Finals 2016. Sid's wicked curving OT winner against the Bolts. Rust with his game 7 magic, repeatedly. Kunitz's knuckler to eliminate the Sens. Hornqvist's OT winner through Holtby's five hole. Plays that changed the course of series, but how often can you go to that well? Bonino has one more point this post season than Brassard. He wasn't going to be our savior. More than the player changes, it was a lot of little breaks finally not going our way.

If I'm going to find a point of criticism, it's going to be Sullivan becoming so enamored with Simon that he played him up and down the lineup. He realized the fit wasn't there, but didn't do the logical step. When you have to hide him on line 1 to minimize his damage, it's a problem. I'd have at least tried to put Sheary with Sid and Jake again, and put Sprong in with Brassard. 19 could have shielded some of the defensive responsibilities, and 41 would have potentially injected some offense in a team that only had 1 line scoring by the end.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby LimerickPensFan on Tue May 08, 2018 11:11 am

Simon clicked with Sid for a couple of games during the regular season. I think HCMS was hoping to recatch that.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby no name on Tue May 08, 2018 11:33 am

Sully benching Cole for wanting to play was a big mistake. He has to be the bigger guy and communicate with him and why he made that decision. Not having Cole on our D the remainder of the season really hurt esp.. in the playoffs.

Olesiak is a good find, if he was playing 3rd line minutes with Schultz.
Rudy did well but he is a 7th defenseman on every NHL team.
Not making Kessel sit when he was injured hurt his performance.

Overall I don't think the league wanted us to go for 3 in a row. NHL works to hard to promote parody in the league. repeat winners is not what they are going after. Scheduling and other GMs might of had it out for us.

Ok maybe I am going off the deep end, but that's the way I would like to think of it.

Team only needs tweeked to make it back tot he promise land. Letang to find his form again and a top 4 defenseman.

Overall great year, back to back loved it!!!!
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby BurghThing on Tue May 08, 2018 12:10 pm

no name wrote:Sully benching Cole for wanting to play was a big mistake. He has to be the bigger guy and communicate with him and why he made that decision. Not having Cole on our D the remainder of the season really hurt esp.. in the playoffs.

Olesiak is a good find, if he was playing 3rd line minutes with Schultz.
Rudy did well but he is a 7th defenseman on every NHL team.
Not making Kessel sit when he was injured hurt his performance.

Overall I don't think the league wanted us to go for 3 in a row. NHL works to hard to promote parody in the league. repeat winners is not what they are going after. Scheduling and other GMs might of had it out for us.

Ok maybe I am going off the deep end, but that's the way I would like to think of it.

Team only needs tweeked to make it back tot he promise land. Letang to find his form again and a top 4 defenseman.

Overall great year, back to back loved it!!!!


This league is certainly a parody of a professional sports organization. (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 12:24 pm

Steigey on NHL radio saying he hasn’t heard of any injury to Kessel. So one of two things, a person who should know the situation considering he works for the Pens is correct and Kessel just wasn’t mentally in the game or the Pens have a clueless buffoon employee who doesn’t know what’s going on in the organization.
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