2018 Penguins Postmortem

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2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Mon May 07, 2018 9:48 pm

Air your grievances her no matter how absurd or in the heat of the moment. I'm sure things will be better come October but there's a lot of second guessing that can be had right now so let it all flow .
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby lemieuxReturns on Mon May 07, 2018 9:52 pm

Ottawa ripped us off so bad regarding big game brass
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Mon May 07, 2018 9:53 pm

lemieuxReturns wrote:Ottawa ripped us off so bad regarding big game brass


But poor Vegas for paying him next year too.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Tonythepenguin on Mon May 07, 2018 10:20 pm

It's the off-season of what could have been ..
what could have been if the Penguins kept fleury and not Murray... what could have been if brassard and moose knuckle decided to play with everybody else what would have happened if Kessel wasn't hurt probably at some point in the Flyers series what would have happened if Zar did not get hurt, what would have happened if the power play was just a bit more automatic and what would have been if Jake The Snake kept on producing like he did last postseason
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Tonythepenguin on Mon May 07, 2018 10:25 pm

I am very appreciative of the last 2 seasons and everybody should be because of the leadership they showed the ability to play with and against adversity and you can't forget about the two championships back-to-back since 1998...
... the Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 85 and then 87 and 88. THE POINT IS this was just a small set back a off-year if you will even the great team Edmonton had showed it because in 86 they lost after going back to back winning and then back to back championships the next 2 years
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Durbano on Mon May 07, 2018 10:26 pm

No grievances but definitely some second-guessing. Actually it's first-guessing, as I was concerned about the Brassard trade when it happened. The Pens were really rolling at that time; I think Rutherford screwed up the chemistry, Brassard never really meshed, and the results include a second-round exit.

Obviously that's not the only reason they lost, but I had a 1993 (Errey for Ramsey) feeling when the trade was made. Just wasn't necessary.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby lemieuxReturns on Mon May 07, 2018 10:31 pm

Tonythepenguin wrote:I am very appreciative of the last 2 seasons and everybody should be because of the leadership they showed the ability to play with and against adversity and you can't forget about the two championships back-to-back since 1998...
... the Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 85 and then 87 and 88. THE POINT IS this was just a small set back a off-year if you will even the great team Edmonton had showed it because in 86 they lost after going back to back winning and then back to back championships the next 2 years


I hope so bud.
I like that attitude.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Malkintent on Mon May 07, 2018 10:36 pm

Tonythepenguin wrote:It's the off-season of what could have been ..
what could have been if the Penguins kept fleury and not Murray... what could have been if brassard and moose knuckle decided to play with everybody else what would have happened if Kessel wasn't hurt probably at some point in the Flyers series what would have happened if Zar did not get hurt, what would have happened if the power play was just a bit more automatic and what would have been if Jake The Snake kept on producing like he did last postseason

Jake did produce and Kessel's been hurt since February.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby wondermoose on Mon May 07, 2018 10:40 pm

Meh, giving up Cole for Brassard was the smart move even if it didn't work out. Can't blame any of the depth defensemen for what happened anyway so you can't really say Cole would have helped. There's Letang and Murray as the lone standouts of healthy-but-bad and then there is Malkin and Phil who were both obviously injured (throw Brass in here too because he was a huge question mark for Game 1 against Philly). This team just got worn down and got stuck relying on the wrong players. It happens.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby battleship kelly on Mon May 07, 2018 10:44 pm

horrible trade, the above poster had it right,playing best hockey before the trade. Cole turned it up the two clutch runs,but, Sully didn't like him. Reaves could have scored zero goals like all the third and fourth liners. Letang giveth and taketh equally, gotta go. Kessel was flying against the flyers, had to get hurt, needed more from Malkin,maybe he was hurt too. Bonino and Cullen were great third and fourth line centers.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Zalapski33 on Mon May 07, 2018 11:20 pm

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
Last edited by Zalapski33 on Mon May 07, 2018 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby FLPensFan on Mon May 07, 2018 11:39 pm

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.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Daniel on Tue May 08, 2018 12:13 am

FLPensFan wrote:- 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.


Fantastic analysis and I would like to add something to this. I think the key to this is Brassard. If he's playing well, two of Sheary, Rust, Hagelin score more. Kessel was just hurt, so I would put an * next to him.

Sheahan and Kuhnhackl, as far as I'm concerned, should be 4th line energy guys and just work to wear down the other team. I would love if either of them scored during the playoffs, but any goal from them would be a bonus. Just playing good defense and wearing down the opposition every shift would be good enough if the rest of the team plays to their potential.

Left out Simon, because if he's the best the Pens have to offer as a starting forward, they'll likely be out in the 2nd round next year. Unless he greatly improves.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Fast B on Tue May 08, 2018 12:25 am

Disappointing to lose to the Caps of all teams, but it's been a hell of a run. I look forward to next year; hopefully some of the guys will be healthy.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby FallenHero96 on Tue May 08, 2018 3:23 am

My thoughts:

"3elive" on Pens twitter was dumb. Don't spell words with numbers, you are not cool or funny you are an idiot. It's just stupid.

I don't know about yins, but I kind of felt that the Penguins luck against the Capitals was bound to run out, and this playoff series felt like it was time, right from the beginning.

Murray is a very skinny goalie, and that will be harder for him to overcome as time goes on. Pucks will sometimes squeeze through, and we seen that a few times.

Brassard did not produce as much as we hoped. But just like it wasn't Nick Bonino's fault if we lost, it wasn't Brassard's. He was just one of many that didn't have a big impact.

I think Simon is overrated by this coaching staff....he is a 5-10 goal guy, he should not be on a first line. Decent 3rd or 4th line guy but he was asked to perform way above his pay grade and he did not deliver. Not surprised.

Don't have a lot if lineup options because we need players that can kill penalties, which Sprong and others don't do. So we see Kuhn every night because we have no choice. Maybe this changes next year. I hope.

Letang. Ugh. Do they trade him? Sheahan (RFA) might not be back either.

Time to root for Fleury and the Golden Knights. - Even if Murray never wins another NHL game, it was the right move to keep him and trade Fleury. At that point in time, Murray was a cup winner, younger, cheaper, and we needed the cap space. I think it's what every NHL GM would have done.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 5:06 am

If you had told me last June that Fleury would be playing hockey still after the Pens were eliminated I’d have laughed.

If you had told me that in November I’d have agreed.

If you told me that in February I’d have laughed again.

Crazy season.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Lesky on Tue May 08, 2018 5:09 am

Well, it was not Murrays fault the Pens could not break out of their own zone in a simple manner during the 3rd period and OT. The Pens also repeatedly refused to get the puck deep and work on the Caps in their zone, instead turning the puck over at center ice, which ultimately lead to the OT goal.

I would have hoped a back to back champions team would understand the basic concept of getting the puck into Caps zone and work from there. They certainly did that vs Tampa 2016 for example. Yesterday it was brainless play after brainless play.

I assume the Pens were so mentally and physically exhausted they forgot everything? The Pens looked outmatched physically by the Caps, the Caps had much more energy all over the ice. I am not sure why that is. The Caps played like 4 or 5 OT games vs Columbus.
---
In the playoff and especially in OT, simple plays and no mistakes RULE. The Pens played like the had never played an OT game before.

A joke to give the caps best stud multiple breakaways. That is on Letang mostly though.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Lesky on Tue May 08, 2018 5:14 am

The only excuse for Letang is that it seems he fought a hard battle just to make it to the start of the season in playable condition. I assume that he was not physically as ready as if he had not been injured. Which could explain why he has been loosing so incredible many 1 on 1 battles this season. I just pray he can return in better shape next season....
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 5:15 am

Yup, Caps smartly played the waiting game until we made the inevitable mistakes and they capitalized on most of them. I’ve never seen that many unforced errors in a playoff series.

I’m past being upset and now just disappointed, so many mistakes and sloppy play taking away chances to win games. It was across the entire roster at times, some people worse than others. The amount of hockey most of these guys played in two Cup runs and the World Cup, it was like Montreal in 2010. Pens might have been the better team but just couldn’t execute.

This also shows how terrible Philly was and how close the Jackets are to being top of the division.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Lesky on Tue May 08, 2018 5:19 am

Hope Kessel has off-season surgery to repair at least one or two major issues. If he was not seriously injured, he just ran out of gas competely. I have a feeling Kessel dreaded each game more and more maybe even feel a little relief to not go the next round.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Weegie on Tue May 08, 2018 6:10 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

This sums up just about all my thoughts completely, the players mentioned were the "glue" guys that held the team together last season and the new additions didn't do it as well and some other players just didn't produce with goals like they did in the past and the defense and at times goalie was exposed. But they were fatigued both mentally and physically, they had great heart but played way too much hockey these last two years, but it was great to see them have the chance for a threepeat and now we see why no one has done it in 36 years!

And if Kuhnackl's shot in overtime was just 3 inches to the right we'd STILL be here talking about it!

"LET'S GO PENS!!!!!!!" Take a well deserved and needed rest now boys and we'll get after it next season!
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 6:13 am

Silver lining #1, no awkward parade with Steigy and his cringey comments.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Wyopen on Tue May 08, 2018 6:14 am

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?
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby DelPen on Tue May 08, 2018 6:21 am

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.
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Re: 2018 Penguins Postmortem

Postby Southern Fan on Tue May 08, 2018 6:26 am

In game strategy this year- the defensive pinch. Odd man breaks didn’t start in April.

Off season Rutherford trades were a bust. As good as he is at trade deadline, he was bad pre season. Ignoring the fourth line and third line center problem. Instead getting Hunwick and Niemi and trading for Reaves for a problem that is slowly going away. Can’t blame him for Fleury. There are a ton of general managers watching their cast offs succeed

Ray Shero. Overpayments and no movement clauses.

The NHL and it’s playoff format. Tired of playing these morons from DC. I’ll give them a pass on the Vegas draft. The team payed half a billion for their team

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
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