Some thoughts from the game last night

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Some thoughts from the game last night

Postby Scott on Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:40 am

TV doesnt show everyone all the time, so here are my 2 cents of good ole cash from the arena...

#1) Koltsov is the Pens best Penalty killer. When Koltsov was on the PK,there was not one great shoooting chance from the point.

As bad as the PK has been for almost all the season..why Koltsov hadnt been used much more on the PK is a mystery. His speed WITHOUT the puck is awesome. He can cover both points and pressure the puck faster than any other PEN. Coach;(Our PK sucks and Koltsov does not have the golden hands..but he can fly. No, I will continue with Recchi and Endo on the PK) Its decisions like these that make everyone question MT's ability.

Koltsov was much more active offensivley. He still cant hit the ocean shooting off the pier, but he is shooting and carrying the puck more. Did someone tell him he is allowed to do this, or did he just pick up a big bag of confidence? Either way it was nice to see someone other than Sidney start to back some defensive guys off.

#2
Gonchar is at a point with the fans that he gets no slack. Most of it is not justified. Booing him every time he gets the puck or his name is announced on an assist just shows the fan ignorance. Especially of the game itself. He is playing better than most people think.
He isn't, and never will be that shut down defensman. His defensive play is below average. The negative aside, he still makes great plays with his hands and vision on the attack. Play that few others at the blue line in this league can make. He just gets exposed as we have nobody good to pair with him. :(

#3
Crosby needs another gear. Meaning he needs a lower gear to use at times. Are the coaches afraid to talk to him? If they have told him, does he not listen? Crosby's line could get several scoring chances every period if he would do two things. Stop trying to split the D every other shift, and the other is SLOW DOWN. Crosby is so respected already by the opponent that they back off from him. They actually give him the Jagr red carpet yet he wants to run through them. Jagr could skate up ice as slow as he wants and nobody will challenge him in open ice. Crosby is getting the same treatment. It is there for the taking. Slow down, set it up, turn it on and go hard. He has no mix. It is balls out and skate through the "d" ..ALL THE TIME.

#4
Fluery was not sharp last night. Madden after the game said you could have thrown a paper air plane past him in that game. Over stating just a tad.

He was bad in the shootout. Again! He has looked terrible in every shootout that he was in net. At this point, just put Caron in for the shootout. He is cold but that is ok. Atleast he wont be in a split at the first twitch of the puck.

The ironic thing is the shootout was the only thing T-Bo was good at it.
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Postby Stoosh on Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:07 pm

1. I'm hoping the main reason they say they keep throwing Endicott out there to kill penalties is because he at least gives them a chance to win faceoffs. According to the NHL, he's winning almost 50% of his faceoff (49.7%), so it's not like that's even all that great (although it is one of the better numbers on the team). Other than that, I can't think of one redeeming thing he brings to a PK. It certainly isn't his spakling ability to skate.

2. This constant booing of Gonchar has started to get to me, too. He's got a goal and 15 assists in his last 11 games, including last night's game. This Pens team has won only twice over that span (two wins over the Caps), and over that span he's been a +5. I'm not trying to overvalue his +/- over that span. But if you consider that the Pens have been outscored 47-25 in those nine losses, that's a pretty impressive number. I'd love to see him start hitting the back of the net more, but I'm not going to argue with the assists.

3. I think Crosby will learn to let the game come to him as he matures. You see that same sort of thing with a lot of the great players when they first start out. Right now, it seems he's getting a lot of immediate pressure from the opposition when he touches the puck. They aren't giving him much room to work with. As he matures and finds ways to beat the pressure, opponents will gradually respect his abilities and give him space to set up. It'll also help a lot if they could get a finisher on his line that kind of sees the game at the same speed he sees it.
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Postby Scott on Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:14 pm

Stoosh wrote:
3. I think Crosby will learn to let the game come to him as he matures. You see that same sort of thing with a lot of the great players when they first start out. Right now, it seems he's getting a lot of immediate pressure from the opposition when he touches the puck. They aren't giving him much room to work with. As he matures and finds ways to beat the pressure, opponents will gradually respect his abilities and give him space to set up. It'll also help a lot if they could get a finisher on his line that kind of sees the game at the same speed he sees it.


He gets some early pressure at times, but he often doesn't. When he doesn't he needs to slow it down.

The great ones have had that habit of doing that. Jagr was glaring with that. When he was a rookie, he wanted to skate the puck into the net without shooting.

As evident by his other play, Crosby does have the smarts to recognize this now. Not in a few years.
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Postby BacklashJack on Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:36 pm

Koltsov has been pretty good on PK, but Armstrong has been great, especially Saturday night and last night. The booing of Gonchar shows nothing more than a mob mentality and groupthink. The pass he made across the blueline to Whitney for the game-tying goal last night was nothing short of brilliant and showed tremendous poise and the ability to think the game.
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