Grading Game 63

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Grading Game 63

Postby Mad City Mike on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:15 am

The game known as, “no, we don’t need another defenseman.â€￾

OFFENSE: F. Once again, nothing doing at even strength. The count is now up to 266:51 since the last 5-on-5 goal. Almost stupefying, isn’t it, when you have a team with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, and Staal up front. Unlike the Devil game, they really didn’t generate much offense at all against the Rags. Even Planet Therrien’s, um, mysterious line combinations didn’t do the trick. As one would have expected (unless one’s name was Therrien), the second line was worthless. They did zero all night. Well, what do you expect to happen when you take two worthless wingers and put them with a world class player? The first line had a couple chances here and there, but nothing to write home about. Occasional cycles where they tied the Rangers up in their own end seemed to lead to nothing but Ranger chances the other way. As has been the case the past 5 games, nothing worked the way it’s supposed to.

DEFENSE: D. Way too many good chances for the Rangers, and 2 even strength goals to boot. The defensemen were, as usual, awful. Scuderi scored yet another for the bad guys and was terrible when he wasn’t putting it into his own net. How about that beautiful play where he fell down? Awesome. Melichar played pylon on Nylander’s goal, though it was one Fleury should have had. Now, it looks like Eaton may be down again. That might not be a big loss, considering how horrible he has been lately. But it all adds up to a huge question of why Shero didn’t choose to bolster the defense at the deadline. He cannot honestly have watched these guys play night after night and thought they were capable of leading a team to the playoffs. If he did, he isn’t as smart as we think he is.

POWER PLAY: B-. They did little with the man advantage all night, but potted a PP goal when they really weren’t even trying to, with a unit of Talbot, Roberts, and Armstrong. Great play by Colby to chip it deep and chase it, and a nice wrister by Gonchar. Other than that, the PP was pretty worthless, rarely putting any pressure on Lundqvist.

PENALTY KILL: A. Any time you end up plus on the PK, you’re doing good. Two shorties got them back into the game when it looked like they were dead. The first was the classic Jordy shorty, where makes a move and beats a helpless goalie. And, credit, where it’s due, nice play by Malone to set it up. Then Armstrong took advantage of a huge gaffe by Lundqvist and put a Mario-esque shot off the goalie’s pad and in, from behind the line. Both goals were tremendous individual efforts. They did allow the obligatory power play goal moments after Armstrong’s goal as Whitney played tree in front and did nothing to tie up the great Blair Betts. Well, he did, if you watch the replay closely. If you can read lips, he did say, “um, excuse me, Mr. Betts, would you kindly mind moving away from my goalie?â€￾ Sadly, Betts ignored him.

GOALTENDING: A-. Fleury was brilliant most of the night, and pretty much stole the point. He, by far, faced tougher chances than Lundqvist. He had a few absolutely brilliant saves, most notably the one with the blocker on a rebound. He seems to be back to playing confidently again. That’s two straight very good games since the week off. In this case, Therrien did know what he was doing. I did mark him down a bit for the Nylander goal, as that was one he should have had.

OVERALL: B. Tough to grade this one. They really didn’t play well most of the night. But they got two shorties when they had to have them, and then a PP goal later on. They are living and dying by special teams right now, and in this one, they lived. Trouble looms unless they can straighten out their even strength woes, though. They can consider themselves fortunate to have gained 4 of these last 8 points despite no 5-on-5 scoring at all. Need to fix that, and quick.

Others…

COLBY ARMSTRONG: A. He is playing better and more confidently than he has maybe all season. Two very good plays last night led to goals. It’s maybe time to try him up with Malkin instead of Ouellet.

GARY ROBERTS: A. One word: presence. Boy, he’s got it. And he laid a few crushing hits last night too. Welcome to Pittsburgh, Gary. We’ve been missing this element.

GEORGES LARAQUE: A. Did you catch the play where Elisha Cuthbert’s squeeze was yapping at Orpik? Big Georges comes over and introduces himself. End of Avery’s conversation with Orpik. And Big Georges even had a couple chances in front. I like him. He can actually play.

JAROMIR JAGR: F. Last year, he was the man. This year, he’s back to being a big whiney old baby. Gee, we haven’t seen that before, have we? This guy needs psychological help, and quick.

GOALIE INTERFERENCE ON BETTS: A. Sorry, but that is the right call. Anyone watching the MSG feed got a load of Joe Micheletti saying it wasn’t a penalty. Yes, it is. It is either goalie interference or just plain interference. Call it what you will, you cannot hit the goalie or anyone else when they don’t have the puck. It doesn’t matter if the goalie was in or out of the crease. It was absolutely the right call. See, I praise the striped buffoons when they deserve it.

SIDNEY CROSBY: A. Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago I was begging for him to be benched in the shootout? The key is he has quit thinking and is just going with it.

MICHEL OUELLET AND RYAN MALONE: F. Quite possibly the worst combination of wingers on a top line in the NHL right now. Please, PLEASE, Planet Therrien, break them up, for the sake of all our sanity. I mean, seriously, did anyone even notice them in this game?
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Postby spi on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:22 am

More importantly to your last point there MCM, did anyone notice Geno when he was out there with tweedle DEE and DUM. Those 2 definitely were weighing down Malkin last night which is amazing with how he has been playing lately.
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Postby DelPen on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:23 am

GEORGES LARAQUE: A. Did you catch the play where Elisha Cuthbert’s squeeze was yapping at Orpik? Big Georges comes over and introduces himself. End of Avery’s conversation with Orpik. And Big Georges even had a couple chances in front. I like him. He can actually play.


I liked that too, and the shift after the icing BGL layed a good hit on Avery on the boards. Avery, after that, dropped the cheap stuff. Unfortunately the other side of Avery showed up, the one who actually knows how to play hockey.

We have been missing a big guy for the long time. I really can't remember the last time we had a guy who could knock anyone down and also never get knocked off the puck. Even if Laraque weren't the best fighter in the NHL everything else he brings to the ice was needed by this team.

As for the Suck Twins, MO should not be dressed, he's worthless right now. And Malone still has use on the PK but he should not be on the top lines. Move him back to center between Petro and EC and see what they can do as a 4th/3rd line. Move Army up to Staal anbd Malkin's wing and the 3rd line Would be BGL with Talbot and Ruutu.
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Postby prez41 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:24 am

spi wrote:More importantly to your last point there MCM, did anyone notice Geno when he was out there with tweedle DEE and DUM. Those 2 definitely were weighing down Malkin last night which is amazing with how he has been playing lately.


Playing Malkin with Malone and oulette (sp) is a wate of Malkin's talent.
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Postby Ron` on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:34 am

Good breakdown Mike, though a bit tough on Joe and Scuds from an over the whole game view. I thought they held up ok considering we played only 5 with Eaton down. Oprik was physical too. Lets hope Kiwi has something to add to this group.

Roberts if he can stay healthy will mesh alot better with Sid in a few games. Laraque may become a real force in front here and on the cycle. Notice how he just gets more room than anyone else on the ice? Both of these guys change the attitude of the whole team imo, watch for the hitting to increase even more.
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Postby Ron` on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:35 am

prez41 wrote:
spi wrote:More importantly to your last point there MCM, did anyone notice Geno when he was out there with tweedle DEE and DUM. Those 2 definitely were weighing down Malkin last night which is amazing with how he has been playing lately.


Playing Malkin with Malone and oulette (sp) is a wate of Malkin's talent.
You mean the Malk-Duds line?
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Postby prez41 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:36 am

LOL, yeah Ron. Was it just me, or did it seem anytime that line was on the ice, Malkin would cross the blue line with the puck and then 17 minutes later the other two would show up?
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Postby LdubsRoot23 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:37 am

i'm sorry i think Gonchar's goal while technically a "PP" goal...roberts had just entered the zone and taken two strides....i still see it as a 4-on-4 goal...4 second powerplays don't count haha
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Postby Hawkeynut on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:45 am

I know you don't like giving anything under a C for a win... but this one is definitly a B- that team didnt deserve the win. They weren't hungry for the points. I am sure it's from adding 2 new players to the fold and messing up the lines.

In the end I believe that MT should have subbed Malone out for Roberts on the front line... left the 2nd line alone and put Malone on the 3rd line and added Laraque to the 4th. I believe that would have done the least amount of damage to the team's chemstry. What do I know? I am just a fan. :?
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Re: Grading Game 63

Postby Racer17 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:52 am

Mad City Mike wrote:The game known as, “no, we don’t need another defenseman.â€￾


DEFENSE: D. Way too many good chances for the Rangers, and 2 even strength goals to boot. The defensemen were, as usual, awful. Scuderi scored yet another for the bad guys and was terrible when he wasn’t putting it into his own net. How about that beautiful play where he fell down? Awesome. Melichar played pylon on Nylander’s goal, though it was one Fleury should have had. Now, it looks like Eaton may be down again. That might not be a big loss, considering how horrible he has been lately. But it all adds up to a huge question of why Shero didn’t choose to bolster the defense at the deadline. He cannot honestly have watched these guys play night after night and thought they were capable of leading a team to the playoffs. If he did, he isn’t as smart as we think he is.



MCM,

No offense but your blasting of D is getting old. I'm not suggesting we have the '76 Canadiens here but jeez relax. We played with 5 D-men all game. Not ONE D-man was a minus for the night, with only ONE penalty, and nine shots. Last I checked, doesn't Gonchar play defense? He tied the game with 6 minutes to go, correct?

For the Devils game, you gave them an "A" now you question how RS could even think they're capable of leading a team to the playoffs one night later? HUH? Additionally MCM, they ARE in the playoffs now, so I guess maybe he is correct....
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Postby kirk on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:55 am

DelPen wrote:
GEORGES LARAQUE: A. Did you catch the play where Elisha Cuthbert’s squeeze was yapping at Orpik? Big Georges comes over and introduces himself. End of Avery’s conversation with Orpik. And Big Georges even had a couple chances in front. I like him. He can actually play.


I liked that too, and the shift after the icing BGL layed a good hit on Avery on the boards. Avery, after that, dropped the cheap stuff. Unfortunately the other side of Avery showed up, the one who actually knows how to play hockey.

We have been missing a big guy for the long time. I really can't remember the last time we had a guy who could knock anyone down and also never get knocked off the puck. Even if Laraque weren't the best fighter in the NHL everything else he brings to the ice was needed by this team.

As for the Suck Twins, MO should not be dressed, he's worthless right now. And Malone still has use on the PK but he should not be on the top lines. Move him back to center between Petro and EC and see what they can do as a 4th/3rd line. Move Army up to Staal anbd Malkin's wing and the 3rd line Would be BGL with Talbot and Ruutu.


DelPen, as much as I loathe Ouellet-- and I do-- the problems scoring at even strength go beyond him. Before the team took the ice last night, I proposed Roberts-Sid-Rex and Staal-Malkin-Laraque as the first two lines. But, I noticed two things last night:

First, while Roberts is a noticeable improvement over Malone on Sid's wing, he and Rex, as a combination, aren't right. The only player who can play consistently with Sid is Malkin. We can dance around it as much as we like. We can hope Shero signs a winger in the offseason. But, until then, Sid and Malkin need one another.

Second, I had heard and in a few games seen that Laraque is more than the traditional enforcer. His skating is decent . . . not great, but as good as Ouellet. His defense isn't bad. And, nobody wants anything to do with Big Georges when he has the puck along the boards or behind the net. As Doc Emerick noted a few days ago, Laraque gets so much room and so much respect that you'd "think he has a communicable disease".

After last night, I sincerely hope (but know otherwise) that MT tries these first two lines:

1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

2. Roberts-Staal-Rex: Rex always seems like he plays a more comfortable game with Staal. Roberts would be the perfect compliment on LW. Worrying about players keeping up with one another wouldn't be an issue. And, imagine how much better a player Staal will be for having played with those two.

You know, I'm sure a lot of people will look at that and say WTF. But, atleast the idea is designed to get more at even strength from Sid, Malkin, and Staal and not some line combination designed to sacrifice Malkin and/or Staal at the alter of Malone and Ouellet.

Two quick tidbits from last night-- Kudos to Big Georges being the first guy in the pile after Sid's SO goal. Did anyone else notice the smile on his face? Does anyone else get the impression that he's really glad he waived his NTC and really likes these kids? Also, did anyone else catch Rex give Sid a kiss on the cheek as the team started heading into the dressing room. I do hope Staal sleeps with his guest house door locked.
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Postby Matthew Monstar on Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:56 am

let me just say that I LOVE ROBERTS AND LARAQUE.

Roberts last night showed that he works hard along the boards, He plays physical in your face and he creates a ton of interference in front of the net.

Laraque intimidates people which opens up space and hes good along the boards, big hits, also creates interference in front of the net and He almost scored in front of the net in his 1st game. He has skill.

Love the pickups, they got to feel each other out last night, Tonight I expect more.
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Postby nexguy66 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:01 am

Roberts defensive play last night was non-existent. I hope that he gets more comfortable and and pick up that part of his game. Then he will make a good linemate for Sid. But right now I think Roberts should earn his spot at the top, not get it handed to him. (btw, I hope he does earn it)
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Postby DelPen on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:08 am

nexguy66 wrote:Roberts defensive play last night was non-existent. I hope that he gets more comfortable and and pick up that part of his game. Then he will make a good linemate for Sid. But right now I think Roberts should earn his spot at the top, not get it handed to him. (btw, I hope he does earn it)


Robrtes doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. He just needs a few games to gel with Rex and Sid. After he knows where Sid like to dish the puck to he'll start scoring. Did you see in the 3rd last night that Sid and Roberts came over the blue line and then all of a sudden Roberts crashed the net? The defensemen had to cover him and then Sid had a wide open lane to pass to Whitney, who missed the net. This is an aspect that the offense was missing.
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Re: Grading Game 63

Postby ChinookUT on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:12 am

Mad City Mike wrote:MICHEL OUELLET AND RYAN MALONE: F. Quite possibly the worst combination of wingers on a top line in the NHL right now. Please, PLEASE, Planet Therrien, break them up, for the sake of all our sanity. I mean, seriously, did anyone even notice them in this game?


Normally, Mike, I couldn't care less how you grade anyone on the team. I agree that MO shouldn't be on the 2nd line, but his performance last night was satisfactory compared to most everyone else. Despite being on the "2nd" line, his icetime last night was one of the smallest on the team - 11:20 - and he finished with a respectable statline of 3 shots on goal with no missed shots, and two blocked Ranger shots. He made no glaring mistakes in any zone, and had a decent forecheck going, especially in the 3rd period. All in all - from the perspective of what we should expect from someone on the 2nd line, he had a performance of about a "C" last night.
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Postby DelPen on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:13 am

kirk wrote:1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

2. Roberts-Staal-Rex: Rex always seems like he plays a more comfortable game with Staal. Roberts would be the perfect compliment on LW. Worrying about players keeping up with one another wouldn't be an issue. And, imagine how much better a player Staal will be for having played with those two.



Maybe late in a game you do that when we desperately need a goal but in general there's a few problems.

1. Sid and Malkin need the puck as muhc as possible. Putting them together all the ime now makes that harder.
2. Sid needs a guy who will crash the net. Roberts does this well. Then Rex just comes in for rebounds. That line will be good, they just need some time to gel.
2. Laraque is not a 1st line player. The occasional shift is fine because he can play but he best asset at ES is his ability to kill time opff the clock by just holding the puck behind the other teams net, this allows the top lines to rest.
3. Staal is not ready to carry a line yet and that's what he's have to do with Roberts and Rex. And he certianly can't do it at center. Staal has been most effective with Staal, that lines problems began when MO started playing like complete crap. Get MO off the line and they start to score more, I guaruntee it.

But all that siad, what you proposed is much better than what Therrien did last night with Malone and Ouellet.
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Re: Grading Game 63

Postby DelPen on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:15 am

ChinookUT wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:MICHEL OUELLET AND RYAN MALONE: F. Quite possibly the worst combination of wingers on a top line in the NHL right now. Please, PLEASE, Planet Therrien, break them up, for the sake of all our sanity. I mean, seriously, did anyone even notice them in this game?


Normally, Mike, I couldn't care less how you grade anyone on the team. I agree that MO shouldn't be on the 2nd line, but his performance last night was satisfactory compared to most everyone else. Despite being on the "2nd" line, his icetime last night was one of the smallest on the team - 11:20 - and he finished with a respectable statline of 3 shots on goal with no missed shots, and two blocked Ranger shots. He made no glaring mistakes in any zone, and had a decent forecheck going, especially in the 3rd period. All in all - from the perspective of what we should expect from someone on the 2nd line, he had a performance of about a "C" last night.


There were a few times where MO was about 50 feet behind the play when Malkin puit the puck where he should have been. Granted, it's better than checking Staal or Malkin off the puck and clearing the offesnive zone to lead to a 3-2 but it's still not good enough.
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Re: Grading Game 63

Postby juicebox1 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:17 am

Mad City Mike wrote:GARY ROBERTS: A. One word: presence. Boy, he’s got it. And he laid a few crushing hits last night too. Welcome to Pittsburgh, Gary. We’ve been missing this element.


Him sticking up for Staal early on was excellent. It was great to see him make a difference right away. His hits were great and he seems as though he will end up being an excellent addition to the team.

Mad City Mike wrote:JAROMIR JAGR: F. Last year, he was the man. This year, he’s back to being a big whiney old baby. Gee, we haven’t seen that before, have we? This guy needs psychological help, and quick.


Haha. Jagr and his tucked in jersey. He looks like a fool out there. Like a 50 year old unhip father. Just so awkward looking.

Does anyone else tuck their jersey in anymore?
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Postby joopen on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:18 am

Ok time to come to the defense of our... well defense. First off on the Betts goal, if you watch the replay both Staal and Whitney go to clear the puck at the same time. They happen to catch eachothers sticks working as effective interference on eachother. This is why Betts scored. It was not b/c Whitney was staring off into space or not doing his job. Secondly, when Scuderi fell last nigh he caught an edge or hit a rut in the ice. That happens. It didn't hurt us and it didn't lead to a goal so deal with it, it happens. Other than the fluky bounce Scuderi actually played a good game. He does very good stick work and typically cuts off the passing lanes very effectively. Melichar looked like a 3rd grader on the Nylander goal so you can't really defend him on that. Let me put in a word for Jagr too, he has been playing all year with a shoulder injury so that helps to contribute to his ineffectiveness.
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Postby Southern Fan on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:19 am

After last night, I sincerely hope (but know otherwise) that MT tries these first two lines:

1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

That's not a bad idea. When Sid is slumping its because he's playing too much defense and his entire 45 second shift is spent getting the puck out of his own zone. It happened last night several times. With GL keeping the pick low , that would generate a lot more scoring chances for the top line. Also Sid won't be throwing the puck out in the slot where the only players are the opposition waiting for the 3 on 2 counterattack on our vaunted defense.
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Postby Admin on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:21 am

Ron` wrote:
prez41 wrote:Playing Malkin with Malone and oulette (sp) is a wate of Malkin's talent.
You mean the Malk-Duds line?

Nice, Ron`! :lol:
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Postby TheHammer24 on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:25 am

Southern Fan wrote:After last night, I sincerely hope (but know otherwise) that MT tries these first two lines:

1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

That's not a bad idea. When Sid is slumping its because he's playing too much defense and his entire 45 second shift is spent getting the puck out of his own zone. It happened last night several times. With GL keeping the pick low , that would generate a lot more scoring chances for the top line. Also Sid won't be throwing the puck out in the slot where the only players are the opposition waiting for the 3 on 2 counterattack on our vaunted defense.


That's a joke. Laraque won't play first line, and shouldn't even be considered.
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Postby kirk on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:29 am

DelPen wrote:
kirk wrote:1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

2. Roberts-Staal-Rex: Rex always seems like he plays a more comfortable game with Staal. Roberts would be the perfect compliment on LW. Worrying about players keeping up with one another wouldn't be an issue. And, imagine how much better a player Staal will be for having played with those two.



Maybe late in a game you do that when we desperately need a goal but in general there's a few problems.

1. Sid and Malkin need the puck as muhc as possible. Putting them together all the ime now makes that harder.
2. Sid needs a guy who will crash the net. Roberts does this well. Then Rex just comes in for rebounds. That line will be good, they just need some time to gel.
2. Laraque is not a 1st line player. The occasional shift is fine because he can play but he best asset at ES is his ability to kill time opff the clock by just holding the puck behind the other teams net, this allows the top lines to rest.
3. Staal is not ready to carry a line yet and that's what he's have to do with Roberts and Rex. And he certianly can't do it at center. Staal has been most effective with Staal, that lines problems began when MO started playing like complete crap. Get MO off the line and they start to score more, I guaruntee it.

But all that siad, what you proposed is much better than what Therrien did last night with Malone and Ouellet.


Well, my first thought, before the game, was Roberts-Sid-Rex followed by Staal-Malkin-Laraque. I too think the first line just needs a few games for Roberts to adapt to what Sid and Rex do. But, I really think Laraque would be a godsend on the right of Staal and Malkin. By the way, when they're together, Staal and Malkin usually play something like 11-14 minutes at even strength. Laraque played a little over 10 minutes last night in his first game and did not look out of place. Anyone who watched the liberties Ortmeyer and Orr were taking last night with Malkin and Staal and anyone who watched what Laraque did well would know why it's worth a try.

For my part, I always saw the flaw of Staal-Malkin-Ouellet as being Ouellet, not Ouellet as a player per se but how he meshed with them. Ouellet isn't good along the boards, and he's not too good in the cycle. With Ouellet, Staal had to be the guy in there tying up defenders first, Malkin had to be his first avenue of support, and Ouellet was there complimenting the cycle and working the middle of the ice for shooting position. With Laraque, you'd have him being the guy tying things up along the boards, Staal supporting him in battles along the boards and in the cycle, and Malkin then working where he can do his most damage-- complimenting the cycle and working the middle of the ice. Is Laraque a slower skater than Ouellet? Does Laraque have worse hands in tight quarters? Is he a bigger liability defensively? Given that MT rolls four lines and plays the second line 11-14 minutes a night on average, I did think that how Laraque compliment Malkin and Staal offered a better alternative to a line based upon how Malkin and Staal compliment Ouellet. But, then, I, unlike the coach, tend to value Malkin and Staal now and in the future more than Ouellet.
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Re: Grading Game 63

Postby Daniel on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:31 am

Mad City Mike wrote:GOALTENDING: A-. I did mark him down a bit for the Nylander goal, as that was one he should have had.


I have two issues with your post. First, the offense wasn't an F, since they did generate pretty good scoring chances. I can see why you gave them an F, since the 5 on 5 has been blanked lately, but they are showing signs of coming out of it.

The main issue is the above quote. You would give 100% credit for a Pen if he scored the way Nylander did, yet drop Fleury down for not making the save? It isn't always about how the Pens play.

That was an awesome shot that few goalies would have stopped. That goal in no way should have brought Fleury down from an A at all.
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Postby kirk on Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:32 am

TheHammer24 wrote:
Southern Fan wrote:After last night, I sincerely hope (but know otherwise) that MT tries these first two lines:

1. Malkin-Sid-Laraque: Where Sid and Malkin have issues with Rex-- sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and getting beaten up-- are the two areas where Laraque would help. Do you see Hatcher being as quick to take his cheap shots knowing Laraque is on the ice and two feet away? Yes, Sid and Malkin may come in at 2 on 3 sometimes, but they also will have a safety valve if they get into trouble playing puck possession in the offensive zone-- give it to Georges, let two defenders try to take the puck from him, and go in and get it back while Georges has two guys tied up.

That's not a bad idea. When Sid is slumping its because he's playing too much defense and his entire 45 second shift is spent getting the puck out of his own zone. It happened last night several times. With GL keeping the pick low , that would generate a lot more scoring chances for the top line. Also Sid won't be throwing the puck out in the slot where the only players are the opposition waiting for the 3 on 2 counterattack on our vaunted defense.


That's a joke. Laraque won't play first line, and shouldn't even be considered.


Well, then, it's been a season long comedy with Malone and Ouellet.

DelPen, with respect to my original thought of Staal-Malkin-Laraque as a second line, I did notice that MO played a little over 11 minutes between ES and PP, so the minutes a second line RW on the Pens gets are not overwhelming.
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