The Penguins might have one out on this one... (Letang..)

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The Penguins might have one out on this one... (Letang..)

Postby Jesse on Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:41 pm

Luc Bourdon left Val d'Or and Kris Letang has wasted no time in establishing himself as the new leader on Defense. Bourdon has suffered all kinds of misfortune this year and now Val d'Or's ex-golden boy is playing Moncton.

Letang torched the QMJHL. In 58 games, Letang had 67 pts for the Foreurs (24+43). 12 of his 24 goals came on the PP.

That's 35 pts. more than he had last year at Val d'Or in 12 less games.

He's a plus 4 on a rather shabby V'd team that lost a lot of firepower and defensive help. He's 10 pts behind Sersen with 2 games less played, and Sersen was supposedly light-years ahead of him.

His shot total was second in the league among defensemen with 273, one behind star defenseman Keith Yandal.

273 shots as a defenseman! Forwards in the Q are averaging 300.

His PIM is up a bit, but that's obviously indicative of a new physical edge he's playing with now that Bourdon has left.

This kid was amazing in camp. He's outshined a maligned Bourdon this year and has taken the reigns as one of the best defenseman in the QMJHL.

Props to the Pens' here, I'd like to see what happens with Letang next season. I'm expecting a year in WB/S, but if he shows up at camp like he did this year again, he might be looking at a rookie season. Although, that's probably wishful thinking on my part.
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Postby superconan on Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:49 pm

He played well in the World Jr's as well. Hard to say if he could make the team next year with Welch and maybe Lannon a ahead of him.

Though you never hear of a player spending to much time in the AHL, but hear of a lot of players not spending enough time in the AHL.
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Postby Stoosh on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:00 pm

If he has anything remotely close to the camp he had this past fall, he's going to make it very tough for the team to cut him. That, of course, is assuming that Craig Patrick's Officially Predetermined List of Who Stays and Who Goes finds its way up to Boston or maybe the Siberian Elite League.

What impressed me just as much about Letang was his physical play along the boards. For a guy who I expected to be just a finesse-type defenseman, I can't believe how physical this kid was.

People really talked up Luc Bourdon, too. So if he's putting up comparable numbers,....hmmmm.
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at training camp

Postby penny lane on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:01 pm

Kris Letang impressed me from the moment I saw him flying
around the ice at the pens training camp in september. I had
zero idea about who he was at the time. He seems to be the type
of defenseman needed & who will do well in new NHL. ~said
with fingers-crossed. :wink:
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Postby netwolf on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:02 pm

And his name translates to "The Tang." Did you know that? :wink:

LGP press box in full effect, yo! :lol:
Last edited by netwolf on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:03 pm

I saw Letang play ~ 10 games this year with the WJC and Q/Rus challenge. He definitely has the goods IMO to be a #1/#2 type in the NHL.

He was just as physical and effective defensively IMO as Parent & Staal at the WJC. In the Q/Rus challenge the PP was set up to feed him the puck for one timer blasts. That is probably where he picks up the majority of his shots in the Q.

I don't know if I would rush this guy to the NHL. The way the Pens D is so bad right now it probably isn't the right support system to give to a young guy for his first pro hockey experience.
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Postby Jesse on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:05 pm

Stoosh wrote:People really talked up Luc Bourdon, too. So if he's putting up comparable numbers,....hmmmm.


Bourdon istarted to get back on track with his new team, but it was obvious that after Kris took off there was no need for Luc to stay in Val d'Or any longer and be unhappy. At least that's the story as I understand it.

I've never seen a player become a training camp legend like this, but virtually all eyes were on him. He was going head to head with the Crosby-Recchi-LeClair line that had put up a zillion points the game before and shut them down without breaking a sweat and all while chewing on his mouthpiece.
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Postby netwolf on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:08 pm

I've only seen him in camp and he acquitted himself very well there. How big is he? I don't recall him being overly big or small, but it's one thing to be physical against other kids the same age at WJCs or against NHLers in a camp environment, but the NHL regular season is a different animal.

Does he have the size to keep that physical element in his game against opposing NHL players and not get worn down?
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Postby Jesse on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:11 pm

netwolf wrote:I've only seen him in camp and he acquitted himself very well there. How big is he? I don't recall him being overly big or small, but it's one thing to be physical against other kids the same age at WJCs or against NHLers in a camp environment, but the NHL regular season is a different animal.

Does he have the size to keep that physical element in his game against opposing NHL players and not get worn down?


He's listed at 6'0 and 190. Unless he grew 2 inches this year, that 6'0 mark is wrong. He was staring up at everyone in September.

Letang is getting fiesty and dishing it out a bit this year, I'm not sure he'll be able to go head to head with some of the monsters in the east, but his stick and hands are so lightning fast that he'll either create a ton of turnovers or push everyone outside.

They might be able to knock him around, but you can't score if you can't keep the puck.
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Postby Jesse on Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:12 pm

netwolf wrote:And his name translates to "The Tang." Did you know that? :wink:

LGP press box in full effect, yo! :lol:


Bringin love for Letang

and for Bonvie the Pain!
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Postby Stoosh on Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:54 pm

If he's in the 5'10" - 6'0", 190lb. range, then he's a "big" 5'10"-ish, 190. He looks like he's got the frame to maybe grow another inch or two and probably put on another 10-15 lbs.

I've seen a lot of junior-level hockey over the last nine years or so...almost all of it has been at the OHL level with the Otters in Erie. I've seen well-rounded defensemen like Carlo Colaiacovo, Chris Campoli, Steve Eminger, Rostislav Klesla, Tim Gleason and Boris Valabik. I can honestly say I've never seen a junior-age defenseman play the way Letang played when I was at camp this past preseason.

I hate to talk him up too much, but this kid has a skill set and a game that I've never really seen from any of the other young Pens' d-men. His hands are just as good as Eminger's or Klesla's...as good as I've seen from any player at that stage of his career. He's a very smooth skater. He's got a calm demeanor and didn't look the slightest bit overwhelmed. And he plays like a pit bull along the boards...that's the best way I can describe his physical game. It's a physical style that's awfully similar to Crosby...you don't think he'd be able to dish it out because he is smaller, but he's also incredibly compact.

Like I said, I hate to talk him up, and I have no idea exactly how he's going to progress. But I had to like what I saw early on from him, and I don't recall the last time the Pens had a player like this.
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