Sportsnet columnist says Pens will struggle to make playoffs

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Postby Troy Loney on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:24 am

shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


I'm not sure losing Umberger makes the flyers worse. I think Carter, Richards, and Coburn all improve and the possible return of Gagne could be big for that team. The rags are the big question mark, that was a major roster overhaul. The devils aren't at the same level as the penguins right now so i'd say the flyers are the biggest challenge within the division.
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Postby bhaw on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:28 am

shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


The Devils are always expected to finally have a bad year, but it never happens. As long as Brodeur is playing well, they will be a hard team to play.

How are the Flyers worse? I'd say same or better (because like us, a lot of their guys will improve). They are definitely our toughest division opponent on paper.

Rangers are probably worse but will manage to make a run thanks to Lundqvist. They lost a lot of scoring though. Zherdev is the huge wild card.

Islanders... not a threat but we always manager to lose some games to them that we shouldn't. It's a fact of life.
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Postby bhaw on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:29 am

Troy Loney... LOL... almost identical posts.
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Postby Troy Loney on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:35 am

bhaw wrote:Troy Loney... LOL... almost identical posts.


It must be right then.
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Postby Henry Hank on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:44 am

The Atlantic will still be a quality division but I don't see any of those teams challenging the Pens. The Devils are still very unspectacular. Bringing back past their primes Rolston and Holik won't suddenly bring the Devils back to greatness. Good defense, no offense.

Philly is still very strong offensively - they lose Umberger but probably have Gagne back - but they also still have a below average D and suspect goaltending. They need more balance... they are one of the better teams in the East but getting to the Conference Finals was a fluke for them. Good offense, little defense.

New York is very hard to predict... I can see them missing the playoffs completely or being about as good as they were... which still wasn't good enough. All I know is that Naslund isn't Jagr and Avery was pretty important to them. If Zherdev falls back into his old ways, the Rangers probably won't have enough offense to make the playoffs. Again, good defense but no offense.

Isles are obviously fodder. Everyone can agree on that one.

To me the Pens still remain the only team in the East that's truly pretty well balanced.
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Postby shmenguin on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:10 pm

Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


I'm not sure losing Umberger makes the flyers worse. I think Carter, Richards, and Coburn all improve and the possible return of Gagne could be big for that team. The rags are the big question mark, that was a major roster overhaul. The devils aren't at the same level as the penguins right now so i'd say the flyers are the biggest challenge within the division.


the flyers were already prolific at offense. i don't think getting gagne back will really add that much. and how durable can you really expect him to be?

they're worse overall becasuse the defense was bad last year and will be even worse this year. it's timonen, coburn and 4 stiffs. and coburn ain't exactly a polished, finished product yet. and then you have hatcher who will be worse and whoever they replace smith with will probably be worse than he was (and he wasn't that good to begin with).

it's not the umberger thing that's going to hurt them, it's the lack of ability in their own end.
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Postby Troy Loney on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:22 pm

shmenguin wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


I'm not sure losing Umberger makes the flyers worse. I think Carter, Richards, and Coburn all improve and the possible return of Gagne could be big for that team. The rags are the big question mark, that was a major roster overhaul. The devils aren't at the same level as the penguins right now so i'd say the flyers are the biggest challenge within the division.


the flyers were already prolific at offense. i don't think getting gagne back will really add that much. and how durable can you really expect him to be?

they're worse overall becasuse the defense was bad last year and will be even worse this year. it's timonen, coburn and 4 stiffs. and coburn ain't exactly a polished, finished product yet. and then you have hatcher who will be worse and whoever they replace smith with will probably be worse than he was (and he wasn't that good to begin with).

it's not the umberger thing that's going to hurt them, it's the lack of ability in their own end.


Who else did they lose on defense besides jason smith?
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Postby shmenguin on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:09 pm

Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


I'm not sure losing Umberger makes the flyers worse. I think Carter, Richards, and Coburn all improve and the possible return of Gagne could be big for that team. The rags are the big question mark, that was a major roster overhaul. The devils aren't at the same level as the penguins right now so i'd say the flyers are the biggest challenge within the division.


the flyers were already prolific at offense. i don't think getting gagne back will really add that much. and how durable can you really expect him to be?

they're worse overall becasuse the defense was bad last year and will be even worse this year. it's timonen, coburn and 4 stiffs. and coburn ain't exactly a polished, finished product yet. and then you have hatcher who will be worse and whoever they replace smith with will probably be worse than he was (and he wasn't that good to begin with).

it's not the umberger thing that's going to hurt them, it's the lack of ability in their own end.


Who else did they lose on defense besides jason smith?


a year of hatcher's life.

and another thing about gagne...prospal's projected points with the flyers for a full season would have been around 64 points. gagne might do better, but not by a lot. so i don't think the offense has really improved much at all.

for the record, i'm not a "flyers suck" type of a person. i think the flyers will still be good, i just don't think they'll be as good as they were this year. it's not a huge difference, but technically, i think they'll be "worse".
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Postby Defence21 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:43 pm

shmenguin wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
shmenguin wrote:
PenguinHockeyFanatic wrote:
The Devils will still be very good.


the devils were very good last year? :shock:


...the flyers are worse. the rags are, at best, the same, the devils are going nowhere with those players and the islanders are the islanders.

the division is still ours for a lot of reasons


I'm not sure losing Umberger makes the flyers worse. I think Carter, Richards, and Coburn all improve and the possible return of Gagne could be big for that team. The rags are the big question mark, that was a major roster overhaul. The devils aren't at the same level as the penguins right now so i'd say the flyers are the biggest challenge within the division.


the flyers were already prolific at offense. i don't think getting gagne back will really add that much. and how durable can you really expect him to be?

they're worse overall becasuse the defense was bad last year and will be even worse this year. it's timonen, coburn and 4 stiffs. and coburn ain't exactly a polished, finished product yet. and then you have hatcher who will be worse and whoever they replace smith with will probably be worse than he was (and he wasn't that good to begin with).

it's not the umberger thing that's going to hurt them, it's the lack of ability in their own end.


Who else did they lose on defense besides jason smith?


a year of hatcher's life.

and another thing about gagne...prospal's projected points with the flyers for a full season would have been around 64 points. gagne might do better, but not by a lot. so i don't think the offense has really improved much at all.

for the record, i'm not a "flyers suck" type of a person. i think the flyers will still be good, i just don't think they'll be as good as they were this year. it's not a huge difference, but technically, i think they'll be "worse".

Saying "prospal's projected points with the flyers for a full season would have been around 64 points. gagne might do better, but not by a lot" is exactly like saying "Hossa's projected points with the Penguins for a full season would have been around ___ points. Satan might do better, but not by a lot." The fact is, the Flyers added Prospal late as a rental, just as the Penguins added Hossa late as a rental. Any players brought in this season can't be compared to last year's regular season because rental players are brought in for playoffs.

I'm not sure if what I said makes any sense at all, but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year. Losing Prospal and replacing him with Gagne for this regular season is automatically an improvement, because Prospal wasn't on the team for last year's regular season -- when the Flyers made the playoffs.
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Postby Pitts on Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:50 pm

Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.
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Postby Defence21 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:04 pm

Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.
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Postby farnham16 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:31 pm

Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.


Gagne is a very talented winger yes, but the guy is always hurt. And who knows if he'll be able to get back to his former self after that concussion.
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Postby Defence21 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:39 pm

farnham16 wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.


Gagne is a very talented winger yes, but the guy is always hurt. And who knows if he'll be able to get back to his former self after that concussion.

The point is, Gagne is not a replacement for Prospal, who arrived when the regular season was near an end. It's the exact same as Satan not being a regular season replacement for Hossa, who came right before the playoffs.
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Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:41 pm

Yeah, Gagne has had 2 seasns where he missed a ton of games, the usual 10 games that he misses is manageable, and will be a huge upgrade over the ~20 games he played this past season.
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Postby DelPen on Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:25 pm

Until the Flyers get a real goalie they don't worry me one bit.

When all is said and done the Caps may be the 2nd best team in the conference, a distant 2nd but 2nd none the less. The Pens are the only elite team in the East this year.
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Postby Pitts on Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:01 pm

Defence21 wrote:
farnham16 wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.


Gagne is a very talented winger yes, but the guy is always hurt. And who knows if he'll be able to get back to his former self after that concussion.

The point is, Gagne is not a replacement for Prospal, who arrived when the regular season was near an end. It's the exact same as Satan not being a regular season replacement for Hossa, who came right before the playoffs.

Prospal was red-hot going down the stretch for the Flyers. He fizzled in the 2nd round. So, I say Prospal was quite responsible for the Flyers making the post season considering they squeaked in in the last few games.
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Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:09 pm

With a ~70 game season from Gagne, they won't need someone to get red hot down the stretch just to get into the playoffs, they should have a 4 seed this year.
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Postby Pitts on Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:46 am

Oh, I'm not saying they will not make the playoffs. I'm just correcting some fallacies about last season. The Flyers really weren't THAT good last season.
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Postby Defence21 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:41 am

Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
farnham16 wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.


Gagne is a very talented winger yes, but the guy is always hurt. And who knows if he'll be able to get back to his former self after that concussion.

The point is, Gagne is not a replacement for Prospal, who arrived when the regular season was near an end. It's the exact same as Satan not being a regular season replacement for Hossa, who came right before the playoffs.

Prospal was red-hot going down the stretch for the Flyers. He fizzled in the 2nd round. So, I say Prospal was quite responsible for the Flyers making the post season considering they squeaked in in the last few games.

I'm not sure I'd call 14 points in 18 games red hot. Regardless, I'm not sure why I am arguing this.
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Postby emptyfriend on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:50 am

DelPen wrote:Until the Flyers get a real goalie they don't worry me one bit.

When all is said and done the Caps may be the 2nd best team in the conference, a distant 2nd but 2nd none the less. The Pens are the only elite team in the East this year.


What about the Habs? I think they're gonna be fired up this season, being their 100th and all.....They're gonna be an elite team in the East.....
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Postby shmenguin on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:17 am

Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
farnham16 wrote:
Defence21 wrote:
Pitts wrote:
Defence21 wrote:but the point is that the Flyers made the playoffs without Prospal and Gagne during the regular season last year.

Bullkuck. The Flyers had 2 months of absolute dream hockey, followed by 2 months of absolutely dreadful hockey. They squeaked into the playoffs in the very last week of the season.

But the fact remains: the Flyers didn't have Prospal/Gagne all season, so adding Gagne, even after losing Prospal, is an upgrade.


Gagne is a very talented winger yes, but the guy is always hurt. And who knows if he'll be able to get back to his former self after that concussion.

The point is, Gagne is not a replacement for Prospal, who arrived when the regular season was near an end. It's the exact same as Satan not being a regular season replacement for Hossa, who came right before the playoffs.

Prospal was red-hot going down the stretch for the Flyers. He fizzled in the 2nd round. So, I say Prospal was quite responsible for the Flyers making the post season considering they squeaked in in the last few games.

I'm not sure I'd call 14 points in 18 games red hot. Regardless, I'm not sure why I am arguing this.


prospal's contribution to the team was comparable to what gagne would have done in that time period. how threatening the flyers were over the first 65 or so games aren't as meaningful as how threatening they were in the playoffs, with prospal playing about as well as gagne would have. that's why i made that comparison. their offense last april was the same as it will be this coming april. it's an apt comparison.
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Postby Pitts on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:42 am

Defence21 wrote:Regardless, I'm not sure why I am arguing this.

Me either. At least we can agree to hate the Flyers and hope they never make the playoffs again regardless of their roster. 8-)
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Postby demangone on Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:52 am

I think it's good for us that we got 2 guys from division rivals and didn't give up any players to division rivals. Hossa/Malone would've cost almost 3 times as much as Satan/Fedo.
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Postby Samsdog on Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:56 pm

I don't see the Penguins not making the playoffs this year. Casting off the obvious Eastern Conference flukes-Florida and Toronto-there still isn't a ton of reason to think that the Pens couldn't win a playoff spot.

New Jersey always makes the playoffs because of Brodeur. However, they're a defense first team without a great defense. Little reason to suspect that they'll win the division, but they eat a playoff spot.

Saths just did what the Rangers have always done, give big contracts to old names on the downswing of their careers, this time Naslund and Redden. Yes, Naslund will be better this year because he's playing on a team not composed of two gifted twins and a collection of warm bodies, but he still isn't going to earn his contract. Redden might end up doing a little better but he not only doesn't produce the same, he just doesn't look the same as he used to. This team didn't improve substantially, so unless their signings have huge rebound years or Lundqvist becomes a wall the like of which this league has rarely seen then I don't think the Rags will be substantially better than the Pens. They'll still hit the top 4.

Islanders/Atlanta/Toronto suck as always.

Tampa Bay looks better but without an elite sniper blueliner to bank shots off Malone's stick he'll drop off this year, and other than that they didn't add anyone of impact. Smith doesn't have much defense to make him better, and he doesn't has a ton of experience to keep him chill. This team is probably still a ticking time bomb, and not the good kind.

Buffalo is a fringe team, time will tell what they'll do but they aren't beating the Pens.

The Flyers might have Gagne back but given his two concussions and the fact that he was rushed back I doubt that he'll ever be the same Gagne again. Umberger was really only a big difference maker against the Pens so losing him isn't devastating, and they still have a decent core of forwards. Defense is not very good, I wouldn't trust it if I were in charge of the team. Biron is streaky at best, and Tittymakki will be warming the bench for years to come. If Briere, Carter, and Richards can carry the team the way they have the potential to do the Flyers might challenge the Pens, but aren't clearly better.

Habs are a wildcard, they'll certainly be in the top 4 though. If Price doesn't choke and Tanguay returns to form they win the East.

Caps will win the Southeast and probably be the only team from that division to make it into the playoffs, the 'Canes look a little worse for wear every year and with Cam Ward in net theres no reason to believe that they'll appear as any sort of threat.

Ottawa is a train wreck and hasn't improved much. One line team with crappy goaltending and no defense if Meszaros doesn't sign, Phillips can't do it all himself.

The point is the East looks pretty weak, I don't see the Pens not claiming a playoff berth. Not to say I expect a conference or even a division title (it's a distinct possibility but by no means a certainty), but there aren't a ton of strong teams vying for playoff spots.
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Postby therock48880 on Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:44 pm

demangone wrote:The only "toughness", and I'm using the term loosely, for Detroit would be Kronwall. He leaves his feet a whole lot and takes a lot of people down, other than that I can't think of anyone on Detroit that's really all that tough. We have Orpik, Cooke, and Godard. Kennnedy will throw down, as will Talbot. Not the toughest two, but they'll stand up for their teammates. I think any of the Pens truly would if push comes to shove. I still wish we would've signed Ruutu, but that's water under the bridge. We're still going to be a tough team to play against.


In terms of fighting, the Wings will have Downey (1 loss last year), McCarty, and occasionally Lilja. In terms of grit and guys that will bang someone for a cheapshot to a star, they have Franzen, Holmstrom, Cleary, Draper, Maltby, and Helm. Franzen was invisible in the finals due to his concussion-like issues (it was actually blood on his brain), Holmstrom played the entire series with a sports hernia (which has been corrected by surgery), Cleary isn't huge but he's as gritty as they come, and Helm is just beginning to realize how good he is. Draper and Maltby are the guys that are willing to do whatever is needed.

And I didn't even mention Kronwall or Stuart who are two of the hardest hitting d-men in the game. Plus, there's a possibility that Ericcson will make the roster and he's huge.

The Wings have plenty of toughness.
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