14 million and a new coach buys you....

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14 million and a new coach buys you....

Postby Zscout on Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:04 am

What does 14 million and a new head coach get you?
5 points and one win!

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/penguinslive/s_421337.html

The Penguins had one more win through 55 games this year (12) and five more points than they had through the same number of games in 2003-04.


Thankfully the Penguins tried to shorcut the rebuild process and gave up on Edzo. It has resulted in so much more production.
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going to the games...

Postby penny lane on Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:59 am

I'm trying to save penguin hockey; i'll still attend the games...figure enough people have quit on this team, fans cannot.

Couple years I may or may not be the fool. :shock:


Where is leadership from Craig Patrick? Is the leadership really
all on Sid now?
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Postby Stoosh on Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:18 am

ZScout,

I'll agree with your criticism of some of the money shelled out in free agency, and I agree that they probably used free agency to replace the rebuilding process rather than supplementing it. But there are a few other things that cannot be denied here.

First, this team isn't losing games because the talent isn't there. It's losing games right now because almost all of its integral roles are being played by kids who were in the AHL (or lower) to start the season. They had 11 players in the game last night with fewer than 150 games of NHL experience. That jumps to thirteen if you include the two goalies. The team's best player was playing major junior hockey last year and he turned 18 right before the season started, for crying out loud. I don't care how good he is. When an 18-year old kid is clearly your team's best player, you're probably not going to be winning many games.

Second, this team is in the hole it's in right now partially because of Olczyk's lack of any sort of a disciplined and structured system. It's amazing to me how quickly people have forgotten how disorganized this team looked under Olczyk. I'm not suggesting that it's been perfect under Therrien, because it certainly hasn't. But they're cycling the puck in the offensive zone. They're generally getting much better puck support. They're generating more scoring chances, especially chances off of turnovers. They've almost entirely stopped relying on that ridiculous 100-foot pass to get the puck up the ice, something they did so much under Olczyk that I had to wonder if that was the only breakout strategy Edzo was teaching.

Like I said, I'm not suggesting that things are going great under Therrien, and I'm not even sure he's the guy to take this team through next season. But there's definitely been improvement, especially in some of the more fundamental areas of the game. You can at least watch this team play and detect some structure. Unfortunately, Therrien's probably going to need a full training camp to get this thing implemented. And as I said, I'm not 100% sure he's going to be brought back, depending on how the ownership/GM situations bear out.

My point is this...this isn't like 2003-04 when they were losing games because many of their integral roles were being filled by has-beens or never-will-be's. I think you can count on players like Crosby, Fleury, Whitney, Orpik, Armstrong, Ouellet, Talbot, and Malone to be playing integral roles on this team for the better part of the next three to five years. There's some pedigree and some serious upside there with a lot of those players, something that they didn't have with the 2003-04 crew.
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Postby bse on Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:37 am

Oh lord, we still see people defending Edzo. After Craig Patrick, he's one of the biggest reasons the Penguins are as pathetic as they are.
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Postby randy on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:05 pm

the only onus on anyone here is on the following veterans who did little or nothing to keep in game shape during the lockout, all got off to rough starts, and when time came for the franchise to count on them, failed miserably in a big way.

THAT is the main reason. Not coaching, not the management.

Sergei Gonchar
Jocelyn Thibault
Mark Recchi
Mario Lemieux
John LeClair
Ziggy Palffy

Some big names. Its incredible how they all tanked at the same time.
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Postby Stoosh on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:55 pm

Randy, you could throw Orpik and Malone in there as well.

If I remember correctly, neither were allowed to play last year at WB/S during the lockout. Orpik did very little if anything to maintain his game shape during the lockout, at least not on a relatively high competitive level. I think he was skating with Boston College's team for a little while, but that was about it.

Malone went overseas to play but had a miserable time, got hurt, and then I believe came back and trained at St. Cloud State, much the same way Orpik was training.

I think that was the main reason why each of those guys had problems adjusting to the speed of the new game. Both have begun to come around, but it's really a half-season too late. And there are many times that Malone still looks out of shape.
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Postby DelPen on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:57 pm

Actually, if Orpik had signed his 2-way qualifier he could have played in WBS. Him not doing that is the reason management was mad at him this past summer. Malone was too old.
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Postby Hawkeynut on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:57 pm

randy wrote:Sergei Gonchar
Jocelyn Thibault
Mark Recchi
Mario Lemieux
John LeClair
Ziggy Palffy

Some big names. Its incredible how they all tanked at the same time.


Out of that list the only players that have truely tanked are Gonchar and Thibault. I still really like Recchi on this team as I do Leclair. They arent super expensive and really are the team's only trade bait right now. Gonchar is the biggest mistake of them all. Palffy was very good for a very bad team, if he was really injured is anyone's guess. As for Mario, what did you expect from him? he was 40 freakin years old! Thibault was a mistake from day 1. The team didnt really need him, but he came cheap so we really didnt loose anything there.

If you find it ironic that all the veterans of this team "tanked" all at once its because of the coaching at the start of the season. Absolutly no structure in a structure driven league. By the time CP wrighted the ship it was too freakin late, the lack of structure got in the mindsets of the players and now look at what we are left with.

I am hoping that this summer there will be structure amongst the team's upper management that will trickle all the way down. The Senators experienced this exact scenario 10 years ago.. and now look at them.
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Postby bse on Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:09 pm

Stoosh wrote:I think he was skating with Boston College's team for a little while, but that was about it.

Malone went overseas to play but had a miserable time, got hurt, and then I believe came back and trained at St. Cloud State, much the same way Orpik was training.


Correct. Orpik even commented how the level of play was much better at Boston College than the professional leagues of Europe :D

Malone went there to find out. No wonder he had miserable time, since he didn't work back then and he still doesn't.
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Postby Zscout on Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:01 pm

The comparism of the two seasons will be very ugly after the season is over.
In 2003 the team had a strong finish, If I remember correctly, they won 12 out of the last 20 (and tied 3), this team will not.
Does anyone expect this team to eclipse the 20 win mark?
To do so they need to win 8 out of the last 25. Win one out of three?
They have been averaging one win out of every five games.
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Postby Zscout on Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:57 am

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune ... 22474.html

"The way we're going right now, we'll be lucky to have that record we did two years ago," said defenseman Brooks Orpik, who, along with center Ryan Malone, are the only members of this season's team that played on 2003-04 squad. "I don't see any signs of a turnaround yet, unfortunately."

Orpik referred to that team's 10-3-2 spurt to finish the season, one that spawned hope for the next season.
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