The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby sil on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:43 pm

All this talk about Brooks easily being replaced right now (a la at the trade deadline) is a tad perplexing...and that Maatta has "already replaced him"? How exactly has that happened? Brooks isn't playing bottom pairing minutes right now...he one of our top-4.

Right now Brooks is #3 on the pens D in terms of TOI per game...behind only Martin and Letang...and just ahead of Niskanen. He will not be traded at the deadline. Period. I'll eat my (Lemieux knit hat from the charity bag) if Shero does it.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby RxBandit66 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:48 pm

columbia wrote:
RxBandit66 wrote:With an insane amount of depth on D it would be foolish to play any of the veterans even if they are slightly fatigued, beat up, or injured. Especially with a ridiculous division lead.


Independent of Orpik, this never seems to happen in hockey.
It's not like it bothers me or anything, but it's always seemed that players/teams could benefit from resting everyone over the course of season.


Yeah, the players union would probably whine about it if guys are not in the lineup and healthy. But the years when the Pens won the Cup, their stars had rest at various points during that season or the previous season, usually via injury. Case in point, Mario missed most of the 1990 season, then had his two best playoffs the two seasons that followed. Crosby missed a large portion of the 2008 season with that ankle sprain. MAF and Gonchar missed significant time in 2008 and 2009. The Pens went to the finals both years.

My point is, when players are rested for the playoffs, they typically perform better. I still maintain that if last year were a full season, the Pens would have defeated Boston, given how rested Sid, Geno, and Letang were having missed so many games over the past few seasons. Instead, the shortened schedule benefited older, slower guys like Chara. If Boston had played all those postseason games the years prior and then had to put in a full regular season, they likely would have been gassed, as the Pens were in 2010 after two long playoff runs plus Olympics prior to the 2010 postseason.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Gaucho on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:07 pm

The idea that serious injuries could be beneficial to a player's performance is bizarre. Coming back from a serious injury is probably harder on the body (and mind) than practicing and playing games. Being injured doesn't mean you're "resting".
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby DropEmJayBird on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:09 pm

Not sure where I heard/read it, but Crosby said that the Penguins were exhausted during the Montreal series... and that if they had won that series, he doesn't think they would have won the next one.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Pens4Life on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:28 pm

Great realistic article.. My opinion is - that we should let Orpik go in offseason and play the younger guys on D.. But sadly Shero will probably re-sign him.. Im among those who would rather see LEtang and Orpik go,than Bortuzzo and Despres or Niskanen.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby headh on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:21 pm

sil wrote:All this talk about Brooks easily being replaced right now (a la at the trade deadline) is a tad perplexing...and that Maatta has "already replaced him"? How exactly has that happened? Brooks isn't playing bottom pairing minutes right now...he one of our top-4.

Right now Brooks is #3 on the pens D in terms of TOI per game...behind only Martin and Letang...and just ahead of Niskanen. He will not be traded at the deadline. Period. I'll eat my (Lemieux knit hat from the charity bag) if Shero does it.



I think most people think that Martin, Niskanen, OM and Letang are all better and should be playing top 4 minutes. It's not that he'd be easily replaced it's that we'd IMPROVE without him fumbling around out there.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby RxBandit66 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:32 pm

Gaucho wrote:The idea that serious injuries could be beneficial to a player's performance is bizarre. Coming back from a serious injury is probably harder on the body (and mind) than practicing and playing games. Being injured doesn't mean you're "resting".


Malkin looked like superman in 2012 after coming back with that bionic knee. He looked rested and motivated, whereas in 2011, after two long playoff runs and the Olympics, he looked tired. I'm not saying it helps their development, but there is no question playing 50 games in a season as opposed to 100 produces much less of a physical toll. Oddly, Geno's goal production has dipped back to 2010-2011 levels since then (just 30 goals in 92 games since the magical 2012 season in which he scored 50 in 75).

I guarantee that Bennett, Conner, Vitale, Sill, and Letang will be well rested in comparison to all these Olympic players who, with the playoffs included, are basically playing the equivalent of two full seasons within one calendar year. My initial point is that it's a lot for a 33 year old Orpik to handle.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Jim on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:50 pm

RxBandit66 wrote:My initial point is that it's a lot for a 33 year old Orpik to handle.


... as is an opposing forward that isn't standing still.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Pitt87 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 pm

burghsportsguys wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:
burghsportsguys wrote:
Jim wrote:Pens Cup years: 1991 traded Zalapski, won the Cup. 1992 traded Coffey, won the Cup. 2009 traded Whitney, won the Cup.


Not true, I read on the internet that contending teams do not trade defensemen. Your facts are no match for statements made on the interwebs.


That's a bit revisionist... In 92, the Pens were on the brink of not making the playoffs when they moved Coffey. In 91, they traded Zalapski -- who was 22 at the time -- and two others for Ron Francis, who is in the HOF, and Ulf. Hardly a 'get rid of him' situation. And Ryan Whitney was 26 when he was traded in 2009... and terrible.


You said "a contender does not trade a veteran defenseman in-season" - that's an exact quote.

In 1991, Zalapski was in his 3rd full season and an up-and-coming star (he had 48 points in 66 games when he was dealt).
In 1992, the Pens were in a rough patch and looking to shake things up, but they were absolutely a contender - you may remember that they won their last 11 games in the playoffs that year.
In 2009, I knew Whitney was terrible, but many loved him and considered him an immovable part of the "core", which was laughable.

Here's the FACT. Three times the Pens were contending, and three times they moved a veteran defenseman. Who they got in return is irrelevant. For all we know, they will deal a vet d-man for another d-man at this deadline (like the Coffey deal that brought Kjell or the ZZ deal that brought Ulf). The FACT is that contending teams do make in-season deals involving verteran defensemen. It cannot be argued.

Pitt87 wrote:But, like you said, Trade Orpik and we win the cup I guess. /Interwebz...

This is when you know you've lost it... strawman city, baby.

I NEVER said that. Just nut up to the fact that you are wrong, there's no need to invent arguments I made and argue against strawmen. It's ok to be wrong, and it ok to admit it. It's very likely they won't deal Orpik. If they do, it likely won't be a big deal.


I know you didn't say that...I was referring to Jim's inference that we win cups when we trade defensemen.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby farnham16 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:59 am

If Orpik gets significant playing time in the Olympics, which he probably will, it will be a complete disaster for him. He honestly shouldn't even been on the team and that wider ice surface is going to kill him. If Bylsma was smart he wouldn't play Orpik much at all.

Nice to see there is a writer out there willing to tell the truth about Orpik.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Pitt87 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:28 am

farnham16 wrote:If Orpik gets significant playing time in the Olympics, which he probably will, it will be a complete disaster for him. He honestly shouldn't even been on the team and that wider ice surface is going to kill him. If Bylsma was smart he wouldn't play Orpik much at all.

Nice to see there is a writer out there willing to tell the truth about Orpik.


INteresting point... Possible that HCDB sees him play poorly and sits him for Team USA? Each game is basically must-win, and I would imagine that he won't coach in the Olympics a second time if he didn't.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby burghsportsguys on Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:48 am

Pitt87 wrote:
burghsportsguys wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:But, like you said, Trade Orpik and we win the cup I guess. /Interwebz...

This is when you know you've lost it... strawman city, baby.

I NEVER said that. Just nut up to the fact that you are wrong, there's no need to invent arguments I made and argue against strawmen. It's ok to be wrong, and it ok to admit it. It's very likely they won't deal Orpik. If they do, it likely won't be a big deal.


I know you didn't say that...I was referring to Jim's inference that we win cups when we trade defensemen.


Well, like you said, Orpik is the best d-man on the Pens and they have no shot at winning a Cup without his leadership and elite skills.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby DesertPenguin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:33 pm

Given the situation with Kris Letang, I'd like to give a Scuderi - Martin pairing a try. Those two play a similar, calm, veteran game that could create a better shutdown pairing than what we have now with Orpik - Martin. The problem them becomes what to do with Orpik. I think we have shown that pairing him with Bortuzzo is too much beef and not enough skating/puck moving, so thats out. Even if we were to recall Despres, he is primarily a LD and doesn't really help the situation unless Scuderi changes sides (He has played both sides in the past). Most likely you are looking at breaking up Maatta Niskanen, unfortunately. Why not at least see how it looks with:

Scuderi - Martin
Orpik - Niskanen
Maatta - Bortuzzo

I like that balance.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby columbia on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:36 pm

I don't think/hope that Bylsma will keep Despres out of the lineup.
This is Simon's opportunity to permanently earn an NHL job.....You don't put someone like Bortuzzo in the way of that.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Beveridge on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:50 pm

I'd like to see despres with scuds and put Bort back to the nachos
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby Dan H on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:32 pm

farnham16 wrote:If Orpik gets significant playing time in the Olympics, which he probably will, it will be a complete disaster for him. He honestly shouldn't even been on the team and that wider ice surface is going to kill him. If Bylsma was smart he wouldn't play Orpik much at all.

Nice to see there is a writer out there willing to tell the truth about Orpik.

This isn't directed just at you, since several people are complaining Orpik has no business being on the Olympic team, but: you guys know that winning is about having the best team, and not just all the most skilled players, right? The guy Brooks Orpik is named after reminded USA Hockey about that in a big way in 1980. Now, clearly some of you disagree with Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero's assessments of Orpik's current skill as a player. But even if you're right, there is still the issue of assembling an effective hockey team on very short notice out of a set of players who were all playing in different places just a few days ago. They need everyone to be on the same page and play within the system to win. This is especially important for defensemen. Even at the beer league level, if one of your defensemen isn't where he's supposed to be, the puck likely ends up in the back of your net. Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin are the only 2014 US Olympic defensemen who play in Bylsma's system. Brooks Orpik and Ryan Suter are the only 2014 US Olympic defensemen who have previous Olympic experience. Orpik is on the team because he has a role to play there. First off, he's a vocal leader who will help get the other d-men on the team in the right place, and help settle all players down under the pressure of the Olympic tournament. Second, should any of the other defensemen not play well or not fit well, Orpik is a reliable fallback whom the coaches can trust to step in and play effectively. I think everyone understands that his level of play will have dropped off from 2010, when he was in his prime. A 2014 Brooks Orpik in the right place on the ice is still a better situation than a 1972 Bobby Orr in the wrong place. Veteran defensemen help win hockey tournaments. Orpik belongs on the team.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby farnham16 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:29 pm

Dan H wrote:
farnham16 wrote:If Orpik gets significant playing time in the Olympics, which he probably will, it will be a complete disaster for him. He honestly shouldn't even been on the team and that wider ice surface is going to kill him. If Bylsma was smart he wouldn't play Orpik much at all.

Nice to see there is a writer out there willing to tell the truth about Orpik.

This isn't directed just at you, since several people are complaining Orpik has no business being on the Olympic team, but: you guys know that winning is about having the best team, and not just all the most skilled players, right? The guy Brooks Orpik is named after reminded USA Hockey about that in a big way in 1980. Now, clearly some of you disagree with Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero's assessments of Orpik's current skill as a player. But even if you're right, there is still the issue of assembling an effective hockey team on very short notice out of a set of players who were all playing in different places just a few days ago. They need everyone to be on the same page and play within the system to win. This is especially important for defensemen. Even at the beer league level, if one of your defensemen isn't where he's supposed to be, the puck likely ends up in the back of your net. Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin are the only 2014 US Olympic defensemen who play in Bylsma's system. Brooks Orpik and Ryan Suter are the only 2014 US Olympic defensemen who have previous Olympic experience. Orpik is on the team because he has a role to play there. First off, he's a vocal leader who will help get the other d-men on the team in the right place, and help settle all players down under the pressure of the Olympic tournament. Second, should any of the other defensemen not play well or not fit well, Orpik is a reliable fallback whom the coaches can trust to step in and play effectively. I think everyone understands that his level of play will have dropped off from 2010, when he was in his prime. A 2014 Brooks Orpik in the right place on the ice is still a better situation than a 1972 Bobby Orr in the wrong place. Veteran defensemen help win hockey tournaments. Orpik belongs on the team.


My opinion is based off of Orpik's performance this past year and the fact that the ice surface they will be playing on will be a great disadvantage for Orpik for more than one reason. I don't think that it is insane that he is on the team, but I just think there were better options than him. Orpik can know Bylsma's system better than anyone, but that doesn't change the fact that he will have to cover more ice and have to deal with opposing forwards having much more room to skate around and by him.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby pugilist13 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:06 pm

Theres no way Orpik comes back here next year as a bottom pair guy. He will be offered top 4 money elsewhere in July. I hope he takes it.
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Re: The Quiet Decline of Brooks Orpik (Mike Colligan)

Postby lifetimefan on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:39 pm

The decision to let Orpik walk after this year was made when they signed Scuds to a four year deal. The cannot and will not have two "old" defensemen making top dollar. He will sign elsewhere for $4-$4.5 million for 3 or 4 years.
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