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Some of you really know the answer to this and some of you will pretend to know the answer to this but the question is...
With the new additions to date minus the departures to date, have the Penguins as a whole gotten faster, slower, about the same?
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i'll pretend. is it possible to lose neal and orpik and get slower? i will say this, though.. speed isn't everything. vitale, gibbons, and megna are all super fast, but they aren't in anyone's dream bottom 6.
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I'm not sure about speed, but I do know that our 4th line just jumped from the worst in the league to at least middle of the pack, which is a huge upgrade.
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In: Ehrhoff is a very good skater. Comeau is a very good skater. Downie is pretty heavy-footed. It's tough to tell with him because he's never skating. He never takes any strides. But his coasting speed is really pretty impressive. Always lurking. Powerful strides, but he's not fast. He doesn't play a speed game. He goes to the net, he loves to glide behind the defense, back post, tap in. Hornqvist is a poor, choppy skater. Below average at best. Spaling is not quick off the blocks, but his top speed is above average certainly.
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champeen wrote:i'll pretend. is it possible to lose neal and orpik and get slower? i will say this, though.. speed isn't everything. vitale, gibbons, and megna are all super fast, but they aren't in anyone's dream bottom 6.
Gibbons was a first liner for a good portion of the regular season.
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For however fast Neal might be, speed is not what he will be known for when all is said and done. They got faster by letting Glass and Orpik go and, honestly, Niskanen wasn't exactly fleet of foot. Ehrhoff is certainly a better skater and the young guys (Pouliott, Despres, Harrington) that are champing at the bit are better skaters. Vitale was fast, but didn't use it. They're getting Dupuis back (don't care about age, still faster than 90% of players older than 28). No more Pyatt, Kobasew, Stempniak, or Jokinen. Stemp and Jokinen weren't slow, but they certainly weren't fast. Additionally, regardless of whether he's on the team next year or not, Craig Adams will not be an 82-game player anymore. I love the idea of him being a press box guy, though.
Spaling, Downie, and Comeau can all skate, period. Though they've got their flaws, skating won't be an issue.
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The team seems faster to me. Neal is an absolute slug. Hornqvist isn't any faster, but the game he plays doesn't require as much speed (that is to say he plays in areas other than hash mark to hash mark, top of the circle to top of the circle)
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Don't forget, simply having Dupuis and Despres in the lineup adds to the speed quotient.
One thing that impressed me about Rutherford is that he appears to want to add grit and toughness without sacrificing speed. Sure they will have a few slower guys (Downie, Bortuzzo) but they are not key components like Neal and Orpik were on last year's team.
They are still short on one top 6 guy, and it's quite possible Martin or Sutter could be moved to obtain that player. Another possibility is buying out Scuderi, which would save a little money, and then trading from the group of young defensemen to btain that player. Of course if they do that, they will be down 2 defensemen, which could be a problem if Maatta and Pouliot are not ready on schedule. Or they can try to roll with Downie, Comeau, Bennett, or Spalling in the top 6 and pick up someone at the deadline. Either way, they do appear to have the luxury of time, and for once the bottom 6 will be solid. But that top 6 is a concern. And to add to that, Kunitz and Dupuis are not exactly young, as both will be on the south side of 35 by next season's end.
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