Training camp (finally!)

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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby longtimefan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:03 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
Pitts wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:And........Sprong on the 4th line today. Hornqvist on 1st line. Simon on 3rd line LW. ZAR, Grant, and Dea are the 5th line with Sheahan back at practice today (centering the 4th line).

It's one practice, so I'm not going to overreact....but.........WTAF..... I just don't get some of these decisions.

Why do people believe Spring deserves to be Sid's wing? I just don't get that. He needs to earn it. And, if he isn't he should play down the line up.

I do not believe he deserves to be Sid's wing, but, I do believe that, if you are going to draft a kid with his upside and deficiencies, give the kid a fair shake. He isn't a 4th liner. Period. You can talk about depth, you can talk about "it will be great for him to play with Cullen," yadda yadda.

Sprong anywhere on the top 3 lines to start the season, I'm 100% fine with. But, giving him 1 game with Crosby and Guentzel, while the rest of the games the Penguins 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th string centers were in the lineup? I really don't think that is giving the kid a fair shake. Sprong didn't score in his preseason games. Neither did Guentzel, or Crosby, or Malkin, or Hornqvist, or Kessel, or Hagelin...... I'm not going to pour over tape, but I'm willing to bet other NHL regulars have been out of position too.

I'll be the first to admit that Sprong is a bust, or, at a minimum, is never going to be good enough positionally for the Penguins......when I see him get a fair shot. And a few practices and preseason games isn't a fair shot. 2-3 shifts a period on a 4th line isn't going to tell them much. Throw the kid into the fire on the 1st or 3rd line for 5-6 games. If you still have an issue, great, I'm all for benching him, sending him to the 4th line, trading him, whatever. I'm also not absolving Sprong of any fault here. By all accounts I have read though, he is putting in the effort. It isn't like Sprong is sitting there in post-game interviews saying hey I played awesome I don't know what everyone else is talking about. He's saying the right things. The Penguins have put so much pressure on him, just like they did Pouliot. What's going to happen is Sprong is going to be so worried about being positionally sound every shift that he isn't going to score for ****.


I disagree. What you're suggesting is gifting him a position. As the line up is currently constructed, who among Hornqvist, Kessel, or Rust do you bump? The Pens drafted Sprong as a mid 2nd rounder. Not a blue chip first rounder. Most people drafted in that position never make an impact in the league. You draft him in hopes of tapping that upside, but you don't start moving him up the depth chart based on it alone. It's been said so much, it's redundant, but this kid should have two more option years to develop. Look at Blueger's progression in the last two seasons. That's water under the bridge though. He's going to have to be in the NHL.

It's hard for me to say they haven't given him a fair shot. Tangibly, he hasn't scored, but that's only part of it. You nay not have seen it, but they have the benefit of watching him daily. They placed Sprong on Crosby's right side since day 1 of camp. This is the first tie he's been bumped. I think the coaching staff wants to get ready for the season now. He's had ample opportunity to run with it, and he hasn't. The concession to his talent is the fact he's even in the top 12. That doesn't mean he's a bust. It just means he has to keep the same attitude, and progress his game. He's three years younger than anybody else on the team.But the Pens are loaded with depth, and in a very definite win now mode. It's not so terrible playing with Cullen and Sheahan. He could be out there with Rowney and Kuhnhackel.

That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.



The quote is exactly what I want. It's not time to develop players on the fly. It's how it's always worked. When you've got a contender, you go for it. When you don't, you groom for the future and take some lumps. I'm not quite sure what you mean by developed since 2000. Because Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang were all drafted by the team. As were guys like Orpik, Scuderi, Kennedy. I'd add Ryan Malone as well. You point out Sprong and Pouliot, but are forgetting that Simon was on Sid's line during the playoffs, or that ZAR was getting ice before Wilson took him out. They also should be given at least some credit for Dumoulin. The season before, they gave Guentzel plenty of time. I'd even include Sheary.

Unless you pick really high, it's a crapshoot. If you're in win now mode, you build each year. Especially during the era of free agency. When you're in the crapper, you collect assets. Like EJ did with the 3 1st rounders in 1984. The Pens have been in pretty much win now mode ever since. Considering their lack of quality picks over the years, I think they've done better then you are giving them credit for. When pointing out the botched picks, it's important to keep in mind the miniscle percentage of even late first rounders ever developing into impact players. Not just those chosen by the Pens.

I hope Sprong makes it, and they've missed on some guys. But they have the deepest team in their history, and 5 Cups. I just have a hard time complaining. For this season? As a fan, I want the Cup!!! 2023 will take care of itself.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Puck-Lurker on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:21 pm

Pitts wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
Pitts wrote:Why do people believe Spring deserves to be Sid's wing? I just don't get that. He needs to earn it. And, if he isn't he should play down the line up.

I do not believe he deserves to be Sid's wing, but, I do believe that, if you are going to draft a kid with his upside and deficiencies, give the kid a fair shake. He isn't a 4th liner. Period. You can talk about depth, you can talk about "it will be great for him to play with Cullen," yadda yadda.

Sprong anywhere on the top 3 lines to start the season, I'm 100% fine with. But, giving him 1 game with Crosby and Guentzel, while the rest of the games the Penguins 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th string centers were in the lineup? I really don't think that is giving the kid a fair shake. Sprong didn't score in his preseason games. Neither did Guentzel, or Crosby, or Malkin, or Hornqvist, or Kessel, or Hagelin...... I'm not going to pour over tape, but I'm willing to bet other NHL regulars have been out of position too.

I'll be the first to admit that Sprong is a bust, or, at a minimum, is never going to be good enough positionally for the Penguins......when I see him get a fair shot. And a few practices and preseason games isn't a fair shot. 2-3 shifts a period on a 4th line isn't going to tell them much. Throw the kid into the fire on the 1st or 3rd line for 5-6 games. If you still have an issue, great, I'm all for benching him, sending him to the 4th line, trading him, whatever. I'm also not absolving Sprong of any fault here. By all accounts I have read though, he is putting in the effort. It isn't like Sprong is sitting there in post-game interviews saying hey I played awesome I don't know what everyone else is talking about. He's saying the right things. The Penguins have put so much pressure on him, just like they did Pouliot. What's going to happen is Sprong is going to be so worried about being positionally sound every shift that he isn't going to score for ****.


I disagree. What you're suggesting is gifting him a position. As the line up is currently constructed, who among Hornqvist, Kessel, or Rust do you bump? The Pens drafted Sprong as a mid 2nd rounder. Not a blue chip first rounder. Most people drafted in that position never make an impact in the league. You draft him in hopes of tapping that upside, but you don't start moving him up the depth chart based on it alone. It's been said so much, it's redundant, but this kid should have two more option years to develop. Look at Blueger's progression in the last two seasons. That's water under the bridge though. He's going to have to be in the NHL.

It's hard for me to say they haven't given him a fair shot. Tangibly, he hasn't scored, but that's only part of it. You nay not have seen it, but they have the benefit of watching him daily. They placed Sprong on Crosby's right side since day 1 of camp. This is the first tie he's been bumped. I think the coaching staff wants to get ready for the season now. He's had ample opportunity to run with it, and he hasn't. The concession to his talent is the fact he's even in the top 12. That doesn't mean he's a bust. It just means he has to keep the same attitude, and progress his game. He's three years younger than anybody else on the team.But the Pens are loaded with depth, and in a very definite win now mode. It's not so terrible playing with Cullen and Sheahan. He could be out there with Rowney and Kuhnhackel.

That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.

Well, that is what WBS is for.

Love to have Sprong in Wilkes-Barre ironing out things more. Find us some kind of voodoo that allows us to send him there without losing him on waivers?

If he gets legit time on the fourth line and doesn't get passed over by some shrub (I'm looking at you, Sully and Simon) that's fine. Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong isn't a half bad line, on just about any other team, that works as a 3rd line. Kühnhackl-Rowney-Reaves, now that was a bad line.

Rust *can* play LW just in case you need to shuffle things around to make room for a RW. Not saying they should.

In any event, a team runs four lines. What lines work best depend on what types of players combine well together. I thought he meshed alright with Crosby, less so with Guentzel. Might try him with Brassard and Hagelin? I disagree that Sprong hasn't shown anything, so does the coaching staff. If points are the thing we go by, Riikola become our #1D and our top forwards should look for new jobs.




Now what I don't get is Simon over ZAR. Nope, sorry, lost me there.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby FLPensFan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:31 pm

longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.



The quote is exactly what I want. It's not time to develop players on the fly. It's how it's always worked. When you've got a contender, you go for it. When you don't, you groom for the future and take some lumps. I'm not quite sure what you mean by developed since 2000. Because Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang were all drafted by the team. As were guys like Orpik, Scuderi, Kennedy. I'd add Ryan Malone as well. You point out Sprong and Pouliot, but are forgetting that Simon was on Sid's line during the playoffs, or that ZAR was getting ice before Wilson took him out. They also should be given at least some credit for Dumoulin. The season before, they gave Guentzel plenty of time. I'd even include Sheary.

Unless you pick really high, it's a crapshoot. If you're in win now mode, you build each year. Especially during the era of free agency. When you're in the crapper, you collect assets. Like EJ did with the 3 1st rounders in 1984. The Pens have been in pretty much win now mode ever since. Considering their lack of quality picks over the years, I think they've done better then you are giving them credit for. When pointing out the botched picks, it's important to keep in mind the miniscle percentage of even late first rounders ever developing into impact players. Not just those chosen by the Pens.

I hope Sprong makes it, and they've missed on some guys. But they have the deepest team in their history, and 5 Cups. I just have a hard time complaining. For this season? As a fan, I want the Cup!!! 2023 will take care of itself.

Just saying up front not trying to be argumentative if it comes off that way.....

In terms Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang....the Penguins didn't need to develop those players. Add Maatta in that group too. With the exception of Letang (who was a 6th round pick) and Maatta (a late 1st), those guys were already top end talent lottery picks. They didn't go to the AHL or back to juniors, or sit games while the Penguins had teaching moments. Those guys brought the talent, and in the case of Staal and Maatta and Letang, forced their way onto the roster. That's expected of where the others were drafted.

In terms of guys they did develop, I did miss Orpik and Malone, and I would actually add in Ryan Whitney too. Guentzel spent very little time being developed. He went to WBS after his college career ended, and just produced. Guentzel was in WBS more because the didn't have a spot for him rather than the Penguins having to spend time developing him. Sheary was similar, but in a different way (that totally made sense in my head). He came in as an undrafted, AHL only player later in his career (after college). Played about 50 games in AHL only, forced his way onto the team. Now, take a look at a guy like JS Dea. Also undrafted, but has been in Pittsburgh's system for FOUR YEARS. He's got over 250 games in at the AHL level. He's played a few games at the NHL level, but, he hasn't "developed" or progressed. Tom Kuhnhackl is another who was drafted, was actually a good scorer his last year of juniors (68 points in 63 games, 39 goals), and played 150-200 games at the AHL level without developing much. I won't blame it all on the Penguins (shoulder injury), but he actually regressed, and then felt forced to play a defensive game to even make it to the NHL.

In terms of Simon, yes, he was given tons of 1st line ice time.....but I'm not sure how it was deserved and Sprong's isn't. Simon played 33 regular season games last year and had 12 points. 7 of those points came in a 10 game stretch. He had 5 points, all assists, in the other 23 games. ZAR, on the other hand, got the reverse. He came up, moved around a bit, got put with Crosby and started producing, got injured during the regular season, and then never got another sniff of the 1st line while Simon kept being put there while not producing.

That's the frustration. The Penguins invested a 2nd round pick in Daniel Sprong. Sprong isn't a normal 2nd rounder. He had a 1st round grade at some points during his draft year. The Penguins bungled his contract and waiver exemption by playing him as long as they did (or at all) during his draft year. He has no other options at the AHL level. He just put up one of the best AHL seasons in WBS history last season, and they couldn't even give the kid a shot in some games that matter.

I want this team to win now too, but, I don't believe you need to go to the extreme the Penguins are. You don't need to crap on and cast off 90% of your prospects along the way. This team doesn't have to be totally devoid of talent and a black hole when the Crosby/Malkin era ends......but they sure seem like they want to try at times.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby longtimefan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:17 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.



The quote is exactly what I want. It's not time to develop players on the fly. It's how it's always worked. When you've got a contender, you go for it. When you don't, you groom for the future and take some lumps. I'm not quite sure what you mean by developed since 2000. Because Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang were all drafted by the team. As were guys like Orpik, Scuderi, Kennedy. I'd add Ryan Malone as well. You point out Sprong and Pouliot, but are forgetting that Simon was on Sid's line during the playoffs, or that ZAR was getting ice before Wilson took him out. They also should be given at least some credit for Dumoulin. The season before, they gave Guentzel plenty of time. I'd even include Sheary.

Unless you pick really high, it's a crapshoot. If you're in win now mode, you build each year. Especially during the era of free agency. When you're in the crapper, you collect assets. Like EJ did with the 3 1st rounders in 1984. The Pens have been in pretty much win now mode ever since. Considering their lack of quality picks over the years, I think they've done better then you are giving them credit for. When pointing out the botched picks, it's important to keep in mind the miniscle percentage of even late first rounders ever developing into impact players. Not just those chosen by the Pens.

I hope Sprong makes it, and they've missed on some guys. But they have the deepest team in their history, and 5 Cups. I just have a hard time complaining. For this season? As a fan, I want the Cup!!! 2023 will take care of itself.

Just saying up front not trying to be argumentative if it comes off that way.....

In terms Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang....the Penguins didn't need to develop those players. Add Maatta in that group too. With the exception of Letang (who was a 6th round pick) and Maatta (a late 1st), those guys were already top end talent lottery picks. They didn't go to the AHL or back to juniors, or sit games while the Penguins had teaching moments. Those guys brought the talent, and in the case of Staal and Maatta and Letang, forced their way onto the roster. That's expected of where the others were drafted.

In terms of guys they did develop, I did miss Orpik and Malone, and I would actually add in Ryan Whitney too. Guentzel spent very little time being developed. He went to WBS after his college career ended, and just produced. Guentzel was in WBS more because the didn't have a spot for him rather than the Penguins having to spend time developing him. Sheary was similar, but in a different way (that totally made sense in my head). He came in as an undrafted, AHL only player later in his career (after college). Played about 50 games in AHL only, forced his way onto the team. Now, take a look at a guy like JS Dea. Also undrafted, but has been in Pittsburgh's system for FOUR YEARS. He's got over 250 games in at the AHL level. He's played a few games at the NHL level, but, he hasn't "developed" or progressed. Tom Kuhnhackl is another who was drafted, was actually a good scorer his last year of juniors (68 points in 63 games, 39 goals), and played 150-200 games at the AHL level without developing much. I won't blame it all on the Penguins (shoulder injury), but he actually regressed, and then felt forced to play a defensive game to even make it to the NHL.

In terms of Simon, yes, he was given tons of 1st line ice time.....but I'm not sure how it was deserved and Sprong's isn't. Simon played 33 regular season games last year and had 12 points. 7 of those points came in a 10 game stretch. He had 5 points, all assists, in the other 23 games. ZAR, on the other hand, got the reverse. He came up, moved around a bit, got put with Crosby and started producing, got injured during the regular season, and then never got another sniff of the 1st line while Simon kept being put there while not producing.

That's the frustration. The Penguins invested a 2nd round pick in Daniel Sprong. Sprong isn't a normal 2nd rounder. He had a 1st round grade at some points during his draft year. The Penguins bungled his contract and waiver exemption by playing him as long as they did (or at all) during his draft year. He has no other options at the AHL level. He just put up one of the best AHL seasons in WBS history last season, and they couldn't even give the kid a shot in some games that matter.

I want this team to win now too, but, I don't believe you need to go to the extreme the Penguins are. You don't need to crap on and cast off 90% of your prospects along the way. This team doesn't have to be totally devoid of talent and a black hole when the Crosby/Malkin era ends......but they sure seem like they want to try at times.


It depends on your definition of developmet. You should still include guys like Scuderi certainly. Where is the draft cut off to say you developed a player? They haven't had a lot of picks, for obvious reasons. You also left Guentzel off the list. As far as Simon, I do see some of the things they do. I understand why others don't. But I'll defer to the coaches. They obviously see something. And they know the player's habits daily. We don't see that part. But the point is they gave him a shot. Not based on stats. Based on his positional play. Being where he should be. The little things that help a team win.

To better understand the type of guys you mean by developed, give me some examples? Remember, the top two C spots have been occupied for over a decade. You have fewer developmental players when your lineup becomes set. It's just looking at it year to year, and era to era. The thing they've done well since 2000 is win Cups. I just think you're overlooking a lot of guys who have contributed.

It would take some time, but I'd like to look at how some others have done with their prospects. Especially Detroit, Chicago, and LA. The other teams with more than one cup. I look at a deep team on the ice, with some depth in the minors. What percentage of these developmental players do you expect to make an impact? It's like all the #1's they traded, either before the pick or after. Only Barzal has really proved impactful to this point. What about all the other first rounders? The thing is, it's not just them. Trading first rounders may take a toll, but the percentages are against finding a stud in the late first round. Your points are understood, but you have to compare it to everybody else.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby FLPensFan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:56 pm

longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.



The quote is exactly what I want. It's not time to develop players on the fly. It's how it's always worked. When you've got a contender, you go for it. When you don't, you groom for the future and take some lumps. I'm not quite sure what you mean by developed since 2000. Because Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang were all drafted by the team. As were guys like Orpik, Scuderi, Kennedy. I'd add Ryan Malone as well. You point out Sprong and Pouliot, but are forgetting that Simon was on Sid's line during the playoffs, or that ZAR was getting ice before Wilson took him out. They also should be given at least some credit for Dumoulin. The season before, they gave Guentzel plenty of time. I'd even include Sheary.

Unless you pick really high, it's a crapshoot. If you're in win now mode, you build each year. Especially during the era of free agency. When you're in the crapper, you collect assets. Like EJ did with the 3 1st rounders in 1984. The Pens have been in pretty much win now mode ever since. Considering their lack of quality picks over the years, I think they've done better then you are giving them credit for. When pointing out the botched picks, it's important to keep in mind the miniscle percentage of even late first rounders ever developing into impact players. Not just those chosen by the Pens.

I hope Sprong makes it, and they've missed on some guys. But they have the deepest team in their history, and 5 Cups. I just have a hard time complaining. For this season? As a fan, I want the Cup!!! 2023 will take care of itself.

Just saying up front not trying to be argumentative if it comes off that way.....

In terms Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang....the Penguins didn't need to develop those players. Add Maatta in that group too. With the exception of Letang (who was a 6th round pick) and Maatta (a late 1st), those guys were already top end talent lottery picks. They didn't go to the AHL or back to juniors, or sit games while the Penguins had teaching moments. Those guys brought the talent, and in the case of Staal and Maatta and Letang, forced their way onto the roster. That's expected of where the others were drafted.

In terms of guys they did develop, I did miss Orpik and Malone, and I would actually add in Ryan Whitney too. Guentzel spent very little time being developed. He went to WBS after his college career ended, and just produced. Guentzel was in WBS more because the didn't have a spot for him rather than the Penguins having to spend time developing him. Sheary was similar, but in a different way (that totally made sense in my head). He came in as an undrafted, AHL only player later in his career (after college). Played about 50 games in AHL only, forced his way onto the team. Now, take a look at a guy like JS Dea. Also undrafted, but has been in Pittsburgh's system for FOUR YEARS. He's got over 250 games in at the AHL level. He's played a few games at the NHL level, but, he hasn't "developed" or progressed. Tom Kuhnhackl is another who was drafted, was actually a good scorer his last year of juniors (68 points in 63 games, 39 goals), and played 150-200 games at the AHL level without developing much. I won't blame it all on the Penguins (shoulder injury), but he actually regressed, and then felt forced to play a defensive game to even make it to the NHL.

In terms of Simon, yes, he was given tons of 1st line ice time.....but I'm not sure how it was deserved and Sprong's isn't. Simon played 33 regular season games last year and had 12 points. 7 of those points came in a 10 game stretch. He had 5 points, all assists, in the other 23 games. ZAR, on the other hand, got the reverse. He came up, moved around a bit, got put with Crosby and started producing, got injured during the regular season, and then never got another sniff of the 1st line while Simon kept being put there while not producing.

That's the frustration. The Penguins invested a 2nd round pick in Daniel Sprong. Sprong isn't a normal 2nd rounder. He had a 1st round grade at some points during his draft year. The Penguins bungled his contract and waiver exemption by playing him as long as they did (or at all) during his draft year. He has no other options at the AHL level. He just put up one of the best AHL seasons in WBS history last season, and they couldn't even give the kid a shot in some games that matter.

I want this team to win now too, but, I don't believe you need to go to the extreme the Penguins are. You don't need to crap on and cast off 90% of your prospects along the way. This team doesn't have to be totally devoid of talent and a black hole when the Crosby/Malkin era ends......but they sure seem like they want to try at times.


It depends on your definition of developmet. You should still include guys like Scuderi certainly. Where is the draft cut off to say you developed a player? They haven't had a lot of picks, for obvious reasons. You also left Guentzel off the list. As far as Simon, I do see some of the things they do. I understand why others don't. But I'll defer to the coaches. They obviously see something. And they know the player's habits daily. We don't see that part. But the point is they gave him a shot. Not based on stats. Based on his positional play. Being where he should be. The little things that help a team win.

To better understand the type of guys you mean by developed, give me some examples? Remember, the top two C spots have been occupied for over a decade. You have fewer developmental players when your lineup becomes set. It's just looking at it year to year, and era to era. The thing they've done well since 2000 is win Cups. I just think you're overlooking a lot of guys who have contributed.

It would take some time, but I'd like to look at how some others have done with their prospects. Especially Detroit, Chicago, and LA. The other teams with more than one cup. I look at a deep team on the ice, with some depth in the minors. What percentage of these developmental players do you expect to make an impact? It's like all the #1's they traded, either before the pick or after. Only Barzal has really proved impactful to this point. What about all the other first rounders? The thing is, it's not just them. Trading first rounders may take a toll, but the percentages are against finding a stud in the late first round. Your points are understood, but you have to compare it to everybody else.

So for Chicago, I would give them Duncan Keith, James Wisniewski, Dustin Byfuglien, Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and Brandon Saad. Probably 2-3 other debatable, but since 2000, those are their non-lottery picks (and really, almost none of those guys are first rounders), that played over 200 games in the NHL, with a good portion of their games to start their career with that team (ie, I wouldn't count Jake Muzzin or Matt Moulson for Pittsburgh). If I added 10-30th overall picks, I'd add in Seabrook and Ryan Hartman.

For LA, Mike Cammaleri, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis, Jonathan Bernier, Alec Martinez, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Tiffoli, Tanner Pearson. Kopitar was 11th overall. They also had Wayne Simmonds, but, he improved much more with the Flyers than he did under LA.

For Detroit, Nicolas Kronwall, Thomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Ericsson, Val Filppula, Jimmy Howard, Kyle Quincey, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha.

Pittsburgh...Orpik, Armstrong, Talbot, Christiansen, Whitney, Kennedy, Goligoski, Letang, Vitale, Bortuzzo, Rust, Maatta. I relaxed the rules on Pittsburgh a bit to use the same rules I applied when looking at Chicago, LA, and Detroit.

Chicago has Keith, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Hjalmarsson, Shaw, and Saad as higher quality players.
LA has Cammaleri, Brown, Quick, Martinez, Tiffoli, Pearson, and Kopitar.
Detroit has Kronwall, Hudler, Filppula, Howard, Franzen, Larkin, Mantha
Pittsburgh has Orpik, Whitney, Goligoski,Letang, and Maatta.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby DelPen on Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:00 pm

Everyone needs to remember both Simon and Sprong would need to clear waivers to go to the AHL and neither would right now.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby longtimefan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:57 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:That's fine that you disagree. Most people are pretty much firmly on one side or the other. I think my bigger issue, overall, is that the Penguins don't develop players well, at all, and haven't for quite some time. I've said something similar before, but, since 2000, the Penguins list of adequately developed players is quite miniscule. In my mind Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Alex Goligoski, and Max Talbot are the only players the Penguins have adequately developed....and by that, I mean, reached or exceeded their potential while under the Penguins control. I'm sure there are 2 or 3 cases that can be argued about, but, that's about it for their development. Whether it was a draft miss or a development miss, or both, they've botched guys like Pouliot, Despres, Bennett, and are heading down the same road with Sprong. I think Sprong plays and isn't an issue on half the teams in the league. But because this is the Penguins, and the Crosby/Malkin window is closing, they won't take the time.

It looks like Sullivan's statement about 30 minutes ago says all you need to know, and it is what I alluded to before.....coaches on annual playoff teams don't trust many young players. They'd rather go with vets to increase their employment odds and playoff odds.

From Pittsburgh Penguins official Twitter account: Coach Sullivan on how he’ll make tough lineup decisions: “Performance is always the dictator. There is some development that goes on in this league, but we’re trying to win games. We’re trying to put the Penguins in the best position to win the Stanley Cup.”

Translation, we ain't got time up here for Sprong to learn and develop.



The quote is exactly what I want. It's not time to develop players on the fly. It's how it's always worked. When you've got a contender, you go for it. When you don't, you groom for the future and take some lumps. I'm not quite sure what you mean by developed since 2000. Because Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang were all drafted by the team. As were guys like Orpik, Scuderi, Kennedy. I'd add Ryan Malone as well. You point out Sprong and Pouliot, but are forgetting that Simon was on Sid's line during the playoffs, or that ZAR was getting ice before Wilson took him out. They also should be given at least some credit for Dumoulin. The season before, they gave Guentzel plenty of time. I'd even include Sheary.

Unless you pick really high, it's a crapshoot. If you're in win now mode, you build each year. Especially during the era of free agency. When you're in the crapper, you collect assets. Like EJ did with the 3 1st rounders in 1984. The Pens have been in pretty much win now mode ever since. Considering their lack of quality picks over the years, I think they've done better then you are giving them credit for. When pointing out the botched picks, it's important to keep in mind the miniscle percentage of even late first rounders ever developing into impact players. Not just those chosen by the Pens.

I hope Sprong makes it, and they've missed on some guys. But they have the deepest team in their history, and 5 Cups. I just have a hard time complaining. For this season? As a fan, I want the Cup!!! 2023 will take care of itself.

Just saying up front not trying to be argumentative if it comes off that way.....

In terms Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and Letang....the Penguins didn't need to develop those players. Add Maatta in that group too. With the exception of Letang (who was a 6th round pick) and Maatta (a late 1st), those guys were already top end talent lottery picks. They didn't go to the AHL or back to juniors, or sit games while the Penguins had teaching moments. Those guys brought the talent, and in the case of Staal and Maatta and Letang, forced their way onto the roster. That's expected of where the others were drafted.

In terms of guys they did develop, I did miss Orpik and Malone, and I would actually add in Ryan Whitney too. Guentzel spent very little time being developed. He went to WBS after his college career ended, and just produced. Guentzel was in WBS more because the didn't have a spot for him rather than the Penguins having to spend time developing him. Sheary was similar, but in a different way (that totally made sense in my head). He came in as an undrafted, AHL only player later in his career (after college). Played about 50 games in AHL only, forced his way onto the team. Now, take a look at a guy like JS Dea. Also undrafted, but has been in Pittsburgh's system for FOUR YEARS. He's got over 250 games in at the AHL level. He's played a few games at the NHL level, but, he hasn't "developed" or progressed. Tom Kuhnhackl is another who was drafted, was actually a good scorer his last year of juniors (68 points in 63 games, 39 goals), and played 150-200 games at the AHL level without developing much. I won't blame it all on the Penguins (shoulder injury), but he actually regressed, and then felt forced to play a defensive game to even make it to the NHL.

In terms of Simon, yes, he was given tons of 1st line ice time.....but I'm not sure how it was deserved and Sprong's isn't. Simon played 33 regular season games last year and had 12 points. 7 of those points came in a 10 game stretch. He had 5 points, all assists, in the other 23 games. ZAR, on the other hand, got the reverse. He came up, moved around a bit, got put with Crosby and started producing, got injured during the regular season, and then never got another sniff of the 1st line while Simon kept being put there while not producing.

That's the frustration. The Penguins invested a 2nd round pick in Daniel Sprong. Sprong isn't a normal 2nd rounder. He had a 1st round grade at some points during his draft year. The Penguins bungled his contract and waiver exemption by playing him as long as they did (or at all) during his draft year. He has no other options at the AHL level. He just put up one of the best AHL seasons in WBS history last season, and they couldn't even give the kid a shot in some games that matter.

I want this team to win now too, but, I don't believe you need to go to the extreme the Penguins are. You don't need to crap on and cast off 90% of your prospects along the way. This team doesn't have to be totally devoid of talent and a black hole when the Crosby/Malkin era ends......but they sure seem like they want to try at times.


It depends on your definition of developmet. You should still include guys like Scuderi certainly. Where is the draft cut off to say you developed a player? They haven't had a lot of picks, for obvious reasons. You also left Guentzel off the list. As far as Simon, I do see some of the things they do. I understand why others don't. But I'll defer to the coaches. They obviously see something. And they know the player's habits daily. We don't see that part. But the point is they gave him a shot. Not based on stats. Based on his positional play. Being where he should be. The little things that help a team win.

To better understand the type of guys you mean by developed, give me some examples? Remember, the top two C spots have been occupied for over a decade. You have fewer developmental players when your lineup becomes set. It's just looking at it year to year, and era to era. The thing they've done well since 2000 is win Cups. I just think you're overlooking a lot of guys who have contributed.

It would take some time, but I'd like to look at how some others have done with their prospects. Especially Detroit, Chicago, and LA. The other teams with more than one cup. I look at a deep team on the ice, with some depth in the minors. What percentage of these developmental players do you expect to make an impact? It's like all the #1's they traded, either before the pick or after. Only Barzal has really proved impactful to this point. What about all the other first rounders? The thing is, it's not just them. Trading first rounders may take a toll, but the percentages are against finding a stud in the late first round. Your points are understood, but you have to compare it to everybody else.

So for Chicago, I would give them Duncan Keith, James Wisniewski, Dustin Byfuglien, Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and Brandon Saad. Probably 2-3 other debatable, but since 2000, those are their non-lottery picks (and really, almost none of those guys are first rounders), that played over 200 games in the NHL, with a good portion of their games to start their career with that team (ie, I wouldn't count Jake Muzzin or Matt Moulson for Pittsburgh). If I added 10-30th overall picks, I'd add in Seabrook and Ryan Hartman.

For LA, Mike Cammaleri, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis, Jonathan Bernier, Alec Martinez, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Tiffoli, Tanner Pearson. Kopitar was 11th overall. They also had Wayne Simmonds, but, he improved much more with the Flyers than he did under LA.

For Detroit, Nicolas Kronwall, Thomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Ericsson, Val Filppula, Jimmy Howard, Kyle Quincey, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha.

Pittsburgh...Orpik, Armstrong, Talbot, Christiansen, Whitney, Kennedy, Goligoski, Letang, Vitale, Bortuzzo, Rust, Maatta. I relaxed the rules on Pittsburgh a bit to use the same rules I applied when looking at Chicago, LA, and Detroit.

Chicago has Keith, Byfuglien, Brouwer, Hjalmarsson, Shaw, and Saad as higher quality players.
LA has Cammaleri, Brown, Quick, Martinez, Tiffoli, Pearson, and Kopitar.
Detroit has Kronwall, Hudler, Filppula, Howard, Franzen, Larkin, Mantha
Pittsburgh has Orpik, Whitney, Goligoski,Letang, and Maatta.


I don't know the criteria you're setting, but it ignores the Pens recent successes. Rust, Murray, Guentzel. Also, I have to include Scuderi, even though he was drafted in '98. He didn't turn pro until 2001. It's also a little iffy to me to include Kopitar, who fell to 11th, if you don't include the top 10 guys.

I'm not being argumentative. Simply pointing out that none of those teams produced windfalls in terms of numbers. Where the Pens stand right now is a team with a lot of depth for a run. Which is the state of the franchise. I like what they've done with all the depth signings. The kids who they feel earn it will get the chance. Like Simon and ZAR last season, and Guentzel the year before.

On another note, I found it interesting that Sprong apparently was on the 2nd power play unit.

We’ve moved to Rink 2 for power-play drills. The usual cast of characters are on the top unit: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Phil Kessel, and Patric Hornqvist.

It looks like Sprong will get a look on the second unit–on the point/left circle. Riikola, Sprong, Brassard, Guentzel, and Simon are on the second power-play.


https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/penguin ... -teaching/

It's interesting they seem to have him on the point, and it's interesting Riikola was out there. Although Schultz wasn't there, when you know he will be to start the season. Regardless, they have enough talent to ice a nice second PP unit.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby wondermoose on Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:34 pm

Call me crazy, but Sprong getting some minutes with Cullen doesn't sound like a bad thing.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Tonythepenguin on Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:30 am

Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby murphydump55 on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:56 am

Tonythepenguin wrote:Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all


How could it be? It’s not like Sprong is being saddled with Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Sill, Lapierre, Sestito, or Porter.

Cullen and Sheahan are legit NHL players with skill and speed and both are defensively responsible, which seems to be what the Penguins have against Sprong.

Your 4th line is allowed to have skill, and if Sullivan intends on rolling 4 lines, this could be just fine to open the season.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Steve Dave on Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:14 am

I don’t think it’s bad to ease Sprong in with Cullen and Sheahan. He’ll get some 2nd PP time and also spot duty here and there with Crosby/Malkin/Brassard. Remember, he’s 3 years younger than Simon, Guentzel, Maatta and Murray.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby LimerickPensFan on Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:38 am

murphydump55 wrote:
Tonythepenguin wrote:Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all


How could it be? It’s not like Sprong is being saddled with Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Sill, Lapierre, Sestito, or Porter.

Cullen and Sheahan are legit NHL players with skill and speed and both are defensively responsible, which seems to be what the Penguins have against Sprong.

Your 4th line is allowed to have skill, and if Sullivan intends on rolling 4 lines, this could be just fine to open the season.

Only problem is that the fourth line is often where you find your penalty killers. Something tells me that's not a club in Sprong's bag.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Puck-Lurker on Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:26 pm

LimerickPensFan wrote:
murphydump55 wrote:
Tonythepenguin wrote:Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all


How could it be? It’s not like Sprong is being saddled with Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Sill, Lapierre, Sestito, or Porter.

Cullen and Sheahan are legit NHL players with skill and speed and both are defensively responsible, which seems to be what the Penguins have against Sprong.

Your 4th line is allowed to have skill, and if Sullivan intends on rolling 4 lines, this could be just fine to open the season.

Only problem is that the fourth line is often where you find your penalty killers. Something tells me that's not a club in Sprong's bag.

Comparing Pens PP and PK

PP1: Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hörnqvist + Letang/Schultz
PP2: Guentzel, Brassard, X, X + Schultz/Letang
PK: Sheahan, Cullen, Hagelin, Rust, ZAR/Simon, X + D pairs

PP2 seems to be a good landing spot for Sprong, if for no other reason than that it spreads minutes across more players. You could always play 2 defencemen on PP2 anyway.

If Sheahan and Cullen doing PK time means the 4th line doesn't play as much, you can bet Rust is similar minutes killing off penalties. Just swap 41 and 17 around as needed.

We'll see if Sprong gets trusted to play more than token minutes per game. #41gamesfor41

(No I'm not bandwagoning Sprong. I think he's no worse than any alternatives and has an untested upside)
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby LimerickPensFan on Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:02 pm

Sheahan playing tonight.

Schultz listed as day to day with nagging upper body injury.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Daniel on Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:40 pm

LimerickPensFan wrote:
murphydump55 wrote:
Tonythepenguin wrote:Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all


How could it be? It’s not like Sprong is being saddled with Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Sill, Lapierre, Sestito, or Porter.

Cullen and Sheahan are legit NHL players with skill and speed and both are defensively responsible, which seems to be what the Penguins have against Sprong.

Your 4th line is allowed to have skill, and if Sullivan intends on rolling 4 lines, this could be just fine to open the season.


Only problem is that the fourth line is often where you find your penalty killers. Something tells me that's not a club in Sprong's bag.


I don't think Sullivan uses the traditional line styles. He seems to have a PP and PK player per line to help both with defense and consistent scoring for all 4 lines.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby DelPen on Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:35 pm

I’m really liking Jack Johnson. We needed some more muscle who can skate on defense.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby DelPen on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:26 pm

Riikola deserves a top 6 spot but I don’t know who sits. Schultz or Oleksiak?
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Pruezy11881 on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:31 pm

DelPen wrote:Riikola deserves a top 6 spot but I don’t know who sits. Schultz or Oleksiak?

He's certainly making his case. Definitely one of the few who came in to camp to work hard and prove something.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Ericf on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:49 pm

DelPen wrote:Riikola deserves a top 6 spot but I don’t know who sits. Schultz or Oleksiak?


Definitely Olek should sit...he’s ok, but Riikola plays our system extremely well and is never out of position defensively and Olek has some struggles there. We’re a better team with Riikola playing
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby murphydump55 on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:56 pm

Ericf wrote:
DelPen wrote:Riikola deserves a top 6 spot but I don’t know who sits. Schultz or Oleksiak?


Definitely Olek should sit...he’s ok, but Riikola plays our system extremely well and is never out of position defensively and Olek has some struggles there. We’re a better team with Riikola playing


Oleksiak apparently had a great camp. Read a lot of good reviews.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby murphydump55 on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:59 pm

LimerickPensFan wrote:
murphydump55 wrote:
Tonythepenguin wrote:Ok, Wondermoose..... I'll call you crazy☺

But I agree this does not sound like a bad thing at all


How could it be? It’s not like Sprong is being saddled with Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Sill, Lapierre, Sestito, or Porter.

Cullen and Sheahan are legit NHL players with skill and speed and both are defensively responsible, which seems to be what the Penguins have against Sprong.

Your 4th line is allowed to have skill, and if Sullivan intends on rolling 4 lines, this could be just fine to open the season.

Only problem is that the fourth line is often where you find your penalty killers. Something tells me that's not a club in Sprong's bag.


There’s a ton of teams that use players from the top 9 on their pk.

I’d rather build a team to play 5 on 5 than carry pk specialists. You can train guys to PK. Kunitz rarely did but looked just fine when he was called upon.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby largegarlic on Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:31 pm

I just got back from the game, so I have some more detailed observations than normal:

--Kessel looks back to normal after not having good jump in his skating or power on his shot during the playoffs. Murray also looked very sharp after a shaky playoffs.
--Riikola looks like an NHL d-man. I know numbers and contract status still dictate that he should start in WBS, and one shouldn't put too much weight on preseason, but the guy at least looks like a big upgrade over Ruhwedel for a #7 d-man. We'll see how it goes, but I could see him becoming a solid 2nd-pairing guy in the future. He skates very well, handles the puck well, and is solid defensively in the stereotypical Euro way--positionally sound with a good stick without being physically overwhelming.
--Johnson was solid. He had a couple big hits, a couple good shots from the point, and didn't seem to be caught out of position on defense. I could see him being an unremarkable guy in the regular season, and then really being a boon in the playoffs when things get dirtier.
--I was ready to be unimpressed with Simon, but I actually thought he looked pretty good with Brassard and Rust on the 3rd line. That line created a number of chances.
--I was ready to be annoyed with Sprong being on the 4th line, but I actually thought it worked reasonably well. Sprong hustled defensively, put in work along the boards, and got time playing the point on the 2nd PP. And it's not like he's playing with Joe Vitale and Craig Adams; Sheahan and Cullen are pretty skilled for 4th-liners. I'd be OK starting the season with him there and seeing how things develop. He can be bumped up in case of injuries or to provide a boost to the top lines (I noticed he got at least one shift with Crosby and Guentzel in the 3rd).

I thought everyone else looked about as expected.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby Pensfan4life8771 on Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:14 am

It sounds like from everything I have been reading the Pens at this point almost can not have Juuso Riikola on opening night roster. Who gets sat I don't know but I like what Big Rig said in that Riikola's performance and success thus far has led to our top seven pushing themselves even more...that's what you want.

I also have been reading rave reviews on the Simon-Brassard-Rust line so if that's the case roll with this and move around guys as game progresses.

Jake - Sid - Horny
Hags - Geno - Kessel
Simon - Brassard - Rust
Cullen - Sheehan - Sprong
Ex: ZAR or Grant

DP 1: Dumo - Letang
DP 2: Schultz - Johnson
DP 3: Big Rig - Maata/Cough Drop

I say you send Weeds down to AHL and hope he makes waivers or flip him for a pick.

The even crazier thing I have been reading about is how the Pens 2nd PP is now legit and could be a #1 on a lot of teams. If that's the case that makes our #1 PP that much more potent.

Bring on Thursday!
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby largegarlic on Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:03 am

Pensfan4life8771 wrote:It sounds like from everything I have been reading the Pens at this point almost can not have Juuso Riikola on opening night roster. Who gets sat I don't know but I like what Big Rig said in that Riikola's performance and success thus far has led to our top seven pushing themselves even more...that's what you want.

I also have been reading rave reviews on the Simon-Brassard-Rust line so if that's the case roll with this and move around guys as game progresses.

Jake - Sid - Horny
Hags - Geno - Kessel
Simon - Brassard - Rust
Cullen - Sheehan - Sprong
Ex: ZAR or Grant

DP 1: Dumo - Letang
DP 2: Schultz - Johnson
DP 3: Big Rig - Maata/Cough Drop

I say you send Weeds down to AHL and hope he makes waivers or flip him for a pick.

The even crazier thing I have been reading about is how the Pens 2nd PP is now legit and could be a #1 on a lot of teams. If that's the case that makes our #1 PP that much more potent.

Bring on Thursday!


Regarding the 3rd line, I saw in Bombulie's Trib article for today that the 3rd line generated 11 shots last night while not allowing Buffalo any. That matches what I saw watching the game live. It seemed like they generated a chance or two pretty much every shift.

The 2nd PP also looked very good. I don't know if it was just to get them extra work or if it was because some of the guys from the top unit had just been out prior to the penalty, but the 2nd unit got to start both PPs last night. They looked very good moving the puck on both occasions, and obviously got the goal on the 2nd one. The thing is that they had Riikola and Sprong playing the points, and if Riikola is sent down, I'm not sure it will look as good.
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Re: Training camp (finally!)

Postby LimerickPensFan on Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:15 am

largegarlic wrote:
Pensfan4life8771 wrote:It sounds like from everything I have been reading the Pens at this point almost can not have Juuso Riikola on opening night roster. Who gets sat I don't know but I like what Big Rig said in that Riikola's performance and success thus far has led to our top seven pushing themselves even more...that's what you want.

I also have been reading rave reviews on the Simon-Brassard-Rust line so if that's the case roll with this and move around guys as game progresses.

Jake - Sid - Horny
Hags - Geno - Kessel
Simon - Brassard - Rust
Cullen - Sheehan - Sprong
Ex: ZAR or Grant

DP 1: Dumo - Letang
DP 2: Schultz - Johnson
DP 3: Big Rig - Maata/Cough Drop

I say you send Weeds down to AHL and hope he makes waivers or flip him for a pick.

The even crazier thing I have been reading about is how the Pens 2nd PP is now legit and could be a #1 on a lot of teams. If that's the case that makes our #1 PP that much more potent.

Bring on Thursday!


Regarding the 3rd line, I saw in Bombulie's Trib article for today that the 3rd line generated 11 shots last night while not allowing Buffalo any. That matches what I saw watching the game live. It seemed like they generated a chance or two pretty much every shift.

The 2nd PP also looked very good. I don't know if it was just to get them extra work or if it was because some of the guys from the top unit had just been out prior to the penalty, but the 2nd unit got to start both PPs last night. They looked very good moving the puck on both occasions, and obviously got the goal on the 2nd one. The thing is that they had Riikola and Sprong playing the points, and if Riikola is sent down, I'm not sure it will look as good.

You think Riikola is better than either Letang or Schultz? Guessing he wouldn't have been there had Schultz not been injured.
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