Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

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Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Penspal on Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:45 am

Pens lose 3-2 in OT

- Pens continue to play pond hockey. I'm not seeing as much chemistry from this group as I thought I would. Still early though (exception Kessel to Hagelin >> :fist:)
- Boeser's OT winner was :shock: . that dude is soooo good. BB has officially been inducted into the Penguin Killers Club, and is #1 on my fantasy trade acquisition list
- We need MM back in nets. DeSmith played well enough again to keep the Pens in the game, gained some confidence & experience, but can we please have MM back earning his $$$
- Pens D are pinching & not getting effective support, lots of odd man breaks against. HCMS is all over this, but the lads are not listening yet.
- JJ is the guy that I'm having a tough time with. I'm not seeing his skating being #betterthanHunwick. JJ's very strong on his skates, just not as quick (or are Dumo & Letang making everyone seem slow?)
- There might have been a little garage league ref'ing taking place last night.... I saw a greasy jumpsuit with stripes
- Happy Cannabis Legalization Day Canada! Which former Penguin is now enjoying his Canadian Cigarette of choice? My money is on Gary Rissling or Bryan Trottier... I'm going with Rissling
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby penny lane on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:37 am

They are a group seeking motivation. Tomorrow, if they don't play right, they could be embarrassed by the anointed ones.
Hornqvist should be back with Sid on the first line?

Looking at the metro standings; others are struggling to be gung ho 24/7.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Great58 on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:55 am

penny lane wrote:They are a group seeking motivation. Tomorrow, if they don't play right, they could be embarrassed by the anointed ones.
Hornqvist should be back with Sid on the first line?

Looking at the metro standings; others are struggling to be gung ho 24/7.

I'd either move Hornqvist back to Sid's wing, or if we're going to be in experimental mode for a while longer, Sprong. Sid and Brassard both seem to have the natural inclination to go to the same spots, causing hesitations for each of them. Sid needs a wing that he will not defer to while playing the puck. Sprong looks lost on the fourth line, make him a straight up and down player for Sid to find.

I am torn between preferring that we be a team that peaks in the spring, and being a season ticket holder that prefers they at least appear competitive in October. Surely the two aren't completely exclusive?

DeSmith just isn't an NHL goalie. I know Sullivan was rewarding him for being his "best player" of late, but that's just a criticism of the rest of the team, not really a glowing review of DeSmith. If Murray's been well enough to back up the last two games, he should have started last night. If Murray is rusty in Toronto, it could be ugly.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby largegarlic on Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:10 pm

This was just a really listless game. Once Vancouver went up at the end of the 1st, they were totally content to clog up the neutral and d-zones and just chip the puck out. The Pens, conversely, seemed to lose interest once they realized it wasn't going to be a run-and-gun type of game and couldn't be bothered to put in the hard work required to break down a defensively-oriented team.

It's far from the only problem, I don't like Brassard on Crosby's wing. That line didn't seem appreciably better, and the 3rd and 4th lines are worse for having moved Brassard up. What exactly is a 4th-line of Simon-Cullen-Sprong supposed to be? They aren't a shutdown defensive live; they're not a super hard-working energy line; they aren't a physical, banging line. They're just 3 OK forwards thrown together because they don't fit anywhere else at the moment.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Skatingpen on Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:48 pm

I am not worried about Crosby, everyone else...... maybe a little
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Maestro on Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:18 pm

I thought the game was a bit of a snooze fest - so very good road game from 'couver.
If the Pens don't show a bit more 'passion' considering the opponent - then maybe there is a bit of an issue, although not sure a team this 'seasoned' can have an issue this early.

Do you bring Matt Murray out against the Mighty Leafs or wait until Tuesday? My guess is Tuesday.

Spoiler:
Meaning he will start tomorrow.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby thehockeyguru on Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:23 pm

The Pens looked really slow and have for the most part of the season. I'd like to see Cullen sit, 5 games in 0 points. Give Sprong a shot with Crosby, this team looks stagnant and needs some changes.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:50 pm

I'll give it another 5 games or so, but this team looking totally disinterested and unprepared to play games, and it seems to becoming an annual thing for this team. Play half-assed, .500 hockey until mid-December, and then start playing more consistent hockey and get into the playoffs. Bad recipe that is going to fail them at some point, and makes it tough for Sullivan and Rutherford to evaluate the team and make necessary adjustments.

It's really hard to look at Corsi, Shots, Goals For or Against right now, because the team overall has been pretty terrible. Continued sloppy passing, continued Malkin giveaways and penalties, lack of sustained offensive pressure, lack of a full 60 minute game, etc, etc, etc.

Lines were changed today, with Rust back on Crosby's RW, and Brassard back to 3C. Grant was rotating with Sprong on the 4th line, which tells me Sprong is close to getting knocked out of the lineup....something I totally disagree with. I'll eat a steaming pile of crap if Grant replaces Sprong and the 4th line magically gets better. I see more issues with Cullen's 4th line play than Sprong's right now, if I'm being honest.

This team better snap out of it or they will get their asses handed to them tomorrow night.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby murphydump55 on Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:01 pm

FLPensFan wrote:I'll give it another 5 games or so, but this team looking totally disinterested and unprepared to play games, and it seems to becoming an annual thing for this team. Play half-assed, .500 hockey until mid-December, and then start playing more consistent hockey and get into the playoffs. Bad recipe that is going to fail them at some point, and makes it tough for Sullivan and Rutherford to evaluate the team and make necessary adjustments.

It's really hard to look at Corsi, Shots, Goals For or Against right now, because the team overall has been pretty terrible. Continued sloppy passing, continued Malkin giveaways and penalties, lack of sustained offensive pressure, lack of a full 60 minute game, etc, etc, etc.

Lines were changed today, with Rust back on Crosby's RW, and Brassard back to 3C. Grant was rotating with Sprong on the 4th line, which tells me Sprong is close to getting knocked out of the lineup....something I totally disagree with. I'll eat a steaming pile of crap if Grant replaces Sprong and the 4th line magically gets better. I see more issues with Cullen's 4th line play than Sprong's right now, if I'm being honest.

This team better snap out of it or they will get their asses handed to them tomorrow night.


Cullen to Sullivan is as Adams was to Bylsma

He’s gonna get a pass all season me thinks.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby thehockeyguru on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:57 am

I completely agree on Sprong. A good comparison is what Kapanen is doing in TOR, getting to play along side Matthews. Having a dynamic offensive talent on the 4th line being centered by Cullen is a joke.

Taking Sprong out of the lineup with all the other glaring issues this team has right now is like rearranging the chairs on Titanic.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Southern Fan on Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:39 am

thehockeyguru wrote:I completely agree on Sprong. A good comparison is what Kapanen is doing in TOR, getting to play along side Matthews. Having a dynamic offensive talent on the 4th line being centered by Cullen is a joke.

Taking Sprong out of the lineup with all the other glaring issues this team has right now is like rearranging the chairs on Titanic.


Babcock > Sullivan and just about every other coach in developing guys like Kapanen. Sprong would flourish under Babcock.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Maestro on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:02 am

If Sprong were smart he'd let his agent know his bags are packed, car's warmed up, and he's ready to go.

If this were like soccer he'd be on Twitter talking about how playing for Toronto was always a dream of his.
Maybe Montreal.

If I were he, I'd want out ASAP.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Jim on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:08 am

Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby penny lane on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:23 am

Southern Fan wrote:
thehockeyguru wrote:I completely agree on Sprong. A good comparison is what Kapanen is doing in TOR, getting to play along side Matthews. Having a dynamic offensive talent on the 4th line being centered by Cullen is a joke.

Taking Sprong out of the lineup with all the other glaring issues this team has right now is like rearranging the chairs on Titanic.


Babcock > Sullivan and just about every other coach in developing guys like Kapanen. Sprong would flourish under Babcock.


Toronto was in the mid level rebuilding after the Kessel trade. Babcock could afford to play Kasperi... he didn't get much time in that first season.
At some point talent will win out. I want to see Sprong succeed here; playing with your Dad- aka Matt Cullen is not the best place to showcase his talent. I think a place should be found for Sprong 1st 2 lines- see what he has. Pens have a round space guy in Brassard, but all that is left are squares. Will he fit? Anywhere?
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:34 am

Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

Disagree. Sprong is missing two things right now:

1) A center that can get him the puck.

2) Any semblance of confidence in his game whatsoever.

Sprong is a sniper. While in juniors, he had the speed and ability to blow past players on his own and create his own space. He was still able to do that to some degree in the AHL, just not as often. He also needed a good center to get him the puck when he was in position to unload. He doesn't have that in Sheahan or Cullen right now. In 8 games last year with Pittsburgh, Sprong had 22 shots on goal. In 65 games in WBS, Sprong had 214 shots on goal. This season, through 5 games, he has two shots on goal.

Here's a video of Sprong from last season. I don't see a single ounce of the kid in this video playing in the NHL this season. It's Derrick Pouliot all over again. Harp on the kid so much about his deficiencies that he loses all confidence and concentrates so much on the things you want him to improve that he ignores the skills that made him a high pick in the first place. Pouliot is never going to live up to his draft status, but he still could be a #4/#5 guy in this league. He did farely well in Vancouver last year.

It would almost be beneficial for Sprong to get scratched in favor for Derek Grant for a few games, so when the 4th line of Cullen, Sheahan, and Grant still sucks and is still a possession black hole, maybe then Sullivan will remove head from rear and give Sprong a real chance. Sidney Crosby is struggling to get going. They've tried Brassard, Hornqvist, and Rust there. Would it really kill them to give Sprong a game or two look with Crosby in a real game? I bet it would be beneficial for both Sid and Daniel's game.

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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Great58 on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:45 am

Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

I’d agree IF the other lines were clicking. But with the first, third and fourth lines all struggling for production, I don’t have an issue sliding Spring up to see if he can do more with better linemates.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Penguins Knight on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:47 am

The Penguins will need to start finishing games with wins within sixty minutes rather than finishing games with overtime losses. Score goals, win games.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Puck-Lurker on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:08 am

Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.


By that reasoning half the team should be out on waivers by now.

Okay.

Who's got Shero's phone number?
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Jim on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:20 am

FLPensFan wrote:1) A center that can get him the puck.


Jagr made Kip Miller and Jan Hrdina look competent... doesn't mean I want them on my top line.


FLPensFan wrote:2) Any semblance of confidence in his game whatsoever.


He would have to have the ability to demonstrate game in order to have confidence in it.

As far as the highlight reel goes, there are a lot of guys that blow/blew up the AHL that can't/couldn't make it in the NHL. He is an adult professional athlete. If he needs to find confidence then ... the safe space is somewhere else. Put up or shut up.

I said before, the fan whining about Sprong reminds me of the fan whining about Bennett not getting a fair shake. You take talent on faith, but actions are fact.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Jim on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:23 am

Great58 wrote:
Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

I’d agree IF the other lines were clicking. But with the first, third and fourth lines all struggling for production, I don’t have an issue sliding Spring up to see if he can do more with better linemates.


I get this, but then you are shuffling lines to shake things up, not shuffling lines because Sprong's not getting a fair shake and if he only had a fair shake HE WOULD BE A GOD WORTH OF OUR FEAR AND PRAISE...

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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Penguins Knight on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:27 am

I do not want to panic on Sprong yet. It is obvious Sprong is not producing yet. A forward who could score is not expected to score on the fourth line. Either Sprong needs to take initiative by scoring unassisted goals, or he needs to move up to the third line to do something.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby thehockeyguru on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:45 am

Great58 wrote:
Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

I’d agree IF the other lines were clicking. But with the first, third and fourth lines all struggling for production, I don’t have an issue sliding Spring up to see if he can do more with better linemates.


It's clear the top line isn't clicking like it should, the answer long term isn't to put a very good bottom 6 player in Rust on the top line.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby Great58 on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:48 am

Jim wrote:
Great58 wrote:
Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

I’d agree IF the other lines were clicking. But with the first, third and fourth lines all struggling for production, I don’t have an issue sliding Spring up to see if he can do more with better linemates.


I get this, but then you are shuffling lines to shake things up, not shuffling lines because Sprong's not getting a fair shake and if he only had a fair shake HE WOULD BE A GOD WORTH OF OUR FEAR AND PRAISE...

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I agree that shaking up the lineup to better accommodate Sprong specifically makes no sense. And if the fix for Sid’s lack of production is to put the reliable Hornqvist there, I have no problem with it. But I would rather see Sprong with Sid for a try than Rust or Simon. Those have all be tried with minimal results. I’d also consider Sprong with Brassard. Not because Sprong is owed anything, but if a fit can be found with an offensive line the upside would likely be far higher than Grant replacing him in the lineup, and Sprong eating Nachos.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:13 am

Jim wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:1) A center that can get him the puck.


Jagr made Kip Miller and Jan Hrdina look competent... doesn't mean I want them on my top line.


FLPensFan wrote:2) Any semblance of confidence in his game whatsoever.


He would have to have the ability to demonstrate game in order to have confidence in it.

As far as the highlight reel goes, there are a lot of guys that blow/blew up the AHL that can't/couldn't make it in the NHL. He is an adult professional athlete. If he needs to find confidence then ... the safe space is somewhere else. Put up or shut up.

I said before, the fan whining about Sprong reminds me of the fan whining about Bennett not getting a fair shake. You take talent on faith, but actions are fact.

That be great if every professional athlete was just a robot built the same way. Doesn't work that way. Some guys react differently. Fact of the matter is the entire team is playing like crap, but Sprong continues to get flack from the coaching staff while Geno continually gives the puck away, makes horrible decisions in his own zone, and takes bad penalties. Sullivan preaching about earning things when one of your star players is probably more guilty of bad plays than Sprong is so far this season. But Geno gets a pass because of who he is. Have your cake and eat it too......doesn't work both ways and the rules don't apply to everyone on the team.


Image

Patric Hornqvist has 1 assist, Bryan Rust has no points and is a minus 4. Tell me, what have they done THIS SEASON to earn a top line spot more than Sprong? I'll wait....for eternity. They are getting
that spot by their past body of work, yet, Sprong, who just completed one of the best seasons in WBS history, isn't afforded that same luxury. I've said before, as much as I am rooting and arguing for the kid, I will be the first to admit when I see him making glaring mistakes, repeated mistakes, or see enough to determine he isn't going to live up to the potential. I haven't seen any issues yet.....only with his usage.

The Bennett analogy isn't a good one. Bennett got tons of time with Malkin, and on just about every line. They tried him on his off wing. They tried him on the 4th line. His problem was more staying healthy than producing.
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Re: Game 5 vs 'Nucks - Thoughts from the Morning After

Postby vcip on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:23 am

FLPensFan wrote:
Jim wrote:Even if you are on the 4th line, if you have talent and hockey smarts it will show... you just won't get as many opportunities. He is also getting an minute and a half of pp time per game. Sprong isn't showing any reason to move him up.

Disagree. Sprong is missing two things right now:

1) A center that can get him the puck.

2) Any semblance of confidence in his game whatsoever.

Sprong is a sniper. While in juniors, he had the speed and ability to blow past players on his own and create his own space. He was still able to do that to some degree in the AHL, just not as often. He also needed a good center to get him the puck when he was in position to unload. He doesn't have that in Sheahan or Cullen right now. In 8 games last year with Pittsburgh, Sprong had 22 shots on goal. In 65 games in WBS, Sprong had 214 shots on goal. This season, through 5 games, he has two shots on goal.

Here's a video of Sprong from last season. I don't see a single ounce of the kid in this video playing in the NHL this season. It's Derrick Pouliot all over again. Harp on the kid so much about his deficiencies that he loses all confidence and concentrates so much on the things you want him to improve that he ignores the skills that made him a high pick in the first place. Pouliot is never going to live up to his draft status, but he still could be a #4/#5 guy in this league. He did farely well in Vancouver last year.



It would almost be beneficial for Sprong to get scratched in favor for Derek Grant for a few games, so when the 4th line of Cullen, Sheahan, and Grant still sucks and is still a possession black hole, maybe then Sullivan will remove head from rear and give Sprong a real chance. Sidney Crosby is struggling to get going. They've tried Brassard, Hornqvist, and Rust there. Would it really kill them to give Sprong a game or two look with Crosby in a real game? I bet it would be beneficial for both Sid and Daniel's game.





I agree...Going to be pissed if they Pouliot this guy
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