A thread for positive spins.....

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A thread for positive spins.....

Postby longtimefan on Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:37 pm

I've always been a glass half full kind of guy. I've also learned to look at the big picture, understanding the only thing that matters is the end result. The Pens have a total of one President's trophy, but I'm cool with that. Would love another, but I'm more interested in the five cups. Nobody remembers the 7-0 start in the 80's. They didn't make the playoffs. The game is set up for more micromanaging now with all the advanced stats. Human elements seem largely ignored. And we are an extremely spoiled fan base. I went to the opener, and thought it was an extremely entertaining game between two heavyweights with no secrets. Typical Pens-Caps game. This one was high scoring. I came home to read the reaction on the boards, and you'd think the Pens had been eliminated from the playoffs. People questioning every move. Every player. It's continued since. They win, lets look at the negatives. I just don't see a lot of good things being discussed. So maybe we can here.

The Pens are 4-1-2. A point behind Carolina, with two games in hand. They are tied with the Caps, but have a game in hand.

They are 3rd in goals per game, behind the Caps and Leafs

They are 19th in goals against per game. It definitely needs improvement. The Caps, Jackets, and Flyers have given up more.

Malkin is tied with McDavid for most points per game. He made a run at the scoring title last season, which would have made him the oldest since Mario. He's a year older, but might be in the mix again. His offensive skills are aging quite nicely.

Letang is 3rd in the league in points per game for a defenseman, and he has been great in a tandem with Dumo. Even some whispers he'd be an early season Norris candidate. Not bad for the board's #1 whipping boy who many wanted traded.

They are 2-0-1 on the road. Last season, they were the only team in the conference to finish below .500, at 17-20-4. Only Colorado, who was 4 games under, made the playoffs in the west. It's a quirk that their first 5 road games this season are in Canada.

I just haven't seen much mention of this stuff. I understand that fans micromange and worry. It's part of the fun. But it's nice to look at the bright side once in awhile too. Every team has to find it's identity. You usually have a decent feel by Thanksgiving, and you really start to pay attention at the Christmas break. That's when you start zeroing in on what needs improved. Sometimes it works. Bill Guerin and Ron Hainsey. Somtimes it doesn't. Jarome Iginla and Brassard last season. But we're not even at Halloween. Every team is a work in progress at this stage. But it ain't all bad!
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby Penspal on Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:19 pm

A couple of others positives.

- Riikola has shown that he MIGHT be a decent find
- The return of Cullen is a "Known Good" add to the on-ice leadership group.
- Hagelin & Sheahan are filling their roles very nicely & have anchored the PK group to a top 5 position in the league (big improvement over last year)
- None of the star players are upset (Phil is chill, Geno is score, Sid is Sid, Tanger is Chuck Norris)
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby Puck-Lurker on Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:06 pm

With 75 games to go and even without Schultz, our team looks like it could match up against any team come playoff time and have a shot.

That has been different. Sure there's loads of room for improvement, but it's October and we've got a full team ready to go.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby penny lane on Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:01 pm

Kristopher Letang- equal parts defense & offense fabulous.
I never worry about Evgeni & Sid.

A league wide +++++ 8-)
https://t.co/auSwCVLHc9
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby longtimefan on Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:36 am

Things can fluctuate quickly so early in the season. 8 games in.

Geno is now #1 by himself in PPG 1.88 to McDavid's 1.75

Kris Letang may be off to the best start of his career. 4G 7A 11Pts +7 with only 2 PIM's. At about 10% of the way into the season. Check that pace. :)

The Pens have the #1 offense in the league. 4.38 goals per game. The Caps are 2nd at 3.89.

Defensively, the Pens rank 17th in goals against. Which is headed in the right direction. The goals against for the season is 25, but they've given up 6 goals once, and 5 twice. They've given up a total of 9 goals in the other 5 games. Inconsistent, but not a complete train wreck. They are giving up a lot of shots, but it's a stat that can be misleading. Calgary had 15 of their 39 in the 3rd period, and the Pens were coasting before the game was 30 minutes old. It's an area they need to work on. They rank #30 in the league. They rank 20th in shots for. I didn't see it, but the shooting % must be out of sight.

Most importantly, the team is 5-1-2. 3-0-1 on the raod. And in first place in their division. not a bad way to get off to a slow start. :)
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby Great58 on Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:36 am

Neither Sid nor Letang are making horrible turnovers. No blind backhanders across the offensive zone for Sid, no fumbling of the puck like it is a hand grenade for Kris.
Geno seems to have eliminated the terrible turnover at inopportune times after a rough start to the season, and hasn't been taking terrible, undisciplined penalties.
Murray now 4-1 and save percentage back up to 0.910 after what seemed like a horrible start.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby longtimefan on Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:40 pm

Josh Yohe:

https://theathletic.com/614543/2018/10/ ... elievable/

• Remember when the Penguins couldn’t do anything right? Boy, has this road trip changed everything. Sure, they still gave up 39 shots. Defensive issues remain. But let’s consider some facts here: The Penguins are now in first place in the Metropolitan Division and have a game in hand on their challengers. They now lead the league in goals per game, notching 4.38 per contest. They’ve only lost one game in regulation. The big guns are really starting to fire. Some players who were looking to get their first goals of the season — Crosby, Cullen, Bryan Rust, Hornqvist — have done so. This isn’t a perfect team by any stretch, but it’s a team that’s going to win a lot of games.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby longtimefan on Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:40 pm

Josh Yohe:

https://theathletic.com/614543/2018/10/ ... elievable/

• Remember when the Penguins couldn’t do anything right? Boy, has this road trip changed everything. Sure, they still gave up 39 shots. Defensive issues remain. But let’s consider some facts here: The Penguins are now in first place in the Metropolitan Division and have a game in hand on their challengers. They now lead the league in goals per game, notching 4.38 per contest. They’ve only lost one game in regulation. The big guns are really starting to fire. Some players who were looking to get their first goals of the season — Crosby, Cullen, Bryan Rust, Hornqvist — have done so. This isn’t a perfect team by any stretch, but it’s a team that’s going to win a lot of games.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby longtimefan on Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:12 am

-After 9 games, Malkin has 18 points, the fastest start of his career. He's at 2.0 points per game leads the league, with McDavid second at 1.78.

-At 6-1-2, the Pens have the highest winning % in the league at .778. The Lightning are second at .750. They have the least regulation losses in the league. In fact, the Pens and Bolts are the only two teams without at least 4 total losses, regulation and OT.

-On the road trip, the Pens outscored their opponent 23-6. 5.75 Goals for per game, 1.5 against.

-In goals per game, the Pens lead the league at 4.44. The Caps are second at 3.8. The Pens are now 13th in goals against per game at 2.78.

-The power play had an 0-4 night, which dropped it to 6th in the league, but it's at 29.2%, which is higher than last season's 26.2% league leading %. The penalty kill has been a bright spot, 4th in the league at 88.0%.

-A little under the radar, but perhaps most surprising, they are 5th in the league, winning 52.1% of their faceoffs.

-Actually, this one surprises me more. The Pens are 3rd in the league in hits per game. Vegas averages 28.3%, Montreal 26.9, and the Pens at 26.8. They are 18th in blocked shots.

-The most negative stat is the amount of shots they give up, which is the 3rd highest in the league at 35.6. The goalies deserve a bit of credit. For the season, the team save percentage is 92.19.

-Coming home after one of their best road trips ever, and they've yet to lose a road game in regulation. Which is big for a team that was 3 games under .500 on the road last season.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby largegarlic on Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:24 am

I would have thought this thread would get a little more business after a 4-0 road trip, but I guess not.

Anyhow, I thought I'd add that I'm surprised/impressed that they made it through a Western Canada road trip without one horrible, no-show game. It seems like every time they have a Western road trip, whether it be Western Canada or California, they have one game that's a complete stinker where they lose by 4-5 goals. Nothing remotely close to that this trip.
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Re: A thread for positive spins.....

Postby Penspal on Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:04 am

longtimefan wrote:-After 9 games, Malkin has 18 points, the fastest start of his career. He's at 2.0 points per game leads the league, with McDavid second at 1.78.

-At 6-1-2, the Pens have the highest winning % in the league at .778. The Lightning are second at .750. They have the least regulation losses in the league. In fact, the Pens and Bolts are the only two teams without at least 4 total losses, regulation and OT.

-On the road trip, the Pens outscored their opponent 23-6. 5.75 Goals for per game, 1.5 against.

-In goals per game, the Pens lead the league at 4.44. The Caps are second at 3.8. The Pens are now 13th in goals against per game at 2.78.

-The power play had an 0-4 night, which dropped it to 6th in the league, but it's at 29.2%, which is higher than last season's 26.2% league leading %. The penalty kill has been a bright spot, 4th in the league at 88.0%.

-A little under the radar, but perhaps most surprising, they are 5th in the league, winning 52.1% of their faceoffs.

-Actually, this one surprises me more. The Pens are 3rd in the league in hits per game. Vegas averages 28.3%, Montreal 26.9, and the Pens at 26.8. They are 18th in blocked shots.

-The most negative stat is the amount of shots they give up, which is the 3rd highest in the league at 35.6. The goalies deserve a bit of credit. For the season, the team save percentage is 92.19.

-Coming home after one of their best road trips ever, and they've yet to lose a road game in regulation. Which is big for a team that was 3 games under .500 on the road last season.


IMHO, the increased shot totals are a combination of the defensive style and other teams strategy to throw pucks high on "suspect" Pens goal tending. In other words, HCMS and crew have instilled a defensive posture that makes it "okay" to allow a shot from a bad angle and opposing teams are quickly learning that the Pens keepers are better than advertised.

The hit stats surprise me most, but then again, hitting seems to be "down", at least not as prevalent. Maybe Torts is right, the league needs some "dislike"/"hate" back?
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