Words from JB on Letang and Goligoski

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Words from JB on Letang and Goligoski

Postby Shinoix on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:20 pm

With the pink story going in tomorrow's paper, I pushed back another story until Wednesday's paper. It's about the challenges Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski face in their own zone, the challenges all young offensive defensemen face, really. I watched them both in a 1-on-1 battle drill the team did in practice today.

The drill was like three battles in one -- one around the net, one in the corner and one all the way from the blue line in. I think I saw Letang's opponent get a shot off once, and it was Kurtis McLean using this fancy move where the puck ended up bouncing off his back skate and onto his stick. Goligoski did a decent job with the drill, but was nowhere near as good as Letang.

My point is this: Letang definitely has the physical ability and hockey knowledge to be not just a good defender, but an excellent one. He makes mistakes that lead to goals. Already has done that a couple times in three games, actually. But they are mistakes of aggression or carelessness. I think all he needs is a little experience in game situations at the pro level.

Goligoski has a little more difficult transition ahead of him. I think he still has to get used to dealing with bigger and stronger opponents on a daily basis. That could take longer.



Good to hear about Letang. Hopefully JB is right and a little experience will cure his mistakes. I trust they're not Gonchar type errors...oh wait, he said they're mistakes of agression...that's nothing like Gonchar. The Carelessness mistakes might be however.

Pretty much what I expected about Goligoski.
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Postby Corvidae on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:22 pm

Jerry Bruckheimer?
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Postby gregor on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:28 pm

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Postby Shinoix on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:28 pm

Corvidae wrote:Jerry Bruckheimer?


Yes, Letang and Goligoski = Martin Lawrence and Will Smith from Bad Boys.
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Postby Henry Hank on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:44 pm

Some people can't look at defensemen in terms other than the black and white offensive and defensive defenseman, so Letang gets lumped as all offense, but that's not going to be true when he fully develops. He and Goligoski are going to be strong two-way defenseman. I can envision them pairing up as a second pairing in the coming years.
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Postby Stoosh on Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:53 pm

Henry Hank wrote:Some people can't look at defensemen in terms other than the black and white offensive and defensive defenseman, so Letang gets lumped as all offense, but that's not going to be true when he fully develops. He and Goligoski are going to be strong two-way defenseman. I can envision them pairing up as a second pairing in the coming years.


Goligoski is going to have to learn to play the body a little bit better, but from the limited amount I saw him at the one camp practice I attended (the Sat. session at Southpointe), the kid is definitely a hard worker. Make no mistake, his mobility and talents moving the puck will more than likely get him here. His willingness and ability to play the body will determine what kind of NHL career he has.

The first thing that impressed me about Letang when I saw him in his first camp a couple of years ago was how physical he was, especially along the boards. His positioning when he's playing the puck on the boards is solid and his willingness to mix it up on the boards was what initially made him stand out to me. He's like a pitbull when he gets in along the boards, and it's not something you would expect to see when you first look at him.
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Postby Guido on Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:35 am

JB is usually right on with his assessments. Reading his stuff kind of reminds me of the down-to-earth style Dejan usually had.

Is there anyway we could bring JB up from the minors and send Molinari down for a 'conditioning assignment'?
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Postby pfim on Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:24 am

I'm sure Letang has fine one on one skills, he seems like a very strong player for his size. But it was his positioning that got him in trouble last year, which is the more important of the two skills, imo.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:31 am

These guys don't have to be superb defensively; they just have to be adequate. Given that they will be puck-moving defensemen, so long as they are not significant liabilities in their own end, that will be enough. In the best of all worlds, they will be partnered with stay-at-home types, anyhow.
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Postby DelPen on Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:47 am

I think Letang and Goligoski have the potential to be like a Zubov and a Rafalski. We'll see Letang back up when Gonchar has his yearly groin injury in December.
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