D pairings

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Re: D pairings

Postby Geezer on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:47 pm

MRandall25 wrote:I'd be more reassured with Bortuzzo rather than Lovejoy. Everything we saw last year with Bortuzzo showed me he's ready.

Agreed. And Lovejoy needs to be an ex-Pen regardless who replaces him. Lovejoy was a god fit for the Laukenen,Pushor, Jackman team whem Ian Moran was their best Dman.
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Re: D pairings

Postby mikey287 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 pm

Since it applies to our defense more than anywhere...the "9 game tryout" thing for junior players this year is only 5. On the 6th game, the contract year counts. Just put that under your thinking cap. Personally, I don't think it effects us as we have enough mire to wallow in, but just so we know...
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Re: D pairings

Postby DelPen on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:12 pm

I hate when people say certain players can't handle 20 minutes without ever seeing them play that much. Niskanen can and Engellend, Lovejoy and Strait looked fine playing close to that when we had injuries.
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Re: D pairings

Postby mikey287 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:17 pm

Identifying and evaluating talent, understanding limitations vs. peers is key to the process. Some players simply aren't effective when you get into the 20-minute area. They can be spotted fairly quickly at the NHL level.

Players may "look fine" for a few games here and there, but those minutes are cumulative.

I don't believe a single one of those guys can play 20+ in the NHL and look good doing it...
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Re: D pairings

Postby The Snapshot on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:54 pm

I had an up-close view of Bortuzzo from about 10 rows up last Saturday and he was very reminiscent of Kjell Samuellson. He is very agile on his skates, so much so that you never really notice he is a giant until the play stops and he's standing next to Brian Gibbons. He was very phyiscal, not headhunting style, but just stopped his opponent's progress almost every time.

The most surprising thing to me was how he led several rushes up the ice and made a nice first pass as he gained our defensive blue line.

I have also been very impressed with Despres' time in Pittsburgh. He performed very well at the end of last season, and I'm not going to worry too much about his play in WBS this year, stellar or not. I think there is a natural drop when a kid proves to himself that he is ready for this league and then has to go back to that league. It may not be a trait you yearn for in a youngster, but it is understandable.

I agree that we are reaching a point where Engelland, Lovejoy, Strait and Sneep need to step up or move out of the way. There are some young pups coming to join Samuelsson and Morrow next year in WBS. I have never understood the attraction of Strait in his brief time in Pittsburgh - but I admit I haven't seen much of the rest of his career. He just seems a little under the bar to me in every facet of the game.

I believe Despres is a lock to earn a spot. I think Bortuzzo is next in line. I wouldn't mind seeing them both in Pittsburgh but Despres needs a big role if he's staying. I think Bortuzzo could play less minutes and be effective.
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Re: D pairings

Postby Gaucho on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:01 pm

Sneep has made it all the way to Wheeling, if I'm not mistaken, so I don't know if there's much of a future for him with the Pens.
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Re: D pairings

Postby columbia on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:02 pm

Gaucho wrote:Sneep has made it all the way to Wheeling, if I'm not mistaken, so I don't know if there's much of a future for him with the Pens.


His legacy will be a very entertaining GDT.
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Re: D pairings

Postby mikey287 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:06 pm

The Snapshot wrote:I had an up-close view of Bortuzzo from about 10 rows up last Saturday and he was very reminiscent of Kjell Samuellson. He is very agile on his skates, so much so that you never really notice he is a giant until the play stops and he's standing next to Brian Gibbons. He was very phyiscal, not headhunting style, but just stopped his opponent's progress almost every time.

The most surprising thing to me was how he led several rushes up the ice and made a nice first pass as he gained our defensive blue line.

I have also been very impressed with Despres' time in Pittsburgh. He performed very well at the end of last season, and I'm not going to worry too much about his play in WBS this year, stellar or not. I think there is a natural drop when a kid proves to himself that he is ready for this league and then has to go back to that league. It may not be a trait you yearn for in a youngster, but it is understandable.

I agree that we are reaching a point where Engelland, Lovejoy, Strait and Sneep need to step up or move out of the way. There are some young pups coming to join Samuelsson and Morrow next year in WBS. I have never understood the attraction of Strait in his brief time in Pittsburgh - but I admit I haven't seen much of the rest of his career. He just seems a little under the bar to me in every facet of the game.

I believe Despres is a lock to earn a spot. I think Bortuzzo is next in line. I wouldn't mind seeing them both in Pittsburgh but Despres needs a big role if he's staying. I think Bortuzzo could play less minutes and be effective.


Thanks for the report, Snapper... :thumb:
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Re: D pairings

Postby columbia on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:11 pm

I don't know what Bortuzzo's NHL ceiling is (largely because we just haven't seen him enough), but I'm relatively certain that it can't be lower than Lovejoy's. Hopefully the latter is waived right after camp.
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Re: D pairings

Postby Gaucho on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:22 pm

columbia wrote:
Gaucho wrote:Sneep has made it all the way to Wheeling, if I'm not mistaken, so I don't know if there's much of a future for him with the Pens.


His legacy will be a very entertaining GDT.


Oh yes, I certainly went to sneep with a smile on my face that day.
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Re: D pairings

Postby DelPen on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:52 pm

Gaucho wrote:Sneep has made it all the way to Wheeling, if I'm not mistaken, so I don't know if there's much of a future for him with the Pens.


The log jam of defenseman in WBS is insane right now. You need your vets in the lineup like Mormina and Reese to keep the other team honest so that leaves 4 spots open for Strait, Sneep, Morrow, Despres, Bortuzzo, Samuelsson, Grant and Dumoulin.

Most nights it's Dumoulin, Reese, Morrow, Despres, Bortuzzo and Strait with Samuelsson playing a lot too. There's just no room for Sneep, or Grant for that matter. Assuming Strait and Bortuzzo are on the Pens roster because of waiver issues he should get some time back up in WBS.
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Re: D pairings

Postby bwink on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:59 pm

I think there are 8 NHL ready guys that are in line for roster spots in the abbreviated camp (try-out) that will proceed into the first part of the season.

The no-brainers are Orpik, Letang, Martin and Niskanen.

That leaves Depres, Bortuzzo, Strait and Engelland to battle for the last 2 spots. If Bortuzzo and Strait have been partners this year I see that as being a logical choice and that decision may also spark a fire in Depres to supplant one of the top 4 (martin) next year or even sooner.
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Re: D pairings

Postby netwolf on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:06 pm

Molinari was right; I was surprised to hear they are thinking about moving him to the right side and pairing him with Orpik. My initial thought was moving him a struggling player out of his normal position might not be the best way to help him straighten out his game. Then Jesse and cojac pointed out that Martin did play some on the right side w/ Salvador in NJ. Besides, I didn't think moving Neal to RW was a good idea, so what do I know?

Given the progress Matt Niskanen made last year and that he prefers the left side, I assume he'll pair with Kris Letang. If Niskanen continue to progress, that pairing could be very good, especially in transition and offensively.

That leaves Engelland, Lovejoy, Bortuzzo, and Strait to fight it out for the bottom pairing. I don't think Despres, Morrow, or Dumoulin have much of a shot out of the gate. From what I've read, all have struggled at times this season and have found themselves in the press box.
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Re: D pairings

Postby BurghersAndDogsSports on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:17 pm

netwolf wrote:Molinari was right; I was surprised to hear they are thinking about moving him to the right side and pairing him with Orpik. My initial thought was moving him a struggling player out of his normal position might not be the best way to help him straighten out his game. Then Jesse and cojac pointed out that Martin did play some on the right side w/ Salvador in NJ. Besides, I didn't think moving Neal to RW was a good idea, so what do I know?

Given the progress Matt Niskanen made last year and that he prefers the left side, I assume he'll pair with Kris Letang. If Niskanen continue to progress, that pairing could be very good, especially in transition and offensively.

That leaves Engelland, Lovejoy, Bortuzzo, and Strait to fight it out for the bottom pairing. I don't think Despres, Morrow, or Dumoulin have much of a shot out of the gate. From what I've read, all have struggled at times this season and have found themselves in the press box.


I have read some negative stuff about Despres but not the other two. Any updates on them? Just curious as to what any issues might be.

I'm not thrilled with the prospects of two of the four you listed being our last pairing.
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Re: D pairings

Postby bwink on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:23 pm

I'd rather see Bortuzzo and Srait than Engelland and Lovejoy - Keep Engelland as the number 7 and cut ties with Lovejoy and see what happens in the first few games.
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Re: D pairings

Postby helmespc on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:30 pm

I'd rather start 13-14 with one of Bortuzzo, Strait, or Despres with 48 additional games of experience, than with Lovejoy/Engellend holding down the bottom of the D with their lack of upside.
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Re: D pairings

Postby bwink on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:32 pm

helmespc wrote:I'd rather start 13-14 with one of Bortuzzo, Strait, or Despres with 48 additional games of experience, than with Lovejoy/Engellend holding down the bottom of the D with their lack of upside.


Agreed!!
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Re: D pairings

Postby The U on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:34 pm

This is the logjam that Shero purposely created in order to accumulate assets that are coveted both internally and by other organizations. It will be interesting to see which high-ceiling young dman is traded. Lovejoy, Strait, Sneep, etc are not bringing anything back in return. Perhaps Despres is the most likely candidate to go if Bortuzzo is being pushed ahead of him already?

Need to cash out/ sell some of this stock to improve the rest of the team. Holding all of these assets is great but there isn't room for everyone. The Goligoski trade was fantastic. If we can swing 1 or 2 more of those we can really set ourselves up for the future.
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Re: D pairings

Postby BurghersAndDogsSports on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:37 pm

The U wrote:This is the logjam that Shero purposely created in order to accumulate assets that are coveted both internally and by other organizations. It will be interesting to see which high-ceiling young dman is traded. Lovejoy, Strait, Sneep, etc are not bringing anything back in return. Perhaps Despres is the most likely candidate to go if Bortuzzo is being pushed ahead of him already?

Need to cash out/ sell some of this stock to improve the rest of the team. Holding all of these assets is great but there isn't room for everyone. The Goligoski trade was fantastic. If we can swing 1 or 2 more of those we can really set ourselves up for the future.


Agreed but problem is you don't get top return for a dmen unless he has played a few years in the league.
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Re: D pairings

Postby bwink on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:40 pm

The U wrote:This is the logjam that Shero purposely created in order to accumulate assets that are coveted both internally and by other organizations. It will be interesting to see which high-ceiling young dman is traded. Lovejoy, Strait, Sneep, etc are not bringing anything back in return. Perhaps Despres is the most likely candidate to go if Bortuzzo is being pushed ahead of him already?

Need to cash out/ sell some of this stock to improve the rest of the team. Holding all of these assets is great but there isn't room for everyone. The Goligoski trade was fantastic. If we can swing 1 or 2 more of those we can really set ourselves up for the future.


Exactly - All the more reason to play them andf see what you actually have.
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Re: D pairings

Postby netwolf on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:42 pm

I get most of my WB Pens info from three Twitter feeds:

https://twitter.com/CVBombulie
https://twitter.com/nafsnep
https://twitter.com/H_P_Hockey

Each of those pages has a link to that person's own site. Great reads all around.

I'm not that concerned about the new guys struggling a bit. Morrow and Dumoulin are 1st year pros. Despres is only in his second. Most players take time to develop, especially defensemen.
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Re: D pairings

Postby The U on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:43 pm

BurghersAndDogsSports wrote:
The U wrote:This is the logjam that Shero purposely created in order to accumulate assets that are coveted both internally and by other organizations. It will be interesting to see which high-ceiling young dman is traded. Lovejoy, Strait, Sneep, etc are not bringing anything back in return. Perhaps Despres is the most likely candidate to go if Bortuzzo is being pushed ahead of him already?

Need to cash out/ sell some of this stock to improve the rest of the team. Holding all of these assets is great but there isn't room for everyone. The Goligoski trade was fantastic. If we can swing 1 or 2 more of those we can really set ourselves up for the future.


Agreed but problem is you don't get top return for a dmen unless he has played a few years in the league.


Right, and Harrington, Morrow, Pouliot, etc have zero games in the NHL. I dont think we can wait 3 years to swing the next Goligoski trade. With recent playoff disappointment Shero and Bylsma may not be around in three years if our holes on the NHL blue line and top six forward aren't filled.

With all the tradable assets we have and 9 million in cap space, Shero is in perfect position to improve the team.
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Re: D pairings

Postby BurghersAndDogsSports on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:48 pm

The U wrote:
BurghersAndDogsSports wrote:
The U wrote:This is the logjam that Shero purposely created in order to accumulate assets that are coveted both internally and by other organizations. It will be interesting to see which high-ceiling young dman is traded. Lovejoy, Strait, Sneep, etc are not bringing anything back in return. Perhaps Despres is the most likely candidate to go if Bortuzzo is being pushed ahead of him already?

Need to cash out/ sell some of this stock to improve the rest of the team. Holding all of these assets is great but there isn't room for everyone. The Goligoski trade was fantastic. If we can swing 1 or 2 more of those we can really set ourselves up for the future.


Agreed but problem is you don't get top return for a dmen unless he has played a few years in the league.


Right, and Harrington, Morrow, Pouliot, etc have zero games in the NHL. I dont think we can wait 3 years to swing the next Goligoski trade. With recent playoff disappointment Shero and Bylsma may not be around in three years if our holes on the NHL blue line and top six forward aren't filled.

With all the tradable assets we have and 9 million in cap space, Shero is in perfect position to improve the team.


If I had to guess maybe one or two of them at the deadline for tradable type assets from non contenders (like impending free agents). I just don't think offering up a defense prospect is going to get us a long term solution NhL ready dmen or a 2nd line winger, won't make sense for the other squad.
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Re: D pairings

Postby helmespc on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:22 am

.... at least we're not playing half a season with Alain Nasreddine as our #6 again.
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Re: D pairings

Postby DesertPenguin on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:14 am

bwink wrote:I'd rather see Bortuzzo and Srait than Engelland and Lovejoy - Keep Engelland as the number 7 and cut ties with Lovejoy and see what happens in the first few games.


This. Or Despres instead of Strait.
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