Nizzy wrote: mikey287 wrote: bringitonhome wrote: mikey287 wrote:
Pitts wrote:I hope Brooks retires a life-long Pen.
Has there been a better Pens defensemen this year, all season, in terms of consistency than Brooks Orpik? I guess Paul Martin ranks right up there. I feel they've done a pretty decent job, a couple of defensive-minded guys, both LHS playing together against tough competition every night...both have done a fine job especially relative to last season, when they were both pretty shaky all things considered, especially Martin...
The only thing I'll give Orpik is that he seems to be in position most of the time, but he barley hits and then gets beat when he is in position.....it's just so frustrating sometimes.
I'm not so sure I agree with all that. I think the downtick in his hitting this year is circumstantial first of all and second of all, in his younger days he was a guy that was guilty of chasing hits around and losing positioning. With his skating ability and his ability to be positionally sound (when he's on his game), he's tough to beat really. I think we've seen that here this season. Martin and him have been a pretty effective shutdown pair as far as this team goes...a team that sorely needs one...two guys on the blueline make up 33% of the team's defense, I think 44 & 7 combine for damn near 75% of the hockey sense on the blueline for us any given night...Engelland's got little, Bortuzzo and Niskanen combine for whatever Engelland has...Letang has the rest...
Mikey. Real Talk.
Despres is a future top 4. I personally think it should be
Letang - Despres
Orpik - Martin
Nisky over Engelland, but you need Engelland for the crease clearing/tough bigger bottom pair. Nisky fills in once theres an injury.
What do you think?
Lucky guess on my given last name.
I don't agree with the pairings. I don't love the alternative either. I'm getting to a point where I realize that just complaining about a problem shows nothing, posing a solution shows something. I can't pose a reasonable solution quite yet, so I can't really comment.
Personally, I think Engelland can be jettisoned or relegated to the #7 or moved to the RW of the fourth line. Bortuzzo could be taught to clear the crease if properly coached. He's dumb as a thumb tack, but big as a house. Though he's all arms and legs right now...the organization has to groom him right to get what they want...if they don't, we have nothing there really...
Niskanen should play, but he can't play against top competition. Like I said all last year, I have reservations about Niskanen being in the top 4. I don't think people are realizing how much bad stuff seems to happen while Niskanen's out there...I'd like him to be a #5, but I also can't put him out there with another a Clueless Joe Jackson in Robert Bortuzzo. Letang and Despres seems like a good idea, or reasonably good idea...but throwing Despres into the fire with no backup plan is troubling to me. Martin and Orpik are good together, Martin has always played well with a physical defensive d-man by his side, this is no exception.
Unfortunately, I can't make the call on the top or bottom pairing. I need to evaluate more, I'd be tinkering with both pair #1 and #3 if I'm HCDB. I'd hire an intern to iso-cam from the top corner of the rink behind them at all times...make a detailed evaluation and come up with a solution. It might not be in house...
Honestly, I just don't know for sure what to do right now. I have an answer for lots of things, not this, not right now. Maybe at the deadline I'll know better...hopefully our coaching staff beats me to the punch so we're still playing in June...