Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

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Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby wondermoose on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:56 am

Okay, first let me explain. Losing a top minute guy like Gonchar is never an outright good thing. However, injuries allow others to shine.

I am not a fan of out Therrien impedes young players progress in the NHL. I love his coaching style, but when it comes to "developing" players I think he doesn't give them enough credit. I've been following Letang and Goligoski for years now, and I'm actually extremely excited that at least Letang will be getting 20 minutes a night potentially. The added responsibilities really bring out the best in these upper echelon players. It did wonders for Malkin last year when Sid went down.

Besides, a slow first half isn't anything unusual and the worse case scenario is Letang and Goli turn out to be mediocre players, and Gonchar and Whitney come back to turn the season around.

Oh, and another thing, this is my first attempt at a discussion on this boards in... well, it's been awhile. Let's see if we can still talk hockey without all the crap.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby JoseCuervo on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:02 am

Sure it's nice to see young players get to play, but I still want what is best for the team. Gonchar is the best defenseman and should be playing.

Of course I'm upset. But I'm not worried.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:04 am

I don't have a problem with the way Therrien brings players along, especially in the case of Letang and Gogo. Based on his age, Goligoski should still be developing in the AHL or right where he is now, on the fringe of the NHL. Letang is even younger and thus further ahead in his development. This is definitely a good opportunity for them though, and really a good opportunity for some of the guys in WBS to run the defense down there and maybe get noticed in Goligoski's wake.

I really hope Gonchar isn't out though since Whitney was already out. As much as people criticize Whits, the offense wouldn't take that huge a hit losing Gonchar if Whitney were still healthy. As it is now, They are gonna struggle without the experienced offense coming from the blue line.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Corvidae on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:40 am

I think Gonchar's underrated defensive play will be missed more than you'd think. He's no steady stay-at-home defenseman, but as far offensive blueliners go, he's pretty good. Letang and maybe GoGo will have more to fill than just his points minutes and point totals.

As far as those totals go, can Letang or GoGo be solid PP point options? Will they be steady enough back their to keep the Pens a float until the wounds heal? Maybe, but I'd rather not be asking those questions in the season following a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. And it's a one-two punch, really, with Whitney also out for a while (though I'm a time tested Whitney basher, I know he's an offensive threat).
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:06 am

I'm not extremely worried about Gonchar's defense being lost. The defense without the puck should still be solid, the forwards may just have to help out a bit more because no matter how good Letang and Gogo are, they aren't going to move the puck up the ice out of the zone as well as Gonchar and Whitney do.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby wondermoose on Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:49 am

Well, no doubt the defense isn't going to be as strong. If you ask me, Gonchar played as well defensively last year as any defenseman not named Lidstrom. He won't be out that long, providing just enough time for Letang or Gogo to really get that feel of being "the man" on defense. I think that's important for confidence with the younger elite players.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby bhaw on Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:14 am

I think Gonchar will be hugely missed, but the fact that we will start the season without him lessens the blow. He's a top pairing guy and one of the best PP defensemen in the NHL. You can't NOT miss that. If the offense is clicking to start the season, I think the place we will miss him most is getting it out of the Pens' defensive end. Gonchar could make good passes, skate it out, and made good decisions usually when he had the puck. Letang and Goligoski may be able to make the passes or skate it out just as well, but the reason MT eases them along is for the decision making part. That isn't just built in, so if Goligoski is actually playing in the NHL, I expect a pretty round start to the season.

I have no problem with how MT brings players along. That is something I see him do better than most any coach, and you can't argue with his track record. He doesn't just throw them into the spot they will eventually play. He let's them prove they can play that spot first. IMO, he does a very good job at not setting guys up to fail right off the bat. If he put Letang in a spot last year where he kept screwing up, Letang loses his confidence and we're talking about whether or not Letang can put it together to be a competent d-man right now instead of whether he can eat up some of Gonchar's responsibility.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby shane613 on Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:29 am

i thought goligoski looked pretty good on the power play last night
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Sigwolf on Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:55 am

I am not concerned with Gonchar missing a few weeks at the beginning of the season. I am concerned, however, at the possibility of long-term or recurring problems that could be a result of the injury. If he is able to come back 100%, there's nothing to worry about. It's just the alternative that scares me...
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Corvidae on Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:07 pm

Sigwolf wrote:I am not concerned with Gonchar missing a few weeks at the beginning of the season. I am concerned, however, at the possibility of long-term or recurring problems that could be a result of the injury. If he is able to come back 100%, there's nothing to worry about. It's just the alternative that scares me...


Bang. Those are pretty much my thoughts exactly. No Gonch or <100 Gonch for the entire season would really sting. Just a few weeks is certainly manageable.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Henry Hank on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:12 pm

I wouldn't say I'm not upset about it, but this isn't a crippling loss at this point in the season. I see it as an exciting opportunity for both Letang and Goligoski. The Pens had the defensive depth going in to cope with losses and now we're seeing it. They can survive in the early part of the regular season without Gonchar and Whitney. The important thing is that the team is in shape for the playoffs. These early season games are small potatoes, and they should still be a very good team even with the injuries. They sure were last year.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Mr. Colby on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:15 pm

Personally, I am very upset about Gonchar's injury. I think his role on this team is so largely underrated, and we take for granted just how good he is. He just does his job night in, night out, and we only notice how important his role is when he's not playing. For the past 3 years, the PP has been horrific without him on it. He is the #1 defenseman on this team, and a top-echelon d-man in the league. He makes his partners better.

However, there is some good that comes with the bad. That being the fact that we get to see if Orpik can play the same on his own. We get to see Goligoski playing at the level where most believe he belongs. And finally, the best part about Gonch's injury is that it happened now, where he won't miss many games (hopefully).
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:18 pm

I am very upset about his injury, and if you are not right now, wait until the season starts.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby westside on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:23 pm

I'd be upset if this injury happened in April, but since it's freakin' September and the Pens seem to always start slow (no matter who's playing) I'm really not too concerned. And like others mentioned, it will be good to see what kind of sand the younger guys have.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby bhaw on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:29 pm

Interesting question... if the team plays VERY WELL with Gonchar out, does that put him on the trading block this year or in the off season to potentially pull in a top winger? Like I said above, I think the team will have most trouble getting out of their own zone, but just a hypothetical :D
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:30 pm

I can't imagine a situation where they do better than they would have with him here.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby spi on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:36 pm

I think it is a good thing in that Letang and Gogo have a legitimate shot at showing their potential and I expect them both to shine. Goligoski is a bit more of a question mark to me based on the one game I saw in the calder finals, offensively he seems ready. My biggest worry about gonch being out is that we may find out how underappreciated he is. Last season there was a clear trend. Whoever played with Gonch became their second best defenseman. When eaton went down everyone thought that would be a huge blow but then Scuds got paired with gonchar and was solid. Then scuds went down and orpik went from the doghouse to worthy of a 7 year deal. That was no coincidence.

I have been extremely critical of Gonchar in the past but I will admit that he really showed how valuable he is. He makes other players better.

I hope the pens get lucky...as the old saying goes, Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. The Tang and Gogo have their opportunity.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby bhaw on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:38 pm

I agree (to Idoit). I don't see them being as successful, but I could also see the benefit in turning him into a young top 6 guy if they seem to be good without him. No one on the roster can replace Gonchar obviously, but it am thinking a situation where you could turn him into a high impact forward, which could improve the team more overall in the long run.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Guido on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:54 pm

My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Corvidae on Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:01 pm

Guido wrote:My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.


Malkin stepped his game up to ridiculous levels when Crsoby feel ill. I certainly have less hope that Letang or GoGo will do the same, but it's not impossible to think we'll see some quick improvement in them that will remain beneficial even after Gonch returns.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:49 pm

Guido wrote:My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.


Just like there was no benefit when Crosby or Fleury got injured?
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Corvidae on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:16 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:
Guido wrote:My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.


Just like there was no benefit when Crosby or Fleury got injured?


Like what I said, with more "OH SNIZZAP!"
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:18 pm

Corvidae wrote:
Idoit40fans wrote:
Guido wrote:My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.


Just like there was no benefit when Crosby or Fleury got injured?


Like what I said, with more "OH SNIZZAP!"


Yeah I saw that you were responding with the same argument, and then made my post before reading it, just in case mine was redundant.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby wondermoose on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:19 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:
Guido wrote:My only comment towards this topic is that:

There is not a single benefit that comes from Gonchar being injured.


Just like there was no benefit when Crosby or Fleury got injured?


This is the idea I was trying to get to... Perhaps I didn't quite get my point across the right way. But it's not joy that Gonchar got hurt at all. He will be needed for the playoffs. But here's another thought. Gonchar's contract is over after next season. Will he come back? If he does, it's going to have to be for a hell of a lot less money. Letang and Goligoski are pretty much the future of the defense, and I'm super excited to see how it goes for them in a spotlighted roll.
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Re: Anyone else not upset with Gonchar's injury?

Postby Idoit40fans on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:46 pm

There is always a silver lining in sports, unless you are the pirates.
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