what exactly is missing from the defense?

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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby wallflower on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:09 pm

littlemoonboot wrote:Detroit's fans were howling about their defensive game last night and as of late. I don't know what their excuse is given they don't have a lot of injuries and a lot of solid veterans. The old Cup hangover, maybe. Not that I'M complaining. :)

Granted, I've only seen the Wings play twice so far this year (last night & the opener against Toronto) but my feeling last night was that they just didn't have enough respect for the Penguins.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby LeopardLetang on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:09 pm

yeah. i mean, the pens have had a good D all year relatively. i think it's more about cohesion between teammates and learning the system and early season focus and concentration. and injuries of course. rohit, you seem to be asking for information that coaches need to get from film study, etc. it can be hard to tell just from TV or just a sampling of live games. i'm not even slightly worried about the D. though it hasn't been perfect.

i still wonder how much juggling the lines affects line changes. haven't had a plethora of too many men like last year, but i can remember some chances given up because of slow changes. of course that happens with every team throughout a year or even a game.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby steelcity8687 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:15 pm

I think there are more pressing issues than simply the break out and transition game from the defense. Where was the d man last night that should have at least had a stick on Holmstrom? Why was he allowed to stand there without anyone touching him. We are lacking the mean, physical dman who is willing to make a big man like Holmstrom fear going to the front of the net. Orpik stands out to me. He is physical along the boards, but clueless when it comes to getting body position between the goalie and the big man in front of the net. That really killed Fleury last night.

The transition game is more closely related to our failures on offense.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby wallflower on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:18 pm

*cough*

wallflower wrote:Are we seriously going to start worrying/complaining about the defense again?

The defense, as a whole, has been good. Better than I expected without Gonchar & Whitney and having Letang & Goligoski in bigger roles than they would've [should've] been in otherwise.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Henry Hank on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:26 pm

steelcity8687 wrote:I think there are more pressing issues than simply the break out and transition game from the defense. Where was the d man last night that should have at least had a stick on Holmstrom? Why was he allowed to stand there without anyone touching him. We are lacking the mean, physical dman who is willing to make a big man like Holmstrom fear going to the front of the net. Orpik stands out to me. He is physical along the boards, but clueless when it comes to getting body position between the goalie and the big man in front of the net. That really killed Fleury last night.

The transition game is more closely related to our failures on offense.


That's Gill's job. Unfortunately, Gill wasn't the guy out there when Holmstrom did his damage. That's why I think Gill should be in the lineup every night, despite his limitations. He obviously can't be on the ice all the time, but he's the only guy that's capable of clearing the crease and it's made a difference on the PK. The Wings were able to avoid him last night.

Speaking of transition, the Pens will potentially have an elite puck-moving D when everyone is healthy if they choose to keep Goligoski in the lineup, which seems more and more likely with his ice time increasing. Gonchar, Whitney, Letang, and Goligoski will compliment the talent up front nicely. The key to being able to do that is Whitney coming in ready to take the next step. They need those guys to also play good D.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby The Snapshot on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:27 pm

I agree with many other posters who are pointing to Gonchar and Whitney. The loss of two guys who can and will skate the puck out of danger in our end while also making good, quick passes up to the forwards and then also pinching along the boards in the offensive zone creates a ripple effect through the entire team.

Forwards are working harder in all 3 zones as a result, and the D are also caught trying to do too much in a lot of areas around the ice. This leads to the odd poor decision, but in general I think we have to be really, really happy with how the 7 D left are performing.

Goligoski and Letang in particular have been all that we could have hoped for. Letang has been borderline brilliant in terms of his reliability - offering few highs but also few lows. Goligoski, as expected at this point in his development is a bit more of a roller coaster ride. Still, in all, he has been awesome.

We should also remember that the offense has not really broken out yet. When they do, I think that the poor decisions will begin to minimize themselves - because the pressure to produce more offense is lessened.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby steelcity8687 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:27 pm

wallflower wrote:*cough*

wallflower wrote:Are we seriously going to start worrying/complaining about the defense again?

The defense, as a whole, has been good. Better than I expected without Gonchar & Whitney and having Letang & Goligoski in bigger roles than they would've [should've] been in otherwise.


Those two are only going to weaken our ability to clear the front of the net.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Idoit40fans on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:28 pm

steelcity8687 wrote:
wallflower wrote:*cough*

wallflower wrote:Are we seriously going to start worrying/complaining about the defense again?

The defense, as a whole, has been good. Better than I expected without Gonchar & Whitney and having Letang & Goligoski in bigger roles than they would've [should've] been in otherwise.


Those two are only going to weaken our ability to clear the front of the net.


They're also going to limit the need to do so.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Kicksave on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:29 pm

steelcity8687 wrote:
wallflower wrote:*cough*

wallflower wrote:Are we seriously going to start worrying/complaining about the defense again?

The defense, as a whole, has been good. Better than I expected without Gonchar & Whitney and having Letang & Goligoski in bigger roles than they would've [should've] been in otherwise.


Those two are only going to weaken our ability to clear the front of the net.


But, both are very quick and good with the puck. More often than not, any loose puck that Gill, Scuderi, Eaton can't get to, Gonchar and Whitney can and they're both very good in making a quick, accurate pass to exit the defensive zone.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby steelcity8687 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:30 pm

fair enough
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Henry Hank on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:30 pm

Goligoski and Letang in particular have been all that we could have hoped for. Letang has been borderline brilliant in terms of his reliability - offering few highs but also few lows. Goligoski, as expected at this point in his development is a bit more of a roller coaster ride. Still, in all, he has been awesome.


Agree on Letang. I think a lot of us expected a dynamic offensive defenseman who would quarterback a PP... he may still be that, but his excellence has been much more subtle. He's moving the puck very well. He's already up to eight assists on the season, which is three less than he had in his career coming into this season. He takes hits to make plays, he's playing physical, blocking shots, playing big minutes... very impressive work.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby steelcity8687 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:31 pm

i like your reasoning, Snapshot.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Kicksave on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:31 pm

Kris Letang is becoming a complete defensemen.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby NJ5934 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:33 pm

I don't think it is a defensive element that is missing as much as it is the style of hockey the penguins play. If you watched the game last night you notice that detroit pretty much plays man for man in their own end. It's pretty impressive actually, because their forwards hustle when they are on the ice. They stay alongside their man and usually end up winning the battles for loose pucks in the corners.

The Penguins on the other play the trap which is far more like a "zone" coverage than it is man for man. This is the reason the majority of shots from weaker teams come from the outside and also why teams like Detroit find ways of getting guys open for good shots in close.

Its systematic differences more than anything. Detroit is very impressive when they are running at full steam because they have the hardest working forwards in the league. I posted last night in between the 2nd and 3rd that the Pens had to abandon the trap and play gritty in your face hockey. The only way to beat Detroit is to outplay them, you just can't rely on the trap. The Pens managed to do that in the 3rd last night and it was one of the more memorable games I can remember.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby wallflower on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:33 pm

Henry Hank wrote:That's Gill's job. Unfortunately, Gill wasn't the guy out there when Holmstrom did his damage. That's why I think Gill should be in the lineup every night, despite his limitations. He obviously can't be on the ice all the time, but he's the only guy that's capable of clearing the crease and it's made a difference on the PK. The Wings were able to avoid him last night.

My issue with Gill I guess isn't really so much with Gill as it with how he's being used. He just shouldn't be playing more than third pairing minutes. I thought he played a much better game last night than he has in a while, probably because he was out there less & when he was, he was with guys that are significantly more mobile than Scuderi. (And that's not meant to be a dig at Scuderi - he looks better when he's with someone more mobile as well. I think their collective lack of speed hurts them at even strength.)

(Also, I find it funny to criticize the Pens defense for not shutting Holmstrom down in front of the net. I guess a lot of other teams' defenses suck then too because that's Holmstrom's whole game.)
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Henry Hank on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:38 pm

Agreed on Gill. He's a guy that should play the fewest ES minutes of the D but should be a go-to guy on the PK. He fills a niche on D that nobody else can fill and I think it's an important one. They're going to have some interesting decisions on D should they ever get the crew healthy. For the playoffs...

Orpik-Gonchar
Whitney-Letang
Gill-Goligoski

??

Hate to take Scuderi out but puck-moving is essential in today's game. The key is they have the depth to plug a Scuderi or Eaton back in if they want to be a little more defensively focused. Like I said, it's going to be important for Gonchar, Whitney, Letang, and Goligoski to play good two-way hockey and not just provide offense.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Henry Hank on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:40 pm

By the way, Sydor's quietly been pretty effective when called upon. He's actually +5, which is tied with Crosby for tops on the team. Only going to make it easier not just to move him, but get something worth while in exchange (third round pick?) if they can get some of the injured guys back and have to move someone.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby The Snapshot on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:40 pm

steelcity8687 wrote:i like your reasoning, Snapshot.


I like your agreement with my reasoning. It reflects very well on you in my eyes. :D
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby wallflower on Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:41 pm

Henry Hank wrote:Agreed on Gill. He's a guy that should play the fewest ES minutes of the D but should be a go-to guy on the PK. He fills a niche on D that nobody else can fill and I think it's an important one. They're going to have some interesting decisions on D should they ever get the crew healthy. For the playoffs...

Orpik-Gonchar
Whitney-Letang
Gill-Goligoski

??

Hate to take Scuderi out but puck-moving is essential in today's game. The key is they have the depth to plug a Scuderi or Eaton back in if they want to be a little more defensively focused. Like I said, it's going to be important for Gonchar, Whitney, Letang, and Goligoski to play good two-way hockey and not just provide offense.

Excellent post. I agree entirely.
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Re: what exactly is missing from the defense?

Postby Rohit on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:22 pm

wow, i thought this thread had died early

thanks for the input, everyone
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