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Kipper : A Few Not-So-Positive Thoughts After The Pens And Panthers Game

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
I had to watch the re-air of the game at 11:30ish, last night so it gave me a lot of time to really dissect a few things and reflect. On top of that I was sober, which was probably not the best way to watch that game, but I'm a trooper!
  • Tomas Vokoun was bad. This was pretty obvious. The one goal he was interfered with I can understand but the others he just looked to be losing his composure and patience... Things we usually see from Fleury. He was moving left and right all night, which the Defense wasn't helping and has been a successful Offensive game pan against the Pittsburgh Penguins Defense and goalies in the past. Kevin Dineen adjusted well for this game in that aspect. Vokoun played nervous. Whether it was his family being there or what not. This isn't a real good sign that he's struggled 2 games in a row. This is when Dan Bylsma goes and overworks Fleury for 10-12 games straight...
    Now, this is where I rant. I have heard a few times excuses about Marc-Andre Fleury being overworked last season and we needed a goaltender to spell him.
    Marc-Andre Fleury has averaged between 62-67 games per season since 2006-07 when he's not been injured. the Pens won a Stanley Cup on the back of Marc-Andre Fleury playing 62 games. He played 67 games last season. Those extra 5 games aren't breaking him. Besides, he's make Franchise Goalie money, he should be expected to play. Martin Brodeur from 1997-1998 through 2009-2010 started in 70 games per season every single season except one in which he was injured.
    Going a step further, Fleury notched the 8th most games played in 2011-12. Jonathan Quick was on the winning side of hoisting the Stanley Cup playing in 2 more games than Fleury posting incredible statistics. It's time for fans and the media to stop pampering Fleury. He should be starting 62-70 games per season and regardless of how the backup goalie is playing, Dan Bylsma needs to play Tomas Vokoun, especially down the stretch as Fleury gets a tad bit of rest to prepare and Vokoun gets more playing time to prepare as well.

  • Tanner Glass has 0 points as a Pens player :confused: Errey and Steigy mentioned this last night. I thought they were wrong and looked it up and facepalmed. At this point it is really safe to say that Tanner Glass is no offensive upgrade from Mike Rupp and Arron Asham. He's not even on an equal level as those guys. He's also a -5 which is about where Asham and Vitale were last season and Glass and Vitale are this year.
    Glass kills penalties but I don't know if anyone else has noticed but the Pittsburgh Penguins have a #21 ranked PK clicking at a 78.8% Rate. They haven't been this bad since the crappy 2005-2006 season. That's right, even the ****ty 2005-06 Pittsburgh Penguins managed to kill penalties at a 78.8% Rate. That is where this Pittsburgh Penguins team is at - the same level as the 2005-06 team killing penalties. I would say the loss of jordan Staal hurts except that the Pittsburgh Penguins Penalty Kill when Jordan Staal has been injured over the years maintained the same rate or killed at a better rate. On top of that, Brandon Sutter is winning more than 50% of his Faceoffs on the Penalty Kill, where Jordan Staal in 2011-12 for instance won just 44.9% of his Faceoffs.
    Mark me down as cautiously skeptical in the early parts of the season and know that I understand that Tanner Glass is adjusting to the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, right now, I don't think Tanner Glass has done the things Ray Shero had expectations of. Below mediocre Offense and mediocre Penalty Killing can't be the expectation.

  • Why is Beau Bennett playing Left Wing? He's a natural Right Winger. He's played most of his career as a Right Winger. Making him into a Left Wing reduces his skill and production. Beyond that, he's being played at Right Wing so that Pascal Dupuis can play Right Wing. Dupuis can play either Wing. Sure, he's better as a Right Wing, but whose production do you want to maximize? Beau Bennett's or Pascal Dupuis?
    When Evgeni Malkin comes back from his Concussion injury, the Lines should get mixed a little bit..
    Dupuis - Crosby - Bennett
    Kunitz - Malkin - Neal
    Kunitz - Crosby - Bennett
    Dupuis - Malkin - Neal
    Get the kid in his natural position and put players in their best "position" to succeed at the NHL level.

  • Why are the Pens sitting Simon Despres? however "bad" someone might think he's playing, he's still a +6 on the season. he's on the ice when more goals go in. Why healthy scratches for that? I've seen a little bit of anger for Deryk Engelland playing out on the social networks, but besides the fact he's the only guy that fights the Heavy Weights on the team, he can do so while being productive, unlike a Steve MacIntyre or a Colton Orr. Engelland is a +9. He's not hurting the team. People need get off his back.
    Ironically the only blue liner that isn't in the Plus category is Matt Niskanen at -4 and we all sing Matt Niskanen's praises.
    Before anyone says anything, I understand the limitations of the +/- stat. I'm using it for it's sole purpose however, to show that guys like Simon Despres have no business being on the bench when they are hurting the team and how irrational and reactionary some of the comments I've seen about Deryk Engelland are .

  • I'm not that impressed by the Chicago Blackhawks start, just like I'm not at all worried about where the Pittsburgh Penguins are. We've seen teams like the Chicago Blackhawks choke hard in the Playoffs. Anyone that remembers the 1992-1993 Pittsburgh Penguins remember. We've also seen a team at around this time in the season back in 2009 being on the edge of not being in the Playoffs, battle to make it and win the Stanley Cup. The Regular Season doesn't define teams, what they do in the Playoffs defines them. Anything outside of making the Playoffs in the Regular Season are "banner raising" accolades that teams like the Washington Capitals covet.

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