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Offseason Report: Pittsburgh Penguins

Jul 25, 2012, 9:45 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin AP

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

51-25-6, 108 points. 4th in Eastern Conference. Second in the Atlantic Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference. Lost to Philadelphia (4-2) in the first round.

Additions

Brandon Sutter, Tanner Glass, Benn Ferriero, Warren Peters, Dylan Reese, Tomas Vokoun, Brian Dumoulin, Jeff Zatkoff

Departures

Jordan Staal, Zbynek Michalek, Steve Sullivan, Brent Johnson, Cal O’Reilly

2012 Draft

1st Round, 8th overall — Derrick Pouliot (Portland – WHL), 22nd overall — Olli Maatta (London – OHL)

Looking back

What was shaping up to be a monster playoffs for the Penguins turned into a monstrous failure. Pittsburgh looked like world beaters heading into the playoffs and facing off with a Flyers team that struggled with keeping teams off the scoreboard, things were shaping up well for the Pens. Instead, Marc-Andre Fleury turned into a sieve while the Pens couldn’t stop the Flyers from scoring goals at will before losing in six games in the first round. The Pens defense looked rough and Fleury had an all-time terrible first round of the postseason getting lit up by Philly. Yes, they have the league MVP in Evgeni Malkin as well as the league’s best player in Sidney Crosby, but unless they figure out the rest, they’ll have questions.

Looking forward

It’s tough to be down on a team that has, arguably, the two best players in the league in Malkin and Crosby, but the Penguins haven’t done much to improve themselves in the offseason. As it stands, the Pens’ forward units will be the same despite a few subtractions. Gone is Steve Sullivan and in his place is, perhaps, young forward Eric Tangradi.

Pittsburgh is trying to lure Shane Doan to town, but with him hopeful to stay in Phoenix, banking on him coming to town is a badrisky idea. As it is, Pittsburgh will hope to see continued big seasons from Chris Kunitz and James Neal while getting more from Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis. Oh yeah, Pittsburgh’s defense needs to somehow be better while not adding anyone either. While Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik are solid, guys like Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen will have more asked from them as well as a slew of young blue liners. At least things in goal are solid now that Tomas Vokoun is there to make sure Fleury stays focused on the job at hand. At the very least, the Pens have GM Ray Shero handling things and coach Dan Bylsma locking it down on the field.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Penguins’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

  1. letangusespertplus - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Thanks Joey. I knew you would come through eventually I guess you had trouble finding your glasses for a while.

    • joeyerdonsglasses - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Quite naturally, Mr. Letang – may I comment on the shimmer of your glorious mane? The way the light dances gleefully off of each chestnut colored lock has left my lenses abreast with condensation that only the deepest of desires can muster.

      The posting of this article would have been a swift affair had the editor not tasked Joe with the responsibility of finding an image to pair with the profile of “The Franchise™” – many hours of research and boxes of kleenex later; we felt satisfied that we were able to select an image that appropriately spotlights the magnitude of Sid’s soupcan, nestled between two fleshy pistons he calls thighs, as he celebrates with his Russian counterpart in a ceremony only fit for champions.

      It is with our sincerest apologies that Joe & I say that in the future, we will prioritize business over pleasure and deliver any and all news of “The Franchise™” in a timely manner.

      • handsofsweed - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        Ok. Now that was actually funny. See, you can do it WITHOUT being a complete a-hole. Still kinda fruity, but we’ve come to accept that from you.

  2. govtminion - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    THE FRANCHISE! SOMETHING ABOUT A SOUP CAN! WOOOO!!!

    Now that we have that ridiculous crap out of the way… there’s some big question marks here. Staal leaving stings, but I think it’s safe to say the Pens won’t struggle to put pucks in the net even without him. Bringing Ryan Suter to town would have been a big improvement (what team wouldn’t have improved with him?), but that just means the Penguins go in with the same basic defense as last year- and while it isn’t exactly an awe-inspiring defensive group, it should be enough to get the job done.

    Where my big question is… goal. For all the attention on Bryzgalov and his awful showing in the playoffs… Fleury was arguably even worse. The Penguins lucked out in that the Flyers let them stay in that series by being just as horrible in their own end- imagine Fleury playing that poorly against the Rangers or Bruins. Bringing in Vokoun as a backup can only help, but if Fleury plays like that again in the playoffs… by the time Vokoun gets in the net, it may already be too late.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      I agree with you that Fleury needs to be more consistent (see my post below), but last year he had to play in a TON of games – playing in 67 last year. With Vokoun in the mix hopefully we can get that down to about 60, which will allow him to be more rested and hopefully in turn more consistent. I’m not as low on Fleury as a lot of other people are as I think some are really thinking hard about the playoffs last year. In 2010-2011 he was the team’s MVP so he can play well.

  3. stakex - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    “As it stands, the Pens’ forward units will be the same despite a few subtractions”

    Uhhh they were forced to trade away the best 3rd line center in the league, and failed to replace him with anyone. Thats not a minor issue, its a huge hole the Pens themselves created and have done nothing to fill it.

    On top of that, they didn’t do anything to sure up their defense and they are stuck with a highly overrated goalie in net. They might be top heavy with Crosby/Malkin/Neal and that should allow them to win a lot of games with brute force… but in the end having an awful defense and an average goalie will sink them. Just ask the Caps how well they did a few years ago with a top heavy team built on scoring, and not defense.

    Side Note: Theres also a huge question mark with Crosby. He might have piled up the assists last year, but he had a hell of a time finding the net… posting a career worst shooting %. If that continues, the Pens offense might not look as strong as some expect it to. Thats not even getting into what would happen to the Pens if Crosby gets hurt again.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      They replaced him with Brandon Sutter who is a solid young center in his own right, he slots in nicely as a number three center.

      on the defensive side, look for guys like Despres, Strait, Bortuzzo, and Morrow to step into the fold. All are top 4 potential D prospects. Shero has been stockpiling on the defensive end for a while now.

      • bmscalise - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        I mostly agree – but slow down just a bit. Strait and Bortuzzo won’t ever be anything more than bottom pairing guys – fighting with Engelland and Lovejoy for those spots. Morrow might very well be a future top-pairing guy, but they’ll send him to WBS for at least a year. He doesn’t have the defensive presence yet to fill top-4 NHL minutes, and it’s better he get big minutes in the minors.

        As far as Despres, he’ll be up for good – and it’ll be really interesting to see where he slots in. He might start on the bottom pairing and work his way up – potentially fighting Niskanen for a top-4 spot. I think they’ll try him with Tanger in the pre-season, which would allow Orpik and Martin to serve as the shut-down pair. I expect they’ll experiment a lot with him early in the season in order to see how much he can handle. He might struggle – or he could very possibly prove an upgrade over Michalek.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        I think Morrow will probably begin at WBS, but I don’t think he’ll be down there for the entire year. Shero GUSHED about Morrow in several interviews and during camp earlier this Summer he looked phenomenal by all accounts. I don’t think Lovejoy will see much ice time this year to be honest. I would expect the following to start the year:
        Martin-Letang, Orpik-Niskanen, Engelland-Despres, Morrow in WBS

    • crosberries - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Everyone seems to forget that we played without Crosby last year. I’d say that’s a pretty big addition.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      sutter will be good for what they need him for, they addressed defense with 2 first rounders…the staal trade worked out great for pittsburgh. vokoun is capable of 20-30 starts if they want him for that many even so if fleury needs it, he is there. michalek was terrible, martin was worse – i wish they wouldve shed both but they only got better there with morrow, depres, and strait waiting in the wings

    • m1k3g - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      “Uhhh they were forced to trade away the best 3rd line center in the league, and failed to replace him with anyone. Thats not a minor issue, its a huge hole the Pens themselves created and have done nothing to fill it.”

      Uh, you know they got Brandon Sutter among other things in return for Staal, right? Furthermore, the situation wasn’t ‘created by the Pens themselves’. There were rumblings for a long time that Staal wanted out. The day before the draft, a rumor floated around about Shero’s disappointment that Staal rejected a 10yr/$60M contract. Go check to see the contract he signed with Carolina days after the trade. Coincidence? He could have stayed in Pittsburgh. He wanted out. Shero had to strike while the iron was hot.

      And I hate to break it to most people that follow the Penguins casually, but Staal as anything but a third line center is an unproven commodity. Offensively, he’s inconsistent. Occasionally he’ll score a highlight reel goal, but it leaves you wondering where that production is the rest of the time. He has scored some clutch goals, however and I’ll give him credit for that.

      Maybe he’ll break out now that he’s out of Malkin’s and Crosby’s shadows. But I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t magically turn into a 40 goal scorer. And before you say Carolina doesn’t need him to be, yes, they do. They don’t have the luxury of having the two best centers in the league in front of him.

      The Pens’ D is somewhat of a question, but I would expect to see at least one of their prospects get a shot. If Morrow cracks the roster, watch out.

      As far as Sid being a huge question mark, well that just sounds like wishful thinking from a Rangers fan.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        Great evaluation of Staal!

        Could he be a consistent 30 goal and 35 to 40 assist guy? Absolutely. But he was never the focus of who other teams were trying to shut down. In fact, people shouldn’t look any futher than the last half of 2010-2011 when he WAS the guy with James Neal and Chris Kunitz on his wings and he struggled to produce.

        And for those that will say “oh you’re just minimizing his ability because he isn’t there anymore”………Hold on….I think Carolina’s GM was right! He said “I don’t think there’s any team in the league that wouldn’t want Jordan Staal.” and “You name me two or three other center icemen that are like Jordan Staal. You just can’t find them.”

        I believe both of those statements are true. BUT, it’s simply because there aren’t many guys who are 6’4 (or 5) weigh 225, can score you 25 to 30 goals, and are also very good two way centerman. HOWEVER, that does not automatically make him a first line center. It simply means he’t a huge guy with offensive upside who’s plays a great two way game.

    • mikelegacy - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      You take 11 months off and see how your shot is doing….Crosby scored 51 goals the season prior to hitting the bench. 51 GOALS!!! You don’t just lose that touch due to a head injury. That kind of talent in engrained in you.

      He needs to strengthen up again, and have an offseason like Malkin did in the summer of 2011 and he will be scoring goals again in no time. Plus, he didn’t really have much to work with. He had Duper, but Kunitz was working with Malkin a lot and that’s a big loss to Sid, they were always working well together.

      Crosby was definitely playing a little more reserved last season (not fighting quite as hard in the gritty areas) and that’s for obvious reasons. Once he gets his confidence back up, he will, once again, be the best player in the game at finding the loose puck and shoveling in those goals from 15 feet or less.

      • handsofsweed - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        Bingo.

  4. hockinj25 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    This ought to be a fun day in the comments sections.

  5. malkinrulez - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Stakex the pens replaced staal with Brandon sutter who is a similar player. As far as d men go , it is time for some young guys like despres to step up. Fleury is streaky and will be fine. Pens will be in the 100-106 point range and challenge for the cup.

  6. ahhhyeah - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I think the Penguins will be fine this year. Brandon Sutter is a promising young center who will do a decent job replacing Stall. Even if they don’t get a top 6 forward Crosby/Malkin both do a good job making players around them do well, so the Penguins can handle having a guy like Kennedy play next to Crosby. The Penguins D is still a question, but they have tons of good defensive prospects coming up. They might not make an impact this year, but Shero can use some of them as a part of a trade this year if he has to get an impact player a some point. As far as goaltending goes, the Penguins combo will do well and i think Fleury will bounce back well with a good backup behind him.

  7. earlcpeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    the franchise does not need any improvements. we will win the cup like usual and leave everyone else in our left over semen crust. SCA RULES

    • handsofsweed - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      I swear, we’re going to see you on an episode of “48 Hours: Hard Evidence” someday for commiting a series of sexual atrocities in your mother’s basement.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      I never knew that for Pittsburgh fans winning one cup in a 7 year career means “winning the cup as usual” to me the use of the word usual would mean that we’re not going into the fourth season since they played for and won a cup…guess I need to update that in my vocabulary.

  8. jpelle82 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    voukoun > johnson, sutter michalek, malkin mvp = malkin mvp. if the d holds up and vokoun gives fleury a break, pens should be in better shape going into the playoffs, hopefully make it out of the 1st round at least. sutter should be adequate in filling the pk role staal leaves but someone needs to step up his offense to meet the 3rd line center contribution needed to compensate for staal’s pts.

  9. napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    The loss of Staal is obviously not a good thing, but Sutter is more than capable third line center defensively. My hope is that he can put a few more pucks in the net but I think given the firepower we don’t need him to be a 60 point guy like Staal.

    Defensively, I’m really excited about the young guys who are going to be coming up. At the beginning of the season it’ll be Letang – Martin, Orpik – Niskanen as the top 4 but don’t be surprised if Martin and Niskanen get replaced by the likes of Simon Despres, Brian Strait and Joe Morrow. All solid young defensive prospects who can play NHL hockey.

    In net Fleury needs to be more consistent. Period. My hope is having a capable back-up in Vokoun will bring Fleury’s career high in appearances last year down significantly, allowing him to stay rested. Also hoping Vokoun’s back up role allows him to stay healthy.

    I would like to see them shift mind sets back to a more balanced style of play, however. We fell in love with our offense last year, but I think given our new personnel it makes sense for us to try to find the happy medium we were at during the 2007-2010 years. This team should hit 100 points again and contend for a cup this year.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      I agree with you on a lot of points.

      - I think Sutter is more than capable of putting up 20 goals and 20 assists while filling the same role for us that he was for carolina. (They were actually planning on giving him time as their #2 center) He’s only 23 and is widely considered a great locker room guy and a natural leader.

      - I’m excited about Despres, but more so about Morrow and Dumoulin. Strait, Bortuzzo, Grant, are all bottom 4 four guys, and may be key pieces in a trade moving forward that includes Despres. Morrow has top d pairing potential written all over him and Shero will not part with him. Dumoulin has great size and may be a better all around defender than despres but with a bit less offensive upside.

      -Couldn’t agree more on Fleury. Anyone can work on being more consistent. Talent is something that can’t be taught, and he has always had it.

      - I actually DON’T want them to shift mindsets. I simply want them to be defensively responsible. Just protect a lead once you build it. That’s all.

      Bottom line: Michalek was overpaid last year and under performed. That’s replaceable given our defensive depth within the system. Staal would probably produce 5 to 7 more goals and 10 more assists than Sutter. But there should be very little, if any, dropoff on the defensive end. Plus, the addition of JUST 1 top 6 forward makes up for Staal’s additional offense. I’ll miss Steve Sullivan’s hustle and playmaking ability. But at 38 and undersized the likelyhood of him getting injured and missing significant time during the year was high. I’m glad the pens din’t put their eggs in that basket.

  10. sjsharks66 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Ben F is going to do good for the pens. I enjoyed watching him play on the Sharks.

  11. bmscalise - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    I’m not worried about Fleury. He had a horrific playoffs, but he was a rock from about Nov. 2010 (team MVP that year) through mid-March 2012. He slumped at the worst possible time.

    The Pens are fine personnel-wise, at least to start the year. The biggest problem last year was chemistry – as in the Pens didn’t have it. Sid coming back as late in the season as he did just threw everything off. Good lord, he was playing 3rd line center with crap on his wings – sort of. And J. Staal was 2nd line center – sort of. And the team had no balance because Bylsma stubbornly refused to break up the Geno-Neal-Kunitz line – which promptly got shut down.

    Nothing matters in the playoffs more than stability and chemistry, and the Pens should be better when it matters this year just on that basis alone.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      So I’ve had this thought mulling around in my head for a while now, and this seems as good a spot as any to bring it up. Would you break up the Malkin-Neal-Kunitz line and if so how would you do it? While it was arguably the best line in hockey last year, can you reall be that top heavy? This would be my suggestion:
      Geno, Neal, and TK
      Crosby, Kunitz, Dupers (unless Pens make a run at Doan or *wanking motion* Semin)
      Sutter, Cooke, Jeffrey
      Vitale, Glass, Adams

      • claysbar - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing Cooker spending some time on the first two lines. He has decent hands and still pretty good speed to keep up with the breakouts. Also, with him up there, they don’t necessarily have to have someone major covering him, but I can guarantee that whoever is covering Malkin, Neal, Crosby etc. will be looking out to see if Cooker is roaming around them.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Until TK learns how to finish more than 8% of his shots he is not a top 6 forward…….Great hustle…..sound two way game……but last year he only finished 5.6%. For his career he is at 8%.

        I’m not looking for accuracy out of this world either. 14% would have put him at 27 goals last year. But a winger who can’t score will always be a 3rd or 4th liner.

      • bmscalise - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        It’s an interesting question. I absolutely think Sid needs Kunitz back (barring, say, a trade for Bobby Ryan that I don’t expect). Even if by chance they got Doan (also something I wouldn’t expect), I think that line would need Kunitz. Kunitz certainly served a purpose on that line – but Geno already has a big, banging winger to dig out pucks in Neal. Sid must have someone to fill that role as well.

        The question, then, is – who’s on Sid’s right and Geno’s left. I probably keep Duper with Sid because Sid tore up the league last time he had that line. And then I let folks fight for Geno’s left.

        I’m not high on Tangradi, and I want nothing to do with TK as a top-6. So my wildcard is Dustin Jeffrey. He was an AHL all-star and top scorer on the left side. And he was starting to look really good in the NHL before he blew out his knee Mar. 2011. He wasn’t effective the few games he played last year: it was obvious he had lost his summer. Some folks think he’s not physical enough along the walls, but I think he could be a good complement for the big boys now that he’s healthy. He also looks like he spent plenty of time in the gym as he recovered. To me, he seems the best choice for a hole that needs filled. I don’t think the Pens resigned him and protected him from waivers to sit in the press box. If he (or Tangradi) can’t fill the hole- that’s the spot you trade for. Leaves us:

        Kunitz-Sid-Dupuis
        Jeffrey/Tangradi?-Geno-Neal
        Cooke-Sutter-TK
        Glass-Vitale-Adams

      • jpelle82 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        tk had a bad streak of luck the past year and hit the post just about every shot it seemed like. you could tell he wasnt feeling it when he was healthy. hopefully he bounces back

  12. mclovinhockey - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    The pens didn’t change much… Lost some D, will try a young replacement. Got a better backup.
    I think the caps let in 3 goals from centre ice but I feel only 1 was on him.
    The O took a small hit as well. Staal is a great player but they got a real 3rd line centre now so the production on that line will only drop by 25% at most which means they will still be a good 3rd line, not a great one.

    Overall so far they still had a much better offseason than the devils and my flyers, but Philly is not done…. So we will see

  13. flyersgoalscoredby88 - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    “Badrisky” might be my new favorite word.

  14. letangusespertplus - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Rumor has it Staal was mostly upset about being traded cause he lost 3 inches instantly. Down in Carolina they resort to the Pos T Vac to compete.

    Sutter just joined the locker room today and instantly tripped over his new weighty hog. It threw off his equilibrium so bad he got up like a baby deer taking its first steps, all the other girthy fellas that grace that locker room just lol’d. Bonds being made and chemistry happening before our very eyes.

    All Disco Danny Bylsma could do was snicker to a new Penguin getting his can.

    • joeyerdonsglasses - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Joe often has dreams of the goings-on in that same locker room. Many a night I’ve spent resting on Joe’s nightstand to witness the playful kicking of his legs while he’s asleep, like watching a Doberman imagining a vehicular pursuit – I can only venture to guess the complete spectrum of Joe’s Soup Can fantasy. We often spend mornings together, me resting on the bridge of his nose, Joe scribing in what he’s titled his “Dream Bible”. The cryptic pages in this tome paint a world where he too is the subject of a jovial laugh with the stars of “The Franchise™” proudly showing off his brand new Soup Can for all to see.

  15. tbbolts91 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    wait a second, they blatantly called sid the best player in the league? we all know steven stamkos is better. he has more potential and is a consistently better goal scorer.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      Evidently your definition of “we” doesn’t include many people other than you.

      • tbbolts91 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:10 AM

        You honestly think there are only few people who think Steven stamkos is better? If you’re a pens fan have fun getting your butt kicked consistently by the Philadelphia next year. Claude Giroux is up and coming. I’d watch out cause one of his checks could take out sid. Victor Hedman can show him how it’s done.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:40 AM

        Ohhh so the whole point of your comment was to trash Crosby……lol

        By the way if Hedman checks guys with his elbows at the opposing player’s head level, he can take out any player, that’s why guys get suspended for it……Tamba Bay should worry about making the playoffs before Hedman starts showing anyone anything.

        And one playoff series where the flyers lose in the very next round doesn’t exactly warrant an “ah ha”.

        Crosby was averaging more than 1.6 points a game before the steckel hit and ended up averaging more than 1.6 points a game while only playing 20 some games intermittently through the season. Soooooo it’s not that I think he’s better than Stamkos, I know he is.

        I just love the fact that it bothers you soooo much! So, to your previous comments and the ones to follow I say….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      • tbbolts91 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:00 AM

        You Pittsburgh fans are too much.

      • bobhpine - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        You either have to lead the league in something…anything…or win a cup to even be in a conversation as being the best in the league.

        Giroux may be the apple of laviolette’s eye, but that has more to do with some weird ginger fetish and not hockey.

    • xavier46 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      Stamkos may well be a better pure goal scorer, but you are out of your mind if you think Stamkos has more potential than Crosby… Out of your mind.

      • tbbolts91 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:22 AM

        Thank you for saying out of your mind twice. The dramatic effect was insane. Let’s put stamkos on a line with Neal and Kunitz. Crosby hasn’t reached 60 yet.

      • mikelegacy - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        I’ll quote pithockey from below:

        “Crosby 434 games 609 points
        Stamkos 325 games 329 points
        Yet stamkos is better? Lol”

        Numbers don’t lie my friend. 60 Goals a year is great, yes, but adding production in other areas is EVEN more important.

        Stamkos has talent don’t get me wrong, but if you gave Crosby a point for all of the plays he had a large hand (i.e. made plays in the corners or made a good backcheck and a good outlet pass) in leading to goals that he DIDN’T get assists on, his point totals would be over 1000 right now easily.

        Stamkos is a scorer, and a damn good one, but he doesn’t contribute to his team in nearly the fashion Crosby delivers to the Penguins. Grit, Finesse, Scoring touch and Insanely hard working. The most important traits in hockey and Sid has em all.

      • mikelegacy - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        And you can sit there and say “Let’s put Stamkos on a line with Neal and Kunitz and see what happens” but your argument is incorrect and completely invalid. For one, Sid has never played with Neal. Secondly, Kunitz is nothing more than an average player. Sid has had linemates such as Mark Recchi, Bill Geurin, Kunitz and Dupuis. Two of those players are average, and the other two were pushing 40 at the time.

        So I’ll take your “Let’s put Stamkos on a line with Neal and Kunitz and see what happens” (even though is invalid) and raise you a: “Let’s put Crosby on a line with Lecavlier and St. Louis and see what happens”

  16. lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Boy I can’t wait until we’re done with the Northeast and Atlantic divisions here. Glad they’re getting them out of the way first…

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      Wait, there’s hockey outside of the Atlantic and Northeast divisions? SINCE WHEN?!

      Well, since you’ve stated there is I can only assume they’re just setting the stage so everyone understands where the majority of important players are going at trade deadline.

    • 28giroux28 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:21 AM

      I’d forgotten Nashville was an Eastern Conference team….

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        Touche.

  17. pithockey - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Crosby 434 games 609 points
    Stamkos 325 games 329 points
    Yet stamkos is better? Lol

    • handsofsweed - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      You wanna see something else that you wouldn’t believe unless you actually SAW it? Look up Pavel Datsyuk’s career stats. I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how unimpressive they are. Don’t get me wrong, the guy’s a player, but just look at them, realize how old he is/what’s left in the tank and I promise you’ll wonder if all the Lady Byng’s and Selke’s will be enough to get him into the hall.

      And, no, I don’t hate the Wings. Bona-fide awesome organization!!! Very Pittsburgh Steeler-ish.

      • mikelegacy - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        I know, Datsyuk has 718 points in 732 games. Crosby is one season’s point total away from Datysuk and he’s played 300 LESS GAMES.

        It’s laughable that the “Best Player In The League” according to Wings’ fans is a guy who has a 0.98 PPG average.

        Don’t get me wrong, that’s star-level statistics, but come on, you can’t sit here as say a guy who can back-check and lead the league in take-aways is the best player in the league. He has a defensive game and good hands, but he doesn’t produce near enough points in a given season. If he produced 30-40 more points per year than he does now, maybe he would be in the running, but not having a hundred point campaign and his 65-75 average these past two years isn’t hitting him in the record books or in the hall of fame anytime soon.

  18. pithockey - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    The pens won the cup in 09, the two closest cup wins by a team in the last few years were Detroit in 02 and 08… That’s six years. Four year isn’t a long time without a cup in the NHL. Nothing against the flyers but the last time they won a cup was in 75. Lol

    • govtminion - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Has it been that long? You’d think that would get mentioned around here once in a while. *shrug*

  19. pithockey - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Well if 4 years is such a long time without a cup what does that make 37 years without a cup? *shrug*

  20. jnealsmeatymember - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    1975 *shruggie* *shrug* *shrug*

    • bobhpine - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      1975

      *chuckle*

  21. ray2013 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    After watching them get absolutely blown out of the water in round 1, I would have thought they’d work to improve their defense and goaltending. I really haven’t seen it, and there’s been no mention of it just yet in PHT. Are we not supposed to mention it?

  22. pithockey - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Hahaha give it up Crosby is better than stamkos stats don’t lie

  23. cosmoandmelovepens - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Honestly, I don’t think you have to be earlcpeacock to realize Crosby is better than Stamkos. Just please for gods sake look at the career stats.

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