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Video: PHT Extra – Fixing the Penguins’ defense

Mar 5, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

Even when the Pittsburgh Penguins have been winning lately, they’ve often been out-scoring their problems. (Just look at their exciting but defensively ugly 7-6 win against the Montreal Canadiens from last weekend.)

While it’s refreshing to see a team light up the scoreboard like Pittsburgh has been doing in a time when most teams seem defense-first (and sometimes second/third), the bottom line is that the team needs to tighten up to be serious Stanley Cup contenders. So, what should they do about it and can they pull it off?

PHT’s own Jason Brough and Mike Halford discuss the Penguins’ D in their latest video clip.

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  1. kodyknight2821 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    They need better goaltending? Sure Vokoun has had a bad 2 weeks but how can you say they need to find better goaltending?

  2. Stiller43 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Just look at vokoun…he’s been completely unacceptably terrible

  3. csilojohnson - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    We need Martin back. Baddddd

    • jpelle82 - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      who would have thought after last year that anyone would be calling for martin to be back? everyone wanted his contract bought out

  4. tsi431 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Same thing happens every game. Pens get a 3 goal lead, play soft, and give up a few points. I don’t have an issue with it as long as it ends in a “W”.

    • handsofsweed - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      I do. What you described is the exact recipe for turning those W’s into L’s. How about we just go ahead and not play with fire, huh?

  5. steelpenbucs87 - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    We need Paul Martin back – period. Our defense was chugging along just fine until he got injured and played through it.

    Get him back, maybe trade for 1 more stay at home defenseman and then we can roll with that no problem.

    • bgrillz - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      Slow down, we weren’t chuggin along until Martin got hurt. He did play vs Florida, and he did play vs Philly, and most of Carolina, all losses, where lot’s of goals were scored. The Pens need a stay at home defenseman who will take the body, because they are getting outworked behind and in front of the net.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        First of all, don’t tell me to “Slow Down”…

        I said they need to add a stay-at-home defenseman as well… so we’re in agreement there.

        As for the three games you mentioned he was hurting during those games (as I mentioned) which is evidenced by his TOI in those games being cut by about 40%. Add the fact that him dressing for those games put undue pressure on the other 5 defensemen and you’re bound to have some tough games defensively – especially when the offense is coughing up the puck left and right.

        So, I’ll say again, get Martin back healthy, trade for a stay at home defensemen to partner with Letang, and let Eaton and Niskanen roll on the third line. As long as MAF can keep his wits about him and Vokoun gets his head on straight you can roll with that.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        call me crazy but the d didnt look that bad in these games, i would draw more attention to the lack of support from the forwards and missed assignments by them. a lot of the goals were coming from high slot and the point. crosby just watched a few guys cruise right in on him and score. malkin being back will help out tremendously, he is good for 3 or 4 takeaways a game on the backcheck, he doesnt get enough credit for his defense. him just being out there also makes teams think twice about joining the rush or taking chances. if we are pointing out d men – engelland and orpik look slow, neither are intimidating guys like they should be. havent seen a big hit out of orpik in quite a few games, he’s been getting beat up on and his decision making behind his net is leading to turnovers. he isnt moving the puck with confidence, he is just pulling the puck to his feet and bracing for a hit it seems like every time. makes me wonder if he isnt nursing something again.

  6. hockeywithdrawal - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I’m not sure we can pin this all on the D, OR the goaltending, although even Vokoun will admit that things aren’t going his way either. The D are chasing a bit, leaving a hole in the slot which has been exploited wayyyyyy tooooooo much. It’s fine if your centers are coming back to help but they aren’t, which is no good. We’re turning these games into a shooting contest – and we do need to quit that. I actually like almost everyone on our D this year, but they do need to button it down (meaning all 5 skaters on the ice).

  7. whiskytango333 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Should have never let Gill or Scuderi go.

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