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New Penguins assistant Martin likes Letang’s vision, offensive skill

Aug 9, 2013, 7:38 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Four Getty Images

The prospect of working with a young defenseman like Kris Letang is an enticing one for Jacques Martin.

On Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Martin as the team’s new assistant coach, thus giving him an opportunity to soon work with the smooth-skating Letang.

Martin not only brings nearly 1,300 regular season games worth of experience as an NHL bench boss, but he is also one of the most reputable defensive minded coaches in the game.

This could be of benefit to the 26-year-old Letang, who already has great offensive instincts on the Penguins blue line, averaging more than a point per game during the 2013 regular season and playoffs, and is entering the prime of his career.

However, based on Martin’s comments, there are still parts of Letang’s game that need refining.

“From the outside, from coaching against him, there’s no doubt that he has tremendous vision, has tremendous offensive skill,” Martin told reporters.

“I think like many other young (defensemen) I think it’s moving without the puck, it’s improving, playing maybe more of a controlled game.

“I’m looking forward to that opportunity as well as the other great players on this team.”

  1. jimw81 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Does Martin love the way Kris Letang coughs up the puck?

  2. modellforprez - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Welcome to Pittsburgh Jaques. Do is a favor buddy, See Either coach Bylsma Who i like does’nt like in game changes or cant recognize when they need applied but if you could help your boy out we might actually be able to get back and win that thing. Grasi!

  3. chanceoffleury1 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I think it’s easy to say Letang’s best days are ahead of him. It will be really good for him to have somebody come in and stress consistency on defense. I think Jaques will help Letang, but I think he will also help the teammates around him learn how to complement Letang. Like when Letang goes in deep for a puck, the Pens don’t know how to respond and properly adjust their own play right now. They’re too focused on “I NEED TO SCORE! I NEED TO SCORE! I NEED TO SCORE!” instead of “okay, defenseman went in, now I have to cover his position. Whenever somebody covers Letang’s position right now they do it in a half assed way. Any coach who would plop Letang on the blueline and tell him to stay there is silly. He definitely has quite an offensive touch and the Pens really just need to learn how to better play around it and Letang needs to learn when he should and shouldn’t bring it out.

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