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Erik Gustafsson


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2nd star yesterday. Played 22:09, a lot of that against Malkin and Crosby. +3. 7 blocks. Kid had a fine game. Didn't realize he was a +12 in 30 games through the regular season. When Meszaros and Grossman comes back, I think he sticks. While Lilja hasn't been terrible, I think Gus gives us a little more. Sure, he had that brain fart in the last few minutes, but that was the only mistake I saw him make all game. Thoughts?

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2nd star yesterday. Played 22:09, a lot of that against Malkin and Crosby. +3. 7 blocks. Kid had a fine game. Didn't realize he was a +12 in 30 games through the regular season. When Meszaros and Grossman comes back, I think he sticks. While Lilja hasn't been terrible, I think Gus gives us a little more. Sure, he had that brain fart in the last few minutes, but that was the only mistake I saw him make all game. Thoughts?

With the kind of skill and hockey sense he has, if he isn't being overpowered by larger players, he's effective. He handled Malkin yesterday late in the game but I think Malkin was gassed at that point; as a forward, he played more than Gustafsson yesterday. I think you have to be careful which teams you suit him up for (e.g. not the Bruins) as well as home versus away. It will be easier to keep him away from bigger forwards at home

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2nd star yesterday. Played 22:09, a lot of that against Malkin and Crosby. +3. 7 blocks. Kid had a fine game. Didn't realize he was a +12 in 30 games through the regular season. When Meszaros and Grossman comes back, I think he sticks. While Lilja hasn't been terrible, I think Gus gives us a little more. Sure, he had that brain fart in the last few minutes, but that was the only mistake I saw him make all game. Thoughts?

I didn't understand why he was scratched to start this series..yes he's a rookie but he's way more mobile than Lila or Bourdon and has progresses alot through the year...

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Fair points. Malkin did look a bit gassed through most of the game and parts of game 5, and I'm not sure why. Maybe his late season charge to the Ross wore him out?

I think I read Malkin played almost 30 minutes yesterday and I think that's the only reason.

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Fair points. Malkin did look a bit gassed through most of the game and parts of game 5, and I'm not sure why. Maybe his late season charge to the Ross wore him out?

Malkin was the only guy on Pit that wanted it. He was working his ass off. I didn't see him once gather himself slowly and cruise back to the neutral zone (like years past). He played hard. Dirty at times certainly, but 100% effort.

I didn't understand why he was scratched to start this series..yes he's a rookie but he's way more mobile than Lila or Bourdon and has progresses alot through the year...

Matt Carle is a mobile defenseman, yet a large contingent on this forum hates him with all of their hearts. Additionally, mobility is only one part of the equation. Gus had more mental errors during the season than MAB, and wasn't learning from them. The extra TOI he likely got in the minors clearly suited him well. That said, MAB is just as mobile, bigger, stronger, hits, and has a harder shot. There's a few other reasons he was up over Gus.

Upon recall for the playoffs, Gus probably also benefitted from coaching and chemistry building before he got on the ice against a very good, very large offense.

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But that doesn't explain him looking tired in Game 5 or at times in the beginning of the game.

That's just Malkin's normal face. Remember he's a mouth breathing, Frankenstein looking cheap shot artist who according the Scott Hartnell is, "the ugliest player in the league, hands down (as said during the 24/7 series)"

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Gus had more mental errors during the season than MAB, and wasn't learning from them. The extra TOI he likely got in the minors clearly suited him well. That said, MAB is just as mobile, bigger, stronger, hits, and has a harder shot. There's a few other reasons he was up over Gus.

That might be a fair assessment, but I wouldn't want to people to think the gap between Gus and MAB is very big. Gus is smaller but has as good or better hockey sense and offensive instincts. MAB has clearly worked on his foot speed and conditioning, so it's more like he closed the gap or slightly surpassed Gus, for now, on the depth chart.

What's great is that Gus got the opportunity for all those minutes and situations and excelled. Bodes well.

Edited by Podein25
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That might be a fair assessment, but I wouldn't want to people to think the gap between Gus and MAB is very big. Gus is smaller but has as good or better hockey sense and offensive instincts. MAB has clearly worked on his foot speed and conditioning, so it's more like he closed the gap or slightly surpassed Gus, for now, on the depth chart.

What's great is that Gus got the opportunity for all those minutes and situations and excelled. Bodes well.

Agreed, the gap isn't huge by any stretch, but it is significant enough I think. I'm just glad they found a way to get Gus bigger minutes, and not in the NHL. He looked very good in game six.

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I think we all knew that he had good poise with the puck for a young d-man, and made solid outlet passes, but when he went into the corner with Crosby and came away with the puck, he proved right there that he belongs in the lineup against any team we face.

Or, he made a good play. Let's pause before we crown him. Many players have a good play here and there, but that doesn't automatically grant them anything - including a roster spot.

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What's up with MAB anyway? I haven't been able to find any info about his health status...So much has happened the past 2 weeks I forget where he's at - why he went out in the first place....

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jeez yeah that seems ages ago...I don't remember the hit either. Seems like we had a pretty full platoon then all of a sudden we're depleted. Kimmo going from 25 mins in G5 to 15 minutes in G6 doesn't look good either. I hope the rest is helping even if it is a chronic back condition. Rest has to help a little. It's definitely helping Grossmann.

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I think Kimmo's minutes were more a result of the score and not needing to play him that much than an injury. I could be wrong of course, but that's my read. Unlike games 2 and 3 that were just defensive nightmares, it never seemed like Pitt was in game 6, even though the score differntial was about the same.

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Really... that's interesting...I didn't even consider that. You could be right - and I agree it never felt like the Pens were really in the game. Once Briere made it 4-1 (about 1/2-way through the game) Kimmo skated 8 more shifts (one was only 6 secs). Before Briere's goal he had 12.

There could be something in what you say but it's hard to imagine Timonen missing shifts unless he was hurting pretty bad, especially in that game.

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It's probably both with Timonen. He is certainly hurt, but playing through it like a boss. The reduction in ice time in game six was likely also score related, a reaction to Gus playing well, and a legitimate concern that Pit would nail him in the corners (or knee - F you Kunitz) and finish him off. If the Flyers were in a tighter game, or the third pair was awful again, he'd be in the low to mid 20s.

These days off are invaluable to Timonen, and I hope he does get better soon.

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