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Time to shake things up?


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Five years of playoffs that resulted in disappointment, it's time for the Peguinos to make some moves to change the room for the positive.

 

If Shero wants to keep his job it's time to get a better coach. Even our resident Pen fans came around to this conclusion this season. He has to be gone. Whatever it is he's preaching, nobody is buying in that room.

 

 There's talk in another thread about moving one of Crosby/Malkin. I can't see the Pens trading Crosby.It might make sense to trade Malkin to spread the wealth around so to speak. Maybe get a good 2nd line center AND a winger for Crosby? Of course that leaves Neal Malkin-less and opens another hole.

 

 But I'd try and move Letang if I'm Shero. That caphit is way too high for what he brings to the table..I think they'd be better off with a 2-way defenceman with some change to improve the wing. Martin has proven to be a solid addition. Of course a lot depends on Niskanen too I guess. Does he re-sign there or go for the payday in FA?

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I think that article is mostly a bad opinion.  No depth scoring?  How does he think they got this far?  He hammered at Sutter and yet Sutter had 5 goals in the playoffs, which is third best on the team.  Jordan Staal was still here when they were failing to go deeper, so this guy doesn't even know his facts.  And Sutter was pretty equal to Staal all year long, at a third the cost.  How much shorter would our roster have been paying Staal $6 million a year?   Honestly, the more I read of the blog, the more I think the guy is an idiot.  I agree there are some guys there that should be replaced with more skill in the bottom six, but he makes no mention of the salary cap being lowered this year and the impact that has on a team.  NO mention of Shero having to use AHL players just to deal with the lower cap.  Of course you can't bring in world beating talent when you're struggling with a salary cap $6 million lower than when you signed your big guns.  Dupuis getting hurt hurt the whole team.  He's a 20+ goal guy with Crosby, who has all the heart in the world, and plays in every single game situation.  Stempniak was a career underachiever they took a chance on and failed.  WHo else was there to bring in at the deadline that wouldn't have cost an arm and a leg?  Vanek?  Moulson?  Yeah we'd hoped, but you can't win the prize every year.  

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@Polaris922

 

I think Dupuis hurt them a lot also, but I don't think he would have been the difference to a win in the series.  They chose Iginla last season and that failed also.  Can't be good when you bench Bennett - your most talented prospect for game 7.   Compare that to the Wild who got the most out of a rookie 7th round pick in Haula.

 

The real problem with the Pens is the lack of scoring depth.

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@hf101

 

 And for a guy who was spotted Crosby AND Malkin, that's on the gm. But if the Pens are happy with 9 rounds of playoff hockey over 5 years, please continue. As a Flyer fan, I was glad Holmgren moved on for producing the same.

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I don't think Shero has done a horrible job although the team is lacking grit.  Talk to me about Scuderi, Kunitz, and whomever all you want, but the "grit" I'm talking about doesn't fold like a cheap suit every single time it's faced with adversity.   Shero has work to do, but if I own the team he keeps his job.

 

On NHL Radio today, they kept saying that if McLellan got to keep his job, so should Bylsma.   The problem with this philosophy is that McClellan SHOULD be unemployed.   The Pens fans on here have done a pretty good, honest, job of pointing out his seeming inability to adapt mid-game and mid-series.   The Rangers changed some things up and began playing a bit differently going into game 5.   Bylsma's team didn't respond by changing up their game.   It's easier to change the coach than the players, but part of the lack of ability to change up brings me to what is the biggest problem with the Pens, if we're not deluding ourselves and being completely honest.  And it's not a problem that is easy to fix and it's the  problem Washington faces.

 

The Pens biggest problem in the playoffs is #87.  He simply does not have the leadership skills nor the personal constitution to lead a team to the promised land or through playoff adversity.  Talk to me about 2008 and 2009 all you want to, but he was a young poster captain who had vocal vets in the room that kicked ass in the locker room and led by example on the ice.  They kept those teams grounded and focused on the task.   The Pens' captain lacks all of that.  The chips get down and he sulks and wags his sorry head and chirps to himself, the refs, his coach, probably the groundskeeper.

 

He disappeared in this playoffs and that is not a new phenomenon.   The playoffs hit and he becomes Ovechkin.  Sure, he goes to all three zones, unlike Ovechkin, but he is largely ineffective in all three.  He clearly cannot rally his troops a la Jonathan Toews or Kopitar or Brad Richards or others.  He becomes a very expensive hood ornament rather than an engine.  He's one of the best if not the best in the regular season but he is along for the ride in the playoffs and comes up small and whiny and petulant and his team follows suit.   In a seven game series, skill is important, but it often comes down to will and desire and a couple generals leading the charge.   You lack the will and the constitution, you get yourself knocked out 5 years in a row by lower seeded teams. You fix Crosby, you fix the Penguins.   If you can't fix him, Pittsburgh becomes Northwest Washington DC.

 

I don't care who the coach is.

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@Polaris922

 

 Neal scored twice. In 14 games. Twice. I thought Sutter was fine but what about the other forwards?

 

  Holmgren gets knocked for his cap management, and rightfully so. Shero has to bring in AHL talent why? Cause of HIS cap management? He's got the same cap as everyone else (unless....Gary?) And he's fortunate enough to have not only one, but two superstars who have agreed to play for less than face value just to help the team. Next year Letang becomes the 3rd highest paid Dman in the NHL LMAO!  Who signed him to that monster?

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@ruxpin

 

 Nice post.

 

  I agree on Crosby in part. Easy guy to throw off his game.

 

 And I don't think Shero has done a horrible job either. I just don't think he's anywhere near as great as some people think. His drafting has been, well, he has one forward on his team that he drafted, and he was benched in game 7. He drafted Letang and Maatta. Those were good picks. But 3 players...period? Some of his trades are good, some bad. His cap management is, well, look at the depth, there isn't any.

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@ruxpin

 

 Nice post.

 

  I agree on Crosby in part. Easy guy to throw off his game.

 

 And I don't think Shero has done a horrible job either. I just don't think he's anywhere near as great as some people think. His drafting has been, well, he has one forward on his team that he drafted, and he was benched in game 7. He drafted Letang and Maatta. Those were good picks. But 3 players...period? Some of his trades are good, some bad. His cap management is, well, look at the depth, there isn't any.

 

I pose the question - who on the Pens is overpaid?

 

You keep criticizing him for not winning more after inheriting the two of the best players in the world then criticize him for poor cap management that is a direct result of having two of the best players in the world.

 

The only solution to that problem is trading one of those players.  Is he a below average/not that good/overrated GM because he hasn't done that?

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@B21

 

I'm not sure I would criticize Shero's cap management.  In fact, I wouldn't.  The fact he's able to add an Iginla, Murray, et al. at the deadline says to me he's doing okay with the cap.

 

But you also have to understand that @flyercanuck uses a bit of a different (not wrong, just different) measuring stick regarding the Cap.   He's consistent for the most part in the way he applies what he's saying.  He's crucified Holmgren using that same criteria for years.

 

For whatever it's worth, I think Holmgren was far worse with the cap than Shero.  

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@ruxpin

 

Coaching staff is staying put in San Jose.

 

 

Yeah, I know.  I personally think they deserve to be fired. 

 

On the other hand, clearly whatever the coaching staff is doing is working in the regular season.  Either the staff doesn't adapt in the playoffs or you simply can't make a handful of players who lack the constitutional ability to raise their game in face of adversity (glares at Thornton) do just that no matter how good the coach.

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@flyercanuck

@B21

@ruxpin

 

The Cap issue this year was more because the cap dropped $6 million thanks to the lockout than mismanagement.  You have already signed your big guns to worthy contracts.  Two of the best if not the two best forwards in the league.  THey're going to get paid.  They have a good defensive core locked up, and despite FC's low opinion of Letang, it seems all the commentators, the good and the bad, agree he's worth the money and one of the best talents on defense in the league.  (We can argue the offense vs. defense ad nauseum in other threads as we have).  So the cap took a $6 million nosedive.  As B21 has pointed out there is room next year for improvements as it rises over the $70 million mark again.  

 

As for Crosby's drive in the playoffs, I do question where he went against Boston last year, but Boston, Bergeron specifically, excels at taking the stars out of the game.  That took Bergeron out as well, but the Bruins' Rask shut down our forwards where Boston was able to get 1 or 2 past Vokoun.  A 2-1 game and a 1-0 game to finish the series.  

 

This year though?  This year I didn't see what I normally see out of him.  Game 2 vs. the Rangers he didn't score, but he was a hero on the ice.  The kid skated his arse off and ultimately DID lead his team to the turnaround after game one.  Game 3 and 4 were not maybe as noticeable but he still drove the team with effort on the ice.  My problem is where did he go for game 5.  Game 5 he disappeared.  Game 6 the effort wasn't as on fire as the earlier games.  I didn't see that fire in him through games 5 and 6.  Game 7?  He was unreal with his efforts.  He seemed to struggle a little with puck management, but nobody could doubt his drive.  He had a fire in his eyes that we hadn't seen in games 5 and 6.  I truly feel Lundqvist was just better than all of them.  He was the best player on the ice by a longshot.  

 

@FC:  I agree Neal disappeared as well.  I think skating with Jokinen and Sutter denied him the setup man he needs.  Neal has and always will need someone to feed him the puck.  He's an average skater and he's slow, but he's a shooter, nothing more.  He can't create plays, he only finishes them extremely well.  I agree he is accountable as anybody.  

Edited by Polaris922
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@B21

 

I'm not sure I would criticize Shero's cap management.  In fact, I wouldn't.  The fact he's able to add an Iginla, Murray, et al. at the deadline says to me he's doing okay with the cap.

 

But you also have to understand that @flyercanuck uses a bit of a different (not wrong, just different) measuring stick regarding the Cap.   He's consistent for the most part in the way he applies what he's saying.  He's crucified Holmgren using that same criteria for years.

 

For whatever it's worth, I think Holmgren was far worse with the cap than Shero.  

 

I understand his stance and I actually agree with it but - short of trading either Crosby or Malkin - a different logic needs to be applied to the Pens' situation.  I'd love the ability to add a lot more depth but that means trading either Malkin or Crosby.  Not trading them to get a more "balanced" roster does not a bad GM make. Shero has played the hand he was dealt and played it well.  He's found important parts while bargain hunting. Dupuis. Niskanen. Jokinen. Kunitz.  He's gotten important parts for less than market value. Martin. Neal. Heck, Crosby.  He did not overpay for Talbot, Gonchar or Ryan Malone...all smart moves in hindsight.

 

His mistakes have not been "big". They have not crippled the prospect pipeline. The Morrow trade and Ponikarovski trade always come to mind right away.  The Michalek signing didn't work out but he corrected that fairly quickly.  I think the 2nd go-round with Scuderi will not pan out well.

 

Of course his biggest mistake (one that may cost him his job) was off the ice and that was backing Bylsma last year.

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Of course his biggest mistake (one that may cost him his job) was off the ice and that was backing Bylsma last year.

 

Agreed.  I'm not sure I like when a GM loses his job for giving it one more go with a coach.   I know that's nothing new, but it's kind of crumby.

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I pose the question - who on the Pens is overpaid?

 

You keep criticizing him for not winning more after inheriting the two of the best players in the world then criticize him for poor cap management that is a direct result of having two of the best players in the world.

 

The only solution to that problem is trading one of those players.  Is he a below average/not that good/overrated GM because he hasn't done that?

 My comment about cap management was in direct response to Polaris complaining about having to use AHL calibre players...everyone is against the same cap. If you don't manage it properly, that's what happens. I've seen Holmgren have to send better players down to the AHL (Giroux) because he screwed up on the cap. And he was crucified on here for it. Did Fleury earn his $5 million a year over the last 5 seasons? Is James Neal worth 5 Million a year if you have to move Malkin onto Crosbys line? Scuderi? Stepniak? Well all have overpaid players. The difference is we admit it. You guys have Shero up on this pedestal, and he's just not that great. Again, take those two superstars off your team and what do you have after 8 years? Letang for $7 million a year? Beau Bennett. Kunitz and Dupuis at 34 and 35? James (I'm useless without Malkin and just plain dirty with him) Neal. I just don't see greatness there. You have some good pieces. Where's the great that he brought in???

 

In all the posts I've made about Shero, there's ONE where i said (by mistake) that he's not that good (meant not that great) and all the other times I said he's a good, not great gm. I stand by that. Again, going back to Holmgren, (who deserved to go IMO) put Malkin and Crosby on his team. Does he look like a better gm? He likely beats Chicago with them, no?

 

I think he should trade one of superstars. I hope he doesn't.

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@B21

 

I'm not sure I would criticize Shero's cap management.  In fact, I wouldn't.  The fact he's able to add an Iginla, Murray, et al. at the deadline says to me he's doing okay with the cap.

 

But you also have to understand that @flyercanuck uses a bit of a different (not wrong, just different) measuring stick regarding the Cap.   He's consistent for the most part in the way he applies what he's saying.  He's crucified Holmgren using that same criteria for years.

 

For whatever it's worth, I think Holmgren was far worse with the cap than Shero.  

 

Thanks...I think?!?

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@flyercanuck

@B21

@ruxpin

 

The Cap issue this year was more because the cap dropped $6 million thanks to the lockout than mismanagement.  You have already signed your big guns to worthy contracts.  Two of the best if not the two best forwards in the league.  THey're going to get paid.  They have a good defensive core locked up, and despite FC's low opinion of Letang, it seems all the commentators, the good and the bad, agree he's worth the money and one of the best talents on defense in the league.  (We can argue the offense vs. defense ad nauseum in other threads as we have).  So the cap took a $6 million nosedive.  As B21 has pointed out there is room next year for improvements as it rises over the $70 million mark again.  

 

My "low" opinion of Letang is that he isn't the top 3 defenceman in the league that Pens fans think he is. Top 10, ok. He's not a guy I want on the ice if I'm up by 1 in game 7 with a minute left. Is that a great defenceman? As you well know I prefer guys who can actually play D.  Next season he begins a 7 year contract that makes him the 3rd highest paid in the league. 

 

The whole league plays under that cap. All gms had to deal with less money.

 

As for Crosby's drive in the playoffs, I do question where he went against Boston last year, but Boston, Bergeron specifically, excels at taking the stars out of the game.  That took Bergeron out as well, but the Bruins' Rask shut down our forwards where Boston was able to get 1 or 2 past Vokoun.  A 2-1 game and a 1-0 game to finish the series.  

 

Boston will take a Bergeron for Crosby elimination all day. But if he's shutting down Crosby, where's Malkin? Or whoever. 2 goals in an entire series by a team?

 

This year though?  This year I didn't see what I normally see out of him.  Game 2 vs. the Rangers he didn't score, but he was a hero on the ice.  The kid skated his arse off and ultimately DID lead his team to the turnaround after game one.  Game 3 and 4 were not maybe as noticeable but he still drove the team with effort on the ice.  My problem is where did he go for game 5.  Game 5 he disappeared.  Game 6 the effort wasn't as on fire as the earlier games.  I didn't see that fire in him through games 5 and 6.  Game 7?  He was unreal with his efforts.  He seemed to struggle a little with puck management, but nobody could doubt his drive.  He had a fire in his eyes that we hadn't seen in games 5 and 6.  I truly feel Lundqvist was just better than all of them.  He was the best player on the ice by a longshot.  

 

Yes

 

@FC:  I agree Neal disappeared as well.  I think skating with Jokinen and Sutter denied him the setup man he needs.  Neal has and always will need someone to feed him the puck.  He's an average skater and he's slow, but he's a shooter, nothing more.  He can't create plays, he only finishes them extremely well.  I agree he is accountable as anybody.  

 

Finally. My work in that department is done. Oh wait, you forgot dirty.

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@flyercanuck

@B21

@ruxpin

The Cap issue this year was more because the cap dropped $6 million thanks to the lockout than mismanagement. You have already signed your big guns to worthy contracts. Two of the best if not the two best forwards in the league. THey're going to get paid. They have a good defensive core locked up, and despite FC's low opinion of Letang, it seems all the commentators, the good and the bad, agree he's worth the money and one of the best talents on defense in the league. (We can argue the offense vs. defense ad nauseum in other threads as we have). So the cap took a $6 million nosedive. As B21 has pointed out there is room next year for improvements as it rises over the $70 million mark again.

My "low" opinion of Letang is that he isn't the top 3 defenceman in the league that Pens fans think he is. Top 10, ok. He's not a guy I want on the ice if I'm up by 1 in game 7 with a minute left. Is that a great defenceman? As you well know I prefer guys who can actually play D. Next season he begins a 7 year contract that makes him the 3rd highest paid in the league.

The whole league plays under that cap. All gms had to deal with less money.

As for Crosby's drive in the playoffs, I do question where he went against Boston last year, but Boston, Bergeron specifically, excels at taking the stars out of the game. That took Bergeron out as well, but the Bruins' Rask shut down our forwards where Boston was able to get 1 or 2 past Vokoun. A 2-1 game and a 1-0 game to finish the series.

Boston will take a Bergeron for Crosby elimination all day. But if he's shutting down Crosby, where's Malkin? Or whoever. 2 goals in an entire series by a team?

This year though? This year I didn't see what I normally see out of him. Game 2 vs. the Rangers he didn't score, but he was a hero on the ice. The kid skated his arse off and ultimately DID lead his team to the turnaround after game one. Game 3 and 4 were not maybe as noticeable but he still drove the team with effort on the ice. My problem is where did he go for game 5. Game 5 he disappeared. Game 6 the effort wasn't as on fire as the earlier games. I didn't see that fire in him through games 5 and 6. Game 7? He was unreal with his efforts. He seemed to struggle a little with puck management, but nobody could doubt his drive. He had a fire in his eyes that we hadn't seen in games 5 and 6. I truly feel Lundqvist was just better than all of them. He was the best player on the ice by a longshot.

Yes

@FC: I agree Neal disappeared as well. I think skating with Jokinen and Sutter denied him the setup man he needs. Neal has and always will need someone to feed him the puck. He's an average skater and he's slow, but he's a shooter, nothing more. He can't create plays, he only finishes them extremely well. I agree he is accountable as anybody.

Finally. My work in that department is done. Oh wait, you forgot dirty.

Again as always I agree there are better defensive defensemen, but you need both to truly succeed, and Letang is definitely top 3 in offensive skills.

I said I questioned where he went in the Boston series. The entire team really. Crosby LOOKED like he was skating great against Boston, but just as this year was, your top guys have to find ways to produce.

As for Neal I've always said he's an above average player thanks to his shot. He's one of those rare ones that come through and either really thrive with a good setup guy, or struggle alone. But when he gets the puck fed to him there are few out there that can shoot like he does. That's what makes him an above average player.

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@flyercanuck

Oh and few GM's had to deal with the rarity that is a lowered salary cap after wrapping up so much if it in so few players. You guys often go at us for exactly that, and I think it's never hurt Shero till this season. Sure everyone has to deal with it, but losing $6 mill in cap doesn't hurt as much when you don't have two guys making $9 mill a year. Not to mention a lot of injuries without LTIR.

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Again as always I agree there are better defensive defensemen, but you need both to truly succeed, and Letang is definitely top 3 in offensive skills.

I said I questioned where he went in the Boston series. The entire team really. Crosby LOOKED like he was skating great against Boston, but just as this year was, your top guys have to find ways to produce.

As for Neal I've always said he's an above average player thanks to his shot. He's one of those rare ones that come through and either really thrive with a good setup guy, or struggle alone. But when he gets the puck fed to him there are few out there that can shoot like he does. That's what makes him an above average player.

 

Agree wholeheartedly 110%.

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