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B21

Pens' Post-Mortem

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This will be mostly high level but here goes...

 

What went wrong? That was obvious. The Pens simply could not overcome the Isles’ defense-first/offense whenever strategy.  Too impatient. To easily frustrated. Lehner outplayed Murray. Trotz outcoached  Sullivan.  

 

So what is next for the Pens? Regardless what some wishful thinkers will say, the core is not old...or done. At the start of the 2019-20 season, Crosby will be 32.  Malkin 33. Letang 31. Schultz 29. Everyone else is early to mid 20’s.  I purposely left out Kessel. I think he gets moved in the offseason even if it means quarters on the dollar.  The Pens have 9 forwards, 6 defenseman and 2 goalies from the current roster under contract for next year at  about $80,000,000 with the cap expected to be $83,000,000. Only Garrett Wilson is UFA. Blueger, Aston-Reese and Petteson are all RFA. Moving Kessel frees up almost $7,000,000 in cap space. That’s a lot for JR to play with  to reshape the supporting cast. We have been here before and came away with two Cups. It can be done.

 

I still think there is another 3 years in the window. Heck, Yzerman won his first Cup at 32.  There isn’t much in the pipeline (they are all here) so JR will clearly need to go the trade/low-end free agent route. He’s certainly proven he can get creative. 

 

I doubt he goes "big" and moves a Letang or (gasp!) Malkin. But I'd be shocked if Kessel is here. 4 years. 2 Cups. I'll take it but time to move on (queue the tribute video).

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14 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

Who trades for Kessel?

 

Nabicso? Oscar Meyer? Someone will if the price is low enough. 

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42 minutes ago, Podein25 said:

Who trades for Kessel?

 

Us. The Wild.

 

We'll give Pittsburgh Jordan Greenway, a 2020 1st round pick, a 2021 2nd pick and a conditional 2022 3rd round pick. Then we'll sign him for a 7 year/$56m extension with a NMC/NTC. He will have fun joining the retirement core group with Suter, Koivu and Staal, playing golf in early April.  

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56 minutes ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

Us. The Wild.

 

We'll give Pittsburgh Jordan Greenway, a 2020 1st round pick, a 2021 2nd pick and a conditional 2022 3rd round pick. Then we'll sign him for a 7 year/$56m extension with a NMC/NTC. He will have fun joining the retirement core group with Suter, Koivu and Staal, playing golf in early April.  

 

This is the kind of attitude that all the Flyer fans on this site need. 

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I know consider the source yada yada yada 

Hidden Content

    Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content.

 

Moving on from Malkin does extend the Crosby window in that he could and will bring back the pu-pu platter of prospects and midlevel guys or like Ek (cough cough) is saying the defensive stud needed to bolster the blue line and a prospect/pick. 

 

Are they as fearsome without ol' Malkinstein swingin' the elbows and lightin' the lamp ? I don't know. Depending on the deal it can give them some cap flexibility to help bolster their NHL depth. 

 

An interesting off season lies ahead in Pennsylvania

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mojo1917 said:

Are they as fearsome without ol' Malkinstein swingin' the elbows and lightin' the lamp ? I don't know. Depending on the deal it can give them some cap flexibility to help bolster their NHL depth. 

 

No, they are not...in my view, the trading of a superstar seldom pans out as the stuff you get back rarely makes up for the loss of the star's contributions & leadership / swagger.

Edited by Poulin20
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Posted (edited)

Time to think about being a more physical team.   Pens team this year was just too easy to play against.   Two areas, especially for the playoffs, that they have to be better at.  

1) Physical on the forecheck.  The Pens relied on speed to attempt to beat the defense to the puck on the chip and chase.  This work fairly well in the regular season, as teams play a lot looser during the grind of the season. But this didn't work at all against the Isles.  The Isles on the rush provided cover for their defense on the dumpins and held the blue line, the forwards for the Pens ended up at best in a 50/50 situation  for pucks. The defense was not punished at all, and did not feel pressured to move pucks. 

2) Turn that around, and the Pens were very soft at their own blue line.  There was little help from a third forward slowing up anyone from the Isles. The Isles had a free pass to either possess into the zone, or dump in at full speed and provide instant pressure physically on the defense.  The Pens defensive strategy seem to be go in and freeze the puck on the boards, and hope for help to come.  Sadly, too often is was the Isles there first with a punishing hit. 

 

Moving forward I would like to see;

One of Letang or Shultz to go, bring in more physicality on defense

A physical fourth line, come on, Cullen centering the fourth line does not scare any team for scoring or a physical basis.

Change the defensive structure coming back on defense to hold the blue line instead of ceding it.

Move Kessel, top heavy offense is fun sometimes, but when you play against defense first teams, it doesn't really work out. 

 

I think there is still a window, but run and gun is done. Keep supplementing the core with youth and size.  They started that this year, let the first playoff experience season some of the guys they picked up, and keep moving that way. 

Edited by nossagog
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On 4/19/2019 at 9:27 AM, nossagog said:

Time to think about being a more physical team.   Pens team this year was just too easy to play against.   Two areas, especially for the playoffs, that they have to be better at.  

1) Physical on the forecheck.  The Pens relied on speed to attempt to beat the defense to the puck on the chip and chase.  This work fairly well in the regular season, as teams play a lot looser during the grind of the season. But this didn't work at all against the Isles.  The Isles on the rush provided cover for their defense on the dumpins and held the blue line, the forwards for the Pens ended up at best in a 50/50 situation  for pucks. The defense was not punished at all, and did not feel pressured to move pucks. 

2) Turn that around, and the Pens were very soft at their own blue line.  There was little help from a third forward slowing up anyone from the Isles. The Isles had a free pass to either possess into the zone, or dump in at full speed and provide instant pressure physically on the defense.  The Pens defensive strategy seem to be go in and freeze the puck on the boards, and hope for help to come.  Sadly, too often is was the Isles there first with a punishing hit. 

 

Moving forward I would like to see;

One of Letang or Shultz to go, bring in more physicality on defense

A physical fourth line, come on, Cullen centering the fourth line does not scare any team for scoring or a physical basis.

Change the defensive structure coming back on defense to hold the blue line instead of ceding it.

Move Kessel, top heavy offense is fun sometimes, but when you play against defense first teams, it doesn't really work out. 

 

I think there is still a window, but run and gun is done. Keep supplementing the core with youth and size.  They started that this year, let the first playoff experience season some of the guys they picked up, and keep moving that way. 

Agreed for the most part. Pens need to get more defensive minded. 

Then a couple of set plays involving Crosby other than from the right face off dot. Same with Malkin.

It seem to me the Islanders knew what the Pens were going to do before the Pens were able to set-up! Coaches have to do better in making in game adjustments.

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      Nabicso? Oscar Meyer? Someone will if the price is low enough. 
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      Us. The Wild.   We'll give Pittsburgh Jordan Greenway, a 2020 1st round pick, a 2021 2nd pick and a conditional 2022 3rd round pick. Then we'll sign him for a 7 year/$56m extension with a NMC/NTC. He will have fun joining the retirement core group with Suter, Koivu and Staal, playing golf in early April.  
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      No, they are not...in my view, the trading of a superstar seldom pans out as the stuff you get back rarely makes up for the loss of the star's contributions & leadership / swagger.
    • 1
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      Time to think about being a more physical team.   Pens team this year was just too easy to play against.   Two areas, especially for the playoffs, that they have to be better at.   1) Physical on the forecheck.  The Pens relied on speed to attempt to beat the defense to the puck on the chip and chase.  This work fairly well in the regular season, as teams play a lot looser during the grind of the season. But this didn't work at all against the Isles.  The Isles on the rush provided cover fo
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