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A lot has been made of the poor regular season Tanner Glass had in 2013. After the lockout, and without a training camp to get adjusted to a new system, new teammates, coach and team, Glass struggled mightily. Out of 277 forwards that pl...
A lot has been made of the poor regular season Tanner Glass had in 2013. After the lockout, and without a training camp to get adjusted to a new system, new teammates, coach and team, Glass struggled mightily. Out of 277 forwards that played at least 400 minutes in the NHL last season, Glass was dead last in points/60 at 5 on 5 play with just 1 assist in 417 minutes of action. Ouch. This year Glass has been better so far, highlighted by a highlight reel goal against the Carolina Hurricanes. Aided by Jay Harrison allowing him basically three attempts at it, Glass collected his own rebounded and packaged a beautiful Crosby-esque backhander that perfectly hit the top shelf, a play that goalie Cam Ward never had a chance once he allowed the rebound to get away. (Click to make work) What's your thoughts on Glass? It's only been three games, but with two points, he's already equaled his total for the whole 48 games he played last season. He might never truly be worth the $1.1 million on a $64.3 million salary cap, but if he keeps working, hitting, fighting, and yes, scoring, it'll make this season a lot more palatable before his contract ends.
about 5 hours ago
With a shot off the crossbar just 16 seconds into the game, you could tell Jussi Jokinen was fired up to play his former team. At this point, we can expect big things not only against the Carolina Hurricanes (he's averaging 2 points-per-...
With a shot off the crossbar just 16 seconds into the game, you could tell Jussi Jokinen was fired up to play his former team. At this point, we can expect big things not only against the Carolina Hurricanes (he's averaging 2 points-per-game average against them since joining the Pens), but in general. Jokinen has 10 goals in 13 regular season games with the Pens. Let that stew for a second and realize that we aren't talking about Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. However, the beautiful chemistry that has blossomed between Jokinen and Malkin is a sure factor in Jokinen's prowess on offense. Don't forget Jokinen's hat trick against the Blue Jackets on Sept. 21 came when he was "first" placed on Malkin's line. As much as I want to see Beau Bennett get top six playing time regularly, there's no chance Jokinen drops to a bottom six spot the way he's playing. Bennett is certainly taking advantage of the time he's spending with Malkin and Jokinen. Brilliant passing plays, good decision-making, and it all stems from his natural vision of the ice. The sky's the limit for Bennett but James Neal's return will force him to the third line...until Bylsma shuffles his players like he always does. Jokinen's two power play goals also turned the Pens' 0% conversion rate to 33.3%. However, it'll be nice to see Neal slamming one-timers home from Malkin feeds. Fellow countryman Olli Maatta also had a big night, not only registering his first career NHL point, but also his first multi-point game. He assisted on two of Jokinen's goals, and has taken another giant leap towards sealing his spot on the team. There has been a lot of talk whether Maatta is ready for a full NHL season or if he should be sent back to the London Knights. His performance tonight proved he is certainly capable of playing with the big boys, so hopefully the Shero finds a way to work this out. Other than Maatta's two assists, his shining moment came in the third period in what was one of the most incredible shifts I've seen in a long time. Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo, the bottom two pairing, were on the ice with Crosby's line and the five of them just abused the Hurricanes for an entire shift. No goals resulted in that shift (though Tanner Glass whipped out a Crosby-like backhand to put the Pens up by two in the following shift), but it was great seeing what great support those two young defensemen provided for arguably the best line in the NHL. The entire shift felt like a scoring opportunity that had the fans on their seats when Cam Ward finally froze the puck. Maatta also had some beautiful heads-up passes, one in the third period found Bennett who was speeding through the neutral zone, collected the puck in stride while splitting the defense, and got a shot off that was ultimately brushed off by Ward. The Maatta - Bortuzzo pairing will be a fun one to watch develop, and I'm most looking forward to seeing Maatta's shot on the power play. You can feel a goal coming for him, especially after "the shift". And so far, neither have been on the ice for a goal against. Marc-Andre Fleury had another solid game and is really hushing his critics right now. It's amazing seeing how much has changed just from the preseason to now. There's a coolness to Fleury's movements and reactions when before, there seemed to be a hint of panic anytime he had to make a play. Could be many reasons for that including the lack of speaking to the media to better team defense that is an immense pressure relief. I'd put money on the latter and I think that much less pressure, with the help of some fortunate bounces, has really boosted Fleury's confidence. Now we all know Fleury does just fine in the regular season, so Fleury's ability to maintain that in the postseason is where the questions lie. But so far so good. In the first period, everyone thought Pascal Dupuis had his first of the season but it was disallowed because of a kicking motion. If you talk to the right Pens fans, many will admit when
about 13 hours ago
Good morning everyone, The Pens "finnished" off the Canes last night, 5-2. A hattie for Jussi Jokinen (200th in Pens franchise history), a goal for Paul Martin and another for Tanner Glass on a very skilled backhand. Some of my favorit...
Good morning everyone, The Pens "finnished" off the Canes last night, 5-2. A hattie for Jussi Jokinen (200th in Pens franchise history), a goal for Paul Martin and another for Tanner Glass on a very skilled backhand. Some of my favorite moments in that game were the close-ups of Ron Francis giving dirty looks to Jim Rutherford. Don't forget Carolina waived and traded that guy, and is still paying $900K ($10,975.60 per game) of his contract this year. I think they got their money's worth last night. That guy can finish and no word play is even needed. The Isles destroyed the Yotes to the tune of 6-1, with Tavares scoring twice without being one of the three stars of the game. Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas left Tuesday's game against the Flyers in the first period with a pulled groin. Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche are off to a 3-0 start. Someone finally dropped the Maple Leafs so they don't get any ideas they can go 82-0. Avs winning is kind of boring. I was hoping Patrick Roy might go all Hannibal Lecter on Randy Carlyle and eat his liver with some fava beans and fine chianti. Nike has managed to ruin ALL the Olympic jerseys. The American ones were boring, the Russian shirts were an eye sore, and I don't even know what to call the Canadian ones. That third jersey is just hideous. Let's hope no one ever has to put that on. NHL on TSN has a new segment called You Can't Do That. It's gimmicky, but I kind of enjoyed it, in The Whole Nine Yards kind of way. Hard to juggle this new daily thing with kids & school & work & stuff. My son has gym on Tuesdays, which he realized 5 minutes before leaving for school yesterday so we scrambled madly to find his uniform. It's 7 am and I'm not wearing my glasses, so I grabbed the first thing that was the same shade of blue as his gym shorts and in a ziploc bag, and stuffed it in his backpack. But it wasn't his gym uniform - it was my newly arrived Marge Simpson wig (for my Halloween costume). He was utterly annoyed with me. Oh well. He should remember it next Monday night.
about 13 hours ago
It's a Staal night. Canes games might be the worst games, other than Sabres games, which is odd because there's so much circus theater to love. We blame Chad LaRose. I basically made dinner in like 10 minutes before the game so let's ...
It's a Staal night. Canes games might be the worst games, other than Sabres games, which is odd because there's so much circus theater to love. We blame Chad LaRose. I basically made dinner in like 10 minutes before the game so let's dive right in because I'm on 3 hours of sleep and Cam is trying to get at my bacon and butternut squash risotto recipe and I don't have time for his shit. [[MORE]] QUIETEST SCREAMS It takes a hell of a long time before Root mentions anything Staal or Sutter-trade related. Could the magic be fading? Could the myth be delicately collapsing? Pens look legit to begin the game. The most dangerous moment so far happens when Steiggy says that Brett and Brandon Sutter are cousins. Please chug something quickly. Anything. Not much is going on for the majority of the first period other than Joey V drawing a penalty with his sick flow. Pens PP has yet to score this year. Eek. The most exciting moment comes with about seven and a half left when Cammycakes actually has to make a real save on Beau Bennett after an egregious turnover by Uncle Jordy. PRETTIEST GOD DAMNED PRINCESS Tanner Glass draws a penalty so we guess he's good for something other than being a qt in glasses. Jokinen goes to the fucking net and makes some ridiculous goal look like an effortless deflection. We want .gifs of it tattooed on our faces. MOST BIZARRE PHYSICS In a net crashing sex-fest the puck gets deflected in off of Dupuis and Cam and everyone. We disagree that there was a distinct kicking motion. Explain that. Mario was shown looking pissed. Dupes was shown looking gorgeously incredulous. Tanner Glass then got in a fight with someone. The game does get more exciting as all this is happening. No more tomfoolery. Lil' bit of actual hockey on our hands. period ends. MOST INTENSE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP OF YOUR LIFETIME So there was some bizarre bounce in front of Cam Ward and Paul Martin was just somehow there to fall on his knees and unexpectedly snipe it in in possibly the most sexual way of all time. Like we can't. That's pornographic. MOST VICIOUS ASSAULT ON YOUR ORGANSso basically Paul Steigerwald is literally trying to kill you. Pens are playing a good game and getting quality shots on Cam Ward, moving up-ice quickly, so there isn't much to talk about. We descend into madness that, if you're playing by original or revised rules, could get you sent to the hospital. After showing these two insane Sutter graphics, he even went so far as to invoke Henry and Linda Staal and just tenuously connect the fact that both the Staals and the Sutters have a lot of family members who are involved in hockey. He talked about the sod farm. Again. This Staal obsession will not stand. that's a lot of games waiting for the accompanying Staal stat in 2040 or whatever LEAST PANIC On a Canes PP Fleury gets some deserved Fleury chants from the crowd. Sutter almost scores on a shorthanded break and the game is suddenly exciting and yet we don't feel as though we are in danger. Eric Staal deflects a big nasty Faulk shot though and that's way behind MAF. Really no chance on that one. Brush it off brush it off not even worried 2-1 MOMENT OUR CAVALIER ATTITUDES EMBARRASSED US AT THE PARTY Gerbe gets a rebound. Vomit. 2-2 They're not all going to be cake walks. MOMENT GENE STEPPED INTO THE VFW AND ACTUALLY HAD A CAKE WALK Malkin displayed his preternatural genius by deftly skating around some people and making a perfect pass to Jussi who sniped the hell out of it past Cammycakes. The picnic is going to be really fun this year. Gene made a really nontraditional play look easy as hell. Also, Maatta assist. Yum. First NHL point. MOMENT TANNER GLASS HAD A SIMILAR FUCKING CAKE WALK WHAT THE FUCK The Pens have unreal shifts and exhaust the hell out of Cam Ward. Cam stood on his head and was perfect and worked his ass off and then Joe Vitale won a little assist and Tanner Gl
about 15 hours ago
I recently had the pleasure of flipping through the Hockey Prospectus 2013-14 by Robert Vollman et al. So that got me curious as to how the Pittsburgh Penguins roster looks based on the data gathered from some of the less widely used met...
I recently had the pleasure of flipping through the Hockey Prospectus 2013-14 by Robert Vollman et al. So that got me curious as to how the Pittsburgh Penguins roster looks based on the data gathered from some of the less widely used metrics. And since it conveniently provided 3 years worth of data, I decided to look at the past 3 years for all the metrics. Hockey Prospectus uses Goals vs Threshold (GvT) created by Tom Awad as their primary statistical measure. There are a lot of different factors involved in calculating the total, but basically the stat looks at the players' ability to contribute to his team scoring goals and compares it to how much more effective they are than a replacement level player, i.e. a 13th F/AHL call-up type player. It is separated into Offensive GvT, Defensive GvT, Shootout GvT, and Goaltending GvT which are then added together to give us the total GvT. OGvT is a measure of the skater's ability to contribute to his own team's goal scoring, DGvT is a measure of the skater/goaltender's contribution towards preventing their opponents' goal scoring, SGvT is a measure the skater's ability to score or the goaltenders ability to make saves during the shootout, and GGvT is the goalie specific portion of preventing goals. OGvT For OGvT the Pens top players over the past 3 years is unsurprisingly our current crop of Top 6 forwards. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Dupuis, and Jokinen, with Bennett trailing in from behind. Crosby has been consistent for the past 3 years, but Malkin has bounced up and down. Dupuis and Neal had an offensive breakout the past 2 seasons, so their most recent data is consistent, while Kunitz was consistent for 2 seasons before a big breakout last year. And Jokinen had an off year in 2011-12, but it is sandwiched between two seasons of consistent data. Then of course the lower tier are our remaining Bottom 6 options. Sutter, Jeffrey, D`Agostini, Kobasew, Vitale, Adams, and Glass. Sutter and Adams have consistent numbers the past 2 seasons, while Jeffrey and D`Agostini had excellent seasons 3 years ago but then fell precipitously. However, while D`Agostini continued his downward spiral last year, Jeffrey turned things around and was on the upswing. Kobasew and Vitale had relatively poor numbers in the first 2 seasons, but by last year Kobasew improved greatly whilst Vitale plummeted. Then there is Glass, easily the lowest on the team. However, while his numbers offensively have never been positive, it was consistent for 2 years before having an extreme drop off last year. On D, unsurprisingly the highest is Letang, followed a ways down by Martin. Bortuzzo, Niskanen, and Engelland fall in the middle, and at the low end we have Orpik and Scuderi. Letang, Martin, and Niskanen's numbers have been climbing exponentially the past 3 years, and Bortuzzo, well, limited data makes his data have an extreme upward shift. Engelland had been climbing steadily the first 2 years, but had an extreme drop off last season. Orpik was consistently mediocre for two seasons and then also had an extreme slump last year. And Scuderi had a poor 2011-12 sandwiched between two consistently mediocre seasons. DGvT For DGvT we see some unexpected results. Dupuis is the top defensive forward on the team, but not far behind we unexpectedly find Crosby. Then we go back to the realm of the expected and have Adams, followed by Kunitz, Sutter, and D`Agostini. So the best 6 from a defensive standpoint are our 3 1st liners, 2 3rd liners, and a 4th liner... after that we have Bennett, Jokinen, Kobasew, Neal, Jeffrey, Malkin, Glass, and Vitale. Over the past 3 seasons Dupuis, Crosby, and Kobasew have actually improved ever so slightly. Adams, Glass, and Vitale, on the other hand, were consistent for 2 seasons and then had an extreme drop off last year. Kunitz and Malkin have been inconsistent defensively, but Kunitz improved over the past season whilst Malkin declined. Sutter, oddly enough, has been trailing off def
1 day ago
Good morning everyone, On October 7 1990 Jaromir Jagr scored his first career NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils. On October 7 2013 Jags scored career goal #682 and his first goal for the New Jersey Devils. He's got 8 more until he ...
Good morning everyone, On October 7 1990 Jaromir Jagr scored his first career NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils. On October 7 2013 Jags scored career goal #682 and his first goal for the New Jersey Devils. He's got 8 more until he catches Mario. I already made my peace with it last season, and so be it. The thing is, it will have taken him an extra 500 games and change to do it, so not exactly the same kind of accomplishment. The season started a week ago. Who's hot, and who's not? We play the Staalicanes tonight, and Jeff Skiner's definitely having a good start. Nashville, not so much. However, Seth Jones and Shea Weber skated together and could be the top pair in their home opener tonight. It was an eventful first weekend of hockey, and a head rolled on Monday morning. At Monday's press conference announcing Laviolette's dismissal, Ed Snider said the Flyers had one of the worst training camps ever but angrily defended the Flyers' culture and the fact that they don't need fresh perspective. For a look around the league, Torts breaks up the Sedin twins. Is this Marty Brodeur's final season? Another look at Zach Bogosian's slip-and-fall in the Jets-Ducks game that decided the outcome. The Hockey Writers look at the Boston Bruins and their dark days of drafting. And in case you didn't know it, hockey is a sport for nerds. What do we like the most about this young Penguins season? The Finnish connection? The scary chemistry of the Crosby line, where Pascal Dupuis has emerged as an unlikely superhero? More depth than anticipated? Those of you who are on Twitter have undoubtedly met a very passionate group of Pens fans from the UK, affectionately known as Brinzers. You know you're a Brinzer when ... you do these weird things. Share your weird Pens thing here. I'll go first. I only follow 87 people on Twitter. Every time I come across a really interesting person whose thoughts I'd like to read, someone else's gotta go. No hard feelings. A lot of people will go before this guy does. Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts are always a must-read. Also, Cabbie's having some fun with Sid.
1 day ago
3rd Star, from the Pittsburgh Penguins, numero 29, Marc-Andre Fleury...throw the poor guy a bone, right? Spending another summer as the Penguins' playoff antihero would suck, so we'll try and cheer a fella up a bit here. Two games, two w...
3rd Star, from the Pittsburgh Penguins, numero 29, Marc-Andre Fleury...throw the poor guy a bone, right? Spending another summer as the Penguins' playoff antihero would suck, so we'll try and cheer a fella up a bit here. Two games, two wins, a shutout, 0.64 GAA and .979 SV%. That's better. 2nd Star, from the Winnipeg Jets, numero 9, Evander Kane...with Ovie listed officially as a RW now, Kane has a real opportunity to cement himself as the top multi-cat LW in fantasy hockey. Maybe he's already there. His 1+2=3 totals over three games may not impress on their own, but add nine PIM, 17 hits and seven blocks and you have, like, three players in one. Unreal. 1st Star, from the Washington Capitals, numero 8, Alex Ovechkin...come on, 24 shots in three games? Pile on three goals, two assists, three PPG and 10 hits, and you have yourself an easy call for 1st star of the week. The Caps' PP has started off lethal again this year, with Ovie (5 PPP), Grabovski (4 PPP), Green (4 PPP) and Backstrom (3 PPP) all at the top of the league leaderboard. *** Rookie Star of the Week: Tomas Hertl. This was a really close call, as Jacob Trouba, Sean Monahan, Mark Scheifele and Torey Krug all had deserving weeks, but in the end I picked Hertl because A) he did his damage in only two games and B) he was my Calder pick in the FHS roundtable predictions, so I'll put my money where my mouth is. Hertl is in a great spot to succeed on a line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns. Hertl saw over 16:00 TOI in each of his two games and his PP TOI was substantial (4:27 and 2:15). Breakout Star of the Week: Jonathan Bernier. It's only week one, so let's not get too excited, but it's safe to say Bernier has already thrown the best punches in round one of his starting goalie battle with James Reimer. Bernier not only posted far better numbers than Reimer (2-0, 0.64, .979 vs. 1-0, 4.63, .879), but also provided an exclamation point in stopping all 15 shots (and both shootout attempts) in relief of a shell-shocked Reimer (4 goals on 21 shots), as the Leafs came back from a 4-2 deficit for a huge 5-4 win on Saturday. Advantage Bernier. Breakdown of the Week: Devan Dubnyk. Yeah, you could probably give this one to the entire Oilers team, as they played some awful defense in front of Dubnyk. But stats are stats, and if, like me, you had the misfortune of starting Dubnyk in his two games this week, you ended up with two losses and 6.53/.831 peripherals. Small sample size though (as they all are right now), and with a career SV%of .912, expect things to get better for Dubnyk. They really can't get much worse.
2 days ago
From the NHL: THIRD STAR – MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Fleury posted a 2-0-0 record with a 0.50 goals-against average, .979 save percentage and one shutout as the Penguins opened the season with a pair of v...
From the NHL: THIRD STAR – MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Fleury posted a 2-0-0 record with a 0.50 goals-against average, .979 save percentage and one shutout as the Penguins opened the season with a pair of victories. He recorded 27 saves in a 3-0 triumph over the New Jersey Devils Oct. 3, marking the 24th shutout of his NHL career and second in a season-opening game. Fleury then made 20 stops in a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Oct. 5, extending his season-opening shutout streak to a franchise-record 115:06 before allowing a goal with 4:54 remaining in regulation. With the victories, the 28-year-old Sorel, Que., native moved into a tie for 45th place on the all-time NHL wins list (251) with Colorado Avalanche netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere. An encouraging start of the season for a guy who desperately needed one, especially considering backup goalie Tomas Vokoun is on the shelf for 3-6 months while he deals with his blood clot condition. There’s something to be said about the defense in this award too. Though Fleury did make several great saves over the course of the two games (against two offensively weak teams, we should add), the defense in front of him played really smart and solid. Even without number one defenseman Kris Letang, the Pens did a good job controlling the puck and keeping it out of their zone. Led by calm veteran influences like Rob Scuderi and Paul Martin, the defense buckled down and was really great in both games too, blocking shots and making clears of the puck successfully. This next week will be an interesting one for the Pens who play new division rival Carolina on Tuesday before heading to Florida for quick games on Friday and Saturday nights in Miami and Tampa, respectively. Fleury will lilkely play two of the three, and hopefully be able to keep up his high level of play. No one will rest easy until he does it in the playoffs, but at least for now it’s so far so good for MAF and the Pens.
2 days ago
Watching the Philadelphia Flyers is like watching a train wreck unfold in real time. You see this train that's clearly going too fast and approaching a 45-degree turn and you know it's going to derail and everyone on board is going to di...
Watching the Philadelphia Flyers is like watching a train wreck unfold in real time. You see this train that's clearly going too fast and approaching a 45-degree turn and you know it's going to derail and everyone on board is going to die, but you can't stop it from happening, nor can you stop watching. Head coach Peter Laviolette was fired this morning as the team has started 0-3 for the third time ever (the second time was this past season, when the team failed to make the playoffs only for the 10th time in 45 years). It came as a surprise to absolutely no one. Given that Ilya Bryzgalov is no longer here, someone else had to go. Laviolette is a good, accomplished hockey coach. He is easily a top-10 coach in the NHL and will not be unemployed for very long. He may not feel that way this morning, but this is a really good development for him. Because I live in south Philadelphia and follow the local sports scene, I often wonder about the Philadelphia Flyers and why this organization is the way it is. This morning, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that the Flyers are firing the wrong guy. Two other people who were superior to him and made more critical decisions are far more responsible for the disastrous situation on many levels. The team owner, Ed Snider, does not in fact actually own the Flyers. He is chairman of Comcast-Spectator, a media company that owns the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, among other things. He is 80 years old and he refuses to die until the Flyers win that Cup again. An Ayn Rand enthusiast, his management of the Flyers is of knee-jerk, meddlesome and nepotistic variety. Find former Flyer #234 and just give him the job already. He'll figure it out. Enter Paul Holmgren. Another well-known hockey persona and also (obviously) a former Flyer, Homer has been nothing short of a disaster as a GM. Clearly, some of his jaw-dropping moves, especially in regards to the situation in goal, had to do with meddling from above. He gave huge contract extensions to players, only to trade them shortly after with crocodile tears in his eyes. He told us just three weeks ago that Peter Laviolette is not at all on the hot seat. He told Simon Gagne to "hang tight" and he'll get him a contract this fall. Gags did, but Holmgren forgot about it and instead tried to give that money to Dan Cleary. The list goes on and on and on. He is a bad GM and a worse person. The thing is, he won't last much longer either. His own successor is already in the organization, as Ron Hextall re-joined the Flyers from the Kings as an assistant GM in an entirely lateral move. Won't be long now. It will have been long overdue. So now Craig Berube takes over. A journeyman left winger, Chief was known for his toughness. He was a Maple Leaf for, oh, about a week, but it inspired a very good piece by Down Goes Brown. Berube will inherit a flawed but talented team, a rabid fan base almost as whiplashy as the team's owner, and local sports media from hell. Good luck to him. Players like him and will play hard for him. The thing is, people playing hard was rarely a problem for this team. The problem is elsewhere. The team itself can have success in the NHL, even this season, given their talented forward corps and a few savvy veterans on defense, but the systemic problems in the organization will still exist until Snider changes something fundamental. I'm not holding my breath.
2 days ago
Follow the NHL long enough and you’ll notice that pretty much everything is cyclical. Bad teams become good once they rebuild, good teams eventual fade away as their stars age and move on. The ebbs and flows of professional sports ...
Follow the NHL long enough and you’ll notice that pretty much everything is cyclical. Bad teams become good once they rebuild, good teams eventual fade away as their stars age and move on. The ebbs and flows of professional sports are natural, but they sure are fun to watch. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed, but it was seven years ago in the fall of 2006, a broken hand suffered by Brooks Orpik helped Kris Letang stick around in Pittsburgh. As just a 19 year old, Letang was well regarded and scored two goals in his nine game NHL stint, before being sent back to juniors where he tore up the QMJHL (named best defenseman and best defensive defenseman) and was the captain of Team Canada’s WJC team and led them to gold. Now, flash-forward and a knee injury to Letang, has opened the door for another very promising blueliner to make his NHL debut in Olli Maatta. Maatta, though highly sheltered (just as Letang or practically an teenaged NHL defenseman will be) hasn’t looked out of place in the speed, pace and physicality of an NHL game. He’s showing flashes too- check out the GIF below (clickable) to see a subtle but nice play by Maatta that reminded more than one person of former Penguin defenseman Sergei Gonchar. This doesn't mean that anything is done for Letang, but it goes to show the cycle of life sometimes in the NHL. Young players can get chances in all sorts of shapes and forms, and if Maatta can keep on this development path, the team will be in great shape watching him continue to grow and it won't be long until he's an NHL regular.
2 days ago