30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

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    30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    2013-14 record: 51-24-7, 109 points, 1st in Metropolitan Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference


    2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lost to New York Rangers in seven games in second round


    Additions: D Christian Ehrhoff, F Patric Hornqvist, F Nick Spaling, F Blake Comeau, F Steve Downie, G Thomas Greiss


    Subtractions: F James Neal, F Jussi Jokinen, D Matt Niskanen, D Brooks Orpik, D Deryk Engelland, F Tanner Glass, F Joe Vitale, F Brian Gibbons


    Pending Free Agents: G Tomas Vokoun (UFA)


    Promotion candidates: D Brian Dumoulin, D Derrick Pouliot, D Scott Harrington, F Harry Zolnierczyk, F Adam Payerl, D Philip Samulesson


    Top 2014 NHL Draft picks: F Kasperi Kapanen (No. 22)"


    One of Johnston's first acts as Penguins coach was to reach out to forward Sidney Crosby, who decided against having offseason surgery on an injured wrist. "We didn't talk a lot about the injury," Johnston said. "We talked more about how he's feeling, sort of the situation with the team, how the team was, just different dynamics. It's a chance to interact with him and get a feel for where he's at, and I knew him a little bit before but I never really sat down and talked to him extensively like that."


    Rutherford didn't take long to make his mark on the team, firing Bylsma and hiring Johnston as well as trading forward James Neal during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forwards Patrick Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Neal, a former 40-goal scorer, was a pillar on Pittsburgh's second line next to forward Evgeni Malkin.


    But Neal was criticized for making questionable decisions on the ice, which played a factor in him being traded, Rutherford said. Hornqvist will most likely take the place of Neal or forward Jussi Jokinen, who signed with the Florida Panthers during free agency, next to Malkin.


    Hornqvist could benefit from playing next to Malkin in much the same way Neal did after being traded to Pittsburgh from the Dallas Stars during the 2010-11 season. Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was also involved in that 2010-11 trade, signed with the Washington Capitals during free agency along with defenseman Brooks Orpik. A hole was left in the Penguins' defensive corps, which was partially filled by the signing of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.


    The expected pairings of defensemen Kris Letang and Paul Martin, and defensemen Olli Maatta and Ehrhoff seem set, but there remains opportunity for a young player to make a mark on Pittsburgh's defense. Defenseman Simon Despres could receive another chance to live up to his potential under a new regime. Defensemen Brian Dumoulin, who has played in six NHL games, and Derrick Pouliot, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, could also earn a spot on the opening-night roster.


    "It's always an opportunity," Dumoulin said. "Even last year and coming into this year, coming into training camp, I just want to prove to them that hopefully I can make that team, and I'm going to do everything from now until that point to put myself in the best position to have an opportunity. So I'm looking forward going into this training camp."


    The Penguins will enter the season looking vaguely familiar to the team they were a year ago. They are still headlined by Crosby, Malkin, Letang and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. That core remains intact"


     


    MAF is the last year of his contract so he needs to do something this year.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August


    Been following these all week on NHL.com. They are interesting.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    Been following these all week on NHL.com. They are interesting.


    The Penguins stay with a top 3 seed ? or do they falter a bit ?

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    I think they do stay top 3. The got better depth up front and that D is pretty damn good. Plus they have some decent pieces on the farm that could be darkhorses or used as trade bait if needed. The only question mark, of course, is MAF but his meltdowns are usually confined to the post-season.

    You?

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    I think they do stay top 3. The got better depth up front and that D is pretty damn good. Plus they have some decent pieces on the farm that could be darkhorses or used as trade bait if needed. The only question mark, of course, is MAF but his meltdowns are usually confined to the post-season.

    You?

     




    Maqybe Tomas Greiss will grab the bull bey the horns and take the job away. They have a new coach who will have no loyalty to MAF,so if Greiss plays well in his starts he could gradually win the job over,especially if MAF has any sort of shaky start or melt down.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    Crosby or Malkin could win the Hart or the Art Ross in any given year, but the Pens will still go as their D and G goes.  Even without Niskanen and Orpik, they should have a pretty solid D.  Letang's not my favourite player, but he and Martin are credible top end D, Erhoff and Maatta give them a solid top 4 especially in terms of offensive ability and skating, and Scuderi's a responsible guy to be working with the kids they have on the third pairing.  Fleury's in a contract year, as is Greiss.  (There's a side question for you: the following goalies are set to be UFA at the end of the year - Fleury, Niemi, Craig Anderson, Josh Harding.  if you're the Pens, do you re-sign Fleury, or do you take a run at one of the others?)

    Up front, though, it's ALL Crosby and Malkin.  Decent bottom six, I guess, if Downie gets his act together, with Spaling, Sutter, Goc.  But up front, how long can Kunitz keep up his pace playing with Crosby?  Can Hornquist replace Neal?  Can Beau Bennett play top 6?  Can they really keep rolling Dupuis with Crosby?

    I think second or third in that division is fair.

     

     

    Are you not entertained?!?!

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    I am not so sure about the Neal thing though. Yeah, he had some good seasons with Malkin but near the end of his time in the Pit he was oft injured and oft suspended.....bad combo especially with a history of concussions. I am just guessing but I believe Hornqvist is going to have a monster year now that he is unshackled from the stifling confines of a Tortz-Nashville system.

    If I were the Pens I would dump MAF and go after Niemi...

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    I am not so sure about the Neal thing though. Yeah, he had some good seasons with Malkin but near the end of his time in the Pit he was oft injured and oft suspended.....bad combo especially with a history of concussions. I am just guessing but I believe Hornqvist is going to have a monster year now that he is unshackled from the stifling confines of a Tortz-Nashville system.

    If I were the Pens I would dump MAF and go after Niemi...

     




    If you read the Washington write up, Trotz says he was unfairly characterized as a defensive coach, he says my best players were Rinne & Weber,so he just went with the hand he was dealt. I don't know if that is correct but he always had pretty good defence in Nashville ( Weber,Hamhuis,Suter,etc), but not much offence. We'll see this season because he has some offensive stars in Washington,the eyeball test will tell the story. I want to watch Ovi win the Selke ,Trotz says he wants him to start playing a 200 ft game.Haha, Trotz doesn't have any hair left so i don't know what will fall out!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to Bookboy007's comment:

    Crosby or Malkin could win the Hart or the Art Ross in any given year, but the Pens will still go as their D and G goes.  Even without Niskanen and Orpik, they should have a pretty solid D.  Letang's not my favourite player, but he and Martin are credible top end D, Erhoff and Maatta give them a solid top 4 especially in terms of offensive ability and skating, and Scuderi's a responsible guy to be working with the kids they have on the third pairing.  Fleury's in a contract year, as is Greiss.  (There's a side question for you: the following goalies are set to be UFA at the end of the year - Fleury, Niemi, Craig Anderson, Josh Harding.  if you're the Pens, do you re-sign Fleury, or do you take a run at one of the others?)

    Up front, though, it's ALL Crosby and Malkin.  Decent bottom six, I guess, if Downie gets his act together, with Spaling, Sutter, Goc.  But up front, how long can Kunitz keep up his pace playing with Crosby?  Can Hornquist replace Neal?  Can Beau Bennett play top 6?  Can they really keep rolling Dupuis with Crosby?

    I think second or third in that division is fair.

     

     

    Are you not entertained?!?!



    Not much in the goaltending market, a lot depends on how Fleury responds this year. If he flops the only other real option would be Niemi. Anderson can't keep a number one job, and Harding has health issues.




     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to 50belowzero's comment:


    If you read the Washington write up, Trotz says he was unfairly characterized as a defensive coach, he says my best players were Rinne & Weber,so he just went with the hand he was dealt. I don't know if that is correct but he always had pretty good defence in Nashville ( Weber,Hamhuis,Suter,etc), but not much offence. We'll see this season because he has some offensive stars in Washington,the eyeball test will tell the story. I want to watch Ovi win the Selke ,Trotz says he wants him to start playing a 200 ft game.Haha, Trotz doesn't have any hair left so i don't know what will fall out!



    That may well be right. He was, after all, the original coach of an expansion team which initially had little talent and relied on a D first mentality to survive. And, yeah, their best players were D men and goalies but that doesn't mean that after what 18 years he couldn't have gotten out of that expansion team mentality or at least tried to influence Poile to trade some of the assets for some weapons on offense before they all fled via free agency. Just my opinion though.

     

     

     
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    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

     

     Ha!! OV winning the Selke...that would be terrific!!!

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

     Poile to trade some of the assets for some weapons on offense before they all fled via free agency. Just my opinion though.

     

     




    I agree that Trotz could have tried something different but a lot of that could be pinned on Poile,he seemed to not want to trade for any big name forwards,although he brought in Forsberg one year for the playoffs and the ill advised Radulov return. We'll see if the Preds light up the scoreboard with Laviolette at the helm. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    Wouldn't shock me to see the Pens take such a big step back this year that they entertain trading Malkin. I think they lost too much on the back end. I'd like Maata a lot more if he still had Orpik and Niskanen and Engelland back there. Jokinen is a solid two way forward and Neal being up front helped with puck possession. The better hope Malkin and Crosby stay healthy.




     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to 50belowzero's comment:

    I agree that Trotz could have tried something different but a lot of that could be pinned on Poile,he seemed to not want to trade for any big name forwards,although he brought in Forsberg one year for the playoffs and the ill advised Radulov return. We'll see if the Preds light up the scoreboard with Laviolette at the helm. 




    Will be interesting to watch. I personally think Laviolette is a good coach.

     

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to kelvana33's comment:

    Wouldn't shock me to see the Pens take such a big step back this year that they entertain trading Malkin. I think they lost too much on the back end. I'd like Maata a lot more if he still had Orpik and Niskanen and Engelland back there. Jokinen is a solid two way forward and Neal being up front helped with puck possession. The better hope Malkin and Crosby stay healthy.







    Malkin to the Rags for Brassard, Kreider, Miller, Staal, and a 1st rounder. You heard it here first!!!!

     

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    Still curious that Rutherford didn't buyout MAF then go after Hiller, Broduer or bring back Vokoun for a year. Mario might have put the kibosh on that but now they Pens only $900K under the cap.

    Martin and hippy-wonder-hair LeTanga can handle minutes but can they handle down low below the dots ?

    Guys like Lucic are going to punish those two.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:

    Still curious that Rutherford didn't buyout MAF then go after Hiller, Broduer or bring back Vokoun for a year. Mario might have put the kibosh on that but now they Pens only $900K under the cap.



    MAF is Mario's boyfriend,so no go to getting rid of him.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

    In response to kelvana33's comment:

    Wouldn't shock me to see the Pens take such a big step back this year that they entertain trading Malkin. I think they lost too much on the back end. I'd like Maata a lot more if he still had Orpik and Niskanen and Engelland back there. Jokinen is a solid two way forward and Neal being up front helped with puck possession. The better hope Malkin and Crosby stay healthy.







    Malkin to the Rags for Brassard, Kreider, Miller, Staal, and a 1st rounder. You heard it here first!!!!

     

     



    All kidding aside, Slats would probably be the first one in line for him. Put Nash with Crosby.




     

     
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    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

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    All kidding aside, Slats would probably be the first one in line for him. Put Nash with Crosby.







    Absolutely, no question about it!

     

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    Moving right along

    "Rangers must adapt to changes after loss in Final"

    2013-14 record: 45-31-6, 96 points. Second in Metropolitan Division, fifth in Eastern Conference

    2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lost 4-1 to Los Angeles Kings in Stanley Cup Final

    Additions: D Dan Boyle, F Lee Stempniak, F Matthew Lombardi, F Tanner Glass, D Matt Hunwick, D Steven Kampfer, D Michael Kostka, F Chris Mueller, G Cedrick Desjardins, F Nick Tarnasky

    Subtractions: F Brad Richards, F Derek Dorsett, D Anton Stralman, F Brian Boyle, F Benoit Pouliot, D Justin Falk

    Promotion candidates: F Jesper Fast, F Ryan Haggerty, D Dylan McIlrath, F Danny Kristo, F Anthony Duclair, D Conor Allen

    Top 2014 NHL Draft picks: G Brandon Halverson, second round (No. 59)"

    "Defenseman Dan Boyle was New York's biggest offseason acquisition, but the Rangers also brought in a slew of depth forwards to plug gaps in a unit that lost some important pieces. Lee Stempniak, Matthew Lombardi, Tanner Glass and Chris Mueller are being counted on to fill New York's forward holes. If the Rangers can again find chemistry up front, then second-year coach Alain Vigneault should be able to roll four lines. The ability to do that was a major strength during the team's run to the Final."

    "Our success came from a four-line, six-D team that we rolled; we showed our depth. We're trying to stay with that plan," Gorton said. "With additions like Stempniak and Lombardi and Glass up front, I think it helps our depth. On the back end, we lost a pretty good player for us in Anton Stralman. We got a different kind of player and someone we think can help us in another way."

    That "different kind of player" is Dan Boyle, a veteran defenseman who won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and Olympic gold with Canada in 2010. At 38, he's excited for a new start with a familiar face in forward Martin St. Louis, with whom he won the Cup a decade ago in Tampa Bay.
    "I've always wanted to have that Original Six feel. New York is the center of attention. I'm not saying I need that, I just wanted to experience that," Boyle told the Rangers website in July. "[St. Louis] and I are cut from the same cloth. We have similar backgrounds, our parents were friends in Tampa. Reuniting with him was part of the decision also."

     

    No more P00 P00 or Boyle on a Butte to pick on!

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to 50belowzero's comment:

    In response to jmwalters' comment:

     Poile to trade some of the assets for some weapons on offense before they all fled via free agency. Just my opinion though.

     

     




    I agree that Trotz could have tried something different but a lot of that could be pinned on Poile,he seemed to not want to trade for any big name forwards,although he brought in Forsberg one year for the playoffs and the ill advised Radulov return. We'll see if the Preds light up the scoreboard with Laviolette at the helm. 



    Yeah, I have never seen Poile as a good team-builder.  I think he's probably a very good corporate leader; put his philosophy in place and delegates, and trusts his people to execute according to the philosophy, and sticks by good people through tough times (a la Trotz).  He also has a real knack for drafting defenseman.  Washington always had guys coming up when he was there, and of his draft successes in Nashville, you'd have to go Weber, Suter, Hamhuis, and now maybe Jones.  But c'mon. His teams have always kind of bit it based on a lack of playoff scoring.

    I can, however, see how he might be a bit gunshy after dealing Upshall, Ryan Parent and a pick for 17 games of Forsberg, then, in the wake of losing Forsberg, dealing Hartnell and Timonen for a first round pick (23rd) he used to draft a defenseman who has yet to make any significant hay in the NHL.  You almost wonder if he'd have been better off not trying to shake it up. 


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    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    Pittsburgh will be worse with all of the losses on D and a suspect goalie. Ehrhoff is terrible and is one of their better D-men.    

    The Rangers will be better with their depth on the defensive end and goaltender.  

    Even though Pitts might finish better in the regular season, the Rangers have a better built team for a longer playoff run.  

    Luc Dufour was as tough as Nails.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    The Rags did use Richards money in getting some depth.

     
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    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to kelvana33's comment:


    All kidding aside, Slats would probably be the first one in line for him. Put Nash with Crosby.



    And Nash would have 70 goals.

    It would be the first time in his career that he had a real #1 NHL center.

     
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    Re: 30 in 30 schedule: Breaking down teams in August

    In response to Not-A-Shot's comment:

    And Nash would have 70 goals.

    It would be the first time in his career that he had a real #1 NHL center.




    Likely 90 gls ! No,i'll amend that to 80 gls,because he'll be so tired from doing PK duty as well. ;)

     
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