Sunday, January 26, 2014

The numbers might suggest the Pens' depth is terrible, but your reaction to this will prove it

There's no shortage of ways to measure the discrepancy between the Pens' top 2 lines and the bottom 2 lines, but this puts it about as simply as it can be stated:

It is not much of an overstatement to describe the Pens as the best team in the league when the top 2 lines are playing and the worst team in the league when the bottom 2 lines are playing.  In the span of one line change, the Pens go from the biggest challenger to the Blackhawks and Bruins to worse than the Sabres.  It's that bad.  None of this absolves the entire team of their awful performance in Dallas last night -- everyone was bad.  Or, to put it more accurately, the bottom 6 played like it usually does, and the top 6 had a bad game.  Hence, the team looked like they were barely participating.

After today, we're morphing from the diagnosis stage (Negative Depthitis) to the treatment stage (who can we trade for, how quickly can they get here, and can we please waive Tanner Glass).  But indulge us for just a moment by playing a game of fill in the blank.

In Game 6 against the Red Wings in 2009, the Pens won 2-1 on goals by Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.  Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had 0 points and combined for 3 shots in 37 minutes of ice time.

A long, long time ago.
The chances that the 2013-14 Penguins could win a game against a great team by a score of 2-1, with goals from Brandon Sutter and Tanner Glass and with Sid and Geno combining for only 3 shots is _________.


  1. The Penguins bottom 6 forwards are putrid except for Brandon "no pants" Sutter. Glass and Adams should not even be in the NHL and I don't even want to get started on the LOD (Legion of Dwarfs aka our Baby Pens call-ups). Why is no one in our system above 5 '7?

    As I am sure you guys are aware, we are a SC caliber roster as currently constructed. We need to add 2 quality wingers. Can you guys envision any legitimate trade scenarios? Any names?

    1. At 5 on 5, you're right about Glass and Adams, but they have been good on the penalty kill. Having said that, there's no rule that says you have to be one or the other. They stink, especially Glass. Having 13 hits in a game like he did against Dallas only means that he never -- literally, never -- had the puck.

      We're going hard on trade scenarios over the next two weeks, so we'll be throwing out some names. You're 99% right in saying that the Pens need 2 wingers. The 1% is this ... If a 3rd line center came available, the Pens would have to consider going for that guy and bumping Sutter down to the 4th line. On the 4th line, Sutter would be an asset. On the 3rd line, he's mediocre on his best day.

      Two wingers would be ideal, but the most important thing is 2 competent forwards, regardless of position, so we can get Glass/Pyatt/Engelland off the ice.

  2. I think being a good “penalty killer" is overrated. Many hockey coaches will say that their best penalty killers are their star players. I think penalty killing in the NHL is predicated on effort, not skill. The reason Malkin and Sid don't kill penalties is because byslma doesn't want to have them in there blocking shots.

    Tell me what Adams and Glass bring to the table that males them good penalty killers.

    I think you guys are a bit hard on sutter. Afterall, he is playing with scrubs, complete scrubs.

    I am going to close with a dating question. I know this is a sports website, but I also know that you guys are tapped into the love game based on your dogged TBK work. Anyway, I recently met a girl the way my grandparents met--on Tinder. Should I pursue a date?

    1. Being good at penalty killing is like being good at photocopying. Anyone can do it, but the guys who do it best are the guys who put the most effort into it. Would the CEO be better at photocopying than the intern? Probably. But what else does the intern bring to the table other than a vigor for photocopying? The intern knows this as well as anyone. If he wants the college credit, he's going to have to sacrifice the body for the photo copies. It's that simple.

      So what likely makes Adams and Glass good at killing penalties is that they're rational beings -- they know that they can't offer much at 5-on-5, so they kill penalties like their paychecks depended on it. Because they do.

      Regarding Tinder, it would seem a bit odd to be on Tinder but not actually try to date the girls on Tinder. Are you just on there for the stimulating conversation? Do you just like knowing that there are other girls out there who like to travel? Who enjoy The Usual Suspects? Who like music?

      I say go for it, or at least ask for some more pics.