All posts by bradmatus

Offseason Player Grades: Kris Letang

Regular Season Statistics

GP: 41, G: 5, A: 29, P: 34, +/-: 2

Playoff Statistics

None, Missed ya Tanger!

Player Grade (B)

If Kris Letang would have played a whole season and maybe racked up some more points, we probably could move him up to an ‘A’. Honestly a lot of people see him as an offensive defenseman, but in the 41 games played he only had 5 goals.

Review

Letang is the number one guy you think of when it comes to the Penguins defense. He is the backbone of those guys, and when he had his surgery nothing changed in the defensive core expect obviously the D-Line pairings. His numbers for the 41 games played aren’t terrible at all. Could they improve? Yes I truly believe they will with time to come and him returning from injury. 

Preview

Next season, I see Letang coming back to the role he has from season to season. He’s the leader of the Pens defense and their top guy. Watch for Letang to find more points next year, hopefully no injuries occur on his part. Keep an eye on the the defenseman point chart because we probably will see Letang up there most of the year. 

Conclusion

Letang is obviously one of the most beloved Penguins, as we saw the love shown to him by most fans at the victory parade. This neck surgery was just a little set back for him this season but next season wait until (hopefully around this time) next year to see that player grade rise to an ‘A’ because of the bright future and season to come from Kris Letang. 

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Offseason Player Grades: Patric Hornqvist

Regular Season Statistics

GP: 70 G: 21 A: 23 P: 44 +/-: 16

Playoff Statistics

GP: 19 G: 5 A: 4 P: 9 +/-: 6

Player Grade: (A)
Hornqvist filled his role greatly and did what was asked of him making him invaluable to the Penguins’ success.


Review

Patric Hornqvist is a guy every team wishes they had. He’s gritty he fights in the corners. He’s the pesky guy in front of the net, he’s a true hockey player. He’s proven he can play with the best by the way he’s played on lines with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. His 44 points in 70 games played is pretty worthy of an ‘A’. Don’t even get me started on the playoff performance, not to mention the game winner in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Nashville Predators. That ‘A’ is rightfully deserved. 

Preview

Horny is gonna bust his butt from the first game of the season to the very last. Like I said he’s going to be that gritty guy in the corner and the pesky guy in front that tortures the goaltender. Look for Hornqvist to have a similar, if not better season point wise in 2017-18′. He will probably be up there in the Pens top 5 in points.

Conclusion

Mr Game 6? Is that the new name we call Patric Hornqvist? His sacrifices and grittiness helped the Penguins go back to back this season. Hornqvist is truly one of a kind, and a player like him is very hard to find. The Pens are very lucky to have a guy like Hornqvist and should really appreciate him as much as the fans do. 

The Key to Penguins Free Agency

With the big Stanley Cup championship buzz still floating around the air in Pittsburgh, the Penguins look to have a well deserved relaxed off-season. With the off-season approaching that means the NHL Entry Draft, and most importantly free agency, are right around the corner. Most of the Penguins free agents that were signed last season played a key role in the Penguins Cup run this year. Some of them to name, Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr. Both, great assets to the organization this past championship season was welcomed to the Burgh through free agency. This year I think the Penguins should approach free agency a little differently.

In my opinion, I think the Pens should lay low in free agency. The main goal for this free agency period has to be resigning Matt Cullen (UFA), Ben Lovejoy (UFA) , Justin Schultz (RFA)  and honestly maybe back up goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (UFA) with all the  Marc-Andre Fluery trade rumors flying around. Bringing new faces to the team I think would be a little unnecessary.

Ben Lovejoy surprised me this post season, which made me believe we should definitely try to get this guy back next season. I’m not a big Lovejoy fan but the way he helped the Penguins when Trevor Daley went down with injury and Kris Letang getting suspended back in the second round against the Washington Capitals played a big role to the playoff success. Who knows though, this past contract of Lovejoy, had him making 1.1 million dollars, after the stellar playoff performance he might what a little more of the cheddar. I think the Pens might be able to bump up some of the cash, but I don’t think they should drastically raise it. If Ben seeks a contract of 1.5 million and up, I say let him walk. If it’s in the 1.3, 1.35 ballpark I’d consider it. The most amount of years I could see him getting is 1 and that’s probably what it’ll be, in my eyes.

Matt freaking Cullen, The team dad. The amount of leadership and dedication to the game shown from this guy just makes me want to resign him. We all know Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford would like him back also. GMJR told reporters that “There’s a spot on this team for him next year.” It all come down to what Cullen wants to do. Matt is contimplating on retiring or going one more year. I think it’s in his best interest to go another year here in the Burgh. If he retires though I don’t blame him, he’ll go out his final season as a Stanley Cup champion. I think the Pens could give Matty a one year contract worth 1 million dollars. He proved this year that the old guy is just as good as any young guy in that locker room. He deserves all that he makes and hopefully he will pull through and play in the black and gold again next year.

When I heard the Penguins traded for Justin Schultz, I immediately thought that’s what we needed. Schultz, being the young guy he is also helped out on the blue line like Ben Lovejoy did these playoffs. He flew under the radar but impacted the team just the right amount to grant us with the success we needed. I liked Schultz ever since we traded for him and I’d like to see him back in the 412 next year. Although just like Lovejoy, he might want a little more money. I wouldn’t mind paying Justin what he wants because I think with a little more time and the help of defensive coach Sergei Gonchar, I think Schultz will definitely be a stud second pairing defensemen.

We all have been hearing the rumours about goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery possibly getting traded. Yeah we get it, we have 2 stud goalies that both are more than capable of being NHL starters. So what happens if the Pens do trade MAF? Who will back up Muzz? Jeff Zatkoff will be a Pittsburgh Penguin if Fluery gets traded at the draft or a little bit past the draft. Jeff played in games one and two of the opening round of the 2016 playoffs against the New York Rangers and didnt look to half bad. He’s the perfect guy to keep on the bench till you’re go to goalie needs a rest or gets hurt in a game. I can see GMJR giving “Mr Game One” a one year deal buying time for him to see what they want to do for the following year backup goaltender wise.

I don’t think we need to many new faces in the locker room this year, due to free agency. I can see the Pens going out and getting 1 depth offensemen and a depth D-man. That’s honestly the only thing I think the Pens need. Hey, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Keeping the core group of guys from the 2015/2016 Penguins roster would be the ideal senerio for the Penguins this off season. There isn’t that much that we need and I don’t think we need to do anything about it. So I challenge you to keep and eye on free agency and don’t be to surprised when you don’t see the Penguins bringing in to many new guys. Like I said before, if it isn’t broke then dont fix it.

Thank You! From LTP.

Well, another season has come and gone, and this season was a good one. The 2015/2016 Penguins regular season started out a slow one, then ended with a bang by winning Lord Stanley’s Cup. Just like the Penguins early season, Let’s Talk Pens also started out very slow, that all changed. We were able to grow a fan base and gain a lot of support from the fans. Here at LTP we would like to thank you for the opportunity you, the fans, gave us staff members the chance to spread incite we thought was important throughout this season. Without the fans we wouldn’t be in this position as a page, as staff members, and as fans just like everyone else. The page really took flight when it was around 600 to 700 followers. We began to get more views on our articles and the page itself.

A huge milestone for the page had to have been during Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs when LTP owner, Cody was sitting in a packed Consol Energy Center and received a notification that Let’s Talk Pens had reached 1000 followers. That is a goal not many can accomplish but with the feedback and support from our beloved viewers we were able to make it happen. The only was we achieved this momentus goal, is because of all of YOU, The fans!

As I sit here today writing this article I think to myself what this past season has meant to me as a writer, staff member, and most importantly a fan. The season has been a rollercoaster, much like life itself, it had its ups and downs. Everyone has their ups and downs, including the page. I’ve made a fellow bond with every staff member involved with Let’s Talk Pens, sure one might thing the Pens should of done this and another thinks the Pens should of done that, but that brought everyone in the page closer together. Our main goal is to entertain viewers, and most of all have fun doing it. If we aren’t having fun doing it, then why are we doing it at all? We want to give you fans the most knowledge we can about our beloved hockey team.

We love our fans, and we hope that our fans love us to. When the fans are not happy we are not happy. The fans are what keep the site moving along and we can’t thank you guys enough. Without all of you we wouldn’t be anywhere closed to where we are today.

So on behalf of Cody, myself (@412Pens412), and the rest of the LTP staff, We thank you for a wonderful year! We hope there are many more to come! Thank you!

Be on the lookout this offseason for more articles and updates on the page!