Dave Molinari has a nice analysis of the season for the Penguins that was in the Sunday paper. You can read it via this link. I do have a few thoughts on Dave's rankings... so read the article and then take a look at the following:
Basically, Dave ranks everyone on the team, highlighting a few players that performed well ("Pleasant Surprises") and a few more who didn't ("Disappointments").
I agree on the surprises - Crosby, Armstrong and Hilbert are all good candidates for that category. In fact, I'd put Crosby and (probably) Armstrong in a "Smashing success" category. Both played exceedingly well given what was expected of them. The only additions I might make to this category might be Koltsov and Whitney. Konstantin for his work ethic, forechecking and penalty killing (were you really expecting him to be a second line player before the season started?) and Whitney for showing that he can handle playing 20-25 minutes per night and be an offensive force. Now that I think about it, I might also move Melichar up here too. He played (as Dave notes) against the other team's top forwards all season and was only a -2 for the year. That's pretty darn good for one of our defensemen.
As far as the "As Expected" players, I'd move a few to this category that were in the "Disappointments" catetory - namely Gonchar and Malone. Gonchar finished 8th in scoring among NHL defensemen. That simple fact alone should help erase all of those bad feelings from early in the year. I know he was really, really, really bad early on, but he was really good late - I'd say that averages out to an "As Expected". As for Malone, he's another one who started off slowly, but really came into his own as the season progressed. He showed his value as a penalty killer, as well as being an offensive threat. I also didn't see him trying to puck handle as much as the season went on. I'd put him at "As Expected", because if you told me before the season that he's have 20+ goals on this team, I'd have said that would be great.
Most of the others I have no issue with. Roy and Thibault are popular scapegoats (as is Gonchar... undeservedly, in my opinion). I might move VandenBussche to a Disappointment, and I might move Surovy there too... he's been up here at the NHL level before, and he seemed to vanish as the season went on, though his penchant for picking up minor penalties didn't vanish.
Anyway, what do you think?