Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What a difference a year makes...

Just for fun, here's how the 06-07 Pens compare with the 05-06 Pens:

First and Second lines:
  • Nils Eckman - Sidney Crosby - Colby Armstrong
  • John Leclair - Ryan Malone - Mark Recchi
  • John LeClair-Sidney Crosby-Mark Recchi
  • Ryan Malone-Mario Lemieux-Ziggy Palffy

Third Line:
  • Jarkko Ruutu - Dominic Moore - Karl Stewart
  • Matt Murley-Lasse Pirjeta-Konstantin Koltsov

Fourth Line:
  • Michel Ouellet - Jordan Staal - Andre Roy
  • Rico Fata-Maxime Talbot-Ryan VandenBussche

  • Sergei Gonchar - Mark Eaton
  • Ryan Whitney - Brooks Orpik
  • Josef Melichar - Kris Letang
  • Rob Scuderi
  • Josef Melichar - Sergei Gonchar
  • Dick Tarnstrom - Ric Jackman
  • Brooks Orpik - Rob Scuderi
  • Steve Poapst - Lyle Odelein

A few notes:
  • I think we have less firepower in our top two lines this year than we did last year. Anytime you replace two guys named Lemieux and Palffy with two guys names Armstrong and Eckman, you have to be losing something. That's not to take away anything from Army or Eckman - I think they're both capable of 25-30 goals this year.
  • The biggest thing that strikes me is that only 8 of the 20 players listed from last year are still on the team. One more (Talbot) is in the minors.
  • That third line sure does look better, doesn't it? There are players there that can score a bit, like Moore and Leclair (once he rejoins the third line).
  • The fourth line seems a little bit slow to me, with Roy and Ouellet. I'm guessing they don't get much time, which is a shame, because Staal needs some ice time. I'm guessing that Therrien will still find a place for Ouellet on the power play, probably on the second unit.
  • I'm much more comfortable with the D this year. They seem to have much more stability. Orpik, Eaton and Melichar can be the reliable stay at home type of guys, while Gonchar, Whitney and Letang can do their offensive thing. Did you know Melichar was only a -2 for the season last year? That's pretty remarkable.

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