Thursday, November 02, 2006

After 10 Games - The Players

Let's take a look at how the players are doing after 10 games, from a statistics point of view:

Disappointments
I know it's hard to call anyone a disappointment after only 10 games, but we have to label someone, don't we? There sure aren't too many of them...
  • Ryan Malone and John Leclair - both of them for the same reason - being a minus player and not contributing enough to make up for it. Both are at -4 (Malone earned his in the 7 games before he was hurt), and both have just one assist.
  • Andre Roy - hard to call him a disappointment when there wasn't much expected, but I'll do it anyway. If Chris Thorburn can fight and is going to stick around, why are the Pens keeping Andre Roy?

Surprises
  • Marc-Andre Fleury - the #1 surprise in my book, and the biggest reason the Pens are 7-3 right now. He's stepped up his play and kept the Pens in many games that they could have had slip away from them. If they Pens manage to consistently tighten things down in front of Fleury, he could be scary good.
  • Jordan Staal - He has the pedigree, but did anyone really expect him to be on a pace for 40 goals after the first 10 games? I know he won't keep up that pace over the entire season, but I'm thinking that 25 goals and 60 points aren't unreasonable at this point. We'll have to see if he hits the rookie wall.
  • Mark Recchi - I know he only has one goal, but he's on a point-per-game pace and, perhaps more importantly, he's a plus player this year after being horrid last season. If the second line can stay in the plus column as a group, that means that they're contributing offensively. Two lines that are threats are invaluable to this team.
  • Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - Hard to call them surprises, but anytime you're just off a 2 points-per-game pace, that's phenomenal. The sky is the limit for these guys, even if they're sometimes on separate lines.
  • The Defense - (yes, I mean ALL of them) - Everyone in Pittsburgh currently (Letang is back in juniors) is a plus player. All of them have been solid (Sergei's 16 PIM in 10 games notwithstanding), and Whitney and Sarge have contributed big time to the offense, with each of them at or near a point-per-game pace.

About what we expected, doing just fine
  • Colby Armstrong - He's only in this category because he hasn't scored any goals yet. He's second on the team at +7 and has shown he belongs on the top line.
  • Michel Ouellet - Michel has done exactly what people thought he would - score goals, mostly on the power play. I'd like to see his game be more well-rounded, as he's currently at a -3, but I'll be content with him putting the puck in the net. If he scores 25 goals, he'll have done his job.
  • Nils Eckman - I was close to labeling him a disappointment, but he has 7 points in 10 games. He's at a -1, but he's found ways to contribute on the second line.
  • Dominic Moore - Seems to be a great penalty killer.
All in all, this team is a huge pleasant surprise.

How would you change things? Anyone you'd rank differently?

1 comment:

Will said...

I would have to put Ruutu and Moore on the Surprises list. We all knew they were solid defensive players but watching them on the PK and and 5 on 5 makes me think they are a big reason for the new defensive success. I like the way Leclair is playing... I know he's not scoring, and is way too slow, but I have seen some good offensive zone play from him and think he fits nice on a 3rd line or on the second line PP as lump in front of the net. But I do agree having 1 point is not getting it done.