Making the Grade (The Defense and Goalies) – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

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Grade: A+

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Lagace

G

Okay, this one’s slightly excessive. However a 29-save shutout in his first NHL sport in 26 months to clinch a division title deserves slightly love.

Grade: A

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Letang

RD

Following a little bit of a rocky begin, Letang settled down and loved arguably his most interesting season, ending among the many high NHL defensemen in assists, factors and plus-minus. Specifically, his decision-making appeared extra sound than at another time in latest reminiscence, which freed accomplice Brian Dumoulin to contribute extra offensively.

Dumoulin

LD

Talking of “Dumo,” we have been 12-9-1 earlier than he returned kind a lower-body damage on March 6…and 25-7-2 after. He and Letang emerged as one of many premier protection pairings within the league (a mixed plus-37). Lengthy considered a high stay-at-home defenseman, the Maine native displayed some offensive prowess as nicely (4 targets and 14 factors in 41 video games).

Grade: A-

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Ceci

RD

Exceeded expectations throughout the board. Far more stable and poised defensively than I anticipated (plus-18) and a greater skater, too. Confirmed common sense on when to hitch and, at instances, lead the frenzy, and displayed a tough, correct shot as nicely. I can’t say sufficient good issues about Cody.

Grade: B+

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Matheson

LD

Matheson’s first two video games strengthened the destructive baggage he introduced from Florida. Nonetheless, after getting back from an early season damage his supreme expertise started to floor. A terrific skater who excels at lugging the puck, Mike helped gas our improved transition sport whereas serving at instances as a fourth ahead or rover. Though nonetheless a little bit of an journey in his personal zone every so often, he drastically decreased his giveaway charge and penchant for skating himself into bother.

Jarry

G

In some ways, Jarry’s season mirrored Matheson’s. Shelled in a few early season losses to the Flyers, Tristan rebounded in spectacular trend to tie Marc-Andre Fleury for third in wins with 25. Since March 1, he’s posted a sterling 18-3-2 file and a extremely respectable .917 save share, to not point out shutouts in opposition to the Bruins and Capitals. Permits a softie now and again however stops ‘em when he must. Stable first season as a starter.

Grade: B

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

DeSmith

G

After spending the whole 2019-20 season with the Child Pens, DeSmith returned to the NHL in model. Following an unimaginable run in March, Casey backstopped the Pens to a 4-1 win over the Bruins on April 1 to decrease his targets in opposition to common to a microscopic 1.84. Alas, a late season funk eliminated a number of the luster from his earlier performances. However general, Casey did a stable job.

Ruhwedel

RD

When accidents rocked the defensive corps, Ruhwedel stepped in to do his normal workmanlike job. Really, possibly even higher. Chad topped the Pens with a 54.3 Corsi for and was on the ice for just one.67 targets in opposition to per 60 at 5v5…lowest among the many staff’s defenders. Chad was a minus in solely 4 of 17 video games (a plus in eight others). The Pens reeled off profitable streaks of 4 and 5 video games with the San Diego native within the lineup.

Grade: B-

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Marino

RD

Following a terrific rookie season, Marino’s sport took successful early on. Tried on the left facet throughout the plague of accidents to our protection, he resembled a fish out of water. Nor was he snug with Matheson as a accomplice. Returned to his customary slot beside Marcus Pettersson, Marino reemerged as one of many membership’s steadier defensemen down the stretch.

Pettersson

LD

Pettersson’s report card just about matches Marino’s. Shaky early, Marcus steadily rediscovered his footing…particularly after teaming again up with Marino. Maybe due partly to his lengthy stride and gangly physique, he by no means seems to be particularly spectacular, but at all times appears to get the job carried out. His 1.77 targets allowed per 60 minutes at 5v5 is second lowest on the staff behind Ruhwedel.

Friedman

RD

GM Ron Hextall’s first pickup, Friedman proved to be an intriguing mix of feistiness, mobility and puck-moving expertise. Taking part in the off facet, it was arduous to get a learn on him defensively. Mark’s lack of measurement appeared to work in opposition to him at instances, particularly given his bodily model. However he appears able to filling a depth position a la Ruhwedel.

Joseph

LD

Actually thrown into the deep finish proper off the bat, Joseph initially carried out brilliantly, culminating in a glowing three-assist efficiency in opposition to the Rangers. Blessed with a protracted, highly effective skating stride, nice imaginative and prescient and a tough shot, at instances he seemed like our greatest defenseman…and that included No. 58. Then cracks started to point out, particularly within the defensive zone (minus-six over a five-game stretch), resulting in a demotion to the Child Pens. However make no mistake, this child’s received a future.

Grade: Incomplete

Participant

Pos.

The Skinny

Riikola

LD

When Matheson went down early, it appeared Riikola would lastly have a possibility to determine himself. Alas, Juuso, too, was injured after two video games and by no means received an opportunity to play once more in what turned out to be a misplaced season for the Finnish rearguard. Nonetheless an intriguing bundle, however will he ever get an opportunity to show his price?

Czuczman

LD

A real feel-good story, Czuczman returned to the NHL following a seven-year absence. The fairy story didn’t have an particularly joyful ending…Kevin received uncovered within the two video games he performed (minus-three). Nonetheless, it was good to see him rewarded for his perseverance.

Weber

RD

In what turned out to be Jim Rutherford’s closing transfer as GM, Weber was signed off the streets to bolster our decimated protection. Plugging a gap on the left facet, Yannick was a minus-three in two video games.



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