PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Monday, November 03, 2008

Review: The New Penguins





Yesterday we took a look at those who have moved on from the black and gold. There were quite a few big names there, and it was heartbreaking to watch players we believed in leave the team. Everyone was hurt when Hossa bolted for Detroit. It was hard knowing Gary Roberts would no longer be a Penguin. Ruutu brought something special to the team, and have us an opportunity to yell "RUUUUUU" whenever he touched the puck. And we would have liked to see the hometown boy stay here.

But that's the new NHL.

We couldn't sit and mourn our losses, we needed replacements. And Ray Shero set out to replace what we lost and improve the team right away.



Today we take a look at how those who left the Penguins in the offseason have been doing so far on their new teams. Yes, it's still early, but it's worth a look.

Eric Godard: Signed a three year contract on July 1st, 2008
This season: GP: 12,0 goals, 1 assist, +/-0, 37 PIM

Matt Cooke
: Signed a two year contract on July 5th, 2008
This season: GP: 8,0 goals, 2 assists, -2, 6 PIM

Janne Pesonen: Signed a one year contract on July 7th, 2008
This season: GP: 1, 0 goals, 0 assists, -1, o PIM

Ruslan Fedotenko: Signed a one year contract on July 4th, 2008
This season: GP: 11, 2 goals, 1 assist, +/-0, 10 PIM

Miroslav Satan: Signed a one year contract on July 4th, 2008
This season: GP: 12, 6 goals, 4 assists, +2, 18 PIM

Bill Thomas: Signed a one year contract on July 15th, 2008
This season: GP: 2, 0 goals, 0 assists, +/-0, 0 PIM

Mike Zigomanis: Acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on October 9th, 2008
This season: GP: 10, 1 goal, 0 assists, -1, 4 PIM

Paul Bissonnette
: Signed a one year contract July 21st, 2008
This season: GP: 6, o goals, 0 assists, -1, 10 PIM

Hossa was the Penguins' biggest loss over the offseason, and there are very few single players that can replace him.  Hossa has 15 points on the season, more than every Penguin not named Malkin or Crosby.  Satan was signed to take Hossa's spot on Crosby's wing however.  The two haven't quite gelled yet, and they haven't played every game together, but Satan does lead the team in goals at this point.  He's a goal scorer and he's doing what he was brought in to do.

The rest of the new Penguins are playing their roles quite well as well.  While Bissonnette has been with the Penguins organization since 2003 this year was the first time he made it to the big club.  The Penguins may not need two fighters dressed at all times but together with Godard the man they call "Biz Nasty" has brought back some of the toughness the Penguins lost during the offseason.  Matt Cooke has struggled with injuries, but he played very well in the game against San Jose and was rewarded with a brief stint on the Malkin/Sykora line.  He's done a fine job filling the hole left by Ruutu and I see good things for him the the future.

I feel that Mike Zigomanis was a great pick up.  The Penguins essentially got him for nothing and his faceoff skills are invaluable.  Not only does have an outstanding record in the circle, but he's also been working with Malkin, Crosby and Staal in practice, helping them with their faceoff skills.  That could pay off hugely in the long run.

Fedotenko is performing as expected.  He, like Cooke, was one of the few positives in the San Jose game and he was rewarded with a brief stay alongside Sidney Crosby.  I feel that he is only now coming into his niche in Pittsburgh and will only get better as the season goes on.

Janne Pesonen and Bill Thomas have played a combined total of 3 games for the Penguins this year, so it's tough to evaluate them.  It's worth noting that Pesonen's line in the AHL with Jeff Taffe and Chris Minard has been quite powerful for the Baby Penguins.

While Alex Goligoski isn't on this list as he played a few games for the Pens last season, he has been thrust into a much bigger role with the injuries to Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney.  He's made some mistakes, but that's to be expected, he's carrying a huge load right now.

Of course some of the Penguins best signings over the offseason were actually re-signing some of their key players.  Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury are key members of this team that will be here for a very long time.



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4 comments:

smilingsammi said...

I won't lie. I miss Malone! With Malkin centering Malone and Sykora it was a dominant line!

Penguins Experience said...

It's true, I miss him as well.
I really wish he would have taken less to stay here, but you can't blame him.

He knew his role well on the team and we don't have anyone who will create a disturbance in front of the net like he did.

smilingsammi said...

I definately don't blame him for leaving, but I still think there was a way to work it out.

That's the big thing right there. We don't have anyone infront of the net and it's showing. That, and the fact that Staal isn't going to replace Malone like originally thought.

These road games drove me crazy. Well, the last game we won, but those first 3? Down right horrible. Whatever got into them for that last game, let's hope it carries through the rest of the season

Penguins Experience said...

Staal hasn't taken to the role, so it's good that he's off of that line. I hope Matt Cooke continues to get a chance with Malkin and Sykora, I think he could work quite well in front of the net.

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