last year around this time I wrote the same article about which of the singles players I care most about seeing on the ice seem to be a good workout on Friday.
Last year Malkin was first on the list, and he stayed there this year as well. Now 36, Malkin has secured a contract and has been able to rest and train this summer – not focusing on surgery and then rehabilitating his knee like last summer.
Will it pay off for two owners? Is he enjoying another season of dominance, like Mario’s 91-point year in 67 games that happened (shockingly 20 years ago) in 2002-03? Lemieux did this at the age of 37, providing further evidence that types of generations do not match the aging curves that purely humans do.
Malkin is entering the season healthy, he’s got his contract, and among a mix of Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell, Jason Zucker and even Kasperi Kapanen, he must have some of the most talented and well-balanced wingers he’s ever had…maybe ever? What kind of show should Malkin give this season? The 1000th game party alone has to be the best pre-game than most of the actual games this year.
On the one hand, it would be fun to watch Raquel get the chance to play an entire season with the Penguins. He fits in nicely with Malkin or Sidney Crosby in little glimpses last season, and he’s clearly a player with great hands and an attacking ability to score and set up goals as well.
On the other hand, Raquel, 29, was handed a six-year contract to stay with the pens. The aging curves of taped wings can hit fast – Mathematical model It only gives him a 43% chance of his value exceeding his contract this year, and this year is the highest before he gets older.
Raquel scored 20 goals last season, but has now continued in five seasons since he scored 30. Only last season is Went 21 consecutive matches Without scoring a goal with the ducks.
Raquel left a really positive memory in Pittsburgh with a very good first impression with his level of play, but can he return to the kind of player who was filling the net with 30 goals and 60 points in the seasons? While every goalscorer can be streaky, surely a talented player on a team with that kind of skill wouldn’t go a quarter of an entire season without a goal?
At 34 years old with three more seasons on his contract, Jeff Petrie fits the mold of off-season pens perfectly. He’s talented, very good, on an older hand and locks in for years to come. At some point, that might be too much, but for 2022-2023 Petrie is exactly what the doctor ordered for the pens.
And that’s the annoying little secret that the second pair of defenders haven’t been very good (at least at championship level) in some time. When the 2021 qualifiers happened, Mike Matheson and Cody Cissé were together in the role. Even though that calamity was fueled by my neighbor, this pair had been on the ice for a while High percentage of goals against herI just beg for it to be revealed.
John Marino’s offensive went too far, and Marcus Peterson shrank every year as the games went on. Mike Matheson’s well-documented experience has seen many of her falls.
Enter, Jeff Petrie. A little long in the tooth, but 22+ legit minutes per player per night, and one capable of pinning that second pair. Prior to last season, Petrie scored double-digit goals in the previous four campaigns, and his offensive prowess is exactly the kind of “jump in play and make something happen” that thrives under Mike Sullivan.
Another great aspect of Petrie’s season will also be, who is the partner who will complete this second pair. The default answer to this point is Peterson. But Peterson never gained the full confidence and enthusiasm of the coaching staff. Will he be someone else, at least by the time the season gets serious?
It took Brian Dumoulin some time to develop, but then when he graduated to the NHL full-time in 2015-16, he was almost immediately the first duo and partner of Chris Letang. From there, Dumoulin switched to fixed season after fixed season. He’s never done much puck attack, but other than that hasn’t done much to complain about as a defender with perfect instincts and the ability to lie down and cover for the other four talented players on the ice (all of whom, let’s face it, think basically about every offense, all the time).
Many point to the worm turning towards Dumoulin in December 2019, when he injured his ankle. Since then, to be sure, observers close by have noticed a bit of an uptick. Perhaps a pass through the Domo that in previous years would have cut it automatically. Or he fails to move sideways enough leaving him a step back while the opponent is working on the net. or to repeatedly beat area entries (something supported by data).
Either way, Dumoulin’s perception and reputation faded a bit. However, the rumors about Dumoulin’s death as a very good defender may be exaggerated. Especially when it comes to his constant impact on matches defensively.
Now in the year of the decade, what’s coming next for Dumoulin? A really solid season helping him get a deep stretch into his thirties like (check list) apparently half the list? Or will this be his last year in Pittsburgh?
T Smith and/or Pierre Olivier Joseph
With the notes above regarding Dumoulin’s impending expiring contract and Pettersson’s career not really finding its full potential, don’t you know the Penguins happen to have two strong young defenders waiting in the wings? Perhaps it is no coincidence that we see that both players could be key factors in the future. Despite fears of a short-term salary cap crunch potentially sending any of those off the NHL roster, both are believed to be ready to play at the NHL level.
So which one gets the first slot in the squad? Does he play a veteran like Chad Rohedl or the always annoying Mark Friedman? (Friedman played indirectly last season, including playoffs in place of the pens using Joseph in the NHL, let’s not forget.)
At some point there must be a “torch passing moment” with the possibility that Joseph and Smith will find a place with the pens in the future or both. Could that come sooner now? Could Smith show that his final season in New Jersey was more of a bad environment than his true level of play? Will Joseph finally make the jump to the NHL full-time?