Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A look at preseason leaders

These figures are from before last night's games, as that's all that's available at this hour. I'll have updated numbers throughout the week:

1 Getzlaf, Ryan, Ana. 2 1 6 7
2 McDonald, Andy, St.L 2 1 6 7
3 Kostitsyn, Andrei, Mtl. 4 3 4 7
4 Plekanec, Tomas, Mtl. 4 3 4 7
5 Boyes, Brad, St.L 2 3 3 6
6 Perry, Corey, Ana. 3 4 2 6
7 Boyd, Dustin, Cgy. 3 1 5 6
8 Perron, David, St.L 4 4 2 6
9 Stempniak, Lee, St.L 2 3 2 5
10 Richards, Mike, Phi. 3 4 1 5
11 Ference, Andrew, Bos. 3 2 3 5
12 Moss, David, Cgy. 3 2 3 5
13 Bergeron, Patrice, Bos. 3 1 4 5
14 Fedotenko, Ruslan, Pit. 3 1 4 5
15 Markov, Andrei, Mtl. 3 1 4 5
16 *Goligoski, Alex, Pit. 4 0 5 5

A lot of established players, but a few surprises on the list. Fedotenko's someone who could really benefit from playing on an offensive team in need of scoring on the wings, while Perron should be able to post much better totals than his rookie season.

Goligoski's an interesting name, too. Now that we know for sure that the Penguins will be without Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar for months, he someone who could get a real chance — and who has been already in exhibition.

A 23-year-old defenceman who was a point-a-gamer in the NCAA, he was a late second-round pick in the 2004 entry draft and played his first pro season last year in the AHL. Goligoski was decent throughout the year, earning a spot on the all-rookie team, but exploded in the playoffs, putting up 28 points in 23 games as the Baby Pens rolled into the Calder Cup finals.

The knock on him is his size — he's about 5 foot 11, 175 pounds — but he's also very, very strong with the puck and that's a skill the Penguins need.

Pittsburgh's top six, if you were to go simply by experience, would include Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Hal Gill, Darryl Sydor, Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang, but it's not hard to see a scenario where Goligoski's tiny $900,000 contract finds a home.

So far, well, it's preseason — and in the early going at that — but the Penguins' season starts Saturday and he'll be in the lineup.

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At 8:42 a.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi James,

Who do you like to play the point on the Pens 1st unit?

Letang, Goligoski or both?

At 9:18 a.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Hooks Orpik said...


If you're talking about the powerplay, the only thing set in stone on the point is Malkin (who's been there all throughout camp and preseason).

I would think Letang would get the first chance to join the top PP unit being as he's right handed and has a little more experience.

At 10:40 a.m., September 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh sure James, post information on Goligoski AFTER you've picked him up in the pool. How can I compete with that:)

At 12:00 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Gary Bellman said...

I thought Goligoski was good with the big club last year and followed WB in the final against Chicago where I thought he kept up his offense while dealing with the Wolf physical targeting on him very well, so it was easier to see him as an NHL regular despite his size. His D skills I think need some upgrading, but given his PP skills I expect to see him on the 1st unit more than Letang before long -- and that's very good news for Pittsburgh at a time when it's more than welcome.

At 1:14 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger itchit said...

If the Leafs aren't careful these Pens could very well steal home ice throughout the playoffs from right out under their noses.

At 2:42 p.m., September 30, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

...it seems like only yesterday Alexander Suglobov was tearing up the pre-season...


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