The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109829   Message #2305435
Posted By: wysiwyg
03-Apr-08 - 09:40 AM
Thread Name: BS: Lord Stanley's Cup
Subject: RE: BS: Lord Stanley's Cup

The cap will NOT break up the Pens next year. There is one guy they may have to lose, but the rest is media hype over the Hossa signing.

The Pens have been underfunded, staying way under the cap, while waiting for a new arena for years. They now have a deepening pocket, while the cap is set for a COLA-type raise very soon. The only core guy likely to have to leave for greener pastures is Malone. His value will only be calculable after the Pens (and his playoff stats) show whether they have gained enough experience to play nine different ways against teams that have scouted ALL the Pens' present-level-of-development strategies and tactics.

Yes I know they have all the talent in the world. Many nights you can see them coast on that youthful talent and then, when the magic gets tired, not knowing how to win on prosaic human-level TEAM skill. Some of that is youthful bravado and magical thinking, and some of that is young-man bodies with slower recovery and lower stamina than their elders.

But they are still learning the finer points of putting their talents together, and being able to execute. (I mean the technical learning-curve, not the attitude.)

Most of their losses this year (I have seen each and every one) have been caused by other teams being able to outcoach and out-counterpunch their moves. I say "outcoach" not because I think Therrien isn't a great coach, but because even the best talent still must develop line and team system refinements; he has only had a very short period of time with these kids.

When you watch them week in and week out you can see which thing Therrien is working on with them, and sometimes when a new systems skill is in development it temporarily disables one previously learned until they get to the point in the curriculum of putting the group of skills together.

So this year they will get as far in the playoffs as they get, and Malone will have to see what his market value-- not his agent's hype-- really is. And they'll have to decide if Hossa is a PermaPen, or just a Playoff Pen.

It will be great to watch, though.