Jim Rutherford's comments about the penguin season ending does not inspire confidence that the team will improve


After the players approached the media earlier in the day, it was time for management. As usual, general manager Jim Rutherford did not disappoint in giving too many details. Some of these details, however, do not seem very encouraging for the future of penguins.

The emotion is normal after being swept in the first round. Let's hope this runs out and some logic is applied, because what Rutherford went through in detail did not sound very logical, especially his view on how the team's defense went out this season.

The penguins this season were:

  • 26 in the NHL in total allowed shots (33.3 per game)

  • 29 in total 5v5 events Corsi allowed
  • 25 total 5v5 Fenwick events allowed
  • 16ยบ in total 5v5 odds of scoring allowed
  • 17th in 5v5 high hazard hazard ratings allowed

(Statistics via Natural Stat trick)

That's the bottom half of the league at all, and almost the absolute bottom in most. The only statistics defensively in which they stood out were the performances of goalkeeper.

The defensive elements of defense, no doubt referring to the acquisition of Jack Johnson and Erik Gudbranson in the last 12 months, have at best been a mixed bag. When it is considered that the combined salary cap is US $ 7.25 million, the proposal suffers even more. Current defensive results were below average.

If Rutherford meant to say that we have Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang as a great top pair, Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta to be the top-4 and then some depth, that's one thing. Assuming the way forward is with more players like Johnson and Gudbranson, this is something very different and very bad.

One would think that the changes start with Maatta, a healthy risk at the end of the playoffs. Would you expand for Phil Kessel? Patricia Hornqvist? Bryan Rust?

One question I'd like to ask is how can the team be united when GM trades six of the 23 players who start the season in a four-month period? And that does not even count for Tanner Pearson, who was traded and then bargained for the season! Maybe the meddling of GMs and constant business fixes could forbid the construction of chemistry? Just a thought.

As Gretz wrote to NBC yesterday, the composition and construction of Pens's listings over the past two years has been unstable at best, at worst, a complete turnaround from what has brought them success in 2016 and 2017:

The most confusing about all this is building the list and many of the moves seem – looks – Disagree with the way the coach wanted the team to play from the day he got behind the bench. I know nothing about the working relationship between Rutherford and Sullivan and if they stay on the same page as the team is built, but the whole point of it seems strange.

They paid a significant price for Reaves, and the coach did not play it. The general manager has defended Johnson's hiring throughout the season, and despite playing in all 82 regular-season games was deemed not worth a place in the first playoff game. A team that wants to play fast and win teams in transition and in possession of puck suddenly has a transition game and inconsistent ownership because the players in the back end can not make the necessary moves to feed it.

But a bad series for individual players happens, and sometimes they are even understandable and defensible, because even the best players have bad snippets.

What is not understandable and defensible is to voluntarily depart from something that has worked. That's what the Penguins did, and that's a big part of why their season ended up going the way it did.

The moves they make this summer will tell us a lot about what they learned from it.

From these comments, it does not seem that much has been learned. All we can see after not winning a single playoff game this season, the pens have a long way to go. Changes will be made and players will come and go.

Can Rutherford recapture what he did to build this team in its early days? Or will your vision result in more pain than the team has suffered lately? I hope the team can pinpoint exactly what they need and then get out and make it happen.


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