Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Letang quote about the Pens Power Play

Letang, though, pointed out that skill isn't the only variable at work on power plays.

"Some nights, it's just a question of bounces," he said. "The goalie can be really good. ... Sometimes you get stuck on the [boards] the whole power play, because they're pressuring you, [or] you have a bouncing puck and can't get control of it.

"And some nights, it's flat on your stick the whole time, and you have time and space to make plays."

Rest of the article and the source:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Marc Andre Fleury on Kris Letang

A Marc Andre Fleury interview and he talked about Kris Letang's emergence as a hockey player.

On the blue line, Kristopher Letang has also been having quite a start, with 23 points (5 goals, 18 assists) in 26 games. How do you explain his emergence?

"There are several factors. First off, he is getting more ice time since the departure of Sergei Gonchar. And he’s now on the first power play unit.

I also believe that he has more confidence in his talent, he is less hesitant to join the attack. He has simply gained in experience and maturity. Kris has always had good skating ability, good vision, and a good shot. He’s using these assets better now."


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kris Letang's Playlist

Songs Artists
Wherever I May Roam Metallica
Sad but True Metallica
Around the World Red Hot Chilli Peppers
For When The Bell Tolls Metallica
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) Metallica
Freak on a Leash Korn
Falling Away From Me Korn
The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson
Billie Jean Michael Jackson
Bullet Proof La Roux
Forever Drake
Good Life Kanye West
She Wolf Shakira
Master of Puppets Metallica


Merry Krismas Everyone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kris's scoring streak

I was just gonna say that Mr Kris seems to be a madman on the ice with all this scoring he is doing lately!!!!!!!! Keep up the amazing job Kris from all your fans all over the world!!!!!!!!!! You Rock number 58!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010


Random Kris article I found thanks to Tumblr

Pittsburgh's Letang blossoming into elite blueliner

When the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted defenseman Kris Letang in the third round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft - the same draft they took superstar center Sidney Crosby with the top overall pick - they thought they were getting a mobile, puck-moving defenseman who would transition well into the new, speed-oriented, post-lockout NHL.

What they have is a whole lot more.

The Montreal native, in his fourth season in Pittsburgh, is quickly cementing himself as not only a top-pair guy at the NHL level, but a Norris Trophy contender.

"It's a long season. We are in December, so we aren't going to get too excited for that," a sheepish Letang told The Sports Network when asked about his thoughts on being an early season challenger for the award given to the NHL's top defenseman.

While Letang's personality might appear to be on the meek side, his game is anything but.

He is developing into a reliable two-way defenseman who has the speed and skill to join the rush, as well as a sound defensive game with just the right amount of physicality for his 6-foot, 200-pound frame.

Letang, just 23-years-old, has seen his game grow leaps and bounds since he began his professional career in 2006 with a seven-game stint with the Penguins before heading back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the remainder of that season. He played 10 games in the AHL the following season before being called up to the NHL for good by Pittsburgh.

"I think when they got me here they only saw my offensive game," Letang said. "I really focused on my game when I was in the American League. When I came up, I really focused on my game defensively and without the puck, with my stick.

Letang hasn't always realized the importance of two-way play, however. During the 2005-2006 junior season, he posted an eye-popping 25 goals and 43 assists but was just a plus-four in the defensive category.

"He's a guy whose mindset ... if he had his choice I think he'd be a forward if he could do it all over again," Brooks Orpik, Letang's defense-partner for most of the season, told The Sports Network.

But after his brief stop in Pittsburgh in 2006, Letang returned to juniors, scored nine fewer goals and 16 fewer points, but was a plus-19, an early sign of his commitment to getting better in his own end.

Letang was a minus player in his first two seasons in Pittsburgh before finishing last season with a modest plus-one rating. This season - the first of a four-year, $14 million contract extension - while playing on the Penguins' top defensive pairing with Orpik, Letang is thriving at both ends of the rink.

"I think it's all coming together right now," Letang said.

That's a fair statement, considering the French Canadian is among the league leaders in two key categories for defensemen - points and plus/minus. Currently, he has tallied 27 points and a plus-17 rating, good for second among defenseman in scoring and fifth in plus/minus.

"I think the biggest change in him is knowing when to take chances and picking his spots," Orpik said. "If we have a 2-0 lead, it's a lot different than if we are trailing by two goals in the third period, and we have to create offense. I think the situational awareness and consistency are his biggest improvements."

Letang has also improved at getting his shot on net, something he previously failed to do consistently at the NHL level. As a result, he is getting more points - he is currently just six off his career high of 33 in a season - and gaining more confidence.

"That's something I think he worked on over the summer, and maybe it's more of a focus thing," Orpik said. "He's getting a lot more of his shots on net. He's got a good shot. That's one of the hardest things now the way teams defend. You aren't only trying to get it through the first guy, but you have three or four guys trying to block the shot."

"Sometimes I take something off the shot [to get more accuracy]," Letang said. "I think I'm moving way better on the blueline than I used to as well. I used to look for the big shot, but now I'm just moving and creating some lanes, and I see the ice way more than I used to."

Letang is being given more responsibility this season not only because of the big contract extension, but also the departure of Sergie Gonchar to Ottawa in the offseason, and he is thriving.

"He's a completely different player than Gonchar," Orpik said. "Power play- wise, you weren't going to replace Gonchar, but he's had more opportunity and is taking advantage."

"There are a lot of things to improve, I don't think I'm at my best right now," Letang said.

Good news for Pittsburgh, bad news for the rest of the NHL.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Picture of Kris from 24/7 show

Engelland fight but Tanger can be seen too :)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Letang Game Day interview 12-14-10

This picture is from today's practice from what the Pens website says. Enjoy!!!

On if he’ll take the time to sit down and really watch Wednesday’s premiere:
I’m interested to see what it’s going to look like on the screen. I’m wondering how it’s going to come out, and if I do anything stupid on there. There’s a lot of people that are going to watch, so I want to see it.

On if he’s curious to see what goes on in Washington:
Yeah, I want to see what they do in other places. I’ve only played in Pittsburgh in my career, so I want to know how it happens in other dressing rooms.

On if they can keep the streak rolling against the Flyers:
It’s going to be a tough game. They’re playing really well, they’re only one point behind us. It’s a game for first place. It’s going to be like a playoff game. They don’t like us, we don’t like them, so it’s going to be a good game.

On if it’s more intense with the rivalry:
Yeah, the rivalry is really important. It’s really big here. I think it’s just going to bring more hype to the game, the fact that we’re playing for first place.

On how the Penguins’ playoff run last season is helping him now:
Every year after the playoffs, I’ve sat down with the coaches, and they really want me to bring the type of game that I bring (to the playoffs). The physical play, playing hard in my zone, not being afraid to shoot. In the playoffs, you score a lot of scrappy goals. You go to the front (of the net), you tip one, it goes off a shinpad. They want me to play like that, and I think I came with that mentality this year.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Randomness Letang

Letang thanks fans

Kris Letang figures perhaps some people from his hometown of Montreal or maybe fans in other NHL areas have been voting for him for the All-Star Game, but he is sure it's mostly Penguins faithful.

"I want to thank them for their support," said Letang who, three weeks into the voting, has moved to the top spot among defensemen despite being a write-in candidate.

"I've always said Pittsburgh has the best fans in the world."



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Game Day Letang Interview 12/8/10

Pittsburgh Penguins Getting Their Money's Worth With Kris Letang

Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero is really good at getting quality players for good deals. Well I think it's safe to say that he got the Penguins another bargain when he signed defenseman Kris Letang to a new deal this past March. Letang was signed to a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2013-14 season with the Penguins worth an annual $3.5 million.

When Letang for made his debut, many fans and critics were skeptical of his game. He took some big risks on the ice and often left his defense out to dry when he tried to join the rush. He was often criticized for being out of position and being careless with the puck.

My how things have changed. Letang is having a huge 2010-2011 season so far, second to Atlanta's Dustin Byfuglien in terms of points by a defensman with 26 points. Letang already has more goals than he did last season with five, and is on pace to have 14 goals and 74 points this year.

Letang's offensive performance can't be underestimated considering that they cut ties with Sergei Gonchar, was a very good offensive defenseman for the Penguins the last three years. Letang has not been as strong as Gonchar on the power-play, having just seven power-play points. But Letang has replaced Gonchar as far as a strong offensive presence on the blue-line for the Pens.

The most impressive thing about Letang is the amount of confidence he seems to have on the ice. Now he seems to have an understanding of when it's ok to take certain risks on the ice in terms of joining the rush. He's become so comfortable on the ice that his playing time continues to increase. Letang is now averaging over 21 minutes of ice time per game and is often on the ice when the opposing team has their top line on the ice.

Pens' fans aren't the only ones noticing Letang's play. ESPN currently has him as the top contender for the Norris Trophy, which is given to the NHL"s best defenseman at the end of the season. Letang is also the top vote getter for the 2010-2011 NHL All-Star game for defensemen, which is really impressive being that he wasn't even on the ballot, you literally had to write his name for to vote for him.

It's not all Letang though, the Pens defense as a core has been very impressive this year, especially during this ten game win streak. Brooks Orpik, Letangs partner on defense, should also be given some credit for Letang's breakout season. Orpik is a very tough, and smart defensmen, who often covers for Letang, allowing Letang to join the offensive rush.

At just the age of 23, it's Letang's play seems even more impressive. His potential seems sky high and Letang could very well develop into one of the best offensive defensemen of his era. Here's hoping.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Letang Leads All-Star Game D-Men; Sid Still Top Vote-Getter

NHL fans have taken notice of Kris Letang's sensational start to the season, and have rewarded the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman with a rocket-ride up the All-Star voting standings.

Letang, whose 26 points are second among all NHL defensemen, has jumped to first in All-Star fan balloting among blueliners for the 2011 All-Star Game presented by Discover, moving past a pair of future Hall of Famers and the defending Norris Trophy winner in the process.

2011 NHL All-Star Game

Letang picked up nearly 95,000 votes in a week to move from fourth to first, passing the Flyers' Chris Pronger, the Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom and the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith in the process. Letang's 210,807 votes are second among all players.

The 2011 All-Star Game will feature the Ultimate Fantasy Draft this year, where the All-Stars will pick their own teams from a pool of 42 players. Fans can vote six players into that pool -- the top three forwards, two defenseman and goaltender from fan balloting will be guaranteed a roster spot at this year's game, which will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pronger garnered enough votes to hold onto the second defense spot behind Letang in voting totals released today by the NHL. The Penguins' Sidney Crosby, the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and the Lightning's Steven Stamkos, and Canadiens goalie Carey Price retained their spots from last week's voting.

Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer, maintained his sizable lead at forward. His picked up more than 101,000 votes since last week, increasing his total to 319,809, the most among all players. Toews holds a 5,000-vote lead on Stamkos for third, with Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin a surprising fourth.

Ovechkin hasn't been the explosive goal-scorer fans are used to -- he has just 12 in 29 games -- but he's third in the League with 35 points and is on pace for a career-best 65 assists. He trails Stamkos, the League's second-leading scorer, by more than 22,000 votes. However, with the well-known passion of Caps fans -- as well as three more weeks to sway the voters -- it's possible Ovechkin could jump into the top three.

The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin is fifth, followed by the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, Flyers captain Mike Richards, the Canadiens' Michael Cammalleri, Flyers forward Claude Giroux and Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk.

Giroux, with 147,993, leads all write-in candidates at the position.

Pronger, who was second to Keith last week, now leads him by more than 5,800 votes after picking up 57,000-plus votes since last week. Lidstrom, the six-time Norris Trophy winner for the Red Wings, trails Keith by just under 10,000 votes.

Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen is fifth, followed by Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban, the Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook, the Kings' Drew Doughty, Mike Green of the Capitals and Brian Rafalski of the Red Wings. The Thrashers' Dustin Byfuglien, who leads all defensemen in goals and points, is 11th in the voting.

Price, whose 209,025 votes are third among all players, continues to hold a substantial lead on Flyers rookie Sergei Bobrovsky. Price leads the League with 16 wins, and ranks in top five among goaltenders in goals-against average (1.96, fifth), save percentage (.935, third) and shutouts (four, second), is about 40,000 votes ahead of the Philadelphia rookie.

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is third, but he's narrowed the gap between him and Bobrovsky to just over 17,000 votes, from 24,000-plus last week.

The Bruins' Tim Thomas is fourth, the Blues' Jaroslav Halak is fifth; last week, those positions were reversed.

Fan balloting runs through Jan. 3, 2011, at


Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Article about Letang for the All Star game

Letang's Comfort, Confidence Resulting In a Strong Start

Kris Letang has gotten off to an incredible start this season, and everyone’s noticing.

A total of 115,862 fans have taken the initiative to add the 23-year-old defenseman’s name on the ballot for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. That’s good for the third-highest total among write-in candidates and fourth overall among blueliners.

“It means a lot,” Letang said of the recognition he’s been given. “I know we have the greatest fans in hockey in Pittsburgh. Just to have them on your side and pushing on your back, it’s big. You feel very comfortable.”

Letang is tied for second in scoring among NHL defensemen with 23 points (5G-18A). He also ranks second in team scoring behind captain Sidney Crosby and owns a plus-12 rating, tied for seventh in the league.

What’s impressive about the numbers Letang is putting up is that he’s getting them while being used as a No. 1-shutdown defenseman against other teams’ top lines. What’s scary is that he still has plenty of untapped potential.

“The biggest thing you notice is just how talented he is, how much skill he has, how good of a player he is,” defenseman Paul Martin said. “And still you see the potential, he can even be better. He’s having a good year and is still recognizing certain situations when he can take chances and when he can’t. He’s been fun to watch, and he’s only going to get better.”

Last season, it took Letang 73 games to record 23 points (3G-20A). He’s already tied that mark just 26 games in, and his defense partner Brooks Orpik says Letang’s points have been coming when he focuses on making the smart play first.

A prime example of this came in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Nov. 27. Letang jumpstarted the second goal when he laid a big hit on Calgary’s Olli Jokinen in the corner to separate him from the puck and proceeded to make a heads-up pass to Chris Kunitz, who led a scoring rush.

“I think when he plays his best his mindset going into games is to defend well,” Orpik said. “I think if he concentrates on playing defense, his offensive game just kind of comes to him naturally ... He’s definitely made a lot of strides this year with that. He’d probably tell you he still has a long way to go.”

Letang’s confidence and consistency didn’t happen overnight. He’s always had the skills, but admitted that it took awhile before he felt truly settled in the professional ranks.

After spending three seasons with the Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he posted 152 points (52G-100A) in 170 career games, Letang played just 10 contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before getting called up for what would be a permanent stay with the Penguins in 2007-08.

He’s been a mainstay on Pittsburgh’s blue line ever since, but his breakout year has come as a result of blending his talent with the pace of the game.

“In your first year, it’s a work-in-progress,” he said. “You try to learn defensively how to play the game, because when you switch from juniors to the NHL, there’s a big gap and you need to learn a lot of things. To play really good in the defensive zone, I think it’s the biggest step in the NHL. I think doing that transition and now being more comfortable everywhere on the ice maybe is all just happening at the same time.”

And the Penguins are glad that it did.


Kris Letang on Madden - November 11, 2010

I found this video on YouTube so that is my SOURCE if anyone has a problem with that.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Letang scores his 5th goal of the season

Crosby to Letang
Sidney Crosby shows off some pretty passing as he feeds Kris Letang for a picture perfect one-timer

Game Day Interview 11/29/10

Thursday, November 25, 2010

April 24, 2010 - Kris Letang interview

April 24, 2010 - Kris Letang interview



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Star Voting

Penguins Crosby Tops All Vote-Getters In First Week Of All-Star Fan Balloting

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby led all National Hockey League players with 118,755 votes during the first week of voting in 2011 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by XM.

Crosby, who has been voted a starter in each of the past three All-Star Games (2007, ’08 and ’09), leads second-place Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks by 35,787 votes.

In addition to Crosby, seven other Penguins received votes during the opening week of voting.

Defenseman Kris Letang, whose 19 points rank third among NHL defensemen, has received the eighth-most votes (50,153) among blueliners as a write-in candidate. Letang has earned the third-most write-in votes.

Forward Evgeni Malkin (56,255, 8th), who ranks among the league’s top-25 scorers, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (44,111, 5th) both rank among the top-10 vote-getters at their respective positions.

Also receiving votes during the opening week were forward Max Talbot (5,144) and defensemen Paul Martin (27,970), Brooks Orpik (7,736) and Alex Goligoski (3,388).

For the fourth straight NHL® All-Star Game, the balloting process is entirely digital, offering sports’ most tech-savvy fans the ability to vote as often as they like via mobile devices and online at and Facebook (

Through Jan. 3, NHL fans will be able to select up to six players by position - three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender – without regard to the Conference in which their teams play for in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover in Raleigh, N.C.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Letang Scores

Kris Letang scored his 4th goal of the season tonight against the Florida Panthers!!!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vote for Letang to be an NHL All Star for 2011 in Raleigh, NC


Over The Boards: Letang For All-Star

Good news for anyone who is still hung over from the mid-term elections, the NHL All-Star ballots are out and the voting has begun. As expected, the usual cast of characters is represented on the ballots including Sid and Geno for the Penguins. But as usual, there are several players on the list that are only there because of their name and not because of their performance. And naturally, that means there are too many players that are having a great year not on the ballot. Let’s hear it for the write-in vote!

There are numerous fan sites throughout the NHL starting campaigns to get their chosen player the write-in vote. Thanks to the guys over at The Confluence, there is already a groundswelling to get Kris Letang to the All-Star game. Often, these write-in players are good, but not deserving to get to the All-Star game ahead of the guys on the ballot, but Tanger is definitely an exception.

Letang is easily having the best season of his career and is quickly becoming the best defenseman on the Penguins. He is currently tied for second on the team in points with Malkin and is tied with Gologoski for the best plus/minus. But that is just his standing on the team. Tanger is also tied for second with Nicklas Lidstom for points among defensemen in the NHL.

But that is just how he looks on paper. On the ice he has been even more impressive and Wednesday’s game against the Canucks was a perfect example. Letang was all over the ice against the Canucks and was integral in limiting their potent offense to only one goal. It seemed like every time there was a crucial defensive play in the Pens zone, Letang was a part of it. He prevented at least two goals in front of Fleury and had the Pens transition game as dangerous as it used to be.

And that game was not a one-time occurrence. Letang has been a leader on defence all season for the Penguins and has been a great contributor on offense as well. After Sergei Gonchar left during the summer, the big question was who would replace him as the defensive leader on the team. A lot of people looked to our newly acquired veterans, but it looks to me that Letang has decided it should be him. So far this season, I agree.

So I am here today to urge you to get out and vote. The All-Star game is still a point of pride among NHL players and it is important to all of us that the most deserving players are their to represent the league. Way too often in professional sports All-Stars are chosen because they have been a fan favorite for many years and that’s who the casual fan knows. If Derek Jeter is having a bad season, I know all of the Yankee crazies are still voting for him. And for all of the people that don’t watch baseball closely, they will vote for him because they recognize the name.

The All-Star game is supposed to be about rewarding those players having great seasons for their contributions, not a reason to gather all of the high profile players. So when you are going through the ballot, don’t just pick your favorite player by name. Take the time to check out their stats and see just how good they are this year because there is a good chance someone else has been playing better.

Oh yeah, and vote Letang!

Let’s Go Pens!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NHL Rising Stars: Top 10 Late Bloomers

1: Kris Letang

Topping the list is youngster Kris Letang.

When I included Alex Goligoski on my lists of top rising stars, many people asked about Letang. Ask no more as he is easily one of the best things about the Penguins lineup. Letang is currently the league's highest-scoring defenseman with 17 points in 19 games.

It seems like Goligoski wasn't the only player to benefit from Sergei Gonchar's departure. Pittsburgh saved a bunch of cash that was better spent elsewhere.

Letang is finally living up to his potential and should be a mainstay on the Pens back end for years to come.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Game Day Interview with Letang 11-15-10

New Article about Letang

Letang developing into top defenseman
Not everyone has realized yet that defenseman Kris Letang is developing into one of the league's best

Some people were upset when Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was left off the NHL's all-star ballot.

Others were surprised.

Or flat-out perplexed.

Not Letang, though.

It's not just that he didn't care. He didn't even know.

Turns out that even though the league released the 100-player ballot last Friday, Letang didn't learn about it until a reporter mentioned it a few hours before the Penguins' 4-2 victory at Atlanta the next night.

"I don't really pay attention to those things," he said, shrugging.

Nothing wrong with that. The interesting part is that people in the NHL's Hockey Operations department, who selected the players on the ballot, apparently haven't been paying attention to Letang.

There is, of course, no shortage of qualified candidates for those spots, and a case could be made for any number of players to be added to -- or dropped from -- the ballot.

But going into last night's games, none of the 29 defensemen who are on the ballot had more points than Letang's 17 and only one -- Hall-of-Famer-in-waiting Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit -- had matched his output.

Two other numbers of note: Just four of Letang's points have come on the power play, and he has a plus-minus rating of plus-9, better than all but six NHL defensemen.

Both of those stats underscore that Letang is not a one-dimensional point-producer.

That's significant, because his offensive talents were evident before the Penguins claimed him in the third round of the 2005 entry draft.

It's the evolution of Letang's defensive game that has earned him a place in this team's core.

Assistant coach Todd Reirden, who works with the defensemen, said Letang's overall game "is really coming together," which, Letang said, has always been his objective.

"I want to be a two-way player," he said. "I don't want to be seen just as an offensive guy who is able to play on the power play and do those types of things.

"I want to be a guy who hits hard and is tough to play against in my zone. Make sure that all forwards have to pay the price if they want to have a good scoring chance in our zone."

He does that often enough that Reirden paired him with Brooks Orpik and matched those two against Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone-Steven Stamkos-Martin St. Louis line during the Penguins' 5-1 victory Friday at Consol Energy Center.

Mind you, the process of becoming a presence at both ends is not seamless, and Letang experienced a couple of major hiccups during Saturday's game in Atlanta.

Like when Andrew Ladd of the Thrashers put the puck between his legs to create a quality short-handed scoring opportunity early in the game, and when Letang turned the puck over to Bryan Little with just over four minutes left in regulation, giving Atlanta a chance to score a goal that would have tied the score.

If Letang needed a reminder of just how little margin for error there is at his position -- and just how much he can upgrade his body of work -- the Thrashers game provided it.

"I want to be known as a top player, but it's going to take time and it's going to take work," he said. "I'm going to have to improve."

Setbacks are to be expected, however. Letang, at 23, is very much a work-in-progress, and figures to be for quite a few more seasons.

"He's certainly not a finished product, by any means," Reirden said.

Some refinements are beginning to show, however.

Despite playing with a right hand that has been injured repeatedly, Letang is getting the puck on goal more consistently than he did even a year ago.

In 2009-10, he had 2.4 shots per game, but missed the net an average of 1.3 times. This season, he has averaged 2.2 shots, and shooting high or wide just once per game.

That reflects his enhanced ability to read and anticipate plays, to know what he's going to do with the puck -- and where he's going to go to do it -- before it touches his stick.

"His ability to skate and get shots through is something we've spent a lot of time working on, video-wise, and before practices," Reirden said. "He certainly has done a great job of that."

Quite a few other things, too. Not everyone in the league seems to be aware of it just yet, but they'll catch on eventually. Especially if Letang comes close to fully realizing his potential.

"There's a lot of room for improvement with Kris," Reirden said. "That's the exciting part."


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New video about Letang

Kris has lots to say in this article even though its not totally about him

Penguins' Martin finds place in new system

The Penguins spent about half of practice Tuesday at Southpointe holding a scrimmage that emphasized the fundamentals of their system and encouraged the forwards to dump or chip the puck into the offensive zone.

It was a chance for a refresher, but one newcomer to the system this season already was feeling pretty comfortable.

"He's been great," defenseman Kris Letang said of his partner of late, Paul Martin. "He fits in really well with the system because he's a guy who goes back for pucks, makes plays.

"He's a patient guy with the puck, always a good pass."

Martin, a two-way defenseman who played New Jersey's defense-oriented style, signed with the Penguins as a free agent in July after Sergei Gonchar signed with Ottawa.

Like Gonchar, Martin plays a heads-up, deliberate game, but not a slow one. He brings a sense of calm among chaos on the ice. He can play the point on the power play, although he is on the second unit right now.

"They're two guys that aren't moving a lot," Letang said. "They are reading the play, moving the puck. In that way, they are similar."

But Martin is not Gonchar reincarnate. He doesn't have to be to fit in nicely as a top-four defenseman.

He's one of just three defensemen who has played all 15 games for the Penguins going into their game tonight against Boston, averages a team-high 24 minutes, 40 seconds of ice time and is overcoming what was a tough transition from the way the Devils play.

"I think at the beginning, it kind of was," Martin said. "And as a team we were still trying to find our identity and having a tough time sometimes. I think we've been learning that what makes it successful is not always the flashy things, just getting the puck up ice and getting it to our forwards and trying to get it in the [offensive] zone.

"I'm learning. We're learning. It's been an adjustment over these first 15 games, but I think we're going in the right direction now."

Coach Dan Bylsma attributes that to a more fine-tuned defense.

"There is an adjustment, but even in the last three games from our defensemen as a whole ... making sense out of how we want to play is a big part of the execution of it," he said. "Anybody can talk about the X's and O's. They're not new to anyone, but the concept of how we want to play and how we have to execute and where the puck has to go for that to happen is something that Paul and [fellow newcomer Zbyneck Michalek] and some of our other defensemen are just now doing, making the step to getting that puck in the [right] area.

"It needs to be at the right time so that we can play the way we want to play with the speed, with the support we want to play with."

Being paired with Letang means Martin, 29, often has to be the stay-at-home half a little more because Letang, 23, seems to be blossoming into the kind of potent offensive defenseman the Penguins have projected all along.

"Early in the year, I think I was up the ice a little more, just because I just got here and was just going," Martin said. "I think now we've started to try to -- I don't want to say take turns, but feed off of each other and realize if he's up the ice, someone has to be back. Lately, he's been up a lot. We can't have both of us up there."

Martin doesn't mind being that half of the equation.

"For me to play with him has been fun," he said of Letang. "He likes to skate and move, and he's all over the ice, making plays -- which he should be because he helps create opportunities for our team and he's got a great shot."

Partnering with Letang has not stifled Martin's productivity.

He has just one goal, but with eight points in 15 games he is on pace for a career-high 43 points.

So much for a difficult adjustment with the Penguins.

"Here it's definitely a little bit more aggressive all over the ice, but as far as getting the puck up, there's still the timing factor," Martin said.

He has learned that sometimes, rather than passing to your partner, defensemen in this system can make a breakout pass even when a forward seems to be covered because the Penguins' skilled forwards can get behind the defense. What usually would be an ill-advised or dangerous pass can be a good play with this team.

What has been a little more difficult, Martin said, is the adjustment all new Penguins players face -- navigating Pittsburgh.

"All the bridges and bypasses ... I'm starting to learn my way around to places I need to go," said Martin, who is abandoning the hotel life to move into a rented home.

The Penguins' system isn't so tough by comparison.

"He's really comfortable with it," Letang said. "I think when he's 100 percent comfortable with it, he's going to be an unbelievable player."


New Pics of Letang from the Pens Official Site

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Article about Tanger

Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang Becoming a Top-Notch Defenseman

Gone are the questions of when Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will step up his game and play to his full potential, because the start of the 2010-2011 NHL season has this young Penguin playing some top-notch hockey.

For a player who was touted as a future Paul Coffey after being drafted 62nd overall in the 2005 NHL Draft, Letang's NHL career started slowly and unstable.

He was notorious for asking too many questions about his game in the locker room. But, despite his clear lack of confidence in his play, Letang was showing the qualities of a future star.

23-year-old Letang plays a solid defensive game by integrating good instincts with swift puck moments that can send it from the defensive to offensive zone in a matter of seconds. Recently, an element of physicality has become present here as well.

On the flip-side, Letang also demonstrates a natural offensive prowess that sees him following the puck on a counter-attack and becoming a legitimate threat to the opposition.

This is all tied together with Letang's strongest skill as a defenseman: His wonderful ability to skate. Letang is a smooth as they come on his skates, which contributes greatly to his speed and ability to move the puck north-south with ease and fluidity.

However, these moments of greatness seen in Letang's game weren't always present in his earlier seasons in the NHL. Expectations remained high despite his previous struggles, but it's important to keep in mind that defensemen in the NHL require a longer time to develop both physically AND emotionally.

Each offseason, Letang would train and strengthen his body to prepare for the upcoming season. However, nothing seemed to change Letang emotionally more than the death of his best friend and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luc Bourdon.

His death during the 2008 Stanley Cup Final became Letang's inspiration during the following season that saw him not only play an extraordinary tournament, but also win hockey's greatest trophy.

An on-ice interview with Letang following the Pens' Stanley Cup win was all the proof necessary that he won that cup for Bourdon.

Letang struggled the following season, netting only a total of three goals and 27 points. His biggest problems included an inability to hit the net and some costly defensive gaffes. Certainly not a good way to close off a contract year, and the speculation began: Should GM Ray Shero trade Letang for greater talent?

The answer was ultimately "no" and Letang signed a five-year contract worth $3.5 million a season. He truly had something to prove coming into the 2010-2011 season, especially when defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Mark Eaton and Jay McKee opted to leave the Penguins. This was Shero's way of saying that it was time for him and fellow defenseman Alex Goligoski to step up their game and take charge of the defense.

The season is only a month old, but Letang has already demonstrated how much he has improved his skills on both ends of the ice. He is playing with a very fresh identity that has reawakened Pens and hockey fans of the talent he possesses.

Skating on a line with Paul Martin, another smooth puck-mover with good hands, he and Letang are like two peas in a pod when they play. I feel that has something to do with Letang taking some pointers from Martin. Since the start of the season, Letang has played with an ease and confidence that he did not demonstrate in the past, and it has shown on and off the scoreboard.

Letang is second among defensemen with three goals and 11 points. Last season, it took Letang a full year to score that many goals. In fact, if Letang can keep it up, he will finish the season with some personal record numbers.

Looking beyond the numbers, Letang has added a feistier, more physical element to his game and is now more than willing to drop the mits and hold his own for the most part. He holds the second highest penalty minutes on the team, behind rugged fighter and defenseman Deryk Engelland. After Engelland, only Letang and winger Mike Rupp have scrapped more than once and this doesn't include the times he fought in the preseason.

This willingness to fight tells me that Letang has decided to take on a larger leadership role on the team, something that should come naturally to him since he captained the 2007 World Junior Canadian team to a gold medal. A look back at his hockey career and the obstacles he has overcome cushions the idea that he is a fighter at heart.

Letang's fight for more responsibility on the team is something that should be rewarded, specifically with more time on the power play. Understandably, Alex Goligoski eats up a lot of time on the power play, but Letang has been proving that he's no longer afraid to shoot the puck and can find the twine with much more ease than in the past.

Most notably, Letang's wrist shot has become no laughing matter for the opposition.

Letang is rapidly budding in his new role on the Pens and it has been impressive to watch potential blossom into natural talent the way it has for Letang in the course of this season. He is currently fighting a hand injury, but if Letang can remain healthy this season, there is no doubt that he can put up impressive numbers on the scoreboard as well as make huge leaps in his mental development.

By no means has Letang reached the level of "top-notch" defenseman at this time because he is still growing into his role on the team, but at the pace he is going it's hard to imagine that it isn't possible in the near future.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Letang and Johnson

I just love this picture of Kris Letang and Brent Johnson because of the look on Kris Letang's face is PRICELESS!!!

Awesome pic of Letang I found on tumblr

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Info about tonight's Pens/Canes game 10/30/10

Whose Hot???

Kris Letang

You can make a case that Kris Letang has arguably been the Penguins MVP through the first month of the season. Letang was strong again on Friday night against Philadelphia, notching his third multiple-point game in six contests with a goal and an assist. Letang is tied for the NHL lead among defensemen with 11 points (3G-8A).

Stat Chart Penguins vs Hurricanes

Crosby (6) Skinner/Staal (3)
Letang (8) Five tied (4)
Crosby (13) Skinner/Staal (7)
Engelland (26) Harrison (11)
Letang (+8) Cole (+8)
Crosby (3) Jokinen (2)
Cooke (2)
Staal/Dwyer (1)
Johnson (4-0-1) Ward (5-3-0)
Johnson (1.39) Ward (2.72)
Johnson (.951) Ward (.925)


Saw this on

Letang scores 10/29/10 against the Flyers

Friday, October 29, 2010


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