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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Article about Letang

Letang on pace for best season

ST. LOUIS — Kris Letang isn't missing much this season for the Penguins, not even a lot of shots.

However, gone from his repertoire are those questions he often asked as way of seeking a measure of affirmation from teammates.

Did you like that goal?

Did you like that pass?

Did you like that play?

The irony is Letang would have a couple of goals, many more passes and several dozen plays worth asking about.

"He's always been really confident off the ice, but maybe not he has more of a realistic confidence," fellow Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "I think it's confidence, not cockiness ... maybe that just comes from experience."

Whatever the reason, Letang had looked like a bona fide top-pairing defenseman through eight games before the Penguins faced the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Saturday night. His eight points were second among NHL defensemen.

Letang's eighth point last season came in his 27th game.

There are a few reasons Letang's fourth NHL season is shaping up as his best.

His new defense partner, Paul Martin, is a tailor-made fit. Their partnership has provided the Penguins a smooth-skating top pairing that can cover the entire rink.

Orpik theorized a carryover from Letang's strong 2010 postseason. He scored five goals — four on the power play — connecting on 21.7 percent of his shots. He had scored only twice and recorded a 10.5 shooting percentage during the regular season.

Finally, armed with a new curve on his stick blade, Letang had misfired on only five shots. His 96 missed shots rated fourth worst among defensemen last season.

An adjustment on his shooting motion has also helped. Letang downplayed it, but his backswing is shorter on slap shots - witness his overtime goal Thursday night at Nashville, which more resembled a half-slapper.

"I like to use my wrist shot because it's quicker and I can control it better, so I'm trying to make my slapper like that," he said. "Goalies start to learn about players and learn their tendencies. I'm just trying to switch it up."

He certainly appears to have flipped a switch to start what perhaps is a breakout season.

"He's just playing, not really thinking the game," Orpik said. "Sometimes when you think the game that's when you tend to slow down. He's just making quick decisions and letting his skill take over. Obviously, he's one of the more skilled guys and better players you'll see."


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Groomed for Success: Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Magazine - November 2010 - Pittsburgh, PA

Groomed for Success: Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Magazine - November 2010 - Pittsburgh, PA

Thanks also to the facebook group "58 Reason We like Kris Letang"!!! They find all sorts of awesome things!!!!!!!

Groomed for Success: Kris Letang
The only people in town who don’t seem to be star-struck by the Penguins’ Kris Letang? His teammates.

t’s not easy being a man of style in the NHL, a league defined by the hockey-hair mullet, scraggly playoff beard, toothless smile and perpetual shiner.

It’s especially rough for the Penguins’ emerging star Kris Letang because the Penguins are a band of brothers—and, of course, no one busts each other’s chops quite like brothers do.

During the photo shoot for this article, word got out that “Tanger” was in the Penguins’ locker room cleaned up and ready for his close-up. Within minutes, tough-guy defenseman Brooks Orpik peeked his head in through the locker room doors, sporting one of those mischievous big-brother grins a la Wayne Arnold from “The Wonder Years.” Sidney Crosby was right behind him, peering over Orpik’s shoulder. Letang braced himself with a smirk.

“Oh man,” Crosby warned the photographer while pointing at Letang’s stylish denim loafers. “You better shoot him from the waist up.” Orpik and Crosby quickly closed the doors and retreated before any comebacks could be lobbed their way—their laughter echoing down the hallway.

Letang, who is just about the most down-to-earth 23-year-old millionaire you’ll ever meet, simply smiled and shook his head before saying, “Those guys ...”

PM: How did you spend your summer vacation?
KL: I trained all summer with Max Talbot in Montreal, working on my overall strength. On the ice, I practiced taking more shots from everywhere in the zone, making sure I hit the net.

Are you going through Stanley Cup withdrawal?
I think all the guys who won it in ’09 miss it already. Whenever you see a team win the Cup after you, it’s like, Man, they took it from us. You feel like you got your trophy stolen. I went on vacation during the Stanley Cup Finals because I didn’t want to see any of that. Right away, it pissed me off.

What happened in that Montreal series anyway?
When we show up against a team like Washington, we’re excited because we know they have a great team. We’re not too confident, and obviously, we hate those guys so much that it brings our game to another level. I think maybe we didn’t have that hatred for Montreal. We thought we were in control.

Will those bad memories fuel you this season?
We want to get revenge against every team, pretty much. We aren’t happy with the way last year ended, and I know all of the guys are fired up to drop the puck, especially in the new arena.

What’s the best part of your job?
Playing against the top lines. Going to Washington and knowing that I’m going to be matched against one of the best players in the league [Alexander Ovechkin].

Do you ever get nervous before those big games?
Not really, but Mario [Lemieux] was still playing when I had my first practice with the Penguins, and I had to do a drill with him and I was so nervous! Growing up, Mario and Jaromir Jagr were my favorite players. Luckily, Mario came over and talked to me and gave me a lot of tips. Even now that he’s retired, he still stops in our locker room all the time to make sure we’re never too nervous about a game.

You guys always seem like you’re having a blast on the ice.
We’re so young—we’re like kids in the dressing room. Even the older guys feel like they’re kids again, like they’re just playing to have fun. That’s why we’re a family, like brothers.

What’s the best prank you’ve witnessed on the road?
During Jordan Staal’s rookie year, someone took all the furniture from his hotel room and set it up perfectly in the hallway like it was his room. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. You never know who is the mastermind behind the pranks. But I have my theories.

Favorite day-off routine: Shopping at 412 in the South Side. Nordstrom. Saks.

Favorite eatery in the ’Burgh: Nine on Nine or Dish Osteria.

Most annoying roommate on the road: Myself? I don’t know (laughs).

Which Penguin throws the best parties? Max Talbot.

Closest friends on the team: Sid and Flower [Marc-André Fleury].

Worst locker-room DJ: Duper [winger Pascal Dupuis].

Pregame routine: I take a shower and try to clear my head.

Most unusual gift from a fan: Someone baked me cookies and gave them to me in the parking lot before a game. They were good, too.

Most misunderstood goon with a good heart: Daniel Carcillo from the Flyers is actually a nice guy.

The Penguins will lift the Cup this season because ... All four lines can score goals.

Message for Pens fans: Oh, I don’t need to ask them anything because they always deliver.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang pic

Post-Game Interview: Kris Letang (10/21/2010)

Letang's OT Winning Goal against the Preds 10-21-10

Letang's Overtime Tally Finishes Off Predators

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – With the snap of his blade, defenseman Kris Letang snapped a decade-long, six-game losing streak for the Penguins in the Music City.

Letang’s wrist shot at the 3:49 mark of overtime sailed over the shoulder of netminder Pekka Rinne to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 victory in an intense, playoff-type game.

“I had a great screen and tried to put it on the net,” Letang said. “I think it went through his body. I was just putting the puck on the net.”

“Tyler Kennedy drove wide and dropped the puck to me,” captain Sidney Crosby said of the play. “’Tanger’ did a great job getting up into the play. I just found him wide. I don’t know where the shot went, but he got a lot on it. It was a great shot.”

The Penguins had to overcome 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits just to force the extra frame. The heroics of big-gamers Crosby and Evgeni Malkin fueled the Penguins’ comeback and set the stage for Letang’s heroics.

“We felt like we were getting some good chances and just had to stick with things,” Crosby said. “’Geno’ was flying in the third and stealing pucks, creating things. When he does that, he’s tough to handle.”

Crosby finished with two goals and an assist, while Malkin chipped in a goal and an assist. The two hooked up in the third period to score Pittsburgh’s third tally to make it a 3-3 contest with 7:04 left in regulation.

Malkin started the play by battling for a loose puck and getting a shot on goal from the slot. Rinne kicked out a rebound right to Crosby, who buried the shot to even the score.

“They got the first goal right in the beginning, got the lead in the second, got the lead in the third; our guys kept responding,” head coach Dan Byslma said. “The way Geno and Sid, their determination to get that (third) goal and again in the overtime, it was an impressive hockey game in a lot of areas.”

The Penguins last won in Nashville Feb. 13, 1999 – the inaugural season for the Predators. Pittsburgh also triumphed in overtime (3-2) in that game.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Kris Letang scores

Letang scored his first goal of the 2010-2011 season tonight against the Senators!!!

GO PENGUINS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Letang interview 10-18-10

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Letang off the hook for hit on Islander forward

Letang off the hook for hit on Islander forward

PHILADELPHIA -- The National Hockey League has rescinded the major penalty that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was assessed for a hit on New York Islanders forward Blake Comeau during the Penguins' 3-2 overtime victory at the Consol Energy Center Friday night.

Letang got the major and a game misconduct for purportedly hitting Comeau in the head, a ruling the NHL overturned after reviewing replays of the incident.

Letang will be in the lineup when the Penguins face Philadephia tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

Also, coach Dan Bylsma announced that Brent Johnson will make his second consecutive start in goal tonight. Johnson made 22 saves against the Islanders.


Article about the Letang hit on Comeau 10-15-10

Penguins will appeal Letang head shot penalty

Sporting NewsSporting News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was ejected Friday after receiving a five-minute major for a hit to the head of New York Islanders forward Blake Comeau. The problem? Replays show Letang never made contact with Comeau's head.

After the game, Penguins GM Ray Shero announced the team would ask the NHL to review the penalty, in hopes of having it rescinded, reported.

The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime, their first victory in the new Consol Energy Center.

The incident occurred at 7:48 of the second period. Comeau was skating toward the Penguins goal in the Pittsburgh zone and had fumbled the puck. He was looking back when Letang flattened him from the blind side.

Replays showed the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. But with Comeau on the ice officials whistled Letang for an illegal check to the head, a five-minute major which carries an automatic game misconduct penalty.

The rule instituted this season states "a lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact" is an automatic major and game misconduct.

Under the new rule, if Letang is assessed the same penalty combination again, he will face an automatic one-game suspension, assuming the call from this game isn't overturned, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The hit was hard enough to knock off Comeau's helmet, but replays showed his head didn't hit the ice. After about a minute, Comeau got to his feet, skated off and remained in the game.

Josh Bailey engaged Letang after the play and got a roughing penalty.

"It didn't really look like he hit him in the head on the replay, but it's still the kind of hit that we're not going to accept it," Bailey said.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told reporters he spoke to officials after the second period.

"The referee made a decision about protecting a player; he has to make it in a split second," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Letang made his case to reporters, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

"I tried to put my stick on the puck first, that's how we play defense -- then I put my shoulder on his shoulder," he said. "With a hit like that, right away I was saying (to officials) that I was going for the puck.

"It's a judgment. Everybody's got to look at it. It's a play that I need to step up; otherwise he's going to be by himself in the scoring slot."

Bailey saw the sequence differently, according to the Tribune-Review.

"I saw it on the replay, and obviously he blindsided him," he said. Comeau "didn't see it coming. To some degree, there is an onus on the player, and I'm sure Blake would agree with that. But at the same time, we're not going to stand for that."

Comeau assisted on the tying goal 1:48 after the Islanders' first tally. He had at least two other scoring chances the remainder of the game.

"Everyone is going to look at (the hit)," Letang said. "It's a play that I need to step up, otherwise he's going to be by himself in the slot with a great scoring chance, so I am stepping up for the puck and hit him on the shoulder."

Comeau was not available for comment after the game. Islanders coach Scott Gordon said Comeau was being tested.


Kris Letang cranks Blake Comeau {Dual-feed}

Letang post game interview 10-15-10

Letang Post Game interview 10/15/10

Letang with a Huge Open Ice Hit on Comeau [10-15-10]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Article about Kris Letang

Penguins' Letang takes shot at new role

CHICAGO -- Kris Letang has a hard, heavy shot, the kind you would expect from an NHL defenseman with offensive flair.

The kind that would make any goaltender stand up and take notice -- if the shot was consistently on target.

"Hitting the net is something he's been urged to work on," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said of Letang.

Letang's aim eluded him, and his goal total dipped from 10 in 2008-09 to three last season. So -- much like teammate Sidney Crosby did the summer before -- Letang spent a lot of the past offseason working on his shot.

Also like Crosby, Letang made an equipment change. Crosby switched from a two-piece stick with a wooden blade to a one-piece composite stick. He then scored a career-best 51 goals for a share of the league lead for 2009-10.

Letang, hoping for more velocity and accuracy, is using a bigger curve in his blade.

"I tried it, and I liked it, so we'll see," said Letang, who spent hours getting used to the new stick and working on his accuracy by shooting off-ice.

A more productive shot no doubt would help Letang -- entering his fourth NHL season -- nail down the job as the quarterback of the power play from the right point, where Sergei Gonchar lived before leaving through free agency. Letang and fellow defensemen Paul Martin and Alex Goligoski appear to be the front-runners.

In the Penguins' 5-2 exhibition loss against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night at the United Center, Letang yielded to Goligoski on that right point spot for the Penguins' only power play, and Goligoski scored.

While his production diminished last season, Letang had a strong postseason, flashing five goals, seven points and a lot of poise over 13 games.

"It was better in the playoffs than it was in the regular season," Letang said.

"I would like to play the whole season like I did in the playoffs last year.

"I think so far in camp I'm doing certain things well, and certain things need to be improved."

Letang has even added a snarl to his game this preseason -- he fought, and won, twice Saturday in a win against Columbus.

Bylsma has noticed a carryover from the playoffs.

"He's confident, skating extremely well, defending with a bit of a bite -- minus the two fights -- playing hard in the corners and in front of the net," Bylsma said.

"But also [he's playing with his] head up and confident on the power play, up ice, making plays as well, playing a game I think he can play.

"I'm looking for him to keep doing that stepping into Game 1 and doing that for our team."

Letang has solidified his place as one of the Penguins' top four defensemen. Having 2009 first-round draft pick Simon Despres, also a defenseman, in training camp this year with a chance to still be around when the Penguins open the regular season Thursday against Philadelphia takes him back.

In 2006, when he was 19, Letang played seven games with the Penguins before being sent back to juniors.

"It's a great experience," Letang said. "I went back to junior and I was more mature. I knew more things."

Although there are a lot of young star defensemen in the NHL, Letang believes in the old adage that it takes longer for players to develop at that position than for forwards, particularly because they have to learn added responsibilities.

"What's tough for a defenseman is to learn to play defensively in the NHL," Letang said.

"If I would have played for another team and I had a Sidney Crosby and [an Evgeni] Malkin coming at me when I was 18 as a defenseman ... you're usually not ready for that."

Letang arrived as a defenseman with offensive talent, then concentrated on shoring up the defensive aspects of his game.

Now he is back to the offense, or at least that shot.

"Kris has worked long and hard on it," Bylsma said. "He's been better on it, but I don't think we're going to let him off the hook until it's on the net every time."



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