Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random notes from the Pens website about Kris at practice and tonights game against the Rangers 11-29-11

Coachspeak with Dan Bylsma…

On what they’ll do for a sixth defenseman if Letang can’t play:
We’d be calling someone up in that case.

On if Letang has passed all concussion-related tests:
He’s seen the doctor a couple times and he’s obviously dealing with a facial injury – a broken nose and everything that entails as well.

On if there’s any testing Letang needs to go through this afternoon or if it’s just a case of how he feels:
That’s the case, yes.

"Hey guys, let's all form a circle around this circular symbol on the ice," said an unknown Pen (left); "Hey guys, let's all get a group pic together so that we'll remember this day forever. Memories," said an unknown Pen. That unknown Pen is quite chatty today (right)

Letang may have a broken nose, but his hair is still unprecedented (left); Michalek takes a moment on the ice to pray (right)

Kris Letang interview at practice 11-29-11

On if he’ll play tonight:
I need to talk with the doctor.

On taking the ImPACT test:
No, I’ve done that test many times. It was more a question of how I feel on the ice, if I don’t feel worse by expending energy and getting my blood flow going.

On not taking the ImPACT test:
I don’t have to take it. It’s not mandatory. I take it all the time. Now it’s just a question of how I feel.

On if it’s a conditioning issue or breathing:
I’m having problems breathing, but you can play with that.

On if he’ll play and with any protection:
I have no clue. No (on wearing special protection).

On Pacioretty’s hit:
I think it’s a fair amount of games. I’m not angry with him. I don’t think he’s a dirty player. I don’t think he tried to injury me. I think you have to be responsible with how you act on the ice. I think it’s a fair amount of games. It’s about the safety of the player.

Pens Practice 11-29-11

Letang may have a broken nose, but his hair is still unprecedented.

(Caption for picture is from the Pens website)

Game-Day: Kris Letang (11/29/11)

Monday, November 28, 2011

More about Kris and his broken nose

Pens' Letang questionable against Rangers after broken nose

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is questionable for Tuesday's road game against the Rangers as a result of facial injuries he suffered Saturday in Montreal.

Letang suffered a broken nose in the third period when he was struck in the face by the shoulder of Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. Letang missed the final of 3:14 of regulation but returned in overtime and scored the winning goal in a 4-3 victory.

After skipping the early portion of practice at Southpointe today to see doctors for his nose as well as any potential signs of a concussion, Letang took to the ice, primarily to test his ability to breathe. He said he will undergo an imPACT test for a concussion tomorrow.

When asked about his status for tomorrow's game, Letang said, "All right so far. A problem breathing but that's part of it. I wanted to test it out there to see how I feel. We'll talk tomorrow with the (doctors)."

Head coach Dan Bylsma did not specifically say whether Letang would be available for tomorrow's game. "I haven't spoken with him but he seemed to get in a pretty good skate in at the end of practice," he said. "I think he's doing fine right now."

When asked about the possibility of recalling a defenseman such as Alexandre Picard from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Bylsma said, "We're not under the impression we need to call someone right now."

Pacioretty was scheduled to have a disciplinary hearing today with NHL executive Brendan Shanahan over the hit.


Kris and his broken nose

= D Kris Letang joined practice late and acknowledged his broken nose is sore and that breathing remains difficult, but there was no indication that he would not play Tuesday night at New York. Letang said he has yet to take the ImPACT baseline concussion test, but that he will need to pass it before gaining clearance from team physician Dr. Charles Burke to play against the Rangers.

Letang said he had no idea what to expect from the NHL, whose discipline czar Brendan Shanahan was scheduled to hold a phone hearing with Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty this morning. Pacioretty caught Letang with a blindside shoulder to the face late in the third period on Saturday at Montreal.

“Knowing the style he plays I don’t think he’s a guy looking to injury guys on the ice,” Letang said. “If (Pacioretty’s apology) was sincere I don’t know, but I think it was a great gesture by him to come over. Is it enough? I don’t know.”

Letang described his nose as “all messed up.” He said he met with a nose specialist and a concussion expert before practice today.


This is a funny tweet about Kris!

11/28 - LETANG post practice

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Article about Kris from the Trib

Letang scores redemption in overtime

MONTREAL -- Kris Letang was bloodied but not concussed before he knocked the wind out of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in the Penguins' 4-3 overtime victory at Bell Centre.

About two minutes after center Jordan Staal pulled the Penguins even to complete a comeback from a two-goal deficit, Letang, the club's top defenseman, was caught with a blindside hit in the offensive zone by Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty.

His nose dripping blood, Letang was assisted off the ice by teammates. He was taken to a dark room and examined by a physician, per the NHL's fresh head injury protocol. He said he passed a concussion test.

Near the midpoint of overtime, Letang stuffed a puck, presumed frozen by Canadiens goalie Carey Price, through the blue paint of the crease and into the back of the cage to cap an energized contest in the city Letang calls home during the offseason.

"It made for one heck of a story line," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

This story line seemingly overshadowed the first NHL game played in his native Canada by Penguins center Sidney Crosby since the day after last Christmas.

Crosby assisted on center Evgeni Malkin's opening goal 21 seconds into the contest. He has eight points in four games since returning Monday from a nearly 11-month absence because of a concussion.

That is a pace for 124 points. At this rate, Crosby could claim the NHL scoring lead by the day before this Christmas.


Video of Kris's game winning goal against the Canadiens 11-26-11

Video: Kris Letang shreds Carey Price’s goalie stick with shot


More Fun from the Pens vs Canadiens game 11-26-11

Three Stars of the Night!!! 11-26-11

Post game interviews with Kris after the Pens/Canadiens game 11-26-11

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kris scores the winning goal in the Pens/Canadiens game 11-26-11

Kris Letang (3) Wrist Shot

Kris scores the winning goal after getting hit in the face!!!

WAY TO GO KRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the Pens website:
3rd Period:

Letang dripping blood at the blue line after Pacioretty gets him with a high elbow to the head just after Kris releases the puck. He's being tended to on the ice by athletic trainer Chris Stewart right now. After a few minutes, Letang is able to skate off the ice with blood all over his face and jersey and goes straight to the locker room. Despite the scary scene, he seems to be OK. Somehow, Pacioretty is not penalized on the play.


Justice has been served! A bloodied but not broken Kris Letang wins it in OT for the Pens! Neal backhands a puck to the cage that Price seems to have frozen, but No. 18 digs it out to Letang, who drags it just outside the blue paint and sends it past Price!!! PENS WIN!!!
The extra period begins – don't forget the teams skate 4-on-4. Thankfully, Letang back to start the overtime session for his team.


French Interview with Kris from RDS.ca

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From the Pens website

On how Letang’s play improves with Letang:
You just see it with Brooks Orpik and his goal. It carries over to our other players. Kris is a talented guy. We’re playing in the offensive zone. It’s an extended shift. Our defensemen start to move, get mobile and get to the middle of the ice. Sid makes the backhand pass to Brooks Orpik. That’s what it does. More so for Kris Letang. You make good plays and execution out of the D-zone, good neutral zone transition plays, get in the offensive zone and spend time there, you’re able to move and get open. That’s what it does for Kris Letang more so than any of our other defensemen. You can see it with Orpik reading the situation, moving to the middle of the ice and getting a pass, scoring his second goal of the year.

Pens head coach Dan Bylsma said that Asham and Letang had maintenances days and will be back with the team for practice tomorrow.

11/21/2011 - Kris Letang Postgame

11/21/2011 - Kris Letang PostGame Interview

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/2011 - Sidney Crosby teammates react to him returning!

Vote for NHL All Star Ballot 2012

Here is the link:


Go and vote for Kris and your other favorites to play in the NHL All Star game in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quote from Kris about the Pens/Bolts game on 11-17-11

“I don’t think we had any quality chances,” Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. “I think we took some shots, but I don’t think he had a really difficult life back in his net.”

Pens vs Bolts 11-17-11

11/17/2011 - Kris Letang postgame

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Article about Kris from November 11, 2011

Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang Making an Early Case for Norris Nomination

Much of the talk surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins these days is about when Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup and how his comeback will impact the team and the NHL as a whole.

That’s obviously a hot topic, but in the obsession with “Crosby Watch,” fans and media tend to overlook the players who have stepped up and made the Penguins so successful in Crosby’s extended absence.

One of the Penguins players that has contributed to keeping the Penguins in first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference is defenseman Kris Letang.

Although Letang’s first few seasons were mired with inconsistency and making costly mistakes on the ice, the Penguins organization continued to believe in him. In March of 2010, he was signed to a four-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season, and he even improved on his 2009 playoff goal total by scoring five goals in 13 postseason games (he had four goals in 2009).

Letang had a breakout season in 2010-11 and proved the Penguins made the right decision in giving him an extension.

The absence of Crosby, combined with the departure of Sergei Gonchar, put Letang in the spotlight. He responded well, finishing the 2010-11 campaign with a career-high 50 points and plus-15 rating, as well as four power-play goals and two game-winning goals. He finished second on the team in scoring and led all Penguins defensemen in points.

In addition, he was third with 109 blocked shots and fifth with 167 hits. He also led the team with 24:02 of ice time and tied for third with 4:28 of ice time on the power play.

As a reward for his performance, Letang was named a starter for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. He even had a good playoff run despite the fact that the Pens dropped a 3-1 series lead to lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Letang had four assists in seven playoff games.

This year, he has picked up right where he left off. He is currently sixth in the NHL with 12 assists and has 13 points in the Penguins’ first 13 games. He is also second on the Penguins and first among Pittsburgh defensemen in scoring. He ranks fourth among all NHL defensemen in points as well.

He has continued to play big minutes for the Pens, as he is first with 27:10 of ice time and played over half of the Pens’ recent matchup against the San Jose Sharks, logging over 33 minutes of ice time. He is also first with 4:53 of ice time on the power play.

Letang is also fulfilling his defensive responsibilities, as he is second with 23 blocked shots, and adds a physical edge with 21 hits (fifth on the Penguins).

It’s obvious that if Letang can keep up his play, there will be no leaving his name out of Norris Trophy discussion.

Letang is only 24 years old, and the injury problems the Penguins have dealt with forced him to mature and step into a top role last year with little time for adjustment. He has taken on his responsibilities with ease, and although he still makes mistakes in his game, he has shown he is a leader of the Penguins defense. It is partially thanks to him that the Pens are fourth in the NHL with 2.13 goals against per game.

Many of the Penguins offensive superstars have missed time at some point or another, but Letang has kept up that part of his game. He finished last year ahead of veteran defensemen such as Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek, who have also shown in the past that they can put up points, in scoring.

However, the fact that he is so high on the Penguins top scorers list shows that he can not only find the back of the net, but serve a big role as a playmaker.

He is already on the path to another spot in the NHL All-Star Game, and he is
emerging as one of the league’s elite defensemen to little fanfare.

If he is this good before he is even 25 years old, can you imagine what he’ll be like in the next five years? He can do it all: score in the regular season and postseason, deliver hits and drop the gloves, produce on special teams and, most importantly, win the Stanley Cup. Although he has already proven so much, it feels like there are more exciting moments to come.

While Nicklas Lidstrom still reigns supreme as the league’s best defenseman in my eyes, I feel safe in saying that Letang can at least be in the discussion for the best defenseman on the Penguins.

And I also feel comfortable saying that he should at least be nominated for the Norris Trophy, even if he doesn’t take it home.


Kris from Pens practice 11-17-11 in Tampa. FL

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tanger in a suit :) With watermark and without watermark

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 12: Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins arrives for an NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes on November 12, 2011 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

New Article about Kris (November 2011)

ESPN's Pierre Lebrun Hearts Kris Letang


appeared favorably in ESPN's Pierre Lebrun's look at early-season Norris contenders a few weeks back, and it's no different for Lebrun's front-runners for league MVP. Letang is ranked third, behind Philadelphia's Claude Giroux and Toronto's Phil Kessel. Quoth Lebrun:

Fifth in the NHL in ice time at 26:46 per game and putting up a point a game, we wonder where the Penguins would be without their all-world blue line, given Sidney Crosby’s absence and all the other injuries the Penguins have had. He plays in all key situations. He’s a horse and he’s a huge reason why the Pens keep rolling along.

Ok, everyone raise your hand if you had Giroux, Kessel and Letang as the top three candidates for league MVP six weeks ago before the season started. No hands, huh?

We'll see if Letang can keep up his play- if he continues to rack up points he'll continue to turn heads league wide. Last season KL58 started the season on a tear, scoring 41 points (9 goals, 34 assists) in the first 50 games before the all-star break with a plus/minus of +22. Then, as the Pens injuries mounted up, Letang only recorded 9 points (1g, 8a) and a -7 +/- in the team's last 32 games. Keep Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby healthy and Letang will likely flourish.

As for the ice-time, that should gradually come down too. With injuries at varying times to Brooks Orpik and Zbynek Michalek this season, Dan Bylsma has had to lean a little harder on Letang than he would probably like. And while Letang has played over 29:00 four times this season, he ought to see his load lessened (hopefully) once the Pens are returned to health. Letang's got the conditioning and energy to play 25 minutes a night, but it's not a good idea in such a long season to put him out there 29-32 minutes, like Pittsburgh has had to do in some of their OT games.

Either way, some well deserved props for the Penguins young blueliner. But are they deserved? James Neal has come to life with 12 goals, 8 assists in 15 games. Marc-Andre Fleury has a sub 2.00 GAA (1.96), a .929 save percentage and a 10-2-1 record. Evgeni Malkin has returned from a knee injury and brought back his game-breaking ability. Jordan Staal has played at almost a point-per-game production rate as well as his stellar defensive and positioning game. Letang, while a standout, has had a lot of help.

After the jump, vote on your most valuable Penguin to this point.


Pierre LeBrun asks where the Pens would be without Kris Letang. But we know Pittsburgh's benefited from a lot more than Letang so far this season. Is he your early season MVP?

From TribLive, includes interviews with other Pens players!

Pics of Kris from the Pens and Avs game on 11-15-11

Coast To Coast Kris Letang takes it the length of the rink and gives Pittsburgh a 6-3 lead in the 3rd period.

Post-Game: Kris Letang (11/15/11)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cool Article about Kris from the Pens website

Marathon Man

By Michelle Crechiolo
Some nights, it seems like Kris Letang just doesn’t leave the ice.

The 24-year-old defenseman has been shouldering some intensive minutes for his team so far this season, especially lately.

On the Penguins’ West Coast trip, Letang literally played over half the game in each of those two contests. He logged a career-high 33:56 minutes vs. San Jose on Nov. 3, then followed that performance by skating 32:33 minutes against Los Angeles on Nov. 5.

Through 13 games, Letang currently ranks fifth in the league in average time on ice with 27:01 minutes per game.

“He continues to show me late in games that his skating is still at the elite level that it is and I continue to play him,” said assistant coach Todd Reirden, who works primarily with the team’s defense. “He’s obviously off to a great start.”

And Letang is honored to be that player who can be counted on in any and all situations for his team, especially as they’ve been forced to deal with an onslaught of early-season injuries.

“It’s rewarding. I think it’s an honor for me to see that coach has no problem sending me out in any situation on the ice,” Letang said. “He’s got the confidence I’m going to make the right play. I think overall I enjoy the situation that I’m in and I think I’m going to work to stay at that point.”

This summer, Letang took a different approach to his offseason training by focusing more on conditioning instead of building power and strength as he had in the past, saying then “I want to be able to skate for my whole shift. I want to be able to have quick feet, to be able to jump in the play and never get tired after a 30-second shift.”

He’s certainly been doing just that through the early part of this season. Letang explained that right now, he’s still feeling fresh and energized from a long summer. He believes that the repercussions of his offseason work will manifest as the season marches along.

“I think it’s going to show up later in the season if I’m consistent,” he said. “I just think right now, we’re early in the season. It’s going to be in the long run that we’ll see it.

“I think you just prepare yourself the same way every night. Obviously the conditioning between games is important and when you have a day off, you try to manage your body.”

Being able to maintain that high level of play every game is something he discussed with Reirden, who’s been impressed with the maturation of his young defenseman in the way he’s been able to make the most of his minutes.

Letang is currently on a four-game point streak, where he’s recorded five assists over that stretch, and his 13 points rank third (tied) among NHL defensemen.

“He’s done a nice job this year of maximizing his shifts, getting a lot of production and being very effective on his shifts at the same time,” Reirden said.

“That’s a large part of what he did this summer and then a large part of understanding and maturing as a player. I think maybe in the past years, he’s wasted energy trying to create offense in spots where there’s no offense to create. I think he’s maturing as a player and learning the times and understanding the game in terms of when to use his skating ability. If you were to say the one thing that allows him to play the minutes like that without the struggle, it’s his skating ability.”

If Letang keeps it up, maybe there will actually be some nights where he really doesn’t leave the ice.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Letang quote about his teammate Kunitz

LOS ANGELES -- Defenseman Kris Letang looked to his left in the Penguins' victorious locker room late Saturday night and nodded confidently while looking at one of his teammates.

"Yeah," Letang said. "Chris Kunitz is pretty good, isn't he."

Letang wasn't asking a question, and, really, there was no need. With so many Penguins out with injuries, Kunitz has elevated his game and is a big reason the Penguins boast the NHL's most points.

Source and more article:

Funny quote about Kris

About Kris Letang - "He says a lot of funny things that don't make sense." Quote by James Neal

Letang with an wardrobe malfunction (practice 11-7-11)


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