Friday, August 10, 2012

EA Sports 2013 photo/video shoot

Kris at Marc Andre Fleury's wedding

More pics and source: http://25stanley.com/2012/07/22/mariage-marc-andre-fleury-blonde-veronique/image/6033--chris-kunitz#/2012/07/22/mariage-marc-andre-fleury-blonde-veronique/image/6045--kris-letang-catherine-laflamme/

Number 28 on the list of 50

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/lifestyle/50coolest/28.html Kris Letang Plays a fierce blue line for the Pens in season, works the scene just as hard when the games end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Closing time for 58

KRIS LETANG On if his hip injury will rule him out of Worlds: Yeah. Different injury, but the hip was an issue all year. We’ve been talking to the doctor and I think the best thing to do right now is to rest it. On if any surgery will be needed: We’re still talking with the doctor. So nothing yet. On when the hip injury happened: It’s been a few years. This year, it’s been a little struggle. That’s why last year, I didn’t go there either. This year, it’s been bothering me a little bit more. On dealing with various injuries all season: It was a tough season. The injuries, everything. It was tough to come back and get another one and having trouble like that. At the end of the day, I think the regular season was good for most of the guys in the dressing room. It’s too bad we ended our season the way we did. On the coach and GM taking responsibility for the exit: I think it’s the team. That includes everybody. From the coach, from every player, I think we’re a group. If we win, we win as a group. If we lose, we lose as a group. I think that’s the key. That’s always been the team. We didn’t play the way we were supposed to play and that’s the reason why we’re not playing right now. On if he’d like to see this team get another shot: If you look at our team, from every individual, we are a really good team. A special group, a great group of guys. I think we had a chance to do something special this year and kind of ruined it in the first round. I wish I could see the same faces next year. On what he needs to do this summer to take his game to the next level: I think emotionally, I can be more in control at times. I think I have to be more mature every year. I think I can improve in every aspect of the game. Offensively, defensively. I think I made strides this year despite the injuries. There’s always room for improvement. On if potential hip surgery is a big concern: No. Not at all. It’s not a major injury. It’s something, though, that can change your game and bother somebody who likes to skate like I do. It was just from a pain standpoint, being able to play with it. On why he’s confident that this group can do something special: Just knowing what we did this season with all the injuries and everything that happened to our team, it’s a good group of guys. I think everybody is tight. We’re good at every position. It’s just a question of putting everything together in the playoffs and being successful. Pretty confident with all the guys we have in the dressing room. On early exits being a wakeup call: It’s a good slap in the face. I can say it like that. Every time we come to training camp, the expectation is not to get in the playoffs. It’s to win the Stanley Cup. We have the group of guys that are able to make that happen. I think next year, when we come to training camp, it’s going to have to be our goal.

Kris Letang's Closing Time 2012 interview

Friday, April 13, 2012

Alyonka Larionov posted this so I just had to share!


Dec 31, 1969 | Source: Keek.com

Source: http://www.keek.com/!HsGbaab#HsGbaab

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Defenseman Letang is Penguins' unsung star

PITTSBURGH - For the Pittsburgh Penguins, one player - more than any other - is vital to their on-ice success against the Flyers. He is a 24-year-old Canadian with a sparkling resumé that includes a Stanley Cup, multiple All-Star appearances and statistics that stack up with the best in his position in the NHL. He missed a significant chunk of this season with postconcussion symptoms. He returned for a bit, dazzled to pull the Penguins out of a funk, and then was forced to sit out again later because of fogginess. His team struggled mightily without him. His name is not Sidney Crosby. In fact, many think the Penguins learned how to win without Crosby, who missed 107 games over the last two seasons and five against the Flyers alone. Instead, it's a lot tougher to explain Pittsburgh's marginal 18-13-0 record without Kris Letang this season. The Penguins' two-pronged attack of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin deservedly garners the spotlight on a nightly basis. Quietly, some think Pittsburgh will go only as far as Letang - their horse on the back end - will take them in the playoffs. "When he's out, we miss him, there's no question about that," Penguins forward Arron Asham said. "He's just as talented as any one of those guys [pointing around the locker room]." To say the least, it was a tough season for Letang. Injuries are the only thing that have kept him out of the Norris Trophy race as the league's top defenseman. Even with the concussion and knee injury, which caused him to miss 31 games, Letang was nearly a point-per-game player, with 42 in 51 contests. He finished second among defensemen in points-per-game to Ottawa's Erik Karlsson. Letang has 21 points in 28 career games against the Flyers. But to single out Letang as simply an offensive dynamo would be to shortchange him. "I've really seen his overall game develop," Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden said on Saturday. "We have quite a bit of depth, both here and in [AHL] Wilkes-Barre, but none have the unique package that he does. "He's a unique package of being able to add in the offensive zone, whether it's on the power play, or just getting a shot through most of the time. Then he's able to be able to defend with his feet. His pride with defending has changed quite a bit. "His feet are great. His stick-on-puck is arguably one of the best in the league. When it comes time for him to play physical, he's got a great center of gravity down low. He can win battles down low against bigger, power forwards, and that's something that goes unnoticed." Reirden, the former NHL player who heads the Penguins' defense under Dan Bylsma, said Letang's game has changed thanks to a daily video session that has quickly become a tradition. Letang and Reirden review game film together "for at least an hour" daily. Even though plus/minus is a flawed hockey statistic, Letang finished this, his fifth full season, as a plus-21 playing against each opponent's top line nightly. "The video has allowed him to slow the game down," Reirden said. "He's studied how to make himself better. Then he watches the top defensemen around the league." Asham said Letang will "skate you into the ground." Letang averaged 24:50 in ice time this season, which Reirden said is "just a normal game for him." For the Penguins, any sense of normalcy is fleeting when Letang's familiar No. 58 is not meandering the blue line. Pittsburgh lost six straight from Dec. 29 through Jan. 11. Letang returned on Jan. 19 and, not surprisingly, the Penguins went on to win five consecutive games; they had another 11-game streak from late February to mid-March. "We saw our numbers on the power play drop quite a bit without him," Reirden said. "The minutes he can play are effortless. He takes a lot of pressure off our other guys." Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20120410_Defenseman_Letang_is_Penguins__unsung_star.html#ixzz1rff2deXN

4/10/2012 - Kris Letang and his hair...on a TSN feature

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Article about Kris

Kris Letang Is Pittsburgh Penguins' Most Important Player Going into Playoffs While Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby may be the best players on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang is easily the most important. Letang is currently day-to-day with a lower body injury, and the Penguins have lost two of three without him in the lineup. Both losses came against the lowly New York Islanders, and their one win was a nailbiter. With Letang in the lineup, the Penguins are 30-11-6 this season. Without him, they're 18-13-0. The Penguins did go 5-0 with Letang out of the lineup in early March, but the whole team was clicking at the time and it was during their 11-game winning streak. Take that out and they're just a .500 team without Letang. It's also important to mention that three of the five wins that came without Letang during that stretch were one-goal wins. The point is, the Penguins can win a few games without Malkin or Crosby, but they can't win without Letang in the playoffs. He's such a vital piece to the roster and he flies under the radar compared to Crosby and Malkin. There's a reason why the Penguins were able to host a playoff series last season and record the second-highest point total in franchise history without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Letang was healthy all of last season, and he was a major reason why Pittsburgh was successful. The way he brings the puck up the neutral zone is reminiscent of Sergei Gonchar from his glory days with the Pens. There's no doubt Letang learned a few things from the former Pens defenseman, and it's showing. He's one of the best puck possession guys in the league and because of this, he helps facilitate the offense for the Pens. He's somewhat like a point guard in basketball. His presence helps elevate the entire Penguins offense. Without him, they look lost sometimes. He also quarterbacks the powerplay better than anyone else. When Letang is not in the lineup, the Penguins become an easier team to play against on both even-strength and special teams situations. The following table exemplifies the previous notions from above regarding Letang's value to the Pens. Letang's Value PP% Goals per Game Goal Differential Record With Letang 19.8% 3.46 +40 30-11-6 Without Letang 18.4% 2.97 +10 18-13-0 Notice that the Penguins score less and are worse on the power play without Letang. Their goal differential is also significantly higher with Letang in the lineup. Let's not forget, the dude is still a defenseman. His contributions don't stop on the offensive end of the ice. He's a major part of the defense, too. The more games he's put under his belt, the better Letang has gotten in the backchecking department. Obviously they are still a pretty solid team without Letang because of their high-octane offense and Marc-Andre Fleury in net. However, in the playoffs, they're going to be playing against the toughest opponents in the league. Having Letang will be crucial for the Penguins success. It's interesting because he's often placed behind Crosby, Malkin and perhaps even James Neal and Jordan Staal, when it comes to the most important skater for the Pens. It might be one of the biggest misconceptions regarding the Pens this season. Letang is huge and the Pens won't get past the first round without him, especially if they play Philadelphia. Dan Bylsma and the Penguins coaching staff know this and they hope he'll be back and healthy as ever for the playoffs. Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1127110-pittsburgh-penguins-kris-letang-is-most-important-player-going-into-playoffs?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=pittsburgh-penguins

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Everybody loves Kris"

***Side Note***
Click and Paste the source link and there are videos added to the article on that page.
Source:http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/03/17/kris_letang_pittsburgh_penguins_return/#.T2SWQbb7Fhg.twitter



The 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star had the perfect decoy in place as he mounted his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season: another, much more visible 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star who was mounting his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season.

Kristopher Letang’s return from injured reserve to face the Rangers in New York City on the Ides of March (beware, Blueshirts) was confirmed on game day, making the all-star defenceman’s recovery a buried middle paragraph to his face-of-the-league teammate’s second start to the 2011-12 NHL season.

Sidney Crosby's re-return was announced two days before Thursday's game, allowing ample time for analysis, national TV re-jiggering, and the "Sid Cam" (watch Sid on the bench prepare for his next shift!) to be properly focused on the man of the hour. Fifty-eight, the numeral on Letang's back, is a big digit, but 87 easily trumps it.

But as pregame and post-game commentary zeroed in on Crosby, some guy from Montreal with a pageboy's haircut had one of the best games of his award-filled career.

“He's an elite defenceman. He has the ability to skate, defend and play with the puck," says Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "He can play against other teams' best players; he can skate with them, he can play physical with them. And his play with the puck is exceptional, and that's what he brings every night. That's something you continue to see from him. Disappointingly for us, he was out for many games."

Letang assisted on a third-period goal and was on the ice for all of the other four Penguins goals against the Rangers, playing over 24 minutes and registering a career-best plus-5 rating on the night, helping his team extend its win streak to 10 games. Not too shabby considering he hadn't pulled on the jersey since February.

They say what happens on Leap Day doesn't count. They probably don't say it to Letang, though.

On Feb. 29 versus the Dallas Stars the defenceman reached to chip a loose puck, lowering his head for a split second -- long enough for the Stars’ Eric Nystrom to swerve in and rock an exposed Letang with a shoulder to the head. Letang's stick went flying, his body hit the deck, and he buried his face in the gloves before skating off to the dressing room.

Nystrom received a two-minute roughing minor; Letang received 15 days out of the lineup with concussion symptoms.

ady married to Kris Letang.
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Letang returns... again
A second concussion?
Letang's OT heroics
Pacioretty injures Letang



Luke Fox

Luke Fox | March 17, 2012, 12:37 am

Twitter @lukefoxjukebox

The 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star had the perfect decoy in place as he mounted his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season: another, much more visible 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star who was mounting his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season.

Kristopher Letang’s return from injured reserve to face the Rangers in New York City on the Ides of March (beware, Blueshirts) was confirmed on game day, making the all-star defenceman’s recovery a buried middle paragraph to his face-of-the-league teammate’s second start to the 2011-12 NHL season.

Sidney Crosby's re-return was announced two days before Thursday's game, allowing ample time for analysis, national TV re-jiggering, and the "Sid Cam" (watch Sid on the bench prepare for his next shift!) to be properly focused on the man of the hour. Fifty-eight, the numeral on Letang's back, is a big digit, but 87 easily trumps it.

But as pregame and post-game commentary zeroed in on Crosby, some guy from Montreal with a pageboy's haircut had one of the best games of his award-filled career.

“He's an elite defenceman. He has the ability to skate, defend and play with the puck," says Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "He can play against other teams' best players; he can skate with them, he can play physical with them. And his play with the puck is exceptional, and that's what he brings every night. That's something you continue to see from him. Disappointingly for us, he was out for many games."

Letang assisted on a third-period goal and was on the ice for all of the other four Penguins goals against the Rangers, playing over 24 minutes and registering a career-best plus-5 rating on the night, helping his team extend its win streak to 10 games. Not too shabby considering he hadn't pulled on the jersey since February.

They say what happens on Leap Day doesn't count. They probably don't say it to Letang, though.

On Feb. 29 versus the Dallas Stars the defenceman reached to chip a loose puck, lowering his head for a split second -- long enough for the Stars’ Eric Nystrom to swerve in and rock an exposed Letang with a shoulder to the head. Letang's stick went flying, his body hit the deck, and he buried his face in the gloves before skating off to the dressing room.

Nystrom received a two-minute roughing minor; Letang received 15 days out of the lineup with concussion symptoms.

Letang's second unscheduled midseason hiatus was not as long, nor as dramatic, as his first. But what happened to him in November made the Nystrom hit scarier.

An early contender for his first Norris Trophy -- Letang leads the Pens in average ice time with 25:03 and has 32 points and three game-winners in just 41 games played -- his 2011 homecoming in Montreal was a memorable one for several reasons.

Nov. 26 marked Crosby's return to Canada, his first game on native ice since a concussion chopped his 2010-11 season in half. Again, it was Letang who had the better performance.

First, there was a laser shot so hard that it snapped the handle of Canadiens goaltender Carey Price's stick right off. On any regular night, it would be the highlight.

ady married to Kris Letang.
share

Recommend
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Related

Letang returns... again
A second concussion?
Letang's OT heroics
Pacioretty injures Letang



Luke Fox

Luke Fox | March 17, 2012, 12:37 am

Twitter @lukefoxjukebox

The 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star had the perfect decoy in place as he mounted his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season: another, much more visible 24-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star who was mounting his second comeback from concussion symptoms this season.

Kristopher Letang’s return from injured reserve to face the Rangers in New York City on the Ides of March (beware, Blueshirts) was confirmed on game day, making the all-star defenceman’s recovery a buried middle paragraph to his face-of-the-league teammate’s second start to the 2011-12 NHL season.

Sidney Crosby's re-return was announced two days before Thursday's game, allowing ample time for analysis, national TV re-jiggering, and the "Sid Cam" (watch Sid on the bench prepare for his next shift!) to be properly focused on the man of the hour. Fifty-eight, the numeral on Letang's back, is a big digit, but 87 easily trumps it.

But as pregame and post-game commentary zeroed in on Crosby, some guy from Montreal with a pageboy's haircut had one of the best games of his award-filled career.

“He's an elite defenceman. He has the ability to skate, defend and play with the puck," says Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "He can play against other teams' best players; he can skate with them, he can play physical with them. And his play with the puck is exceptional, and that's what he brings every night. That's something you continue to see from him. Disappointingly for us, he was out for many games."

Letang assisted on a third-period goal and was on the ice for all of the other four Penguins goals against the Rangers, playing over 24 minutes and registering a career-best plus-5 rating on the night, helping his team extend its win streak to 10 games. Not too shabby considering he hadn't pulled on the jersey since February.

They say what happens on Leap Day doesn't count. They probably don't say it to Letang, though.

On Feb. 29 versus the Dallas Stars the defenceman reached to chip a loose puck, lowering his head for a split second -- long enough for the Stars’ Eric Nystrom to swerve in and rock an exposed Letang with a shoulder to the head. Letang's stick went flying, his body hit the deck, and he buried his face in the gloves before skating off to the dressing room.

Nystrom received a two-minute roughing minor; Letang received 15 days out of the lineup with concussion symptoms.

Letang's second unscheduled midseason hiatus was not as long, nor as dramatic, as his first. But what happened to him in November made the Nystrom hit scarier.

An early contender for his first Norris Trophy -- Letang leads the Pens in average ice time with 25:03 and has 32 points and three game-winners in just 41 games played -- his 2011 homecoming in Montreal was a memorable one for several reasons.

Nov. 26 marked Crosby's return to Canada, his first game on native ice since a concussion chopped his 2010-11 season in half. Again, it was Letang who had the better performance.

First, there was a laser shot so hard that it snapped the handle of Canadiens goaltender Carey Price's stick right off. On any regular night, it would be the highlight.

This was no regular night.

With about three minutes remaining in the third period, Letang's face was splattered with his own blood. Habs forward Max Pacioretty laid an open-ice bodycheck on Letang that the league would later deem illegal, suspending the Montreal forward for three games.

His nose busted, Letang left the ice for a concussion test, but returned in overtime to bury the game's winning goal, writing another chapter in hockey's rub-some-dirt-on-it lore.

"I was very happy for him, everybody was. Especially being in Montreal, where he's from. For him to take such a big hit and come back right after and get a big goal, it was fun to watch," says Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who wasn't surprised to see Letang play through injury. "That's his style. He always works hard. I wasn't shocked that he came back."

After the game, Letang said he passed the tests under the NHL's head-shot protocol. He also had something else to do before heading back onto the ice.

"Obviously, my nose (was) broken, so the doc put it in place and I was ready to go," Letang told reporters. "He put a pin in it -- and pop. It's not perfect yet because I want to be a model after my career."

Further testing, however, revealed that Letang did indeed suffer a concussion. He sat out for the next 21 games.

Letang's first comeback was on Jan. 19, also at Madison Square Garden, alongside stay-at-home defensive partner Brooks Orpik. He recorded four points in three games after sitting a quarter of the season, including a two-point performance in a rematch with the Canadiens. That first return was also in the midst of a then league-high winning streak of eight games by the Pens (Pittsburgh had won three prior to their best defenceman's return).

On Jan. 23, Letang was invited to the 2012 All-Star Game as Dustin Byfuglien's injury replacement despite only playing 26 games at that point, joining teammates Evgeni Malkin and James Neal in Ottawa.

"He's known for his offensive ability, but he's so good defensively. It was tough playing without him for that long stretch when he was out with the concussion. He gives a big boost back to the lineup. The way he uses his shot on our power-play, he's such a great player. The way he defends guys might be unnoticed, and the way he passes the puck helps us out as forwards," Neal explains. "Letang's skill level, the way he can pass and shoot, he's a threat all over the ice. That's something we missed. Give him a little bit of time, and it's in the back of the net."

Fleury points out that because Letang’s offensive contribution is so abundant -- taking over the No. 1 defenceman role from Sergei Gonchar in 2010-11, Letang was the Pens' second-leading scorer (to Crosby) with 50 points -- his defensive game gets overlooked.

"He takes the puck out of the zone very quickly, often by himself. He's quick on offence but works hard to get back and help out in our zone. Every year he seems like he's improving and maturing, so it's fun to watch him go," the goaltender says. "He's a French guy, and there's not too many of us around. Since he came in, we've gotten along very good. He fits in very easily and likes to have a good time with the guys."

Even the opposition has good things to say about the QMJHL graduate.

All-star co-captains Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Lundqvist drafted the speedy Letang early in February's fantasy draft.

"Why not? He's so skilled. Both me and Alfie like the way he plays the game. He's very talented, a great skater," Lundqvist says.

If the Penguins -- easily the hottest team in the league -- mount a run to the Stanley Cup, Letang will need to be as integral to their success as Malkin and Crosby.

And cheaper. Signed through 2013-14 with an annual salary averaging $3.5 million, Letang is a steal.

Already a Cup champion (2008-09), twice an all-star, and twice a gold medalist at the world juniors (2006, ’07), it could be argued that the 62nd pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft deserves his own "Kris Cam."

Through the untelevised lens that is this reporter's eyes, Letang's every play is zeroed in on during the Pens' Feb. 26 game in Toronto.

After being cut with Leafs forward Phil Kessel's errant high stick, drawing blood below his visor, Letang plays the rest of the game with a chip on his shoulder, finishing the period with a big open-ice hit on the hottest Leafs player, Mikhail Grabovski.

Letang has his helmet popped off in a collision in the second period, and takes a frustrated slashing penalty in the third.

His game is a flurry of takeaways, reverse spin moves, blocked shots, and desperate, successful efforts to keep puck in the offensive zone during the Pens' power-play. It is at once visceral and graceful, poised and impulsive. Fun to watch. He sets up Malkin beautifully for a pair one-timers that go unconverted, and the Leafs hand Pittsburgh a rare loss.

But even in defeat, even without a tick mark to add to his stat line, Letang stands out from the shadows.

There's a tenacity to his spirit, an arsenal of skill in this player that makes one hope -- for the sake of the league more so than the Penguins -- that no more comeback games are necessary.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Off Day: Kris Letang (3/16/12) Kris Letang talks to reporters following practice on Friday.

Kris from today's practice in New Jersey 3-16-12

Kris Letang

On how he feels:
I feel pretty good. I try to get as much as I can in practice. It’s a different look on the power play so it’s fun to have another day of practice. It was a good practice and there’s a lot to take from it.

On the power play:
You can’t be disappointed when you have Crosby, Malkin, Neal and Kunitz on the power play. It’s a fun look. That’s a lot of talent. It’s just a question of putting all of those things together. If we create chances we’ll be rewarded.

On if they’ll make too many passes on the PP:
There is always a danger for that. You want to keep it simple in the beginning. Make sure you put the puck on net and create chances. At the same time, when you have players that can make those passes then you want them to do it.

On the Devils:
We have to focus on our game plan and focus on ourselves, make sure we come ready to play. The rest will be taken care of, it’s just a question of being ready and doing the work.

New Pics of Kris March 2012




Audio interview with Kris :)

http://downloads.penguins.nhl.com/audio/120316Letang.mp3


Source:
http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/penguins-plus/115390-they-said-it-march-16?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Letang practicing which is a good sign!!!

Penguins' Letang back on ice for workout; Despres recalled

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang participated in an on-ice workout this morning for the first time since Feb. 29, when he did not finish a game at Dallas because of concussion symptoms.

Letang, who has played in only 40 games, producing 39 points, joined fellow injured Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland for a briskly paced workout that lasted over 35 minutes. The session was conducted by team strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. Neither defenseman is expected to play tonight against the Florida Panthers.

Defenseman Paul Martin also was not present at the team's morning skate. The Penguins recalled defenseman Simon Despres from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Despres, the Penguins' 2009 first-round draft pick, recorded a goal and three assists in 14 games with the team earlier this season.

Letang missed 20 games earlier this season because of a concussion. As of now he has not been diagnosed with a second concussion even though the Penguins have acknowledged he is experiencing symptoms commonly associated with a neurological injury. The team has not identified those symptoms, and per policy about injured players Letang has not addressed his status.

There is no known timetable for his return.

The return the Penguins most anticipate is that of center Sidney Crosby, who will participate in another contact session today before tonight's game.

Crosby, out since Dec. 5 because of concussion symptoms, said Tuesday that his return could happen soon — though not before a home game Sunday against Boston. The Penguins did not practice Thursday, but Crosby did work out on his own.

The Penguins won have seven straight games.

Source:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_785700.html

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Article about Kris from the Post Gazette

Norris Trophy as top defenseman soon will come Letang's way

The Tampa Bay Lightning played at Consol Energy Center April 27 and beat the Penguins, 1-0, in Game 7 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. I remember walking out of the grand building thinking Penguins defenseman Kris Letang played a lousy game to complete a lousy series in a lousy second half of the NHL season.

The Lightning was back in town Sunday night for the first time since that frustrating game and took a 4-2 beating from the Penguins. I walked into the cold, snow and ice thinking that, if Letang keeps playing this well, the Penguins are going to have a much deeper playoff run this spring.

I mean, really.

How good has Letang become?

I know he was a legitimate Norris Trophy candidate midway through last season when he had six goals and 30 assists after 41 games. But his game suffered badly after Sidney Crosby went out for the season in early January with concussion-like symptoms and then when Evgeni Malkin was lost for the season in early February with a knee injury. He had just two goals in the final 41 games, none in the final 25. He didn't score a goal in the series against the Lightning.

But this February, Letang's game is soaring in the other direction. He had a goal and two assists Sunday night to complete a three-goal, three-assist weekend. In his 11 games since he returned to the lineup after missing 21 games with a concussion, he has five goals and five assists. Not coincidentally, the Penguins went 8-2-1.

Here's one final stat for you:

Letang's eight goals in 33 games match his season total in 82 games last season.

"He's letting it come to him," said Brooks Orpik, Letang's defensive partner. "When he goes looking for [offense], that's when he takes himself out of position and gets in trouble. He's so good that stuff is going to come to him."

Letang was huge against the Lightning in the second period, which Penguins coach Dan Bylsma called "maybe our best period of the season." The Penguins turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead with goals by Chris Kunitz, Letang and, of course, Malkin. "We really tilted the ice," Bylsma said. "We forced the issue with speed."

Speed is the best part of Letang's game. Bylsma mentioned his first of two goals in an 8-5 victory Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. Letang blew down the right wing and took a great pass from Malkin before firing a shot past goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

"Sid and [Malkin] do things that make the other players say, 'How did they do that?' " Bylsma said. "Kris does that with his skating. Very few players have the ability to turn heads that way."

Letang deflected all praise to Malkin, who also scored the Penguins' first goal and has 17 in the past 17 games.

"He's carrying us right now. He's making everyone better."

Letang's humility is nice, but he also is doing a lot of the heavy lifting. In addition to his goal, he had nice assists on Malkin's first goal -- on the power play -- and on Kunitz's goal. He had a goal disallowed when teammate Richard Park was called for bumping into Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon. He also saved a goal when the puck snuck behind Penguins goalie Brent Johnson on a shot by forward Steve Downie, sweeping it away just before it crossed the goal line.

"Johnnie thanked him for that one," Bylsma said, grinning.

Bylsma switched his defensive pairings late in the first period after the Lightning took a 2-0 lead. He broke up Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen and Deryk Engelland, putting Michalek with Niskanen and Engelland with Martin. But he didn't touch the Letang-Orpik pairing.

There's no sense in breaking up a good thing.

"We're two completely different guys," Letang said. "I like to skate and join the rush and be a part of the offense. Brooksie likes to hit hard and make the opponent have a rough night. He's a great player to play with."

Said Orpik, "We complement each other really well. We've been through a lot together. We've learned each other's tendencies. He's easy to read. We don't have to communicate so much to know what each of us is going to do."

Letang and Orpik did their part to keep Tampa Bay's best offensive players -- Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis -- off the score sheet.

That's just a little more proof of how Letang, still only 24, is becoming a great defenseman in front of our eyes.

Here's a safe prediction:

One day, that Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman will be his.

Source:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12044/1209885-87.stm#ixzz1mK22uFmy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Post Game: Kris Letang (2/12/12) Kris Letang talks to the media following the 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Article about Kris thanks to the Pens website

Letang's Offense Takes Off

After this weekend, it’s easy to see just how invaluable Kris Letang is to this Penguins squad.

It’s impressive enough for a defenseman to compile three goals and six points in
two games, which is exactly what Letang did. But it’s even more impressive when you factor in that Letang produced such offense while being tasked with shutting down the oppositions’ top players.

“I think he’s growing up a lot as a player,” fellow defenseman Zbynek Michalek said of the 24-year-old blueliner. “He’s playing a big role for us, playing against other teams’ top lines and still producing so many points offensively. It’s really impressive.”

The two-time All-Star defenseman shadowed Winnipeg’s leading goal scorer Evander Kane on Saturday, holding him pointless with just one shot on goal while putting together his first two-goal game of the season, adding an assist and finishing with a plus-3 rating in Pittsburgh’s 8-5 win.

On Sunday, Letang and defensive partner Brooks Orpik were assigned to contain the NHL’s leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos and his line – and Letang helped do just that. Stamkos’ stat line was full of zeros and, like Kane, he had just one shot on goal while Letang scored three points (1G-2A) of his own in the Penguins’ 4-2 victory.

Letang says that focusing first and foremost on his defensive responsibilities is what allows him to contribute on the other end of the ice.

“When you defend well against these guys, these guys love to take chances,” Letang said. “They don’t really pay attention to their defensive part of the game. It’s easy for me to jump in the rush and try to bring some offense like that.”

But if you ask forward Chris Kunitz, it’s also Letang’s incredible skating ability that paves the way for him to be the team’s best offensive defenseman.

“He can jump on the play, but also get back and have a great stick and not let those guys get the space to be able to make the shot,” Kunitz said. “It’s great to have him out there and playing well. It’s great to see.”

Sunday marked Letang’s 11th game back since missing 21 straight contests with a concussion. Before he went down, Letang played on the team’s top defensive pairing with Orpik and led the team in ice time on a regular basis.

He didn’t miss a beat upon his return, assuming his usual role right away. And while the points are starting to come for him, Letang says he isn’t doing anything different – his success is coming as a result of the team’s.

“I just think the team is playing well,” he said. “(Evgeni Malkin)’s line is passing the puck really well. The power play is scoring at least a goal almost every night. Points come this way, but I think the most important part is the way we defend and the way Brooksy has been playing with me. It helps me a lot.”

Source:
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=616623

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Letang scores the first time against the Jets 2-11-12 (he also scored a 2nd goal in the third period too)

New pics of Kris!!! ENJOY :)





Thanks to "58 Reasons" on facebook for finding this article about Kristopher

Underrated All-Star

Could it be that Kris Letang is flying under the radar a little bit – right here in Pittsburgh? Let me explain the question. In the Penguins’ dressing room, among the coaches and in the front office, they know exactly what they have in the 24-year-old Montreal native.

Letang is an incredibly strong skater, an underrated hitter, an athletic defenseman with very good hands, great stamina and good vision.

When his previous contract expired, they gave Letang a raise of more than 500 percent. After he missed 21 games with a concussion, Dan Bylsma “eased” him back into the lineup last month with a team-high 24 minutes of ice time in New York against the Rangers, then the best club in the NHL. He had an assist, saved a goal by diving to get his stick on a shot headed for an empty net and had three hits in a 4-1 victory.

The next game, at home against Montreal, he came out of nowhere to chase down Tomas Plekanec on a breakaway, more evidence of how Letang can take chances and play hunches in the offensive and neutral zones because he knows he can get back in a hurry if necessary.

Many of us reacted by pointing out how important Letang’s return will be for a Pittsburgh team that has been smacked by one serious injury after another now for the better part of the last 24 months. We talked about how great he looked in that first game back. We talked about how he’ll help the power play. Puck retrievals. Counter-attacks. The hockey fans in Pittsburgh appreciate everything Letang brings to the table. In short, we know this guy is a good hockey player.

But do we really understand how good?

I got to thinking about this when Letang was named to the NHL All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Dustin Byfuglien just four days after Letang’s return from a concussion and after playing just 25 games. Reaching the All-Star Game after playing barely a quarter of a season is no easy task – whether you get there because someone else gets hurt or not.

The NHL could very easily have chosen Dan Boyle, a top-10 scorer among defensemen who is a creative force on a very good San Jose team, or Duncan Keith of Chicago. The rosters were already lopsided with Eastern Conference defensemen.

They chose Letang. With 23 points in 26 games at the break, Letang was producing offensively at a pace barely exceeded by only one player: Erik Karlsson of Ottawa, who led all defensemen in scoring. In fact, before Max Pacioretty’s hit knocked him out of the lineup, Letang was on pace to reach 69 points this season – more than any defenseman reached last season. And, yes, he’s been solid in his own end, too.

When captain Daniel Alfredsson and his co-captain, Henrik Lundqvist, were drafting their All-Star team, they made Letang the third defenseman taken and the highest replacement player taken, commenting on what his speed would mean to the team. Even his peers talk about it.

No, Letang is not perfect. He still makes a few turnovers that leave you scratching your head. And he’s still learning how to be a more consistent force on the power play. But he’s playing a ton of minutes (26:09 per game at the break, sixth in the NHL and two minutes more per game than he saw last year) and producing points at a clip that would suggest he’s learned from his second-half slump last season.

That slump roughly paralleled the absence of Sidney Crosby, with whom Letang shares an unmistakable chemistry, but he’s only played four games with Crosby this season and was still dangerously close to being a point-per-game defenseman – rarified air for a blueliner.

If you consider how much more dangerous Letang will be when Crosby returns, and the fact Letang has not yet reached his prime, you might come to the conclusion that he’s a better player than even we’re giving him credit for, and that many more All-Star Game appearances—and perhaps Norris Trophy consideration someday—are on the horizon.

Source:
http://www.pittsburghsportsreport.com/PSR/node/4019

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Copy and paste this link to listen to Kris in a French interivew!!! :)

http://www.rds.ca/zone-video/video.html?from=FB&cat=en_vedette&videoID=105620

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Post-Skills Competition: Letang (1/28/12) Kris Letang talks to reporters after the the 2012 All-Star Skills competition. 1/28/2012

Letang All Star 2012 in Ottawa January 2012

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (above) and left winger James Neal helped Team Alfredsson beat Team Chara, 21-12, in the NHL’s skills competition at ScotiaBank Place in Ottawa.

Letang, playing for a team drafted by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, defeated Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell in the backwards portion of the fastest skater competition with a time of 14.031. Campbell’s time was 14.826.

Letang and Neal also helped Team Alfredsson claim the first half of the skills replay competition with a time of 2:28. Team Chara – drafted by Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara – had a time of 2:45.

In the shootout competition. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, playing for Team Chara, scored on New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the first round but was denied by Lundqvist in the second.

Letang scored on Detroit Red wings goaltender Jimmy Howard in the first round but was stopped by Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas in the second. Neal was denied by Thomas in the first round.

The All-Star game is will be played Sunday, 4 p.m.


TEAM ALFREDSSON
Skater Time
1. Kris Letang (Backwards) 14.301


Thursday, January 26, 2012

NHL 2012 All Star Draft Predictions

This is from nhl.com talking about the 2012 All Star Draft. PREDICTIONS
Source: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=613239&navid=DL|NHL|home




ROUND 12

Kris Letang (D)

Another round, another steal of a pick. Sure, he missed two months with a concussion, but he's shown no ill effects since returning to the lineup last week. If not for the injury, he'd be in the mix for the Norris Trophy. As a consolation prize, he gets to tell his grandkids 50 years from now that he once played on the greatest team ever assembled and won a hockey game by 40 goals.

Letang's return has been a welcome one for streaking Penguins

ST. LOUIS — Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had planned to restrict defenseman Kris Letang's ice time when the All-Star returned after a seven-week absence with a concussion.

Then, Bylsma and center Sidney Crosby watched Letang skate under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

"We both were shaking our heads about how easy it looks for (Letang) and how well he can skate," Bylsma said.

Letang doesn't necessarily make the game look easy, but he has made his return look routine. And Bylsma hasn't hesitated to use him.

"I knew he was in good condition and skating really well, so it's not real surprising," Bylsma said. "But it is surprising that he maybe hasn't missed too much of a beat with the significant number of games he did miss."

When Letang returned last week against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Penguins had won three in a row. They probably wouldn't be riding a seven-game winning streak now if not for Letang.

He has scored twice and made one of the defensive plays of the season: catching Montreal's Tomas Plekanec from behind on a breakaway. That he recently missed 21 games is almost forgotten.

"I'm impressed but not surprised," defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. "He's in great shape. He's probably the best athlete on our team, and he really worked hard to get back."

Letang's conditioning always has been impressive. Like former Penguins defenseman Sergei Zubov, Letang never looks tired, but his ability to play without evidence of rust has particularly impressed teammates.

"He's played better than we expected," defense partner Brooks Orpik said. "He's just such a talented kid."

Letang won't get a week off like most of his teammates since he was selected to play in Sunday's All-Star Game in Ottawa. Missing two months didn't diminish the fact that he has emerged as a star.

His return has been especially beneficial considering Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek are playing below expectations. Bylsma has relied heavily upon the pairing of Letang and Orpik, as evidenced by Letang's average of 26 minutes per game since he returned.

"We're used to playing together, and we're comfortable right now," Orpik said. "He keeps himself in really good shape. ... He's been really good."

Letang has taken a more modest approach to his play. He's cognizant of his role in St. Louis' Patrik Berglund being awarded (and converting) a penalty shot in Tuesday's victory and that he's 0 for 2 in shootout attempts since returning.

"I need to get better everywhere," he said.

Source:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_778429.html?source=rss&feed=8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Letang 2012 All Star

found out this morning he had to cancel his plans for the All-Star break, but he’s OK with that.

That’s because the NHL announced today that the Penguins defenseman has been added to the roster for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played this coming Sunday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

Letang, 24, will be making his second-consecutive All-Star appearance after making his debut last season in Carolina after being voted into the game by the fans.

“It was an honor to be named on the All-Star Team. I guess I was surprised,” Letang said. “To be honest, to represent my team at the All-Star Game and to be a part of all those guys and future Hall-of-Famers like (Nicklas) Lidstrom and (Zdeno) Chara is always an honor. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Letang has shined bright since returning to Pittsburgh’s lineup last week, as he’s scored twice and added two assists in his three games back since missing 21 straight with a broken nose and a concussion.

In addition, his work ethic paired with his magnificent skating ability has allowed him an expedited transition back into his usual role – highlighted by the fact that he’s led the team in minutes-played each of those three games.

“I feel pretty good,” Letang said. “I was more comfortable in the second and third games I played. Getting back into it, it wasn’t about how my body was going to react. It was more getting back into the systems and getting used to it again. I think the coach and everybody put me in a good situation to succeed.”

Overall, Letang has totaled five goals, 18 assists, 23 points and a plus-9 rating in 25 games. His 18 assists rank third on the team while his 23 points place fifth.

He joins center Evgeni Malkin on the All-Star roster, giving the Penguins at least two All-Star representatives for the fourth straight season.

Last year, Letang attended the festivities with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The two players were selected onto different teams at the fantasy draft (Letang to Team Staal; Fleury to Team Lidstrom) and had a blast facing off with each other in both the SuperSkills Competition and the game itself.

“Everything was pretty cool,” Letang said of his first experience. “It was well-organized. The skills competition is fun because you can relax and watch all the guys go. The game was my first time, so I enjoyed it a lot.”

With the way Malkin has been dominating games lately, Letang hopes that they’ll be teammates this time around.

“Hopefully I will have the chance to play with him, but it’s a draft so you never know,” Letang said. “But the way he’s playing right now, it would be great to have him on my side and make sure he doesn’t make me look like a fool on the ice.”

That may be true. But if Letang keeps up his own level of play, it may be Malkin who won’t want to go against him.

Source:
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=613181&navid=DL|PIT|home

Letang Honored to be Named an All-Star



Source:
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=613181&navid=DL|PIT|home

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