Do you hate good looking defensemen that rack up a lot of points? Well this post is mostly about you, congrats.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it seems that some of their players are just easy targets to criticize than others. You never really hear too much criticism aimed at Sidney Crosby and for good reasons. Crosby is a terrific person and a great hockey player who doesn't usually make many mistakes
Marc-Andre Fleury has probably been the most criticized player in the past six years of the Penguins' franchise in terms of criticism and being under appreciated. Jordan Staal was in that category as well until he was traded. Of the Pens' core players right now Kris Letang by far takes the cake for the most overly criticized player on the roster.
Letang had one of the worst periods of hockey I had ever seen him play in the first period of game four against the Ottawa Senators. Letang was on the ice for two goals against and had less than stellar performances on each of them. When Letang makes a mistake all Hell break loose.
After a few bad plays, people are saying that Letang should be benched, fired, and traded. This is one of the few flaws of 24/7 instant social media, people are going to overreact when something they don't like happens. Letang, for whatever reason, seems to be an easy target for most people when it comes to bashing.
I think it's mostly jealously, the guy is considered really good looking by most women I know. He has really cool hair, and he's pretty good at hockey despite what some of these idiots think. After that first period it was a completely different story. Letang came out and had two assists in the first two minutes of the second period.
This is a breakdown of Twitter that night:
1st period: "Kris Letang sucks, trade Letang."
2nd period: "I love Letang!" "I would let Letang bang my girlfriend".
Letang's style of play is a double-edged sword. His offensive skill-set is probably the most elite among all active NHL defensemen, with maybe the exception of Erik Karlsson. Letang's speed is elite, his hands, vision, and stick-handling ability are all elite weapons. Take a look some of the stats that Letang has posted through his career thus far.
Since 2010, only Erik Karlsson has averaged more points-per-game than Letang.
Some big names (Dustin Byfuglien pun intended) up there, Norris Trophy finalists, all-stars, and four out of six of those players have won a Stanley Cup.
During the 2012-2013 season, Letang was the only player in the league to average a point-per game or better and was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy.
It's early, but Letang has a real chance to win the Conn Smythe if he can continue this outrageous point production up. Also, Letang obviously needa to play better in the defensive zone. Letang's lackadaisical play in his own zone gets out of hand some time, with him getting out of position and turning the puck over. Letang was on the ice for all three goals against in game four, the same game that he had four assists in. Letang is one of those few players that can have four assists and still get bashed by so many fans and writers.
I understand that Letang isn't exactly Doug Hainesy back there. Letang is more Paul Coffey, skills and speed on the back end, that sometimes plays like an extra forward. So what? I'll take that, I'll take what Letang is doing right now over a lot of defenseman. Letang is the third biggest reason the Pens put up such big stats in the goal department and on the powerplay.
Letang is an All-Star, Norris Trophy nominee and takes way too much criticism for my liking. If Letang didn't put up the big stats that he does I would deem it warranted, but his good outweighs the bad.
Of course there's the ongoing debates about whether the Pens should re-sign Letang, with even some yinzers clamoring for him to be traded. I don't get it, I don't get why so many people are so eager to see such an amazing talent leave their favorite team. Is it jealousy due to the fact that most women Pens' fans fantasize about Letang while their partners try and please them sexually? I have no idea.
I know that Ray Shero is probably going to try and do everything he can to re-sign Letang. Letang is 25, a Norris Trophy finalist and amazing player that is just entering his prime. To not try and work out a deal with him is simply moronic.
Letang is going to get more money that's just inevitable. Here's a look at all of the defenseman that are going to make $6million or more next year.
I'll take Letang over at least eight of the guys on that list. Letang is a top ten defenseman in this league in my eyes and he'll get paid as one. I think at least $6.5 million a year is fair for both Letang and the team paying him. If the cap can go up after next season I don't see why the Pens wouldn't be able to sign Letang long-term. Of course, Malkin will be the priority, but that shouldn't diminish Letang's importance to this team.
Letang doesn't suck nor should he be under the constant hate that he is. He now has seven points in his last two games. But I guess that's just the way some fans are. I'll take Letang over most of the d-men in the league. Top 10 for sure.
Even more so, Letang's style of play matches perfect with the way the Pens are built. Letang excels in north-south hockey and gives the Pens one of the deadliest playmakers on the back-end. Plus the guy has some great hair.
Haters hate. Letang > You