Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Early Norris Leader

For several years, I have tracked the players that I think are leading for the NHL awards as the season progresses.  This often has me picking several leaders as the season progresses and things change.  It is interesting to see how things change as the season progresses and see how soon into the season the final award candidates present themselves.  At this point, I think Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the early leader.  He is tied for the league lead among defencemen in points with eight.  His +8 +/- rating is second best in the league and leads his team. 

I think Letang is one of the better young defencemen in the game.  At age 23, he is making a jump to the top defencemen in the NHL.  Last year, he appeared among the top players in the league by adjusted Corsi rating.  This is all evidence that he is becoming a star.  This is easily seen watching the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I argue that Pittsburgh has one of the better defences in hockey.  Their biggest strengths are young rising stars in Letang and Alex Goligoski.  Strong depth is provided by free agent signees Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek.  I think Pittsburgh may have overpaid for these players especially Michalek  but they are still valuable depth.  It is the development of Letang and Goligoski that makes Pittsburgh`s defence a strong one.

I don`t believe that Letang will actually wind up the Norris Trophy winner, but he could be a solid candidate who plays an all star season.  I think Kris Letang is one of the better young defencemen in hockey today.

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Comments

landsharkhockey's avatar

I know Letang has come on with the scoring lately, but having watched every Pens game this season, Goligoski has been the best Pens defensemen.  It’s puzzling why they can’t win more games with the talent that team has up front and on defense.

Posted by landsharkhockey on 10/30/10 at 09:31 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

UMMMM Wasn’t he the Guy you said the Pens overpaid

Posted by Evilpens on 10/30/10 at 09:56 AM ET

Avatar

As far as Letang goes, he is definitely playing great right now.  The problem with him though is he has stints where he will just make a ridiculously dumb play which almost always leads to the game winning goal.  Once he gets that out of his system, he may get more recognition as an elite defensemen.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 10/30/10 at 10:46 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

As far as Letang goes, he is definitely playing great right now.  The problem with him though is he has stints where he will just make a ridiculously dumb play which almost always leads to the game winning goal.  Once he gets that out of his system, he may get more recognition as an elite defensemen.

That makes him a talented young defenceman.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 10/30/10 at 02:41 PM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com