Pens Player Power Rankings – Week 12

It was a tough week to rank players after the 15 game win streak ended with back-to-back losses.  The manner of the losses (4-1 to Buffalo and 6-1 to NYR) complicated things even more, along with additional injuries.  Expect some big changes as lines get juggled in the upcoming weeks.

Rank Player (Last Rank) Last Week’s Performance
1 Pascal Dupuis (4) One of the rare Penguins still getting on the scoresheet, Dupuis is still getting it done all over the ice. (1g, 1a, 10 shots)
2 Chris Kunitz (8) Has turned to setting others up since Crosby isn’t around to set him up. May be reunited with Malkin very soon. (2a, 6 hits)
3 Jussi Jokinen (NA) Had the perfect debut, scoring the only Pens goal and the shootout winner. Faceoff ability is a huge boost too. (1g, 13/15 faceoffs)
4 Marc-Andre Fleury (2) Played well  even though he joined the whole team in having problems on Wednesday. Surprising numbers after a 6-1 loss. (1-1, 2.60 GAA, .922 Save %)
5 Jarome Iginla (16) Meshed well with Malkin and Neal immediately but will see some new lines while everyone heals up. (1g, 4 hits)
6 Simon Despres (17) Possibly the only defensemen to not be horrible this past week. Then he was scratched for some unknown reason. (4 blocks)
7 Evgeni Malkin (7) Not playing as bad as people are suggesting, but he’s struggling to score.  Still creating many chances though. (1a, 32/67 faceoffs)
8 Craig Adams (6) Continues to be the perfect 4th liner, playing well on the penalty kill and in 5 on 5 play.  Expect an emotional goal come playoff time. (6 hits)
9 Brenden Morrow (15) Strugged mightily on Wednesday, but who didn’t. Still adjusting and working on matching his speed with the team’s speed. (1a, 15 hits)
10 Tyler Kennedy (14) For all of the awful play by various players over the past week, Kennedy has been perfectly fine.  Looks much better on the 4th line instead of 1st. (7 shots)
11 Robert Bortuzzo (22) Inserted into the lineup due to Eaton’s illness and managed to get an assist. Stayed in the lineup, but will likely lose his spot to Letang’s return. (1a, 4 hits)
12 Douglas Murray (11) Has been dominant in the defensive zone at times but also gets out of position too. Generally has played smart though. (10 hits, 8 blocks)
13 Deryk Engelland (18) Increasing his physical game after it had gone quiet for a bit. Appears to realize he needs to do everything to stay in the lineup now. (8 hits, 5 blocks)
13 Beau Bennett (WBS) Called up in the wake of Neal’s concussion.  Placed here since that’s his average through this season so far. (Did Not Play)
14 Matt Cooke (5) Found his pesky game against the Rangers. He’s gonna have to contribute a little offensively to help this team through injuries as well. (8 hits)
15 Mark Eaton (13) Looked sluggish in the lineup but that could be because he was sick this past week. Finally suffered his first loss with the team. (4 blocks)
16 Brandon Sutter (9) Struggling to provide offense and win faceoffs. Has also been dropping off in the defensive zone. An off week for Sutter. (23/53 faceoffs, 5 hits)
17 Brooks Orpik (3) Looks like a completely different player without Paul Martin. Missing on poke checks, getting out of position, and struggling overall despite gaudy real-time stats. (18 hits, 7 blocks)
18 Matt Niskanen (12) Also struggling after Martin went out of the lineup. Appears to be trying to do too much in both offensive and defensive zones. (8 blocks)
19 Tanner Glass (20) Starting to pick his play up more and has gotten the puck to the net recently. Have a feeling he will be valuable in the next week or two. (17 PIM, 8 hits)
21 Joe Vitale (19) Will have a hard time getting back into the lineup with the abundance of forwards the Pens have after addiing Jokinen. (4 hits)
22 Dustin Jeffrey (21) Similar problem to Vitale and has generally looked bad when playing on the 4th line. Doesn’t add to special teams either. (7/10 faceoffs)
23 Tomas Vokoun (1) Was pulled in his only start after an amazing streak the week before. Unfortunately, all streaks come to an end in this case. (0-1, 10.29 GAA, .692 Save %)
INJ James Neal (10) Out at least the next 3 games with a concussion and maybe more. (13 shots, 7 hits)
INJ Sidney Crosby (INJ) Out indefinitely with a broken jaw but talked to reporters today and is improving. (Did Not Play)
INJ Paul Martin (INJ) Out for at least this month with a broken hand. (Did Not Play)
INJ Kris Letang (INJ) Returned to practice today and may return as early as Tuesday against Carolina.(Did Not Play)