Pens Player Power Rankings – Week 13

The Pens returned to their winning ways for a 3-0 sweep through the Southeast division despite missing Crosby, Martin, Neal, and even Malkin at one point.  The new guys are really starting to take a hold of this team with the absence of the usual stars.  Sorry third line, you’re not impressing me right now.

Rank Player (Last Rank) Last Week’s Performance
1 Pascal Dupuis (1) The versatile Dupuis has taken to playing on any line, in any situation, and putting up Crosby-like points.  Who needs Crosby? (2g, 5a, 6 hits)
2 Brenden Morrow (9) After drawing early criticism, Morrow has elevated his game to a level many thought he lost. Still has top 6 abilities. (3g, 2a, 4 PIM, 6 hits)
3 Marc-Andre Fleury (4) Putting up nice numbers and getting very little vocal credit for it. It’s okay to praise the goalie, Pittsburgh. (2-0, 2.00 GAA, .926 Save %)
4 Jussi Jokinen (3) Following right behind Dupuis in versatility and dropping jaws with his pure skill and absurd deflection goal. (2g, 2a, 22/46 faceoffs)
5 Kris Letang (INJ) Made an immediate impact in his return and gives the Penguins a completely different look for breakouts. He was sorely missed. (1g, 1a)
6 Jarome Iginla (5) Playing a quieter game than expected but seems to have chemistry with everyone and really knows how to set up his linemates. (3a)
7 Beau Bennett (14) Youthful exuberance has led to a strong forecheck, productive minutes, and Bennett not realizing he’s not supposed to be this ready yet. (1g, 2a, 5 hits)
8 Evgeni Malkin (7) Just as it looked like Geno was heating up…he got sunburn (kidding). Still looking for his confidence right now. (2g, 4 PIM, 14 shots, 11/29 faceoffs)
9 Craig Adams (8) A rare two point week for Adams, largely led by his forechecking work and a renewed effort by the 4th line. (2a, 10/18 faceoffs, 11 hits, 5 blocks)
10 Brooks Orpik (18) Improved drastically after being paired with Letang and looks a little refreshed after a trip through the Southeast division. (9 hits, 6 blocks)
11 Matt Niskanen (19) Also improved drastically after Letang’s return as he took on less minutes and fell more into his 2nd pairing role. (1a, 7 shots, 6 hits, 5 blocks)
12 Chris Kunitz (2) Had a very quiet week.  Not good, not bad, just very quiet as lines constantly fluctuated. (1g, 4 hits)
13 Joe Vitale (21) Only played one game but made quite an impression on the stat sheet and with pure energy. Made a great case to stay in the lineup. (1a, 13/17 faceoffs, 5 hits)
14 Tyler Kennedy (10) Excels in a 4th line role and is currently playing the best hockey of the 3rd liners.  Shot seems to be gaining accuracy, is it a fluke?(1a, 7 shots)
15 Douglas Murray (12) Has gotten caught with his lack of mobility in the defensive zone lately, but still makes fans happy with hits and blocks.(1a, 7 hits, 8 blocks)
16 Mark Eaton (16) Another player that had a quiet week, Eaton was steady but also largely untested.  It was a good week for a 3rd pairing defenseman. (5 blocks)
17 Simon Despres (6) Despres may have worked  back into the lineup temporarily and played well in his 1 game. It remains to be seen if he keeps the spot though. (3 hits)
18 Deryk Engelland (13) Took up fighting again to try and stay in the lineup but was replaced by Despres on Saturday. Will be in a dogfight for the 6th D spot. (1a, 11 PIM, 4 hits)
19 Tanner Glass (20) Finally scored his first goal/point with the Penguins but is consistently receiving the least ice time on the team now. May end up as the odd man out.(1g, 11 hits)
20 Robert Bortuzzo (11) Unexpectedly entered the lineup and scored a goal on a nice pinching decision.  Probably won’t play much more now that Letang is healthy. (1g)
21 Matt Cooke (15) Has been stirring up the opposition a lot lately but hasn’t contributed as much in terms of actual hockey. Perhaps finding a new (old) niche? (7 hits)
22 Tomas Vokoun (23) Only one start and was drilled on the PK and perfect at even strength.  Even so, had bad numbers and needs to be the best PKer. (1-0, 3.01 GAA, .842 Save %)
23 Brandon Sutter (17) Slightly dropping off defensively and not doing anything offensively or in faceoffs.  Has been pretty ineffective with Cooke/Kennedy. (19/46 faceoffs)
24 Dustin Jeffrey (22) With players getting healthy and the 4th liners playing very well, hard to see DJ getting in the lineup ever again with this roster. (Did Not Play)
INJ James Neal (INJ) Has resumed skating with Mike Kadar.  Day to day and not suffering from any concussion symptoms. (Did Not Play)
INJ Sidney Crosby (INJ) Has resumed skating with Mike Kadar and is wearing a shield protecting his jaw. Not skating strenuously yet. (Did Not Play)
INJ Paul Martin (INJ) Has resumed skating with Mike Kadar.  Expected to miss 2 more weeks at least. (Did Not Play)