Blueline Beat: 10/21/11-10/31/11 and October Stats

The Pens have had a long October with 13 games squeezed in, but have managed to come out with an 8-3-2 record. They've won three out of their last four games. Now after a four day break the Pens are off on a road trip on the West coast. Here's my recap of the past four games, followed by a recap of some stats from the month of October.

Pens vs. Devils: 10/22 (W 4-1)

-This was Letang's first game back after his two game suspension, and Lovejoy ended up being the scratch.

-Letang and Martin each earned an assist on the Kunitz power play goal.

- Niskanen earned an assist on Staal's second goal of the game.

-Michalek earned an assist on Neal's goal.

-Michalek left the game in the third period after taking a shot to the hand. He in turn suffered a broken hand and is out for 4-6 weeks.

-Niskanen has still been playing an impressive game, winning battles out there on the ice.

-Orpik looked like he never missed a beat, playing a physical game.

-Fleury stopped 23 out of 24 shots.

-Michalek led the team with six blocked shots.

-Letang led the defensemen with four shots on goal.

-Letang led in ice time with 23:55.

Pens vs. Islanders: 10/25 (W 3-0)

-Orpik earned his first point of the season with an assist on Dupuis' goal.

-With Michalek out of the lineup, the defensive pairing were changed. The Pens had Letang/Martin, Orpik/Engelland, and Niskanen/Lovejoy as their pairings.

-This was probably the strongest game we have seen from Martin this season. With his partner injured he stepped it up this game. He does so many subtle things on the ice that we may not even notice, but they matter. I do not agree with those that say he is overpaid.

-Fleury was a beast in goal, stopping all 33 shots he faced. He earned his first shutout of the season and the 20th in his career.

-Niskanen and Engelland led the team with five blocked shots each.

-Martin led the defensemen with two shots.

-Martin led in ice time with 27:18.

Pens vs. Islanders: 10/27 (W 3-2 SO)

-Letang earned another assist on the Kunitz goal.

-In Michalek's absence, Letang has been racking up the ice time, along with Martin. That conditioning we saw Letang doing in the offseason looks like it is paying off.

-Fleury stopped 17 out of 19 shots and helped the Pens in their shootout win. Fleury's final move was a pretty poke check on Tavares' shootout attempt.

-Martin led the team with three blocked shots.

-Niskanen led the defensemen with three shots.

-Letang led in ice time with 30:16.

Pens vs. Leafs: 10/29 (L 4-3)

-Lovejoy earned his first point of the season with an assist on Cooke's goal.

-Letang earned two assists in this game. His first was on the Kunitz power play goal and the second on Malkin's power play goal.

-Letang scored four points in the last four games. This is why we'll see around 60 points from him this season.

-This was a hard fought game with lots of battling for the puck. It was some turnovers that led to some of the Leafs goals.

-Also, the penalty kill unit gave up two power play goals, which is something we have not seen much of in the past year. Michalek and Staal were missed on the PK.

-Brent Johnson got the start in this game, and stopped 25 of 29 shots.

-Letang led the team with three blocked shots.

-Martin and Letang led the defense with four shots each.

-Letang led in ice time with 25:56.

October Stats

Leader of each category will be bolded.


11 GP

Points: 1G 10A

SOG: 28

BS: 20

Hits: 13

Average Ice Time: 26:04

(+/-) +5



Points: 0G 2A

SOG: 10

BS: 21

Hits: 26

(+/-) +1

Average Ice Time: 16:13


GP: 5

Points: 0G 1A

SOG: 4

BS: 4

Hits: 10

(+/-) +1

Average Ice Time: 20:11


GP: 13

Points: 0G 3A

SOG: 24

BS: 17

Hits: 6

(+/-) -4

Average Ice Time: 25:02


GP: 10

Points: 1G 2A

SOG: 17

BS: 17

Hits: 6

(+/-) -5

Average Ice Time: 21:59


GP: 12

Points: 0G 1A

SOG: 14

BS: 14

Hits: 10

(+/-) +1

Average Ice Time: 12:34


GP: 13

Points: 1G 3A

SOG: 25

BS: 17

Hits: 17

(+/-) +4

Average Ice Time: 18:37

As you can see, Letang led the defensemen in October in points, shots on goal, plus/minus, and average ice time. He has started off the season well and will be very successful if his level of play continues. Niskanen came up second in points and shots on goal and has steadily improved his game. With Orpik only playing five games this month, Engelland became the leader in the more physical aspects, like blocked shots and hits.

It's been a pretty exciting October. Let's hope to see more good things in November!


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