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Joni Pitkanen

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I like Joni WHEN he moves his feet, and doesn't reach with his stick.

Injury wise, does he seem a bit "soft?". He seems to be out for minor stuff. Remember Gleason getting stitched up, wearing a mask and storming down the ice to score?

I just don't see that kind of toughness from Pitkanen...thought?

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I like Joni WHEN he moves his feet, and doesn't reach with his stick.

Injury wise, does he seem a bit "soft?". He seems to be out for minor stuff. Remember Gleason getting stitched up, wearing a mask and storming down the ice to score?

Yes, I remember that. I also remember Pitkanen playing nearly four hundred minutes more than anyone else on the team last year. I guess that doesn't count for anything as far as alleged "toughness" goes? You'd think that someone who leads the league in ice time and was the sole puckmover on the team for most of the year (read: lots of hits taken) would have to play through pain. I guesss not. Oh and I do recall multiple times last season where Pitkanen would block a shot, limp to the bench and be out for the next shift. And if we're really counting, he's played more games than Gleason has since he was traded here.

Anyone who misses games with minor injuries is a softy, I guess?

Edited by ZCAB

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Well to me Joni is a good player when he wants to play. I myself am tired of hearing about how many minutes he plays. Being on the ice doesn't always mean you are playing. He has to have his head in the game and if he doesn't,he doesn't do what he is paid to do. Yes he has a big offensive side to him but his 1st concern should be defense. Maybe they should cut TOI and let him play a more consistant defensive game first then add in the good offensive side!

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Well to me Joni is a good player when he wants to play. I myself am tired of hearing about how many minutes he plays. Being on the ice doesn't always mean you are playing. He has to have his head in the game and if he doesn't,he doesn't do what he is paid to do. Yes he has a big offensive side to him but his 1st concern should be defense. Maybe they should cut TOI and let him play a more consistant defensive game first then add in the good offensive side!

Really? So TOI isn't a telling statistic when you lead the league in that category? I forgot you can be on the ice and just stand there, not skate or join the play at all, that'll get you lots of ice time. I myself am sick of hearing about how soft Pitkanen is, or how he's a defensive liability. I simply don't see it, Pitkanen makes no more mistakes with the puck then our "stay at home" defenseman. Pitkanen leads all Canes defenders in +/-, and is third on the team. He's also tied for 6th on the team in points, first among defenders tied with Babs.

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I myself am sick of hearing about how soft Pitkanen is, or how he's a defensive liability.

He is though, when his head isn't in the game or when he doesn't play it kills our defense, not that there isn't that much to kill. He's not soft, no, as you said, someone that plays that many minutes like that and are counted on for being the sole puck moving defender isn't soft by any means, but because we rely so heavily on him all of his bad plays, small and big, are magnified and it becomes apparent when he isn't focused or when he doesn't have his head in the game because of that.

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All of you who hate Pitkanen only have a few more months to sweat it out. He'll be gone at the trade deadline. Of course, so will about 7 other Canes. Pitkanen will be a VERY sought after commodity...and Rutherford will very likely get a GREAT return on trading him. There will be no touchy feely hangups like with Ray Whitney. Cole is probably the only UFA I see Rutherford trying to hang on to. And for all the wrong reasons. LaRose, Samsonov, Cole, Jokinen, Dwyer, babchuk, Harrison and Pitkanen are all going to be available.

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Really? So TOI isn't a telling statistic when you lead the league in that category? I forgot you can be on the ice and just stand there, not skate or join the play at all, that'll get you lots of ice time. I myself am sick of hearing about how soft Pitkanen is, or how he's a defensive liability. I simply don't see it, Pitkanen makes no more mistakes with the puck then our "stay at home" defenseman. Pitkanen leads all Canes defenders in +/-, and is third on the team. He's also tied for 6th on the team in points, first among defenders tied with Babs.

Yes really, he does just stand/move slowly alot. Don't get me wrong when his head is in the game he is very good, but not making an effort to hold the blue line and then having to skate the entire length of the ice to get a puck instead of just stretching for it to hold the line, yes that is just being lazy. Being out of position at the blue line or starting to back skate early so he can glide instead of making an effort is just being lazy. How about when on the power play and he waits and waits to get up ice, he is just hanging behind the goalie and wastes very valuable time on the PP.

One reason he is so high in points is that he plays on the PP, where you should get points. I don't want him to turn into our next Frank Kaberle. I think he has a good game but he just doesn't bring it all the time..

Just my opinion, you can have yours and I can have mine and that s whats nice about being on here because sometime's people bring out points that other people don't see!

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I think he has a good game but he just doesn't bring it all the time..

You just described at least half of the Canes roster....especially Staal. Every knock I read on here about Pitkanen, if you swapped "Staal" for "Pitkanen" in those posts, they would read the same.

That's either ironic, or sad....yo choose.

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Ironically enough, most people are much higher on Pitkanen than about half the Canes fans.

I still find it puzzling that he his hands down the best all around defensemen the Canes have had since they came to Carolina, and yet a lot of fans hate him. When he's gone after the deadline, and Corvo takes over the top spot....I can't wait to hear the lynch mob go after Corvo too. It'll be amazing to see how many stupid GMs throw crazy offers are Jimmy at the deadline. Those guys must be idiots! :huh:

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I know you are a huge Pits fan, but I honestly can't think of anything he has done this year, so far.. In fact, it was Pitkanen who was not in his spot that caused Nashville to score the last goal, leading to the Hurricanes losing.

Corvo can definitely be a turnover machine; you are right about that. But I think Corvo has done just as much for this team as Joni has..and at half the price.

Regardless, this is all a moot point. The Hurricanes are most likely going to be outside looking in this year's playoffs; since Pits is in a contract year, he'll most likely be shipped out at the deadline - and he'll most likely get a hefty contract next year.

We need a solid stay at home defenseman - hopefully we'll have a little more cash to throw at one next year.

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When Joni Pitkanen is the best all around defenseman we have on our roster... We are in serious trouble. Just saying... He and Corvo both are defensive liabilities. I really like how Harrison has progressed and have been happy with the acquisition of Ian White and his play so far. Other than that... Meh.

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Getting softer and softer every game!!! Can't control the blueline at all,(either one).He just skates with the opponents and they know that is what he is going to do.They know he won't hit them so they pretty much have the upper hand as what they can do. If they think they might get slammed into the wall or put on their butts it may change their mindset! Now that other teams know our new pp scheme(since last yr) his good passing ability is trumped. I know I have said this before but he is turning into another Frank Kaberle..A lot of people thought we couldn't deal without having Kabs on the roster, but we have, so if Pits is traded we will be fine,probably even better if we get a strong standup d-man.

Edited by djharley

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An interesting debate because it tends to draw lines about what kind of defense people want, and by extension what kind of team.

Personally I'd hate to lose Pitkanen and think he is easily underrated by fans due to his style of play. There is no doubt that at times he misplays the puck and at times he seems to be floating. But part of that is his style of play. He is not going to lay the bone jarring hit very often, but he is no Frank Kaberle either. I don't know if it's propaganda, but Tripp is always talking about Joni's "nasty edge" and that he's difficult to play against.

Before we got Pitkanen we could not move the puck out of our own end to save our lives. Everyone was clambering for an offensive dman, and we really needed a couple.

Statistically Pitkanen is very good,

He is a +7, leading a defense that outside of him averages -6.4 per man, and second on the team only to Sutter in +/-. Yes, it can be a deceptive stat, but at least he is not a net liability when he's on the ice in terms of goals.

Also, he has 16 assists. The 5 other dmen average 6.2 assists. Only Staal and Jokinen have more assists and barely more.

I maintain that this team is at it's best when it's skating. Frankly our only chance is that type of transition game. To do so we need a guy to press the play up the ice from the back end. Few are better than Pitkanen.

I would agree that Pits absolutely needs to be paired with a stay at home, defensively minded guy, ideally a bruiser who can punish people in our own end. But the answer is to find a complementary piece, not to lose Pitkanen.

The league is always on the lookout for offensive dmen, they are a highly desired commodity. True McBain will get there, but he's not quite there yet. And Corvo is in that vein, but more of a goal scorer. Right now, we are much stronger with Pits than without him. Pitkanen, McBain, and Gleason are the core I'd build around on the back end.

Add a bruising stay at home guy, fine, but not by losing Pitkanen.

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^ Very well put....I'm glad at least one person here gets it. The team absolutely in no way gets any better by losing Pitkanen....I don't care how bad you hate him. No one on the roster right now replaces his minutes or his assists or his +/-. And without budgeting at least 5 million for a free agent pickup, you won't replace him at all. The team simply gets worse.

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I am torn on Pitkanen. He eats minutes...but he takes bad penalties. He moves the puck...but doesn't shoot. He can have chemistry issues with his partner. He rarely hits. Etc.

Would Corvo, McBain, and White be enough to fill the gap if we didn't have Joni? Hard to say, but we could do a lot worse. Will JR re-sign him? Probably. Not if we keep White, though. And not if he wants to chase the $, because it will be out there and he can easily make more elsewhere. Personally I think I'd go with White over Pits if it came down to it. I would really like to see White-Gleason on the ice for a few games.

It will be interesting to see where we are at the deadline and what happens then.

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^ Very well put....I'm glad at least one person here gets it. The team absolutely in no way gets any better by losing Pitkanen....I don't care how bad you hate him. No one on the roster right now replaces his minutes or his assists or his +/-. And without budgeting at least 5 million for a free agent pickup, you won't replace him at all. The team simply gets worse.

I don't normally get into these types of "Cam is Average at Best" threads. But in this case I feel pretty strongly. I gotta go with Rem and TheBigKanhuna. Just don't see how anyone could think this team would be better off trading away Pitkanen based on the above mentioned stats, but particularly the money. I don't know who will be the most sought after free agent at the deadline, but I have read that he would most certainly be in the top five.

I think someone has all ready asked, but I'll reiterate, could someone offer up a suggestion about just who are we going to get that can match Pitkanen's stats for a modest raise, say to 5 mil? :hockey:

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Joni is a unique type of player, and presents many of the challenges that have been mentioned here. As many have suggested, his future as a Cane will be based on economics and the team's position at the trade deadline.

Economics: Looks bleak, unless PK sells the team. Joni's unique style of play will have an allure to teams that think they're just missing something to go all the way. His talent can lead several teams to believe he is that "X" factor they need. Unfortunately for Joni fans, saving that salary and pushing it down the road as draft picks makes the most economic sense if PK is the owner. Those picks have more value to a future owner, who can draft players or deal them.

Team's position: This team would have to go on a substantial run to believe it has a chance of a deep Playoff push. Just getting in, with little hope of advancing, won't be enough to keep Joni (see Economics).

If somehow he does stay, he needs a partner that knows his style and complements his play. It seems that White is too old school and is really struggling with a partner who roams as freely as Joni. He seems to prefer shared responsibility, and having a little offense for himself, too. At times I've wished that Pothier was back and playing with Joni. I'd try him with Harrison or Gleason who play mostly pure defense, just to see if they mesh.

I'm not a fan of Joni's style, but have learned to accept it as his unique talent. He amazes and disappoints at the same time. One thing I hate is his long shots on goal (where he seems frustrated that someone hasn’t shown themselves for an outlet pass). When he misses, its icing (defensive zone faceoff = danger). Sometimes he just ices the puck intentionally, when I'd prefer he just flip it in (chase it, no ice).

Lastly, he has to shoot. The league simply knows he's "pass first" and that makes his game less effective. Keep 'em honest.

I suspect he'll be gone at the deadline and will be missed. Unfortunately it will be out of JR's hands given the ownership issue and budget constraint. There is no way on earth JR will sign him without a strong push or change in ownership. He will have earned the salary he'll command in free agency.

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I don't think its rocket science, if the team is in contention heading toward the trade deadline Pitkanen isn't going anywhere. If the playoffs are out of reach or close, he'll be dealt and we'll get a nice return for him. Like others have said, he's going to be very tough to replace with this current roster or even in trade and he's a much bigger key to this team's success than some would like to admit. When he's on, he's one of the best but he can be very frustrating to watch when he's not playing at 100% or takes one his ill-timed penalties. He's a rare commodity in the NHL for what he brings to the table and because he's fairly priced in the current market he'll be well sought after.

Unless he's content playing here in Carolina, he'll get some nice free agent offers next summer but I wouldn't rule out JR offering to re-sign him either. If he does get dealt at the deadline, keep in mind that Nic Wallin was able to get us a 2nd round pick as a 3rd pairing guy last year so Joni should get us a better return as a top 4. We also have some young dmen very close in Charlotte and McBain will have had a full NHL season under his belt and may be ready to eat up some of Pitkanen's minutes.

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...and McBain will have had a full NHL season under his belt and may be ready to eat up some of Pitkanen's minutes.

He may eat minutes, but IMO he is no way a replacement for what Joni brings. McBain cheats and pinches, and is way too slow getting his shot off. Of course Joni doesn't shoot :)

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We also have some young dmen very close in Charlotte and McBain will have had a full NHL season under his belt and may be ready to eat up some of Pitkanen's minutes.

Which prospects in Charlotte are you referring to? Our best defensive prospects are Faulk, Dumoulin, and Levi. And they are a couple of years at best away from stepping into the lineup. Others, like Borer and Rodney (throw in Carson) can't seem to make a case for themselves when they get a call up. All we have now in Charlotte are bottom pairing guys.

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He may eat minutes, but IMO he is no way a replacement for what Joni brings. McBain cheats and pinches, and is way too slow getting his shot off. Of course Joni doesn't shoot :)

Are you thinking his development is done? I'm interested in seeing where McBain is at the end of his first full season.

Which prospects in Charlotte are you referring to? Our best defensive prospects are Faulk, Dumoulin, and Levi. And they are a couple of years at best away from stepping into the lineup. Others, like Borer and Rodney (throw in Carson) can't seem to make a case for themselves when they get a call up. All we have now in Charlotte are bottom pairing guys.

Yes, Rodney didn't exactly make a strong case in his two games played so far but Borer and Carson haven't had their chance yet either. Faulk, Demoulin and Levi will be a lot closer at the end of this season which would be my definition of " very close."

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Are you thinking his development is done? I'm interested in seeing where McBain is at the end of his first full season.

I'm seeing regression and not development. McBain isn't generating offense through skill, talent or hustle. He simply pinches and cheats leaving defensive liability in his wake. Most NHL defensemen can do that if they choose, and their coach doesn't mind. I'm not seeing a special talent here, nor expecting one.

Anyway, this is Joni's thread so I'll contrast with him. When Joni pinches he recovers, has the speed, generally hustles and produces output in a dynamic way with his passing. He's not conventional, which IMO is why opinions are so varied about him.

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