Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ryan Whitney is the Most Dangerous Pittsburgh Penguin

Now, I know what you might think when you see the title of this blog. What about Malkin....Crosby...or even Gonchar!?!? Well, allow me to clarify. Ryan Whitney is the most dangerous Penguin to the Pittsburgh Penguins and their Stanley Cup hopes. It's important to admit that I wrote the first part of this post, including the title, at the end of the 2nd period between the Pens and the Sharks so this was even before Cheechoo made Whitney his bitch which put the Sharks up 1-0.

Ryan Whitney plays 20+ minutes a night, toping 25 minutes against the Senators, and is absolutely awful. I HATE watching him play. He's as soft as they come, doesn't stick up for teammates, he's easy to play against and, the worst part, he turns the puck over enough in his own zone to be tried for treason. There is no other player on any time in the league more likely to cost the Pittsburgh Penguins a game than their own Ryan Whitney. Luckily, for Whitney, he was bailed out today through the first two periods as Conklin played incredibly well and was, again, bailed out by Christensen who scored to tie the game about half way through the third but I can't help but wonder what everyone sees in Whitney. He was absolutely awful in the playoffs last year, costing them at least one game if not more, and has been absolutely awful most of this year. He does have an offensive upside but with 33 points on the season it's not enough to make up for what he costs his team night in and night out. Therrien, Pittsburgh's coach, was upset with Whitney's play about a week ago and berated him in a post-game interview. Whitney has apparently forgotten about that and has slid back into playing like a scared little girl and returned to his regularly scheduled program of costing the Penguins' games. It'll never happen, but I'd love to see him out of Pittsburgh at the deadline for anything and anyone. Ryan Whitney for Derrian Hatcher, who has no cartilage left in his knees? Sure. Ryan Whitney for a player to be named later? Sure. Ryan Whitney for a player to be named never? Absolutely. Unfortunately, he's signed to a lengthy deal so Penguins' fans will be stuck watching him bumble around in the defensive zone and get embarrassed by average players for a long time to come. Frankly, Pittsburgh can't win a cup, or maybe even a playoff series, if Whitney is playing 20+ minutes. It's pathetic. The best thing that could happen to the Penguins would be to have Whitney go down for the rest of the season.

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