Scouts Buzz: Penguins to have close eye on Sabres this month?
The Pittsburgh Penguins in their quest to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions have one Achilles heel, the Olli Maatta – Trevor Daley pairing.
And it’s more Olli Maatta than anything.
Daley while not a good player in his own end, gives the Penguins more with his ability to skate where he’s a superior player in joining the rush, has a better first pass off the breakout and a stronger escape ability due to his skating ability. As Daley showed in last Tuesday night’s win vs the Predators, he still has a goal scorers type shot for a defenseman from the point after scoring 16 goals in 2014-2015 for the Stars.
Maatta meanwhile continues to show major physical limitations with his lack of skating ability, struggles to defend the net-front, and he doesn’t deal with pressure well against tenacious forechecking teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets which was the case this past Friday night. The tape was also not good in previous meetings vs Bruins and Blues who have a group of big power forwards.
The trap Maatta is also falling into is poor decision making with his reads, which is so key to his success as a stay-at-home defenseman.
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