Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Penguins' started by BHD, Sep 3, 2019.
You had one job this summer, JR ....
Man, I’ve been expecting us to be anchored with the deal since we signed it for at least a couple years.
That’s why I was so pissed about it.
I guess I remembered him from his decent CBJ days since I really did not mind the signing. Salmonsson was also my favorite prospect at one point in time... so...
After looking up Salmonsson, it appears that he and Despres will be playing together this season.
Johnson having a decent year isn't out of the realm of possibility, since he did have a good year as recently as 2016-2017. But even if he isn't decent this year, I struggle to imagine that he'll be worse than he was last year, so I'd at least hope that we've seen the worst from him. I'm not exactly holding my breath on that, but a healthy Schultz may go a long way to making Johnson at least somewhat competent.
The easier solution is to just get rid of Johnson and play Riikola on the bottom pair, though. If you can't do that but can get rid of Gudbranson, I'd just move Gudbranson and play Johnson-Riikola as the 3rd pair.
I mean, there is precedent for dmen to take a probationary period before fitting their role on this particular team. Gonch was stinky-poo his first year and then became one of the best PPQB dmen in the entire damn league so....hey, maybe JJ can transition from hot, rancid garbage and become like, fancy garbage with a few air fresheners on top.
Yeah, it's not particularly uncommon, but it's also not uncommon for defenseman to just suck on their new teams and never fit there. For every Gonchar or Martin type of rebound, you can also cite a Michalek type of continuous failure. Michalek actually got worse after his first season with the Penguins too.
Although looking back on it, how bad was Martin in his first 2 years with the Penguins? I recall at the time for how bad Martin was, but looking at his analytics over those 2 years, he was better analytically in 10-11 and 11-12 than he was in 12-13, and everyone said he was amazing in 12-13. That may just be a case of analytics not being popular yet and the Penguins and fans judging Martin based on his bad ES +/-.
And even if he bounces back to fancy garbage with a few air fresheners on top (which I think has a reasonable possibility), is that something we really want on the team?
And will the team look to leverage that into moving on due to Pettersson's emergence and our cap crunch, or will they instead go "Inhale of our Infalliability, nerds! He's staying forever!"?
I think it depends on what "fancy garbage with a few air fresheners on top" is. If Johnson actually plays like the Penguins advertised him to be (physical D who can skate with the puck and has a solid outlet pass), that would be helpful for the team, just as Ian Cole was helpful for the Penguins. He'd still be poor to bad analytically most likely, but a player like that is useful and can help you win. If Johnson actually plays like that, I think he'd be more useful to keep than Gudbranson. The problem is that Johnson hasn't shown to be that since 2016-2017.
Like others have said, I think the biggest issue is having both Gudbranson and Johnson. If you didn't have one of them, you'd have a much more balanced bottom pair (either JJ-Riikola or Riikola-Gudbranson) and you'd be saving a good chunk of money. With that being said, there's pros and cons of keeping each. I think Johnson is probably better than Gudbranson and makes a little bit less money, but Gudbranson has less term left, is younger and satisfies JR's need for a tough guy.
Garbage of any sort and Ian Cole level are mutually exclusive to me. And I'm an optimist on Pens players, but I can't imagine JJ jumping to that level.
Me, I'm putting 16/17 RS Daley results as my credible ceiling for a JJ resurgence. I regard that as a fair way below what you seem to believe possible.
I think you're overrating what Cole was for the majority of his time here
Maybe analytically, but there's more to judging players than looking at their analytics. I also believe Daley was worse analytically in 2016-2017 than Johnson was last year, so I have a tough time seeing that as JJ's "ceiling".
Johnson makes Ian Cole look like the second coming of Bobby Orr. If that's overrating him then
Just for reference, here's what Johnson's 2016-2017 looked like for the Jackets:
-49.37% CF%, -1.47% CF%Rel
-56.76% GF%, +1.20% GF%Rel
-51.62% xGF%, +2.07% xGF%Rel
-52.42% HDCF%, +2.10% HDCF%Rel
For comparison, here's what Cole was in the same year, which I imagine a lot of people consider Cole's "break out" year:
-49.39% CF%, -1.11% CF%Rel
-58.97% GF%, +5.70% GF%Rel
-52.94% xGF%, +0.08% xGF%Rel
-54.44% HDCF%, +1.08% HDCF%Rel
Idk, I just can't see saying that it's impossible for JJ to jump to Cole's level in Pittsburgh when JJ and Cole were basically indistinguishable analytically in Cole's break out year. 2016-2017 was Cole's best season analytically in Pittsburgh, too. Is it unlikely that Johnson returns to 2016-2017 form? Yeah, but I don't see how it's fair to say that his ceiling is worse than what he was 2 years ago.
I forgot, actually having statistics based discussions on Johnson isn't allowed here. Only emotional arguments are allowed.
But yes, Cole is pretty damn overrated on here. I already posted the stats above for their 2016-2017, and Cole was actually worse than Johnson in 2015-2016 analytically. Johnson was noticeably worse analytically last year for the Penguins than Cole was in any season, but let's not pretend Cole was something amazing here.
Cole was noticed because of his outstanding play on the PK, league-leading shot blocking, and absolute toughness. He wasn't a fighter, but laid a lot of timely hits and did a great job of keeping people off of Murray.
Johnson is the antithesis of that. They may have similar 'production' and true defensive numbers - but the dude is below-average at shot blocking, is the most overrated 'hitter' in the National Hockey League, and pushes people into Murray vs keeping them away.
All things considered - I'd take Ian Cole @ 5.5M before I'd ice Johnson at 3.75. Neither are good contracts for what they bring - but at least you're getting something with Cole.
Not often I hear that! I thought he was unambiguously helpful in his role most of the time that Sully was here.
Daley didn't have a relative negative GF% in double figures and his negative xGF% was roughly half Johnson's last year. That's what I'm referring to.
This is the nub of it so I'm pruning the post to just this and to me, its the fairest thing in the world. His 16-17 season was enough of a high water mark to make questioning its repeatability fair to begin with, but when followed by two seasons of being probably the worst regular dman in the NHL and at an age where we do start to see players decline? I just don't see how he's going to hit that level again. I think its probably impossible.
Oleksiak on that third pair looks pretty good right now. That was a dumb move by JR.
Too many people said that we could easily trade JJ if it didn’t work out...
I still think that if JR wanted nothing but to be rid of JJ, it would have already happened. For better or worse, JR still feels like JJ has value and, while more willing to trade him than last year, it's not going to happen solely as a cap dump.
with him still here, that's the best we can hope for.
training camp hasn't hasn't started yet! there is still time, and i want to believe all those guy's.
Uh.....what? You can't be serious with this. You're basically saying the entire positives of Johnson are not positives of Johnson and are only positives of Cole. That's a downright nonsensical take. Calling Johnson the "antithesis" of what you described Cole is just a factually incorrect statement, and a perfect representation of how overrated Cole was here. You can criticize Johnson for a lot of things, but your criticisms are completely unfounded. Basically all Johnson provides are shot blocking, good play on the PK and "absolute toughness". That is the total extent of what he offers.
Idk, Cole from 2015-2018 and Johnson from 2015-2018 are basically equal analytically, and I imagine most people here would say Johnson was terrible before coming to the Penguins. Even if you're set on Cole being better than Johnson, they're basically 2 of the same flavor of player that gave similar results. Cole was just cheaper and younger. Johnson was way worse last year than what Cole was in Pittsburgh, but Cole in Pittsburgh and JJ in Columbus were basically the same over Cole's career in Pittsburgh.
I feel like the point was more that if Johnson actually plays like how he was advertised by the Penguins, he and Cole would be extremely similar players. Bad analytical players, but provide value with their PKing and physicality.
Oh okay that makes sense. I misunderstood what you meant there. I could see what you're saying, basically Daley's 2016-2017 being Johnson's analytical ceiling in Pittsburgh. I don't think we disagree on that.
Johnson's 2016-2017 was his high water mark, that is true, but he in 16-17 (slightly positive relative stats) wasn't much better than in 15-16 (slightly negative relative stats) or 14-15 (basically even relative stats). I don't think it's reasonable to expect him to revert back to his best analytical season in the last 5 years, but I don't think it's unreasonable to say that he could revert back to his average from 2014-2017, which was basically even relative stats.
I think I saw a McCurdy tweet from January 2018 that describes Johnson from 2014-2017 as a 3rd pair defenseman with some special teams upside, I think that as a ceiling for JJ is perfectly reasonable.
So this article suggests that Marino is closest to NHL ready for the Pens and that the team thinks he’s nearly ready for NHL duty...as I said before, I think he could play third pair RD rn and that JR should be looking to unload Guds $4 mil salary...as much as he was good for us in a short stint last year, we can’t afford him at current salary...
Penguins 2019-20 camp primer: Who are the prospects most likely to contribute this year?
The big asterisk here is that in 2016-17, JJ had a cap hit twice that of Cole. So there's going to be some expectation differences. It's like if Crosby put up the same numbers as Bonino one year. I think you're also overestimating the ability for a player to return to his ceiling at the age of 32 after having a long history of being basically who he is. At least with Cole, while he was here, seemed like a guy who was trending in the right direction. I'm fine moving on from Cole and not having his current cap hit, but dollar for dollar he was a better player than JJ.
Statistical based discussions are allowed, but they become just as biased as emotional arguments if you just throw out stats without context.
Can we stop pretending Johnson isn't going to keep sucking? We don't have to say he's going to sink the team's Cup chances or anything (although he-Guds might as a combo), but there's really no devil's advocate take to have on him that's worth spending time on IMO.
if your stats say jj isn’t a problem
your stats are wrong
He was especially terrible last season, but the guy has never been a good player.
It’s not just a coincidence that all of the teams he’s been on got better once they got rid of him.
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