So is anyone else disappointed in Vitale’s development?
A lot of chatter about Despres’ but I gotta say, kind of figured Vitale would be further along defensively by now. His ability to keep his speed under control so his tenacity doesn't lead to bad penalties hasn’t improved either. And with Vitale being a UFA after this season, taking his development into account would make his return uncertain.
Use to chalk up those calls to youthful exuberance but seems like the game hasn’t gotten any slower for him. For all the speed and grit he has, he needs to learn how to channel his speed so he can read plays and not get out of control.
Perhaps talking to Dupuis about how he can get the game to slow down for him would be worth while. Super Duper clearly has gotten better at using his speed in spurts so his hands and instincts remain under control. Not only does Vitale miss the occasional defensive assignment but he is out there trying to spin his wheels at 500rpm and misses out on plays cuz he doesn’t realize he has more time than he thinks.
I can see why disco doesn't up his minutes on PK and why he’s clinging onto Adams for 4th line role. He doesn't have vitale’s speed, obviously, but he’s willing to block shots and make simple plays sans bad penalties. Fact that pens have shifted Vitale to RW on occasion shows that they don't have faith in his defense at center and with the lapses he's had, I can see why.
Pens would like nothing more than for a younger cap friendly player to take the next step. If Vitale can fine tune his motor he can be that guy. If he doesn't, I can see pens wanting to put his 550K elsewhere. The job and increased role for Vitale is there for the taking, he just needs to focus on the game coming to him.