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Pensburgh wrapup: Alex Goligoski

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." --Alexander the Great

Season stats: 69 gp, 8g, 29a, 37p, +7, 22 PIMs
Playoff stats: 13 gp, 2g, 7a, 9p, +4, 2 PIMs

Month-by-month Pensburgh grades:
October: A+
November: I
December: C-
January: B-
February: C-
March: C
Playoff: B-

Contract status: Signed through 2011-12 season ($1,833,000 cap hit)...Restricted free agent summer 2012

Interesting stat: Goligoski ranked tied for 18th amongst all defensemen in the NHL with six even strength goals. However he only scored two power play goals.

The Good: It's sometimes hard to remember, but 2009-10 was Goligoski's first full season in the NHL. He's been a Sergei Gonchar replacement before, but Goligoski was seldom used in the 2009 post-season (he appeared as a 7th defensemen in two games), so he was basically brand new to Stanley Cup playoffs, and he played 20+ minutes in the post-season.

Goligoski also scored out positively against his teammates when it came to Corsi Ratings and Quality of Competition figures.

Creating offense is Goose's bread and butter though. League wide he tied for 31st amongst points amongst defense, and he probably should, being as he played 3:46 on the power play per game, 18th most among defenders. Much of that time is with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, so being just tied for 27th among d-men in points and only scoring 2 PPG with all that ice-time.

The Not-so-good: Guess maybe the second half of the last paragraph could go in here.

Aside from maybe not producing as many points as could have been expected, Goligoski suffered some other growing pains, which again has to be expected for a young and green defenseman.

There's also the issue of that production. Through his first 15 games Goligoski scored six goals (a ridiculous 33 goal pace over a full season). Then a leg injury set in on him in November and Goligoski didn't look like the same comfortable or confident player, he'd go on to score only two goals in his last 54 regular season game.

Goligoski would appear to need to heed Alex the Great's advice and play more like a lion, and not look tenative like he does at times.

Final verdict: As a growing, developing young defensemen Goligoski had some moments where he looked great and some where he drove Penguin fans mad. Giving general discourse of running a blog, being in arenas, and sitting in bars, I've noticed Penguin fans give Goligoski a tougher time than perhaps any player not named Fleury (not counting guys like Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko that no one likes).

Question and Discussion: If Sergei Gonchar moves on, what does Goligoski have to do to replace him? Have you put specific goal/assist/point rates that you'd like to see Goose hit in 2010-11?