It’s no secret that Kristopher Letang has been…subpar in his first sixteen games of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kris Letang. I’ve defended him a lot over the years because he’s one of my favorite players, but his play recently has been nothing short of God awful.
Now when you look at the numbers they look fine really. 11 points in 16 games which is normal for a defenseman of his caliber. Then you see his plus/minus and it’s a whopping -16.
Basically Letang has been on the ice for a goal against every game. That’s not okay for defenseman of his caliber. We all know he’s better than this but let’s just take a moment to recap his last few games.
Against Vancouver, he was a -3 with no goals or assists. Against Calgary, he recorded an assist and was +1 due to himself. Against Edmonton, he recorded two assists and was even in a game where, really, it was not his most spectacular game of the season. Against Winnipeg, he was -3 with an assist on the lone goal in a 7-1 game. Up until they scored a useless powerplay goal, he was -4 on the night. Finally against Minnesota, Letang had an assist in a 2-1 loss but was -1 due to Mikko Koivu‘s redirect that gave us all a headache later that night.
My point is, I don’t know what is going on with Letang, (and I don’t mean to sound too obvious) but it needs to stop if this team is going to start winning hockey games. When your best defenseman is playing like garbage almost 90% of the time, it rubs off on your younger players, especially when you have a letter.
Through those last five games, Letang only has 2 PIM which I think is a positive, the sole positive in his play recently. His ice time has been the same old same old playing almost 25 minutes a game.
Hopefully he can end this streak of bad play Tuesday night against a struggling Arizona team. I think we all need this from him. No promises Clayton Keller won’t walk him like a dog.