That's been the oft-expressed goal of the Penguins' offseason, first from Jim Rutherford, then from Mike Sullivan. And they've taken at least a couple strides in a couple of those regards with the acquisitions of Alex Galchenyuk, Dominik Kahun and Brandon Tanev, in addition to the subtractions at hand.
But with Galchenyuk, specifically, they'll either have to settle for two of those three listed traits, or Mike Sullivan will be a unanimous selection for the Jack Adams Award.
Because that dude, barring a total transfusion of personality, will most decidedly not be hard to play against.
Sorry, but that's the truth. Galchenyuk can score and, in fact, should score far more than he does, as I detailed in Part 1 of this two-parter. But the next opponent he concerns for any other reason will be the first, based on both his advanced analytics and on some intensive video breakdown I did on the Coyotes' two meetings in 2018-19 with his new employer.
Get ready to cringe ...
That up there is from the Penguins' 4-0 shutout Nov. 10 at PPG Paints Arena, where the No. 17 sweater barely absorbed a bead of sweat. Nothing more than one-handed, half-hearted swipes at the puck. No points, one shot, minus-1 rating, 2-10 on faceoffs.
Want to see one of the latter?
That's the only defensive-zone faceoff Galchenyuk took, and even that wasn't Rick Tocchet's choice but right off an icing. He gets cleaned by Sidney Crosby, then proceeds to do everything else incorrectly, chief among them being following one's center after a lost draw. He instead just ... drifts away from everyone.
Examples abound, but this next one's two full minutes, and I dare say they're mandatory viewing for anyone seeking the complete of what to expect:
Oh, yeah. That's real. All 99 seconds of one of the worst shifts any opponent had on local ice all winter long. From passively backing off Kris Letang exiting the Pittsburgh zone to being beaten to every 50/50 puck to standing and watching as the Penguins pummeled Darcy Kuemper relentlessly, that's the defensive conscience of this player. It probably took all of Tocchet's will to keep from jumping the boards and throttling him.