Kris Letang came into this season after recovering from a long-term injury that kept him out of last year's Stanley Cup playoff run and a huge chunk of the season.
While the time off may have allowed him to come into the season fresh, unlike most of his teammates, his timing and hockey reads have been off, resulting in a team-worst -12 plus/minus differential.
Saturday night's game against the Arizona Coyotes started off much like other games this season, with a few poor giveaways and questionable decisions. However, he managed to turn things around as the game went on, simplifying his game and making the great plays, that, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey, "makes him one of the best defensemen in the entire NHL."
Mike Sullivan noticed the issues in the first period, but commended Letang for how he improved his game as time went on.
“I didn’t think he had the best start, but he settled into the game,” Sullivan said, as reported by Mackey. “He simplified his game, and I think that’s when he’s at his best, when he takes what the game gives him and doesn’t force anything that isn’t there.”
If Letang stays on this path - that is, he simplifies the game and doesn't force plays, he will return to form, and become the dominant defenseman the Pittsburgh Penguins have sorely needed throughout the first half of the season.