Obviously a lot of talk about who the Penguins are targeting at the trade deadline. What do you guys think the Penguins actually NEED? Do they need scoring? Do they need help on defense? What kind of help on defense?
I think the Penguins need two specific things:
1) They need this year's Hal Gill
2) They need this year's Billy G, or at least a winger for Malkin that can not only score here and there, but just make life harder on other teams.
Scoring is a major issue for this club despite what the stats say. The glaring issue is ES scoring outside of the 1st line.
Malkin: 5 G
Neal: 16 G
Cooke: 5 G(this stat is somewhat inaccurate to the 2nd line since he hasn't played on there the entire season)
That being said: Neal has 8PPG and Malkin has 3PPG. What this shows is that they aren't scoring enough at ES. While you can say the Pens are getting scoring from up and down the line-up, it's slightly deceptive. Let's examine what the Pens' forwards are doing at ES
Pens' total goals at ES: 67G
Pens' total goals at ES from Forwards: 54G
Pens' total goals at ES from Defense: 13G
1st line ES Goals: 26G (almost 50% of the Pens' ES scoring from forwards)
2nd line ES Goals: 10G (I'm only calculating Malkin + Neal since they've had different forwards here throughout the season, so you could say it actually range between 12-13).
All other forwards ES scoring: We could say appx. 5 to 7 goals from around the line up @ ES.
What's the issue here?
-If teams shut down the 1st line, the Pens are pretty much shut down.
-Malkin needs to step it up. He's playing well, but obviously a bit snake-bit this year.
While Malkin could wake up at any time and change the dynamic of this team, they need help. Bennett is beginning showing that he could be the answer; he's getting comfortable and I'd hate to halt the development of this kid, but the need something up there.
Let's be clear, our solutions are necessarily what we think would realistically would happen, but what we think would work.
I think the Penguins need to acquire Iginla or Setoguchi(or similar).
What does getting Iginla mean?
I set it up that way because I believe if the Pens keep Bennett up with the big club, he should either be on the top-six or be sent down. Dupuis on the third line with Sutter and Cooke makes that 2nd line MUCH deadlier. It's not a demotion for Dupuis, but rather a distribution from the skill and makes the team strong through three lines.
Again, this makes a MUCH stronger third line capable of real scoring.
The Penguins scoring a lot overall, but they're also letting in a lot, so they either need to get stronger defensively or increase their scoring potential. Obviously if they can do both it would be ideal, but you can't always get that done at the trade deadline. Setoguchi and Iginla not only bring higher scoring potential, but they make it tougher for teams to play against the Pens. They both bring a decent two-way game, physical style and increase the Pens' potential for puck possession. Even if it didn't lead to a large increase in scoring, longer puck possession in a way means better D because there would be less time for the other team to score.
While I'd love to see the Penguins get stronger on the defensive side of things, I believe they need to let their defense situation play itself out this season. The Penguins have a logjam of players waiting to make the jump over the next two-three years years with Despres, Bortuzzo, Harrington, Morrow, Dumolin and Pouliot. Plus Orpik, Letang, Niskanen and Engellend becoming FAs after next season. There's a lot to sort out and should let it play out for this year.
Last edited by Hugo Stiglitz
on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.