Penguins Notes 1/28/13
The Penguins currently sit with a 3-2-0 record after topping the Senators just one night ago, and the record truly shows how this team has played. After two wins against the Rangers and Flyers, the Pens dropped two against Toronto and Winnipeg respectively. There were many reasons why the team lost those two games, and it was against Ottawa that the team showed they could adjust and play a game that isn’t pretty, but capable of wining. It was the first game that they didn’t try to do too much while handling the puck, they got back to basics, managed the puck well and created chances off of the other teams mistakes. It may not have been pretty or flashy, but it’s what they should have been doing from game one. Over time the team will get stronger and capable of playing the up tempo fast transition game they want, but until things start to click, keeping it simple is the way to go.
Over the last four or five days rumors have been swirling around Simon Despres and if he has a future with the Penguins. Today it was said that Ray Shero talked to certain teams interested that Despres is available for the right price. Montreal, Winnipeg and Minnesota appear to be the three teams in the hunt for his services. Reported yesterday was the Wild offered Devin Setoguchi for Despres, but it seems Shero is looking for a younger player with which he has a better shot of controlling their future. Setoguchi doesn’t exactly fit that plan, but don’t count this out completely. I would like to see a multiplayer deal, send Despres and a mid round pick for two players, maybe a roster player (winger) and an aging D-man? As of right now though, anything is possible.
Tangradi has been a big talking point all season so far, he was believed to be that elusive winger the Penguins desperately needed, unfortunately he hasn’t been given a fair shot. He is the player everyone LOVES to Hate, but people need to understand he is not a superstar and will not be a superstar. He is the type of player that needs time to grow with his teammates and build chemistry, until then he will continue to disappoint. In the game against Ottawa he made a perfect play by simply driving to the net which led to a Neal goal. Without that drive Craig Anderson may have cheated a little towards Neal and saved the shot. If you do not like his play with Malkin then give him a shot with Crosby, at this point you might as well try anything to get more scoring.
All while the team shuffles the lines finding the “right” winger for Malkin, a very impressive player is under their nose in Wilkes-Barre. Beau Bennett. Many may feel he isn’t ready for the NHL, but until they give him a shot you will never know. How about we move Kunitz back with Malkin and Neal and have Bennett play two or three games with Sidney and Dupuis? This could potentially help keep Despres in the system, or give Shero a chance to trade him for another piece that could help.
Around the League
Subban to the Flyers is a possibility, but I feel is a last resort for the Canadiens. If they move him they will attempt to get him out of the Conference in my opinion.
It appears Expansion could be in the future for the NHL, I hate the idea. 30 teams sets a perfect ratio and keeps it exciting with the amount of talent available in the League.
Realignment needs figured out before next season. I enjoy the games in Winnipeg, but the way the schedule is set up, it is very unfair to that team, as well as others like Dallas, Detroit and Columbus. Maybe they attempt the four conference alignment again, I think that would work best. (Proposed NHL realignment in 2011)