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Insider Only Penguins – Avs Fallout: Negative trends alarming? + Latest Trade Chatter

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“I don’t think it was one of our better games as of late. Certainly we were happy with the result, but that’s probably where it ends” — Mike Sullivan on the Penguins 4-1 win over the Avalanche

If Matt Murray doesn’t have the game he does, the Penguins are probably coming out with a 5-3 loss instead of a 4-1 win. The quality chances against were enormous, especially in the first period when the Avalanche had a prime opportunity to get the Penguins chasing the game.

That’s a typical game against a basement dweller where an elite team like the Penguins doesn’t play particularly well and makes enough plays to come out with two points against an opponent that’s hard to get up for.


— Two negative trends for the Penguins this season, has been getting pushed around against bigger teams and the quality chances against. Both were on display last night. Will it eventually be the Penguins downfall? Because of the Penguins ability to consistently create high danger scoring chances, the quality chances against at times gets washed out, especially when they’re getting .930+ even strength save percentage goaltending from Matt Murray like they’re getting. At least for this season, there’s no reason for the Penguins to go back into 2014-2015 mold and feel the need to add guys like Max Lapierre and Daniel Winnik to beef up their group. Neither of these issues are major concerns.

— If Jim Rutherford wants to revisit talks with the Colorado Avalanche for a Matt Duchene who the Penguins love or Gabriel Landeskog, today might be the day as Olli Maatta had one of his best games in weeks in front of the Avalanche brass.

Carter Rowney had a strong game, on the ice for 11 shot attempts, just 3 against. Even with the Penguins rash of injuries, Bryan Rust went down with a right arm injury, if the team can move Eric Fehr at the deadline they still should do it.

They have young guys/inexperienced players who can fill his role even with some key injuries and give the Penguins a bit more skill/speed with the likes of Carter Rowney, Oskar Sundqvist and even a player like Josh Archibald could soon be worth a look.

The 4th line misses Chris Kunitz ability to drive play but if Fehr’s not playing center, he’s not a good fit as a winger in this system where the Penguins want their wingers to get up the ice quickly. The Penguins are going to be most dangerous this spring if they’re maximizing Matt Cullen’s ability and having skill around him.

Vs Colorado Fehr had a Shot Attempts For Percentage of 26.3%, on the ice for 5 shot attempts, 14 against. Matt Cullen when on the ice with Fehr this season, his most prominent winger based on minutes usage, has a 42 CF%.

Matt Cullen with Chris Kunitz, 62 CF%, with Bryan Rust, 58 CF%, with Scott Wilson, 51 CF%.

— The Minnesota Wild are still seeking a 4th line center prior to the deadline. Have to wonder if there’s some regret in not signing Matt Cullen who waited and waited for Minnesota to make an offer before deciding to return to the Penguins. Will the Wild revisit Eric Fehr? Likely not because of the contract but Bruce Boudreau is a fan and wants more size in the Wild’s bottom-6.

One Eastern Conference team, that scouted Fehr heavily during a recent stretch when he was playing center with Cullen out Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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