ISLES-PENGUINS POST-GAME CHATTER
The Penguins are the highest scoring team and have the best line in hockey in Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis. Kunitz, Crosby, Dupuis have combined for 20 goals and 44 points when on the ice together at even strength, and are arguably the best puck possession line in the NHL.
The big development, though, for the Penguins this month that might affect their trade deadline plans, has been the emergence of Beau Bennett who is becoming a fit as the second line left winger, possessing excellent vision, a high hockey IQ and a better overall game than expected. Bennett's emergence is filling a major void and it's leading some to wonder why GM Ray Shero would pay the premium to for example acquire a Jarome Iginla when the Penguins have other pressing needs such as a big bodied defenseman who's effective in defending the front of the net, and a third/fourth line forward that makes it difficult on the opposition and Penguins tougher to play against.
"Beau's been playing stronger and stronger," Bylsma said about the rookie winger following tonight's 6-1 win over the New York Islanders.
When it comes to acquiring another top-6 forward, there's good arguments coming from both sides, those who believe the Penguins need to go all out for a Jarome Iginla type player and those who feel there are other pressing needs than a scoring winger.
One thing to keep in mind and this why I think the Penguins will try to add another top-6 forward if the price is right, is that Penguin management has always felt the need to have someone who can take over a playoff game or multiple games in a series when Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby aren't going well at the same time. With Jordan Staal no longer around, that could be on the Penguins mind come trade deadline time.
As for Iginla, he is a major unknown at this point as the Penguins have had zero trade talks with the Flames, and like every other NHL team, they have no idea yet what the asking price would be or whether Iginla will in fact go on the market.
The Penguins are certainly intrigued about Iginla and there's chatter that he's the one player they feel who could be the missing piece, but there's still not a good read on what they would be willing to give up for him, especially considering the fact that Iginla still wants to get paid this off-season with word being that Iginla who's 35 years old, will be seeking a three to four year deal at over $5 million per season.
Regardless, Iginla being linked to Pittsburgh isn't going to go away and one prominent winger on the Penguins top line was asked following tonight's game if there is still a need for Iginla as the Penguins clearly don't lack offense.