Is there a comparison between the past two Stanley Cup Winners, the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings? For one, both had great goaltending and a legitimate number 1 shutdown pair that at the end of the day, you have to have come playoff time. The Kings shutdown pair of Drew Doughty and Rob Scuderi played a big part in limiting Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk to one point each, while last year Henrik Sedin had 1 goal, minus-7 rating and Daniel Sedin had 4 points and a minus-7 rating as Zdeno Chara frustrated and gave the twins fits.
Offensively both teams didn’t have a Sidney Crosby type superstar but were a well rounded group with skill and grit. The comparisons are definitely there on how to win playoff hockey.
For the Kings, what stands out in their 16-4 run was also their size in how it enabled them to wear down the opposition and that’s what has jumped out to scouts. With how the game is evolving, it’s an excellent blueprint that other GM’s will surely be following. Will the Penguins look to go that route?
The Penguins are a team that believes in skill and speed under head coach Dan Bylsma and it’s led to the Penguins becoming smallish on the wings, most notably on their third and fourth lines. The Penguins were one of the smaller teams in the NHL last season. Their average weight was 200.8, which ranked 27th in the NHL and their average heigth was slightly above 6-foot-0, which ranked in the bottom six of the league.
When evaluating on how to attack this off-season, m anagement is said to have discussed with team scouts, coaches on how the league is evolving with crashing the crease and bumping the goaltender becoming more of the norm, along with obstruction and whether the Penguins need to adapt. The Penguins are among the advocates of keeping skill in the game, which has them being at the forefront of pointing out obstruction acts in faceoffs and such in league meetings.
From a size standpoint to bulk up their third and fourth lines, that’s a route the Penguins need to seriously consider. The Penguins have one internal option in Eric Tangradi who is a pending restricted free agent.
If the Penguins view the need to get bigger as a priority on the third or fourth lines, don’t be surprised if they look into the likes of Travis Moen (6-2, 220) and Daniel Winnik (6-2, 215) in free agency. Both were players Pittsburgh was looking into prior to the trade deadline.