Pittsburgh’s 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils should be another reality check for the organization of how big of a gap there is between the Penguins and the top-6 teams in the Eastern Conference.
The 2014-2015 season was the last time the Penguins were this late into a season where the roster and style of play gave a bleak feeling where they had little chance to win a round or be competitive. At least then the core was in their late 20’s and Marc Ande Fleury was the netminder and there was always some hope.
Stacked against the true six Eastern Conference Contenders, Boston, Carolina, New Jersey, Toronto, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay, this team inspires no hope and there’s a mountain to climb where you’re poorly constructed and can’t believe I’m saying this with Mike Sullivan at the helm, the Penguins are badly coached right now. There continues to be no urgency or desire to change the way they play from implementing system changes. It’s maddening.
For the Penguins to win four out of seven times against any hypothetical first-round matchup, they would need a miracle as in getting .940 type save percentage and just completely lights out special teams play game in and game out. If that gives you confidence in managing a team to go all-in at the deadline, go right ahead.
Will Hextall toe the line of Buyer-Seller?
Of course, Pittsburgh’s actions this summer was one of going All-In. They signed Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin into their 40’s, they went into uncomfortable range in term to resign Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell. Then there’s the gamble the Penguins took of trading for 35 year old defenseman Jeff Petry whose best days are behind him. Pittsburgh got fooled by some computer telling them they should have been a three round team last post-season.
This is a lost season when it comes to truly competing for a Stanley Cup.
So what should Hextall do?
The right move looks to be to toe the line of buyer-seller. Many around the league believe in a sense that’s where Hextall’s head has been for weeks. On the rental market he’s been looking at some change of scenery type additions that could be added at a low cost and any type of aggressiveness on the market from Hextall has been more towards players with term, an area the Penguins have to make sure it’s the right fit and not get burned. Is there a way for the Penguins to move out 3-4 players, some with value, still make the playoffs by default and get stomped in round 1 like they will with or without these specific players? That’s the route to go.
Short-Term Moves to ponder between now and the Trade Deadline
Goaltending: This team is not worth it to trade your 2023 first round pick just to lose in five games in Round 1 anyways. What Hextall does owe this club is do something at the goaltending position and as in this week.
Jason Zucker: The Penguins need about three or four more Jason Zuckers but a decision needs to be made between now and the deadline on whether he’s part of the long-term plans or not. Zucker’s agent Eustance King rTo read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
Stars remain interested in Jeff Petry? To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
Gauge Brian Dumoulin’s Value: General Manager’s can get duped based on a players’ past performances and one name scouts feel would still hold value on the market is Brian Dumoulin. A league executive went as far to say he believes Pittsburgh could get a third-round pick for Dumoulin.
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Wow red wings dont want to be sellers they think they can make playoffs still
I guess they smelled blood they know penguins and caps are done
I heard npl jumped the wagon already cheering panthers lol
And zeroTool. Cheering for the deadmonton spoilers
So does his kind
Schenn healthy scratch. Too many defense being healthy scratched lately
Petry for Klingberg?
This team is only a few moves away from contending…All have lost faith, the core is playing well it is the supporting cast that is underwhelming, injuries, inconsistency and lack of heart. 3 moves that can be made if Hextall stops being so Fu*****ing conservative.. Third line center (Henrique or Max Domi)Top 4 LHD Dimitry KulikovJonas Korpasalo goaltender UFA on a $1.3 million deal. (he is on fire right now) They have Merzlikins signed ;long term. Teddy Blueger 28 UFA @SID9701 $2.2 million to Anaheim for LHD Dimitry Kulikov 32 UFA $2.25 million. maybe some sweetener needs to be added.… Read more »
The Pens don’t have the cap space for those guys and they wouldn’t be contenders anyway. They would also have to deplete their already thin farm system only to just lose in the first round again. This season isn’t salvageable, so they need to move forward accordingly.
I disagree….moving Dumoulin, Kapanen, Blueger, Joseph, and yes maybe Petry (Dallas) and Jarry that is plenty of cap space…$20.5 million ????
All these players can be moved….. look Kyle Dubas in Toronto, Tampa Bay, Lou Lamoriello, Steve Yzerman all make it work right up against the
No one wants those players lol. And if you’re trading Jarry, you’re punting on the season anyway. And who would want that KK cap hit?
So guys once again sam was right about petry for how garbage he is
When half of u. Used to drooll over him so penguins get him and get rid of letang
Also you see how blues are getting rid of their players rebuilding their future
Something penguins shouldve dont in 2017. Trade the russian
Now how fun
This team dark days will come and empty arena days are coming. You already have half the bandwagons here jumped ship already they are gone. Including npl. He ia probably supporting florida panthera
No one anywhere, ever, “drooled ” over Petry. It’s funny that you have to make things up to be right about. And Letang sucks.
Hi Sam! Missed you!
real quick – move all your FA’s if you can – do not sign zucker. take the guys you move and attach the picks received in the FA trades and move some additional cap space and perhaps a player to change the make up of the current team. You get cap space. Then in the off-season, move 59 for a real move and make smart decisions in FA to provide the bases for a younger aggressive team, that can support the core.
Amen. If we can get Petry off our roster, that would be incredible. And don’t retain. There’s no way you can give Jarry what he’s asking for and if he’s healthy by the deadline, I don’t think it’s out of the question to get a 2nd rd pick for him. I would retain on Zucker if it helps the return with it being his last year. The can potentially have a ton of cap space this off-season with their full compliment of picks. That needs to be the goal this year.
I agree – I actually feel they would still compete for a playoff spot if they made those moves since the field around them is still fairly vulnerable.