DISCUSSIONS INCREASING AROUND TRADE TARGETS
Aside from Evgeni Malkin and some puck luck in the third period, a storyline out of the Penguins 5-4 win over the Canucks was the Penguins’ blueline.
The Penguins had planned to get Derrick Pouliot in a game or two before he is sent back down to Wilkes Barre on Wednesday and with Ian Cole struggling this was going to be the more ideal game to get Pouliot in than Sunday (which is now cancelled) against the NHL leading Capitals.
The storyline wasn’t just Pouliot getting into the lineup.
In a move that has needed to happen, the coaching staff split up the Brian Dumoulin – Ben Lovejoy pair by bumping Trevor Daley up with Dumoulin and moving Lovejoy to the third pair with Pouliot.
This narrative that Ben Lovejoy has a great impact on young defensemen is quite laughable. In Anaheim Cam Fowler carried Lovejoy and if the Dumoulin – Lovejoy pair remains split up moving forward, fans are going to see how much Dumoulin carried Lovejoy.
It’s important for the Penguins to get Lovejoy into a No. 3 pairing role where he is more suited anyways. Less time 5 v 5 with the top-2 lines is also a win for the Penguins. Splitting up Dumoulin – Lovejoy shouldn’t be a short-term thing even if changing up the d-pairs wasn’t a smashing success vs Vancouver, despite the good advance stats from the No. 2 and No. 3 pairs.
With Lovejoy away from Dumoulin who continues to play at a top-4 level, the Pouliot – Lovejoy pairing was a disaster in the first period. However, they weren’t alone.
Olli Maatta was worse and had an extremely poor game in dealing with the Canucks speed upfront and his puck management was abysmal.
Back to Pouliot.
He got his ‘back-to-the NHL’ moment in just his second shift of the game.
Someone may need to check on Pouliot's ankles, because they may be broken them! #Canucks pic.twitter.com/2HVRTpDKiF
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 23, 2016
The Pouliot – Lovejoy pairing allowed four high danger scoring opportunities in the first period. Head coach Mike Sullivan felt Pouliot improved as the game went on.
“I thought as the game went on, Pouliot adjusted well,” Sullivan said. “He made some pretty good outlet passes. We know he’s going to continue to improve and get better.”
Sullivan also called Pouliot getting some game action a great experience for him.
Right now is the Penguins best lineup with Pouliot as the No. 6 d-man or Ian Cole?
One side of the argument is the best way for Pouliot to get better defensively is to take his lumps at the NHL level. That might be true but barring injuries, hard to see this coaching staff willing to take that stance down the stretch in fighting for a playoff spot and there’s a reason Pouliot is not being looked at as a player whose going to be a significant contributor this season.
With Pouliot’s offense not at the point where it outweighs his defensive issues, coaches almost always go with the safer player and that’s why Ian Cole or even David Warsofsky is likely to be favored over Pouliot down the stretch and into the post-season.
Pouliot not yet being counted out on for a big role with the NHL club might be concerning being he was the 8th overall pick in a draft that was almost four years ago, but the real issue for the Penguins in the present has been Ian Cole looking everything of the No. 7 defenseman he was in St. Louis and Olli Maatta still not there of being an impact top-4 defenseman on a nightly basis. Maatta has his moments but the consistency is not yet there.
Those reasons along with obvious concerns of Kris Letang going down with a significant injury, has the Penguins badly looking to add a top-4 defenseman.
Rental trade targets the Penguins love, Kris Russell and Dustin Byfuglien, are not yet available. One name with term and very much available that the Penguins have discussed internally and those discussions will continue at their scouting meetings is To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
— Matt Cullen started the game on the 4th line but with Chris Kunitz out, Cullen would find his way skating on Sidney Crosby’s left wing. Cullen played over nine minutes at even strength with Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. Cullen has quickly become a favorite of Mike Sullivan.
— Carl Hagelin’s play away from the puck was excellent in the win. Hagelin’s speed on the back check in the neutral zone in providing backpressure was very strong, notably on Evgeni Malkin’s third goal of the game.
— Beau Bennett has been dealing with a right shoulder injury since last spring that team sources indicate could need sTo read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
1st Hat Trick in almost four years: First hat trick since February 25, 2012.
Improved Power Play Numbers: Malkin scored 10 power play goals or more in his first four NHL seasons and five of his first six seasons. Malkin’s 10 power play goals this season is the first time he’s scored 10 power play goals in a season since the 2011-2012 season, also the last season he totaled more than 72 points in a season.
Point Per Game Malkin: Malkin’s three point game has him leading the Penguins with 47 points in 47 games. The last time Malkin finished a season averaging under one point per game was in 2010-2011 when he had an injury shortened season with 37 points in 43 games.
Offensive Production Continues for Letang: Kris Letang was a minus-3 in the win but picked up two assists giving him 28 points in his last 26 games.
6-for-6 – Sidney Crosby has scored in six straight home games.
Lol finally cleared for contact. McDavid hurt yet?
No he forgot Bennetts agenda at home
Pussy frog Letang – he’ll give you 60 games a year whether you need it or not!
yeah and american fraud will give you 25 games a year whether you need it or not
It. Doesn’t. Matter. He’s a nobody. Unlike the frog pussy stealing a $7.25m cap hit. Pay attention you French moron.
Letang the defensive Bennet
at 7x the price point.
Is the pens linked to any other player in the nhl or just cbj players
Jack Johnson…..as much as I joke, he would br a great 2nd pairing guy to go with Daley. Then drop dumo to the 3rd pairing with Cole.
Phaneuf would’ve been a good addition to pens. Instead of chubby
Phaneuf sucks, but i agree, hed be better than you.
Get a life you fat fuckk
I like that top 6, have to imagine pouliot would be involved
Lovejoy and Dumoulin have been a solid pair. If anyone is scratched, it will be Cole, not Lovejoy.
Did you guys see Alex ovechkin with his snowblower cleaning in front of his house. Wearing his russia Olympics winter jacket
What a weird question.
Bryan Rust > Martin St. Louis
Its no coincidence that this team plays harder and is less emotionally fragile the more the roster is trimmed of Canadian players.
Last I checked this team had more Canadians when they won in 09 and frenchy fleury and talbot were the difference maker in game 7
And yet the true difference makers were a Russian MVP, American leadership, and 5 non-Canadian defensemen covering Fleury’s then-fragile mind.
This team looks even better without that French Canadian slug Perron. Good thing Pens have Hagelin over him.
It will look even better if they get rid of some Americans like gayjoy and chubby
Already it’s looking better by getting rid of one American and replacing with a Canadian. Scuderi for Daley. Yup that Scuderi once upon a time was going to carry letang and teach him how to be a real defense. And play vs ovechkin. According to some droolers on this site
Bennett injured yet. ? American Fraud made with porcelain
99% of French Canadian hockey players are huge vagines. Fact.
Bring up McNeil and dump Lovejoy.
What are the positives of playing Lovejoy? I understand choosing a veteran over a young guy, but doesn’t the veteran have to do something well? I’d play DP with Cole in the 5/6 role all day over anybody with Lovejoy.
DP fucking blows.
I hate that, “play a vet over a younger player”. If the younger player is better, play the damn guy.” Problem is, do we have a guy on the roster better than lovejoy?
We’ll never know. I’d rather have Taylor Chorney than Lovejoy. I’ll ask again, what is the strength to Lovejoy’s game?
Clendening better than gayjoy and his gone too
Burtozzo, despres better than gayjoy.
Niskanen, Martin and orpig better than gayjoy. This team has been going backwards since firing DB when it comes to have a good defensive squad .as if they are relying on more defensive system and saying OK we can get shitier defense to do the job. Let’s invest more on offense .when db was around the defense squad was better. As if they said this clown needs better defense of succeed because his system suckss .bottom line as I said before and I say it again this organization is a Circus
I’m pretty concerned with how slow Maatta is. If he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with these guys, he’s going to have to learn to play his angles better to keep guys from blowing past him and getting to the net. Coaching needs to step up there.
Um, we only notice when they go through DP’s legs? It happened to Lovejoy yeaterday also and happens to him almost every game.
Tarssenko dancing around with that highlights goal on gayjoy
The notion that Cam Fowler carried someone is pretty good.
Acquiring cole and lovejoy at last years deadline will be the reason the pens finish in 10th. Way to go Rutherford.
That’s right. Two bottom pairing defenseman and Farnham. Those were the keys.
It wont matter unless they get into the 7 position-i dont see them getting by the caps regardless-but they are getting in the playoffs-just a matter of where
Lovejoy is to defense as what Depaoli is to sports journalism.