Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pittsburgh All-In For Cup Run

"In my club, I will splash the pot whenever the fuck I please."
The Pittsburgh Penguins were already one of the top teams in the league before Ray Shero started working the phones earlier this week. Unbeaten in 12 games with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang on the shelf with injuries, Shero decided to add some depth to his squad. Adding Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, the team extended their winning streak to 13 on Tuesday. Then they got into the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes and landed him to their already star-studded roster. With all these moves it was no wonder Ray Shero was quoted as saying, "we're all-in, we want to win" today. No shit, he's built a team that should be illegal to play with in NHL 13.

First, it was Brenden Morrow. Two seasons removed from a 33-goal season, Morrow had been struggling in Dallas this year with 6 goals and 11 points through 29 games. The captain of the Stars was seeing less ice time than he was used to at under 15 minutes a night, and as an impending UFA in the offseason, the writing was on the wall. Morrow brings plenty of big-game experience to the Pens lineup and should fit in nicely on their 3rd line and 2nd powerplay unit.

Then it was Douglas Murray. Murray's story is pretty similar to that of Morrow's. A few years removed from a career year and an impending UFA this summer, Murray was well on his way out of San Jose. Not known for his offensive game from the blueline, Murray is a hard-nosed defencemen who is good for 200+ hits and well over a 100 blocked shots in a season. While he's struggled this season with a -8 rating, Murray has still kept his hits and blocks up which will be great for the Penguins D-core come the long grind of the playoffs against some of the tops teams in the East.

And then in a surprise twist to a rumour-filled night, the Penguins landed Jarome Iginla late last night. His track record is well documented: Art Ross winner, two-time Rocket Richard winner, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and the Flames franchise scoring leader with 525 goals and 1095 points. While his 11-straight seasons of 30+ goals will come to an end (would have anyways with a 48-game season) with 9 goals and 22 points through 29 games this season, he could find new life in Pittsburgh. I'm not a doctor, but going from a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2009 to a Stanley Cup favourite is pretty good for your health. Iggy will be playing with much better guys and won't have the pressure to carry the offence on his shoulders with guys like Crosby, Malkin, and Neal playing around him.

The Pittsburgh Penguins now look like a fantasy team on paper and have clearly won the arms race at the Trade Deadline. Take a look at their potential starting roster when healthy:

Kunitz - Crosby - Iginla
Neal -  Malkin - Dupuis
Morrow - Sutter - Cooke
Kennedy - Jeffrey - Adams

Letang - Niskanen
Orpik - Martin
Murray - Engelland

Fleury
Vokoun
Fuck that is scary.


2 comments:

  1. They added some vets. But some worn out slow skating vets.
    All 3 don't have much gas left in the tank

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stanley cup playoffs foreshadowing
    "Morrow with the game winning goal in Overtime"

    ReplyDelete

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