Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Game Day- Pens (Let's Make a Deal Edition)

The Pittsburgh Penguins, whom you may remember from such films as The 2008 Stanley Cup Final and Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby Lead the NHL in Points, are in a bit of a slump right now.

They lost their fifth straight game last night, an embarrassing shutout at the hands of Lundquist and the Rangers. They're desperate for a win, and I have absolute confidence they'll end their losing streak tonight.

What I'm interested in for our purposes, though, isn't this particular game but the overall situation of these two teams. Sergei Gonchar has been out all season with an injury of some sort, and the loss of his puck-moving abilities--especially during the power play--is damaging the Pens badly. They need a defenseman, if only a temporary one, who can fire hard slap shots from the point. The Thrashers have such a dude, with veteran experience that surpasses even Gonchar's (always helpful in the playoffs).

Waddell could, perhaps, move Mathieu Schneider to the Pens in return for...who exactly? It seems like that wouldn't be enough for Jordan Staal, and really I don't think it is, but if the Pens continue to struggle their front office will become desperate. If they haven't already, that is. That seems likely enough when you consider this piece of information:

The Penguins were 0-for-24 on the power play in their previous six games and failed on all eight chances against the Rangers - including five in the first period when they fell behind 1-0. Pittsburgh had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:59 that generated only one shot.

Dear God. When you have numbers like that, you might do just about anything for help on the power play. Like, say, trade Jordan Staal.

Valued Chronicle-comments regular Jay recently proposed trading with both the Pens and the Senators to bring in Jason Spezza AND Jordan Staal; your Chronicle advocated, semi-seriously, exactly that a little over a month ago. It's the height of asshatery to quote yourself, but desperate times, etc...

The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for a hard-shooting defenseman to help them out on the power play, as Sergei Gonchar is out with an injury. Perhaps Mathieu Schneider could be of some service. The Thrashers could perhaps send Schneider, Eric Perrin, and some other losers to Pittsburgh in exchange for the totally awesome Jordan Staal.

Meanwhile the Thrashers trade Kari Lehtonen and Boris Valabik and/or Garnet Exelby to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Jason Spezza.

Our first line would be Kovalchuk-Spezza-Staal, surely the finest in the NHL and featuring that hard-hitting power forward that your Chronique de Bleuland editor so ardently wants at the right wing.

This is completely insane and will never happen, of course, so let's look into...

I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Or to your trusty browser.

There's always John Tavares.


aaron said...

Trade Jordan Staal? Who do you think Ray Shero is? Don Waddell?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they won't trade Staal, he's their baby Jesus #2. He's the backup baby Jesus. What would they do if Crosby got injured?

aaron said...

Backup baby Jesus.


Anyway, that might not be as out-of-the-question as I first thought... with the Pens on the slide they're on... Staal is one of those "on the bubble" guys production wise... Malkin is in front of him on the depth chart...

But the walking ghost of unmet expectations of Erik Christensen still haunting Phillips... could this be more of the same?

Mortimer Peacock said...


It's true that Staal is behind Malkin and Crosby on the depth chart, but that's only b/c he's on a team with, um, Malkin and Crosby. He can really be a much more offensive player when he's playing as a top six guy; he's been forced into a defensive role in Pittsburgh.

Sometimes, I think, he plays wing with Malkin. Not sure what his numbers are in that situation.