As Penguins trade-deadline debate rages, I have concluded the Penguins don’t need Jarome Iginla.
I also remain convinced more than ever that the Penguins need to overhaul their third and fourth lines.
The fourth line is a combined minus-18. A fourth line has one primary duty: DON’T GET SCORED ON. Craig Adams, Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale aren’t performing that job. (Though Vitale did net the game-winner in yesterday’s 2-1 home win over Boston.)
The third line is OK, but only OK. Brandon Sutter is a revelation. CLUTCH. Matt Cooke is doing fine, but well below his scoring pace of last year, and his sociopathic edge is missed. Tyler Kennedy has played better recently, but not good enough.
A Hockey Hall-of-Famer once told me that a team should never hold onto third- and fourth-liners too long. Their game is hunger, and stability diminishes that hunger. Frequent replacement of the bottom six forwards also provides a wake-up call for the entire team.
Makes sense to me.
The names will be out there: San Jose’s Ryane Clowe. Dallas’ Brenden Morrow. Washington’s Eric Fehr and Matt Hendricks.
Don’t tweak. Slash and burn.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.