Pittsburgh Penguins Fourth Line Needs To Stay Together

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Due to the massive amount of injuries the Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt with this season, many players have been called up. Three of those players are Andrew Ebbett, Bobby Farnham and Bryan Rust. Due to an injury to “iron man” Craig Adams, this trio took the ice as the Penguins fourth line against the Florida Panthers. In their first game together as a line, they excelled and merit a review of their play, but first let’s get an idea of who each of them are.

Andrew Ebbett:

Andrew Ebbett is a 31 year old center who stands at a small 5’9″ and a mere 174 pounds. He broke into the AHL back in 2006-2007 with the Binghamton Senators and made his NHL debut a year later with the Anaheim Ducks. Throughout his career Ebbett has been a fringe NHL player. He has been relied upon at times to fill in for injuries at the NHL level but does not quite have the offensive ability to remain there. In his AHL career he has been a standout player but has never been able to make the jump.

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In his present season with the Wilkes/Barre-Scranton Penguins he has played in 44 games and is the team leader with 40 points (13 G – 27 A). Ebbett has also played nine games with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season and has notched two assists and is a plus one skater.

Bobby Farnham:

Bobby Farnham is a 25 year old right wing who is 5’10” and 188 pounds. The 2012-2013 season was his first experience at the AHL level with the WBS Penguins. This season he made his NHL debut, has played in four games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and has accumulated twelve penalty minutes. He is a known agitator as evidenced by his 2012-2013 season where he had 274 penalty minutes in 65 games.

Bryan Rust:

Bryan Rust is the first player mentioned to actually have been drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was drafted in the 2010 entry draft in the 3rd round at 80th overall. Prior to last season Rust had not played even at the AHL level. However, injuries forced him to be called up to the WBS Penguins from his team at the University of Notre Dame. He played in two games last season and then returned to his team at Notre Dame.

This season Rust was called up to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins and has played in four games. His debut game came against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 13th and he then scored in his second game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Performance Review:

Dec 13, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) and Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Steve Downie (23) fight during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

In their first game together this line was dynamite. This trio was very effective despite being off of the score sheet. Every single shift the line brought energy and aggressive forechecking, more so than the previous fourth lines. The combination of players also works very well the role the Pittsburgh Penguins have asked them to fill.

Ebbett and Rust both bring some scoring and are very quick players. Farnham is a known agitator but the current Pittsburgh Penguins lineup needs some grit. The only other aggressive player in the lineup is Steve Downie. It was evident during the Penguins last game that players who are willing to stand up for the stars are needed.

Overall this line was very effective in their first game together and they should be kept together moving forward. Not only should this trio remain as the Pittsburgh Penguins fourth line but they should be given more time on the ice.

Kudos to Mike Johnston for finding this combination and hopefully they will remain together.