While the Penguins do appear to have shown that they are on the right track, should we be concerned that this offense might be a little top-heavy?
It’s no secret that the Penguins are on a roll right now, winners of three in a row and also getting the victory in five of their last six. Also easy to see is that in the last three games the offense has exclusively been generated by the Crosby line, which also features Guentzel and Rust. And while this has been great for the past couple of weeks, could there be a possible issue moving forward?
While Malkin started the season on fire, he has gradually settled in to a solid pace. And while solid, it lacks in what he had been doing. In October of this season, Malkin had 19 points in only ten games. This month through twelve games he currently only has 7 points. But so far that has not been a problem, but it raises the question of how long this will last.
It is expected that Hornqvist will start to get back on the stat sheet, after a quiet first three games back from his injury, and one could argue that his production will be vital for the Penguins future success. The last full game he had played before sustaining the injury was earlier this month against the Avalanche, where he had 3 goals and an assist.
Maybe the question should be switched to the potential that this offense has moving forward. If the Crosby line consistently puts up these numbers, imagine what this offense would look like if other guys could create that sort of consistency. This team has been one of the most feared offensive units for many years, and if things fall in the right direction, they will be feared again this year too.
The Penguins will return from the break to take on Detroit tomorrow at home. This will be an opportunity to see if the other lines are going to start to step it up to match the caliber of what Crosby and company have been doing. But even if these other lines just increase productivity a little, this team will be the one of the most dangerous in the NHL.