We are only days away from the March 03.2023 NHL Trade Deadline and we are still waiting for the Pittsburgh Penguins to make their Big Move. We have seen the New York Rangers load up. We have seen the New Jersey Devils counter this move. We have seen the New York Islanders change the culture inside their dressing room with one trade. Oh, and that is just in the Metropolitan Division.
If the League Leading Boston Bruins can fill holes at the trade deadline, then you gotta ask yourself, what is taking the Pittsburgh Penguins so long to make their move (s)?
This has been a very bumpy Penguins ride to date. Blow Outs, Late Leads Lost and Overtime Misses, have become the norm this season. Penguins’ fans are not used to this roller coaster ride.
I’m starting to wonder if Penguins Management are on a va-cay, since there has been very little to no response to all the recent Metro-Moves that have been made.
Penguins fans have been asking for a shake up. Some longer than others. However, when the fans are chanting the GM’s name more than the Player’s names, well then NASA, we have a problem.
Carolina Hurricanes – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today: 2
Current Streak: 1 Loss
They are in the #1 Playoff Position in the Metro Division-Eastern Conference.
The Canes loaded up in the off season with all their key roster moves.
They are Young and Fast. They have Depth and a Veteran presence. The Hurricanes are never out of any game. They have loaded up for the run this year. It is now their turn.
Offense: They can score. Period.
Defense: Deep unit that knows how to defend, box out and keep peeps to the outside.
Goalies: They have experienced goalie depth. Both G-Men are Upcoming Free Agents at the end of this season, so they are both playing a very inspired brand of hockey this year.
The Carolina Hurricanes have made the NHL Playoffs for the last 4 years.
Carolina will be there again for a 5th year.
New Jersey Devils – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today: 3
Current Streak: 2 Win
They are in the #2 Playoff Position in the Metropolitan Division-Eastern Conference.
Feb26.2023 – from San Jose
Ibragimov – LW
2024 -5th Round Pick
The Devils gave up some players and First Round picks in 2023 and 2024, however they were able to keep this years roster ready for a run.
They are Young and Fast. They are trying to build overall team depth. It’s never a bad move adding a young goal scorer, in his prime, to the team. The Devils have been in rebuild mode since 2010. Their young guns have matured faster than I expected. It appears the New Jersey Devils are back in the conversation, as a cup contender. I watched a few of their games this year. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I certainly did not see their rise happening this season, that’s for sure.
Offense: They are a top team that can score goals. Adding Meier makes them even stronger.
Defense: They can defend. Period. Hamilton is having a Norris type of year that Calgary wished he had with them.
Goalies: They have solid NHL goalies on the IR. I’m not sure anyone expected this type of play from Vanecek, but good for him. I still don’t think it lasts.
The New Jersey Devils missed the NHL Playoffs for the last 4 years.
New Jersey, it appears, will make it in this year.
New York Rangers – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today: 6
Current Streak: 1 Win
They are in the #3 Playoff Position in the Metropolitan Division-Eastern Conference.
Feb09.2023 – from St. Louis
Feb19.2023 – from Ottawa
Feb25.2023 – from Vancouver
Rumors are still flying around, that the Rangers want to add Patrick Kane from Chicago. NYR did this last year, when they bolstered their bottom 6 with NHL Vets, who can grind it out in the Playoffs. Those moves allowed them to become a Final Four team.
The Rangers rebuild continues. Some nights looking like a Final Four contender, other nights, not so much. Will these moves propel them into this years’ Cup Final?
Offense: They were struggling to score goals, then went out and just added Tarasenko to the line-up. Now let’s see what happens.
Defense: They can defend overall. However, they have run-around, scrambly moments in every game, that can cause them grief and derail their gameplan.
Goalies: They have a #1, MVP, Vezina goalie. Period.
The New York Rangers made the NHL Playoffs last year.
New York will be there again for a 2nd year.
New York Islanders – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today: 12-ties
Current Streak: 1 Win
They are in the #1 Wild Card Position in the Eastern Conference.
Jan30.2023 -from Vancouver
And there you have it, in One Major Move, the Islanders have changed the culture in the room and the attitude on the team. Its winning Time on the Island, and it starts…Now.
The Covid Days are behind them. So, It’s On. They are motivated and inspired to make a run, Like Now. Remember, they went toe to toe against the Lightning, only a few years ago.
If you watched any of their recent games, they are officially back. I watched them hang around long enough to beat the Penguins late in the game. I watched them defend with purpose and score some beauties, when needed, in a text book 4-0 road win, against the Jets.
Offense: They have goal scorers, it’s now show time.
Defense: It appears they have sipped the cool-aid and are now ready to defend like a championship team.
Goalies: They have two good quality Goalies between the pipes. They are now Cup Contenders.
The New York Islanders missed the NHL Playoffs last year.
NYI will not miss out again this year.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today: 13-ties
Current Streak: 1 Loss
They are in the #2 Wild Card Position in the Eastern Conference.
None ….? still waiting…Tik Tok….waiting…?
They have Depth and a Veteran presence. They are however, now, Old and Slow. The Penguins re-signed all their free agents last offseason. Now, many on the roster appear to have lost inspiration and motivation to be the best. They are missing some team heart and soul and the will to win. The want to win, is just not there, because they have already won. Ouch.
Offense: Considering the All -World Talent on this roster, they are Mid. Period.
Defense: They have the names, however age and injuries means they have been average. Period.
Goalies: They have an injured #1 goalie and suspects behind him. Weak G Depth. Period.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have made the NHL Playoffs for the last 16 years.
Pittsburgh will be there again for a 17th year, if injuries don’t mess with the plan.
Washington Capitals – Metropolitan Division – Eastern Conference
League Rank Today:15 – ties
Current Streak: 1 Loss
The Caps are 3 points out of the #2 Wild Card Position in the Eastern Conference.
Feb23.23 -to Boston.
traded Orlov and Hathaway to the Bruins.
Washington received Smith -RW and 3 Draft Picks
I’m not sure if this means they are in sell – mode or simply creating money space for another upcoming trade. The final analysis is still yet To Be Determined.
The Capitals are a veteran hockey team, that know how to win. As I have said before, it just feels like they are riding the great 8 and his chase of the All-Time Goals Scoring record. I know they were and are injured, which leads me to believe its sell time in Washington.
Offense: They have Ovie, do they need anyone else? Lol.
Defense: They have some the names, some injuries, and not enough depth.
Goalies: They have Average Goalies at best.
The Washington Capitals have made the NHL Playoffs for the last 8 years.
Washington will be there again for a 9th year, if they can get healthy, with enough games left on the schedule, otherwise, what’s the earliest Tee Time available?
The Contenders Club
For your information, Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, all just recently rounded out their rosters with depth players in preparation for their run at the Cup. Oh It’s On All Right.
My View from the Cheap Seats
Section: TV Row: PVR Seat: Couch
I am totally flabbergasted at how absent the Penguins Management have been to date, with re-tooling this roster. We can all see they are slow, do not defend very well, and cannot hold a 1-goal lead, late in any game.
Oh, I saw the St. Louis Game, whew, we Dodged that bullet against a depleted, out of the playoff picture, kinda squad.
And yes, I watched the Pens plant a 7-spot on Tampa Bay’s Backup goalie, which was TB’s second game within 48 hours. A nice Penguins win, for sure, however, we shall see the real Lightning on March 02.23, with two days rest. Tune in to that one my friends, Pens ain’t gonna put a 7-spot on Vas, I guarantee it.
Please note, that I am still miffed over last years Free Agent Fallout. Especially when Kapanen, who played so poorly last year, was re-signed to more term, say what? More term? Ahhhhhhh.
Every team in the NHL is crying for more production from their Bottom 6. I’ll take the Penguins bottom 6 as is, just defend with the heart and soul of a championship team, is all I ask.
We can all see, that time is running out on saving another productive year from Crosby. I really don’t know what the delay is all about. Penguins Management, I know that you’ve had a bad day(s) so far, but there is still time left on the clock to fix this team. So, Tik Tok, you’re on the clock.
Quote of the Day:
Daniel Powter – Singer / Songwriter