Michael Bunting Ignited The Pittsburgh Penguins

Was Michael Bunting worth it?
Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins
Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Ever since the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Michael Bunting, this team has showed signs of life as they push towards a playoff spot. Bunting's style of play has allowed the Penguins to play with a sense of urgency and add a presence in front of the net. In 18 games with the Penguins, Bunting has five goals and nine assists for a total of 14 points.

Bunting's greatest strength however, is his physicality and hustle. The Penguins have never been known as a physical team, however, Bunting is not afraid to throw the body and constantly is all over the ice going for the puck. Another strength of Buntings' is his net presense.

One of the biggest weaknesses of the Penguins powerplay is they do not have someone camp out in front of the net to either screen the goalie and/or deflect the puck. Bunting has stepped up in that role which has even caused him to get two assists on the powerplay.

Bunting since being added to the second line, has helped Evgeni Malkin get scorching hot and escape a slump. Malkin in his last five games, has turned it on. Crosby has also stepped up with turning back the clock and playing like prime Crosby.

Head coach Mike Sullivan has been making a lot of adjustments lately for the better of the team. One of them including the call-up of defenseman Jack St. Ivany who has been playing in place of Ryan Graves. Many Penguins fans have been strongly disappointed with Graves' play this season.

On the other hand, St. Ivany has been looking solid defensively as he handles the puck well and has also been solid defensively. He has been on the third line with Ryan Shea. Once Graves is healthy, St. Ivany and Graves should play together on the third line.

Another adjustment Sullivan has made is handing the crease over to backup goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. He definitely has deserved it and even though Tristan Jarry is the starter, Sullivan is riding the hot hand.

The Penguins 7-0-3 record in their last ten games has catapulted them in the Metropolitan Division standings as they now sit fourth in a very competitive decision. The Penguins temporarily have a playoff spot with beating the Detroit Red Wings.

With just three games left, the Penguins playoff hopes are still very much in play and need to continue their point streak.

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