A lot of things have occured in the NHL this week, and the same goes for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The trade deadline has come and gone and there are things that some people would have liked to see happen, but in my opinion general manager Jim Rutherford did ay-okay.
Tuesday the Pens played the first of a two game road trip. They headed to Dallas and then to Chicago on a back-to-back scenario. Facing the Stars the night before the deadline, and Dallas being a team Marc Andre Fleury could have potentially gone to I thought he’d of gotten the nod. Instead Matt Murray started.
Things looked promising with the Penguins holding a two goal lead from Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel, until the 3rd period when the Stars showed up and finally got on the board. The puck luck wasn’t in the Pens hands. With an easy goal that Jason Spezza shot, bounced off Penguins D Brian Dumoulin, past Murray and there the Stars had tied the game. Eventually before the horn sounded for the end of the 3rd, the Stars put a third goal on to the board to make the final score 3-2.
Wednesday: The Penguins headed to Chicago where they would meet Jonathon Toews and the Blackhawks. Before the two Stanley Cup champion teams hit the ice, the trade deadline ran through 3 p.m. where the Penguins, the fans, and Marc Andre Fleury fans waited anxiously to see what may unfold. It was down to the final hour of the deadline when it was released that the Pens were working on two deals. Later social media had confirmed that “The Penguins are working on two deals, none of which include Fleury.”. A little after, Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy would head to Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for D Frankie Corrado. That concluded one trade.
The second of the two trades involved a three way trade for defenceman Mark Streit. Streit went from the Philadelphia Flyers, to Tampa Bay, finally to Pittsburgh, for a 4th round draft pick from the Pens. While Tampa Bay gave up Vallteri Filppula, a fourth round draft pick, and a conditional seventh round draft pick. When Pittsburgh picked up Streit they gave up one fourth round draft pick, one. While Tampa retained 50% of Streit’s salary. I do not say this lightly GMJR is an absolute shark, he really knows how to bait and hook the fish.
With the trade deadline over and without giving up MAF the Penguins managed to pick up two needed Dmen still being without Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, and Olli Maatta.
Between two cup champs Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks going head to head on Wednesday this would make for a lot of talks of these two teams being the potential 2017 Stanley Cup Final matchup. Let me tell you, if this is the case it’s going to be a hell of a matchup.
Pittsburgh stayed strong and even being down 3 very crucial defencemen, they still played like they should. It was a very good fast paced, a lot of north-south heavy action. Thru 20 minutes of play the score would remain at 0 on each end. It wasn’t until Patrick Kane would score to make it 1-0 for the Hawks. Then on a goal that originally would be thought to hit the crossbar, Scott Wilson would fill the gap to make it tied at 1. Though Kane would later put up 2 more goals, one an empty netter to give him his second hat trick in 3 games. The final score of the game would come to be 4-1 in favor of Chicago.
The Pens head home to PPG Paints Arena to faceoff on Friday with the Tampa Bay Lightning.