Despite all their flaws, the Penguins sit one point out of the playoffs.
To recap how amazing that is, look at this:
— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) January 18, 2016
To further that the Penguins chance of making the playoffs are hovering around 50%…
Graph via the tried and true sportsclubstats.
So this all positions the Penguins for a pretty crazy finish to the 2015-2016 season. We’ve been saying this for awhile, but every game from here on out is huge.
The stats are pretty clear, they are going to have to finish at least five to six games over .500 in the next 38 games to give themselves at least a 50% chance of making the playoffs.
The product of no plan
Our stance on Jim Rutherford will never change. Based on what we know now he was a bad hire, by a lame duck ownership group. He has no plan. He never did. He’s winging it. If you don’t believe that, that’s on you. Every move he’s made is based on a win-now, answer for later platform.
He rightfully drafted Kasperi Kapanen in 2014. Then he traded him as part of the Phil Kessel trade. He traded a first round pick for the lifeless David Perron. At the 2015 draft he drafted Daniel Sprong, then the Penguins botched that.
Of the once good young defenseman core the Penguins were thought to have, they only now have Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.
He’s the same GM that openly questioned his own Ben Lovejoy trade, and added a 4-million dollar career third line signed until 2019 for an expiring contract.
Please god stop him from making a trade
Good internet friend Ryan Wilson had a thought about the Penguins trading for Kevin Shattenkirk.
St. Louis isn’t going to want to take on any players who are due for huge massive raises otherwise they would just keep Shattenkirk. They will either want a proven NHL commodity with term at a reasonable rate or they will want an NHL ready prospect that is cost controlled.
Pittsburgh has one of each of those. Patric Hornqvist is the proven NHL commodity that is cost controlled and Derrick Pouliot is the NHL ready prospect. While those two players may somewhat fit what the Blues are looking for I do not believe that Pittsburgh’s pieces are strong enough to beat out other teams that will take a run at Shattenkirk.
Like Ryan says though, that package wouldn’t be good enough. Plus, in our view, Hornqvist is a guy the Penguins need.
But let us circle back to our main point. The Penguins, given where they are, should stand pat. See if you can make the playoffs with the current roster. It’s a toss up anyway, so why risk another short-sighted move?
We have a feeling that isn’t going to be the case for Stone Cold Jim Rutherford, and we’ve very afraid of what that means.