Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a article in the PG Sports section today, Hunt continues for Crosby’s winger, regarding what most of Pittsburgh and Crosby followers have been wondering now for almost 3 years: When will Sid get a winger?
This seems to be a very popular question, especially in these trying times for the Pens while they’re not exactly rolling through the Eastern Conference as they did last season. Molinari points out what type of winger Sid really needs:
If a guy is willing to work to get open, has the hockey sense to determine where the soft spots in a defense are and possesses a good touch around the net — and/or a quick release and accurate shot — he could put up some gaudy numbers with Crosby feeding him pucks.
I can’t say that I disagree w/ Molinari. Sid really needs one….could you imagine the points and the plays Sid would be putting up (he’s currently 2nd in the NHL w/ 72 points, only behind teammate Evgeni Malkin w/ 80 points)?!
As important as it is to find Sid a wing right now, I feel it’s more important to find the missing pieces to get the Pens winning again. Maybe that is a winger for Sid…maybe not, I’m not sure, I don’t think anybody really is. But the Pens have the top 2 players in the NHL right now and they’re not winning consistently. One noticeable difference from last season is their defensive play and the goals per game they’re giving up, it has risen steadly since the first month of the season, currently ranked 23rd at 3.00 GA/G.
As much as I agree with Molinari’s article, the Pens immediate need this season is to win by reducing the GA. Point production is there, and maybe this dry spell could be halted with a winger for Sid? But that just tells you how good Sid is without a winger but also shows how important solid backchecking & defense plays to a teams overall success.