The Pittsburgh Penguins did a bunch of dealing for players prior to the trade deadline at the beginning of this month. Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars, Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks, Jerome Iginla from the Calgary Flames and Jussi Jokinen from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Within the weeks following, the Penguins ended a winning streak that was just two games shy of the record of 17 set by the Penguins in the early 1990′s. They lost two consecutive games in a row and the talk was that general manager, Ray Shero, had negatively affected the delicate balance of team chemistry. It turns out, these new acquisitions just needed some time to get used to a new team and new teammates and, in no time, were playing even better than they had been with their previous teams.
Morrow adds a little grit and the all-important net-front presence and has been successful. In his short time with the Penguins, he’s played 11 games and recorded nine points (five goals, four assists) which is more than half of his tallies in 29 games with Dallas).
Murray supplies even more grit to the Penguins especially being such a big body on the ice at 6′ 3″ and 245 pounds. Prior to joining Pittsburgh, he had the longest scoring drought in NHL history scoring his last goal back in the 2010-11 season. In the 10 games he’s played with the Penguins, he has three points (one goal, two assists) which is basically what he had with San Jose in the 29 games he played with them.
Iginla is a talented veteran who provides wisdom and a calming effect on the ice and the bench as well as in the locker room. In nine games, he’s recorded seven points (three goals, four assists). One of those seven points was the 1,100th of his NHL which he earned against the Montreal Canadiens on Apr. 17.
Jokinen has been on a hot streak pretty much since he was traded to Pittsburgh scoring his first goal in his first appearance as a Penguin. Since then he’s earned at least one point in each of the six games he’s played in for the Penguins for a total of eight points (four goals, four assists). That’s more than half of what he tallied in 33 games played for the Hurricanes. Jokinen is the only one out of the four new players that has a year left on his contract.
The Penguins currently look like a team made up of all-stars right now. They were good before these trades, but they’re even better now like a finely tuned machine ready to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup.