The No. 3 is one of those weird numbers. It is the amount of witches that were in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. It is the amount of Musketeers that are in the story The Three Musketeers, and it is the so-called hour that people say witches do their magic.
Well, in regards to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they may need some of that magic right now. Three is also the number of goals the Penguins have scored total in the past three games.
How does something like this happen? A team that is loaded with talent up and down their lineup just cannot seem to score when they are on even strength. If you looked at the Pens’ first few games, they were scoring at will in every game. Captain Sidney Crosby was unstoppable, and his line mates Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis were also racking up the points. Crosby did score in their last game against the Philadelphia Flyers and has been getting points, but the team just is not scoring. I am not blaming Crosby or his line for there not being any goals, because it has been the entire team. Superstar center Evgeni Malkin has the longest goal drought in his career going into their game Saturday against the Nashville Predators. This just cannot continue.
The Penguins need to do something, and they need to do it now. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was a guy who changed up lines when he started like you and I change dirty clothes. It was something that Pittsburgh fans would get upset about, because their seemed to be a lack of chemistry as a result of it. Now, he is the total and complete opposite of this, keeping line combinations together as long as his players are not injured. Something has to give.
If I changed up the lines right now, I would have it go a little something like this:
My first line would be Crosby-Dupuis-Beau Bennett. I feel that Bennett’s play making abilities, mixed with the shear talent of Crosby and the hard work of Dupuis, could really spark some offense. I do not think this needs to be set in stone, because Kunitz and Crosby play great together, but I think it is needed for a jump start for now.
My second line would be Malkin-Kunitz-James Neal. This line was the same line that helped win Malkin an MVP and a scoring title in the 2011-12 season. Malkin needs to be jump started, and I think the hard play of Kunitz mixed with the great shot of Neal can really get the guy the Pens’ fans call Geno quickly going.
My third and fourth lines would fall into place with a mixture of the players that Bylsma feels would fit in these spots. Brandon Sutter would obviously stay as the third line center, and I feel a little more offense, with the addition of Jussi Jokinen, could help get that line scoring.
I truly believe that these lines will not be changed to what I feel needs to be done in order to help the Penguins score. However, I have faith in coach Byslma and his staff that they will right this ship back onto the course it needs to be on.
The only good thing about fans talking about this is that Pens’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is not being blamed for loosing these games, like many “fair weather” fans like doing when the Pens go through a losing streak. Keep it up Flower! It’s not your fault the boys aren’t scoring goals in front of you!