Penguins Consider Future Moves Due to Depth Issues & Power Play Struggles Ahead of Trade Deadline

Despite notable offseason upgrades, the Pittsburgh Penguins are struggling with depth scoring, power play efficiency, and are outside of a playoff spot, leading to considerations of trading key players for future assets.

Despite the offseason hype, the Pittsburgh Penguins are staring down the barrel with just 30 games left and no playoff spot in sight. They aimed for another Stanley Cup run, but, well, things haven’t exactly gone to plan.

Over the summer, Kyle Dubas, the new GM, made waves in the trade market. He snagged Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith, beefing up the roster. On paper, the Penguins looked fierce. But reality? Not so much.

The top of the lineup is solid, no doubt. But depth? That’s been the Achilles’ heel for years. And this season, it’s more apparent than ever. Without Crosby, Malkin, and Guentzel firing on all cylinders, the team’s in a bind.

And then there’s the power play. Or, should I say, the lack thereof. With such talent, you’d expect fireworks. Instead, it’s been a dud. This weakness is costing them, big time.

Let’s dive deeper, shall we? The core group, including Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, Karlsson, and Letang, is impressive. But they can’t do it all. The team’s struggling to find others who can light the lamp during their breather.

Injuries don’t help either. With Guentzel out for the next four weeks, the depth issue just got louder. Through 51 games, only four Penguins are on track for 20 goals. That’s not going to cut it.

The rest of the team? Struggling to find the net. Smith’s the only other player with double digits in goals. And the stats don’t lie – this isn’t a playoff-making formula.

Cap space is tight, making trades tough. And honestly, chasing a playoff spot might be a pipe dream at this point. Internally, there’s hope that Karlsson and Rakell can turn things around. But with Guentzel out, it’s an uphill battle.

Now, about that power play. It should’ve been a strength, right? Wrong. Last season’s decent performance has plummeted, despite adding Karlsson. The unit’s conversion rate is abysmal.

Malkin, in particular, is struggling. His shot rate’s up, but the goals? Not so much. And Karlsson hasn’t been the power play savior many hoped for. This slump is hurting the team, especially in close games.

Could luck turn around for the power play? Maybe. The stats suggest they’re due for some positive regression. But time’s running out.

Looking ahead, the playoffs seem like a long shot. With the trade deadline looming, Dubas faces tough decisions. Buying might not be wise, but selling? That could be the play, especially with Guentzel.

Guentzel’s a hot commodity. Trading him could bring a solid return, much like the Timo Meier deal last season. It’s a tough call, but it might be necessary for a retool.

The Penguins are at a crossroads. Trading Guentzel would be hard, but it might offer the best path forward. And with Crosby’s window closing, it’s now or never for another serious run.

In summary, it’s been a rough season for the Penguins. But with some tough decisions and a bit of luck, who knows? Maybe they’ll find a way to turn things around.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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