Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crosby - Winger = Shero

Alright Shero, this has gone on long enough. Its time to give your franchise center what he needs in order to be the next "Great One". Rotating guys like Andy Hilbert, Colby Armstrong, Pascal Dupuis, Miro Satan, Petr Sykora, Ruslan Fedotenko, Tyler Kennedy, Max Talbot, Matt Cooke, etc, with Crosby isn't working. Crosby is a playmaker and a very good one at that. He can use his speed to setup a thousand scoring chances, but if he doesn't have someone to bury it, it goes to waste. How great would Wayne Gretzky have been WITHOUT Jari Kurri. Kurri scored 40+ goals in seven straight seasons. In some of those years he scored around 70. This garbage of putting a sub par sniper or a grinder with Crosby and hoping he'll produce is like throwing crap against the wall and seeing what will stick. This is Sid's 4th year in the league and aside from his brief stint playing alongside Marian Hossa, he's never had a competent winger that can bury the puck. Its ridiculous.

For me, the clock is ticking for Penguins GM Ray Shero. If the Pens open next season without a good scoring winger for the top line, then Shero needs to be fired. He's had plenty of chances to acquire this winger in the past. In the 2006 draft, he drafted Jordan Staal over goal scoring snipers Phil Kessel and Peter Mueller. He may still use Staal as a bargaining chip to trade for a winger, but I'm not sure what he's waiting for. There's no need to hang onto a third line center (as talented as he may be) when you have such a glaring weakness on your top line that is affecting your best players' performance. Yeah, so Crosby is third in the league in scoring. This is mostly due to the fact that he's been paired up with Malkin for most of the season. They shouldn't be on the same line. Putting Malkin and Crosby together makes the Penguins a one dimesional, one line, fringe playoff team. I do NOT want to see Shero half ass this again. I don't want to see Milan Hejduk, Keith Tkachuk, Jonathan Cheechoo or Mark Recchi. I want to see Illya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik, Dany Heatley or Dustin Brown. No more of this, "Well he had 40 goals 10 years ago" or "He had that one big year". I want to see an elite winger on the top line. I want someone that can produce by themselves and compliments Sid. Not someone like a Rob Brown that just sponges up points and goes along for the ride.

In the next few weeks before this years' trade deadline or during the off season, something needs to be done. On opening night next season, if Crosby's lined up with a couple of "past their prime" or "hustle and grind" players, Lemieux should drop a pink slip on Shero's desk the same time that puck hits the ice on the opening faceoff. Not acquiring a good scoring winger for Crosby is like the Yankees sending A-Rod to the plate with a wiffle ball bat. If you want to get the best out of your players, you have to provide them what they need.

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