'They've Got To Get Consistent Goaltending, They Don't Get It; They've Got No Chance'

NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen weighs in on post-deadline Penguins

The Fan Morning Show
February 26, 2019 - 10:55 am
Matt Murray

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- With three of the Penguins' top four defenseman out due to injury, GM Jim Rutherford went to work on NHL Trade Deadline day. 

In come defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Chris Wideman, out go forwards Tanner Pearson and Jean-Sebastien Dea.

NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen joined The Fan Morning Show to talk about the deals the Pens made and cautioned heavily the risk involved in folding Gudbranson into the Penguins' lineup. 

"Gudbranson could be something good for them because he has snarl to his game. He's a big, tough guy, physical defenseman," said Rosen. "He'll make the guys on the team when he's on the ice feel a few inches taller and he'll make guys on the opposition question, 'Should I go into the corner and get the puck or is this big guy going to come get me?'

BUT....

"You don't want to ask him to play a game he's not suited to play. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of him is a guy like Adam McQuaid. McQuaid played well in Boston, he played well in New York, he's probably going to go to Columbus and he's probably going to play well there. By Adam McQuaid playing well, it's not flashy it's not analytically driven but he's going to go down and block shots, he's going to be physical, he's going to make you tougher and make the front of the net harder to be there." 

"He's not going to be a speed burner that's going to race the puck up the ice but you can't ask him to play that type of game. You have to get from Erik Gudbranson what he delivers and use that to your advantage. There are some things that he can deliver for this team that'll be good for them. Just in terms of their net-front presence on the defensive end, it's going to be harder to get to that area with Erik Gudbranson there and that's a good thing." 

"You can't try to fit Gudbranson into a role that he's not suited to play because it's going to be bad. It's not going to turn out the way you want it to turn out."    

The guys asked Rosen point blank: "Will the Penguins make the playoffs?"

"It's a hard question to answer only because I don't know how long the top D pair is going to be out. If those guys are going to miss significant time, I've got to say no. I haven't seen the consistency from them to be able to overcome the way they were able to overcome that year when Letang wasn't playing. I look at the way Carolina is playing, I mean, the wild card there to me is Montreal. If Montreal continues to fade a little bit, the Penguins will get in."

"But right now? I'm on the fence. I've got to stay on the bubble until I know when those guys are going to be back." 

Rosen put this final qualifier on things as he ended his Fan Morning Show interview that is probably most important...

"They've got to get some consistent goaltending. They really do. It starts there. If they can get some consistent goaltending, it settles everything down. If they don't get it, they've got no chance."

You can hear the entire interview with NHL.com's Dan Rosen, including his thoughts on Columbus, Carolina and other Eastern Conference contenders as well as his assessment of Jim Rutherford on The Fan Morning Show below.       

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