Pittsburgh Penguins Gain More Defensive Depth Needed to Win

Feb 25, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in a Stadium Series hockey game at Heinz Field. The Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in a Stadium Series hockey game at Heinz Field. The Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The NHL Trade Deadline Has Ended and Moves Have Been Made. The Penguins Made the Moves They Saw Fit to Boost Their Defensive Depth to Keep Up Their Wins.

The trade deadline has passed, and playoff bound teams have made their final additions in hopes for a deep postseason run. The Pittsburgh Penguins took this opportunity to add two veteran d-men to their roster: Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit.

On February 23, Hainsey, 35, was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2017 second-round pick and Danny Kristo. Hainsey brings a big body (6’3″, 210 lbs) and a solid defensive presence to the Pittsburgh blueline. He also has accumulated a respectable 15 points (4 G, 11 A) in 60 games played so far this season.

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Streit, 39, was fetched from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2018 fourth-round pick on deadline day. Known as a puck moving defenseman, Streit’s game compliments the high octane offense Pittsburgh possesses.

Plagued by injury, the Penguin’s D-Corp will welcome the addition of Hainsey and Streit.  As of March 5th, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, ad Trevor Daley are all out with some form of injury.

The Penguins definitely aren’t strangers to bulking up at the deadline. This particular deadline saw the Pens looking to bolster one of their weaknesses, their defense.

Pushing Forward

The Penguins currently rank fourth in the NHL with a total of 86 points. Their league leading 3.44 Goals per Game definitely proves the team’s offense is their greatest weapon. Pair that with one of the league’s strongest goaltending duos in Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, and Pittsburgh seems poised to do big things this postseason.

Despite their success, the team’s defense has been a bit of a concern. With an underwhelming 2.78 Goals Allowed per Game, Pittsburgh approached the deadline hoping to improve on stats like this, as well as building a more complete roster.

By adding Hainsey and Streit, the Penguins now have eight viable options to play in a Top 6 role. If Letang, Maatta, and Daley can all return from injury, your projected lines could look like:

Projecting Penguins D-Pairings

Dumoulin – Letang
Daley – Schultz
Cole – Hainsey

With Streit and Maatta rotating in as needed.

This crop of rearguards gives the Penguins reliability on defense, and that is a luxury they haven’t been able to afford earlier in the season.

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This wealth of options on the backend allow Mike Sullivan and company to try different pairs, as well as build out their special teams units. This revamped defense, along with a stellar offense and solid goaltending options make the Pittsburgh Penguins a dangerous team going into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.