Penguins Roster Update: The Forwards

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Does getting these NHL forwards back really help WBS forward core for the AHL playoffs?

With the news of Mike Comrie, Sidney Crosby, Aaron Asham all skating in the last few days, many wonder what the NHL Penguins will do. You pick your forward core for the playoffs with:

Centers (7) : Sidney Crosby*, Jordan Staal, Mark Letestu, Max Talbot, Craig Adams, Mike Comrie*, Dustin Jeffrey
Left Wing (5) : James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Matt Cooke, Mike Rupp, Eric Tangradi
Right Wing (6) : Alexei Kovalev, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Conner*, Eric Godard, Nick Johnson.

I know General Manager Ray Shero said at his press conference on trade deadline day that Dustin Jeffrey would remain in Pittsburgh the rest of the season, but what about for the playoffs?

More after the jump.

With Mike Comrie practicing with the team in full gear, Aaron Asham close to returning and even Sidney Crosby has started skating, will Jeffrey's services be more useful centering the top line in the AHL?

Don't get me wrong, Jeffrey has been outstanding all year no matter what league he was playing in.  He doesn't belong in the AHL anymore but with all the healthy bodies, his contract and easy mobility make him a likely target to be sent down for the Calder Cup playoffs.

Here is what the WBS Penguins forward core looks like for the playoffs.

Center (5): Dustin Jeffrey*, Ryan Craig, Joe Vitale, Ben Street, Zach Sill
Left Wing (4): Brett Sterling, Keven Veilleux, Chris Collins, Nick Petersen
Right Wing (5)Tim Wallace, Geoff Walker, Bryan Lerg, Jesse Boulerice*, David Marshall

Of course Pittsburgh has other WBS guys like Tangradi, Johnson and even Chris Conner but since they were on the NHL roster at the trade deadline they are ineligible for AHL duty.

Basically, it all comes down to Crosby being able to return in the playoffs this year. He has skated in consecutive days without symptoms but he is still got work to do to be "game" ready. The Penguins also aren't going to rush Crosby in and be very cautious so it is too hard to predict a timetable for his return.

For what it's worth, I believe if Crosby can continue to take baby steps in the right direction in terms of recovery I wouldn't be surprised to see him play this season, although the chances of him playing much the rest of the regular season are slim.

Follow this blog - Highland Park Hockey - on Facebook.
Follow Tony Androckitis on Twitter.


Post a Comment