Whitney For Kunitz

chris saccoContributor IFebruary 26, 2009

Ryan Whitney for Chris Kunitz and Tangradi. Hmm...I like it. Finally a forward with some grit for the front line. Someone that actually knows where the front of the net is, and isn't afraid to stand there.

This is something the Pens have been lacking since Malone and Roberts left to pursue their careers fighting for one of the last spots in the standings. Kunitz has speed and is pretty consistent, so Crosby should have the help he needs. Plus Talbot won't be the only one throwing hits in the offensive zone. Sure, I hate to see Whitney leave but, the lack of presence in the defensive end is a problem.

There hasn't been much help for Fleury aside from Orpik and Scuderi clearing people out of the crease, so this is a good move.The Pens can put Letang back in the lineup and not have to worry about Whitney missing his defensive assignments. That, combined with Fleury's subpar goaltending, has accounted for a lot of goals being scored on the Pens and is obviously an issue Therrien tried to address by having them try to play a more defensive style. Defense is not Penguins hockey, period.

The Pens need to control the puck and let the other teams chase them. We saw a little more of this against the Islanders on Feb. 25, but there were some major flaws in the defense which led to good scoring chances for the Isles. Martinek had Fleury beat, but hit the cross bar. Luckily for Fleury it wasn't Guerin or Okposo.  No, this was a good trade, not the Hossa deal but still a good move by Shero.

The only thing left to do, is get rid of Gill, and remind Eaton that defense means actually stopping the other teams from getting the puck.