Tim's Twitter Q&A: Will Penguins pursue Talbot?

Tim's Twitter Q&A: Will Penguins pursue Talbot?
December 29, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Max Talbot played in parts of six seasons for the Penguins from 2005-2011. (USA Today Images)

You cannot underestimate role players.

The guys who make a significant contribution to a line or a hockey club, but don't get much praise on the stat sheet.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have an enormous amount of talent they can spread around their team, but the guy they chose to play right wing on Sidney Crosby’s line has been Pascal Dupuis for four-plus seasons -- a rugged, second-tier winger who can get you 25 goals and is also a top penalty killer.

And now Dupuis is likely gone for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Keeping Crosby happy, keeping the Pens' top line going, and keeping No. 87 atop the NHL scoring leaders is paramount to general manager Ray Shero.

So don’t be surprise if he makes a run for Max Talbot.

Sure, Talbot has already been traded once but the fact remains, Talbot is not a very good fit on the ice with Colorado and would be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh.

And let’s not forget, Sid and Max are best buds, too.

Surprisingly, however, we have seen other teams come into Philly and play with far more emotion and energy than the Flyers. It’s not supposed to happen, but it does, especially if the opponent suspects the other team is thinking it will be easy. Minnesota gave the Flyers fits for one period the last homestand after playing the night before. Phoenix came into Philly and beat the Flyers earlier in the season playing back-to-back with a game in Detroit the previous night.

One of the “givens” in pro sports over the years was that an athlete should never lose his job to an injury. Yet it happens. Craig Berube said before the Flyers' current five-game road trip out west began that he didn’t want to mess with the chemistry certain lines seemed to have in a very short period. Coaches are very leery about changing things after wins. And given the Flyers recent homestand, you could understand why he didn’t want to mess with their good fortune. Downie was expected to be worked into the lineup with gradual increases in ice time. Also, the mix with Vinny Lecavalier on Sean Couturier’s line was one that Berube liked a lot and didn’t want to change right away.

It’s one of the many things wrong with the Edmonton Oilers this season. It’s really bad when a 2012 first-overall draft pick, who is 20 and capable of lighting it up every night, has the same few number of goals as a 37-year-old who has been a lifetime Oiler with a few stops between before he came back to finish out his career in Edmonton. Shouldn’t happen. Yakupov is minus-25, too. That shouldn’t happen, either.

Except Claude Giroux struggled from the get-go this season because of that freak golf injury suffered over the summer and the general malaise that inflicted the entire club. I think you are going to see a very different Giroux in the second half.