Lost in all the fanfare and jubilation of the Pittsburgh Penguins series opening 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals is the fact that a lot of the Penguins forward lines did not play well.
In particular, the line of Nick Bonino, Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson were dreadful. The trio combined for a sub 5% corsi rating…you read that right, 5%. Ouch. Sheary’s lack of defensive acumen was evident on the Capitals’ tying goal when he left Evgeny Kuznetsov untouched in the slot for an easy tap in goal.
Given that Sheary has not played up to expectation and that speedster Carl Hagelin is expected to return to the lineup any day now, could head coach Mike Johnston make the swap? PGH Hockey Now reporter Dan Kingerski seems to think so. In a column penned earlier today, Kingerski makes the case for Sheary, a 23 goal scorer during the 2016-17 regular seasons, to be removed from the Penguins lineup for the addition of Hagelin.
It’s a bold move, especially for a team that’s winning. However, if there’s one thing the Penguins have proven it’s that they’re adaptable to lineup changes. After all, the team is without the services of their number one goaltender and number one defenseman, yet manage to keep on rolling.