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New lines with Jeff Carter

April 14, 2021, 11:41 AM ET [217 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Jeff Carter joined the Penguins on the ice for the first time today and here is how things shaked out.




Mike Sullivan eluded to Carter playing center yesterday so no surprise there. The one surprise is McCann playing on the right side with him. Personally, I don't mind this at all. I like loading up the top two lines with their best skilled players with all the injuries right now. I think you have two lines who can challenge the opposition and put the puck in the net, or at least those are the best options.

You could probably switch McCann to center and put Carter on the right wing if you wanted. Carter has extensive time at right wing, I'm not sure McCann does. I think this is sending an early signal that perhaps the Penguins intentions are to use McCann on Malkin's left wing while playing Zucker with Jeff Carter at center while keeping ZAR-Blueger-Tanev together to start the playoffs. If completely healthy I might think about the following

Guentzel-Crosby-Rust
McCann-Malkin-Kapanen
Zucker-Blueger-Carter
ZAR-Gaudreau-Tanev

You have Rodrigues and Zohorna as the top two extras in my personal opinion. Speaking of Zohorna...

I like having Zohorna in the lineup. He could use as many minutes as possible as the team can learn more and more about him and his ability to contribute at the NHL level. So far he has been... pretty great considering there was limited fanfare about him in the organization. So far he has a CF% of 53.95 and an xGF% of 52.73. It is important to remember we are dealing with a six game sample, but his points per 60 at 5v5 is 3.63. So in his limited time he's put up a few points which is pretty good. His most common linemates have been Colton Sceviour and Mark Jankowski. So with that context I think he's been pretty great. I'd like to see him get some more time with some better linemates. The Penguins are making the playoffs. It is only a matter of what seed. Find out more about the unknowns about your roster. Playing Zohorna more should be part of the plan. Seeing if Carter can handle center duties is another.

Jeff Carter's debut is tomorrow against his former club.

Thanks for reading!
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