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Plenty Of Room To Hop On The Beau Bennett Bandwagon

November 19, 2014, 8:22 AM ET [256 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Pittsburgh defeating Montreal last night by a score of 4-0 does not mean Montreal isn’t a good hockey club, but it did show that their record to this point is misleading. They aren’t quite ready for prime time yet. Through two periods of play the Penguins had a Fenwick-For percentage of 62.5% at even strength. They controlled the hockey game. The third period had a lot of score effects in play and Marc-Andre Fleury turned all chances aside for his first career shutout in Montreal and fourth of the young season.

However, the big story and the man of the night for me is Beau Bennett. He finished with one goal and two assists and was noticeable in all three zones. Injuries, and injuries only, are what hold Bennett back. He is a legitimate NHL top six winger talent and has the potential to put up very good offensive numbers.

Bennett has great hands, a very nice shot, good speed, the ability to protect the puck in tight areas, and top notch hockey IQ. All of these attributes sound like the things you would put on your resume to play with Sidney Crosby.

Currently Beau is part of a Penguins third line that is doing some really nice things on the ice. Eventually, I still want to see Bennett playing top six minutes. We always talk about the Penguins needing another top six winger, they have one on the roster if his body doesn’t break apart again.

Thinking about the big picture and not in the now, because at this point it looks like the regular season is going to be just another formality for the Penguins, I have some pretty radical ideas for the forward lines.

I personally believe that the Penguins will eventually trade for another top six winger, but for this I am only going to use players currently in the Penguins organization players.


Dupuis will be the guy who will bump down to third line LW if/when a trade is made, Megna/Adams will be the odd man out with Comeau filling in on the fourth line. The value in a guy like Dupuis is that he can bump up and do just fine in a top six forward role, that doesn't mean he has to do it all the time. I think if the Penguins have him in a third line role a majority of the time they will have put together a Cup caliber roster.

In the present, the third line does look great right now. However, I’m not having Blake Comeau and/or Nick Spaling play top six minutes with the two biggest investments on the team, even in the short term if I don’t have to. For the people who think Nick Spaling is worth the 2.2M he makes, then he should have no problem contributing in a third line role with Sutter. If he can’t, then I’m not really sure what value he has for the Penguins. I haven’t been shy in saying he is not that guy, my stance hasn’t changed.

The Penguins didn't draft Beau Bennett to ride shotgun with Brandon Sutter and prop up the third line, they drafted him to excel in a top six role. One of the biggest commodities in the NHL is getting top six scoring on the cheap. It has been an area in which the Penguins have come under heavy criticism (much deserved). They now have a guy who can help in that area.

I invite people to hop aboard the Beau Bennett bandwagon, I've been here a while, but we have plenty of room. It is about that time to find out just where his ceiling as a player is. The spot to do that is with Sidney Crosby.


The excellent Copper and Blue blog has put together a list of the all time scoring leaders in points per game. What makes their list unique is that they have a metric they use called Era-Adjusted points per game. The Penguins fare quite well.

The still active players have a chance to slide down the list as they age and their production decreases. Obviously Sidney Crosby isn't going to slide very far down the list, but his numbers should fall off. Seeing Lemieux, Crosby and Jagr drives home a point I often make about how ridiculous it is that the Penguins have essentially had the best player in the NHL on their roster for the last 25 years.

You can find the list here

Thanks for reading!

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