Most people expect that former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla will wind up eventually on right wing alongside Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby with 17-goal man Pascal Dupuis on the left side. But Crosby took a puck in the face Saturday against the New York Islanders, resulting in a broken jaw and extensive dental work, forcing him out of the lineup indefinitely. He didn’t need the jaw wired, but is still likely out for a month, which means the beginning of the playoffs. “Chris Kunitz played with Malkin last year and that’s where he’ll wind up — on left wing,” said an NHL executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity. James Neal likes the right side, has no stomach for the left, so moving him to fit in Iginla with Malkin makes little sense. Crosby, by the way, has taken a puck in the face three times against the Isles in the last year. He needed six stitches to his left nostril in a February game and last March took a puck in the kisser but escaped serious injury. For now, the Penguins will likely slide third-line centre Brandon Sutter into the middle with Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, in place of Crosby. Dustin Jeffrey will play with Brenden Morrow and Matt Cooke, in place of Sutter on the third line. Pittsburgh, by the way, is looking for one more piece: a fourth-line centre whose contract is up July 1. They could have taken Jeff Halpern on waivers, but he ended up with the Montreal Canadiens. Boyd Gordon of the Phoenix Coyotes would be ideal. Michal Handzus of the San Jose Sharks is up their alley. He’s a big body, has slow feet, but he’s a veteran. Feisty Scott Nichol of the St. Louis Blues would be ideal, too. Crosby and Malkin are both left-shooting centres, which means the Penguins favour passes to right-wingers, which is good news for Iginla. The Boston Bruins’ top two centres, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, are righties, which means they look more to the left side.
Iginla will likely stay alongside Evgeni Malkin on a Pittsburgh Penguins line with Sidney Crosby’s busted jaw
Edmonton Journal | Apr 1