Every time the Penguins stumble, you hear and read the same old caterwauling:
“The Penguins should have kept Marc-Andre Fleury!”
Or, “The Penguins should have kept Patric Hornqvist!”
Or Ian Cole. Or Nick Bonino. (Depends on who played well the night before.)
But Alex Galchenyuk is who the Penguins should have held onto.
Galchenyuk was absolutely nondescript during his brief Penguins tenure, notching five goals and 12 assists in 45 games last season.
But last night, Galchenyuk had a goal and two assists for Toronto as the Maple Leafs beat Montreal, 4-0.
Getting Galchenyuk back in a Penguins sweater is the key. Not just Galchenyuk, either.
The Penguins also need to get Fleury, Hornqvist, Cole and Bonino back.
Phil Kessel, too. Ron Hainsey. Trevor Daley. Matt Murray. Carl Hagelin. Matt Cullen. Chris Kunitz. Olli Maatta. Justin Schultz. Conor Sheary. Ben Lovejoy. Get 'em all back. They're all proven winners.
Don't forget Tom Kuhnhackl. Scott Wilson. Jeff Zatkoff. Eric Fehr. Sergei Plotnikov. How could so management get rid of so many key players?
Jordan Staal scored for Carolina in overtime last night. I bet he would have done the same thing for the Penguins on Monday. The Penguins should have kept Staal.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. So does losing playoff series.
The Bonino nostalgia makes me laugh hardest.
In 2016, Bonino had 18 points in 24 playoff games. Bonino also had 16 points in his last 13 regular-season games.
Before that, he had 13 points in 50 games as a Penguin. He looked like a bust.
That red-hot 37-game streak is what’s remembered. Hagelin, Bonino and Kessel: The HBK line, replete with T-shirts. The overtime winner to eliminate Washington. The legendary call of that goal on “Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi.”
But besides those 37 games, Bonino has been mostly average in his other 747 NHL games. If the Penguins don’t win those two Stanley Cups, his time in Pittsburgh is forgotten.
But because of those Cups, Bonino is remembered in Pittsburgh. Winning does that.
If Toronto wins this year’s Stanley Cup, Galchenyuk will be remembered there. But Toronto won’t.
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