Is Zack Boychuk the Winger Malkin Has Been Looking For? – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Is Zack Boychuk the Winger Malkin Has Been Looking For?

When Steve Sullivan hightailed it out of Pittsburgh in the offseason the search for a winger to compliment Evgeni Malkin and James Neal took off.  Tangradi failing to make his mark kickstarted rumors of big trades for players such as Iginla, Kessel and others.

Crosby & BoychukIn the middle of all the trade hoopla stands a 23-year-old 14th overall pick. A guy the Penguins picked up for free off of waivers.  Zach Boychuk.  Now, four games into his Penguins career he has zero points, not even an assist playing on Malkin & Neal’s line. Everyone is writing him off. For one, he is way too small at 5’10”.  On top of that there is no way you can get a good player off of waivers.

Stats are one thing, and I know everyone has heard this all before about Tangradi.  The bunch of bull about what else he brings.  Boychuk is slowly starting to figure Malkin out. Even Chris Kunitz will tell you that Malkin’s play is “a little unconventional” and takes time to get used to.  The truth is, Boychuk looks really good out there on Malkin’s line only four games in.

Addressing the other issues.  Steve Sullivan was two inches shorter than Boychuk.  James Neal didn’t score his first 7 games with the Penguins and only had a goal and 2 assists in his first 20 Boychukgames.  On top of that Neal was getting 17 minutes a game on average with Power Play time.  Boychuk gets 10 minutes with zero powerplay time.

As far getting him free on waivers?  Craig Adams came off of waivers and we would have had to get Billy Guerin off of waivers if the Islanders didn’t respect his age and record so much.

Boychuk right now I’m sure is in a bit of shell-shock going from being sent down to playing on a line with the reigning MVP and Art Ross Trophy winner.  Give Boychuk some time, he has the skill the speed and heart to be a long time Penguin.




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  1. Wayne's Gravatar Wayne
    March 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Matt .Can you clear up the LTIR issue for me? My take is that Sturms salary will count agsanit the cap even though he will be out on LTIR, however the B’s will be allowed to go over the cap by the amount of the replacement player’s salary. Once Sturm returns, the B’s will then have to be in compliance with the cap. Is this correct?

  2. Conrad's Gravatar Conrad
    March 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    …So much for the Great Zach Boychuk Experiment (mind you, that would be a good 1960s rock band name).

  3. Travis Turchak's Gravatar Travis Turchak
    February 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    TK needs to go. Interesting stat of the day, there are 387 players who have scored a goal in the nhl this season, tyler kennedy ranks 381st in shooting percentage, his shooting% is lower than 95 defenseman this season. Please shero make him disappear, i would trade him for the flu at this point!

  4. Mike Bravo's Gravatar Mike Bravo
    February 11, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Here are Zach Boychuck’s stats through 6 games playing on a line with Malkin and Neal:
    Goals: 0
    Assists: 0
    Points: 0
    Plus / Minus: -2
    PIM: 2
    SOG: 6
    TOI / Game: 11:59
    I think I could have managed at least a point playing with a tennis racket in the same span of time alongside Malkin and Neal! This guy needs to sit or be sent to WBS. He is clearly not a top-six forward, and is potentially not ready to play in the NHL. I don’t think Dustin Jeffrey or Eric Tangradi are the answer either, but I think they both played at least as well as Boychuk, while being given less opportunity. The line of Malkin-Neal-Kunitz needs to be reunited. I haven’t the faintest idea why it was broken up in the first place, considering it was the most productive in the NHL last season. TK needs to take up a spot with Crosby and Dupuis. They have played together before, and seem to have some familiarity with each other. TK is the most logical option, as he is too small to be playing a checking forward’s game on the third or fourth line. He seems to be ineffective in this role. Unfortunatley, he doesn’t quite have the skill to be a top-six forward, but maybe Sid can bring the best out of him, much like Lemieux turned Warren Young into a 40-goal scorer.

    • Franco's Gravatar Franco
      February 12, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      I think Kunitz and Crosby have some history together also. It would be unfair to Crosby to put the teams two best wingers on Malkins line. I bet Crosby could throw up some huge numbers with Neal and Kunitz. Maybe even more than Malkin. Until NJ both lines were just starting to put up big numbers.

      I think the team might have been a little worn down plying 6 games in 8 days.

    • Travis Turchak's Gravatar Travis Turchak
      February 12, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Not a chance is TK the answer. he is horrible. why would you put him on a line with crosby? you do want crosby to be able to shoot from time to time right? with TK there he will never have the opportunity. i do agree with the thought of kunitz moving back to malkins line, try boychuk with crosby, if you watch boychuk he is the only guy on the second line who is in position, neal and malkin are great but if you take even kuntiz’s comments how is a new guy supposed to be able to pick up on their habbits in such a small sampling? TK needs to go, not to the second line, or first, he just needs to go……

      • February 14, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        Am I the only one who remembers the number of goals Kennedy and Cooke were scoring last season when Crosby was centering the 3rd line? Agreed that Kennedy is not having a great year, but I think it’s too early to write him off.

        • Travis Turchak's Gravatar Travis Turchak
          February 14, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          he drives me insane, always has, i never wanted him in the first place…. but of course i am not the gm.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      February 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Phil, but I agree with Mike. When the Pens claimed Boychuk it reminded me of when they picked up Chris Bourque a couple of years ago, and we know how well that turned out. While I think Boychuk might be a tad more skilled than Bourque, his career numbers (7 goals in 80 NHL games) pretty much tell the story. Boychuk’s more likely to morph into the next Chris Conner than a top-six forward.

      I wish the Pens could get over their affinity for runty, 5’10” forwards, and take a flyer (sorry, poor choice of words) on someone with some size, but that’s not likely to happen with speed-obsessed Dan Bylsma at the helm …

    • Pens Fan's Gravatar Pens Fan
      February 15, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Jeffrey hasn’t been given any sort of chance. He didn’t play well the 1st game of the season, so was sent to the press box for the next 4. He was then came back for 2 games as the LW on Malkin’s line, and was arguably one of the Pens best forwards in those 2 games. He didn’t put up points but created chances, not bad for coming back out of the press box. Then Boychuk is picked up, has done absolutely NOTHING, yet remains in the lineup while Jeffrey is sitting in the press box.

  5. gilmour's Gravatar gilmour
    February 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    what do you mean you ”there is no way to get a good player off of waivers”, ever heard of Michael Grabner ?

  6. Pen's 4ever's Gravatar Pen's 4ever
    February 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I agree give him a chance..Tangradi was not given much of a chance..I’m not talking 6- 12 min on the fourth line, put him with Sid for 10- 12 games. So hopefully Zack can get the chance and turn the second line into the best in the league

    • Franco's Gravatar Franco
      February 12, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      I think Tangradi has been given a chance and many other chances with the organization the last few years. I don’t know if Boychuk is the answer he seems to be getting worse as he goes along. I like giving him the benefit of the doubt though. For one we don’t seem to have much else and also it’s a new system for him, one that Tangradi has been playing. Boychuk hasn’t really seen any time off to get coached on the system since he’s gotten here. Hopefully finally having two days off in a row & at home will fix him up.

  7. February 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


  8. February 9, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I really like him, he’s shown good hands and creativity. Reminds me of Neal when he showed up, doing everything right but not getting the points. Definitely a good pickup.


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