The following was written by Frank Murgia of for Faceoff Factor.

Yesterday this Needle writer wrote that the Penguins Trade Was Horrible.

Well, less than 18 hours later, I have changed my mind. The reason being is as follows: after the work day on Tuesday I went home and fired up my Xbox 360, inserted EA Sports NHL 08, and then made all of the player transactions that occurred at the deadline. Yes, that is where this post is going. Two hours later, the rosters are current and I have a jug of Chianti in front of me. No Fava beans, just the wine. Let the video game simulation begin.

I set up the Penguins lines like this:




The lines of course are just my opinion. I think that for the first few weeks, when Crosby gets back on the ice, that the current number one line of Malone, Malkin, Sykora should not be broken up and should remain as the number one line. Yes, I put the best player in the world on the second line. I like the match-up situation that it creates.

I put all of the settings on default and played 7 games against some key opponents and teams that made some fun trade moves. Atlanta, who now has five former pens on their roster, was on the schedule, as well as Ottawa, Washington, the New York Rangers, Montreal and a home and home with Philly.

I will keep the geek short and not go into heavy details about each game. Here are the Cliff’s notes.

Game 1: (W) The pens beat Atlanta 4-0. (Hossa had 1 goal & 1 assist, Crosby 2 assists)

( I am getting excited now)

Game 2: (W) Ottawa came from behind to tie late in the third, but the pens won the game and the shootout 3-2. -Crosby, Malkin, and Hossa all scored in the shootout. (Hossa 1 assist, Crosby 1 goal and Malkin 2 assist.)

(The shootout was sweet)

Game 3:* (W) Washington and new goalie Cristobal Huet were tough to beat, but the pens prevailed 2-1. (Hossa 0 points, Malkin 1 goal.)

(Plowed through a bag of chips)

Game 4: (W) The Rangers proved no match for Conklin and the new look Pens. 4-1 final. (Hossa 1 goal & 1 assist, Crosby 1 goal & 1 assist, Malkin 2 goals)

(Holy Cow, they can’t lose. I pound the wine.)

Game 5: (L) Montreal shelled Fleury in his post ankle debut and with new white pads. 6-1. ( No Points for the top two lines)

(Finished the bottle of wine.)

Game 6: (W) Pens beat Flyers at home 5-4. (Hossa 2 goals & 1 assist, Crosby 1 Assist, Malkin 1 goal & 1 assist)

(Scrounging for more Wine…)

Game 7: (L) Flyers beat Fleury in OT 3-2. (Malkin 1 assist)

Well, the Pens went 5-2 against some tough competition. Not too bad, and the big line put points on the board.

Crosby: 2 Goals, 4 Assists, 6 Points
Hossa: 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 8 Points
Malkin: 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 8 Points
(Plus each player was one for one in their shootout attempts)

Conklin: 4 wins, 1 loss
Fleury: 1 win, 1 loss

So, since I live my life by video game simulations, and since this sim was positive towards the Penguins player movement, I am now on board with the new look Penguins.

So it was simmed, and so it shall come to pass.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup… on EA Sports NHL 08.

You can find more of Frank Murgia’s humorous and edgy look at the sports world by visiting Move The Needle