It’s been nearly three weeks since the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers and already the deal looks to be paying off.
The Penguins are in a mini-funk at the moment. The team has dropped its last two games giving up 11 goals and are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. But through the latter part of that stretch, the team has enjoyed the offence brought by their newest acquisition.
Fitting in Nicely
The team picked up Perron in early January after injuries to forwards Pascal Dupuis, Patrick Hornqvist, and Blake Comeau. Since the trade Perron has five goals and seven points in six games with the Pens with six of those points coming in the 26-year-old’s last three games.
Penguins Acquire Forward David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers in Exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 Firs… http://t.co/LnI4NGuzZD
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@NHLPittsburgh_) January 2, 2015
The native of Sherbrooke, QC, has looked like a perfect fit in his new home. He has been placed on the team’s first line playing on the right side with captain Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. The 2007 first-round pick, has also been put on to the team’s number one power play, playing alongside Crosby, Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang, a lethal combination.
During his first 38 games of the season with the Oilers, Perron had just 19 points and was a -17 with the club. Last year the winger finished with 57 points in 78 games and finished tied with Jordan Eberle with 28 goals, the highest total on team.
On Pace for Greatness
The Penguins have 38 games remaining this season, if Perron can continue to fire on the same pace he has since donning the black and gold, he would tally 31 goals and 44 points the rest of the way. That would give him 70 points and 41 goals on the season, by far the best totals of his career. Obviously that pace would be nearly impossible to achieve, but nonetheless is interesting to consider.
Perron’s best points per game total came during the 2011-12 season when he had 42 points in 57 games, a points per game of 0.74. In a full 82 game season that would have seen him collect 60 points. This season has truly been a tale of two cities, as he has a 1.17 points per game with Pittsburgh and a 0.5 points per game with the Oilers.
Though he is unlikely to hit the 70 point mark as mentioned above, his total points per game comes in at 0.59, putting him on pace for 48 points this year. But if he continues to play alongside Crosby and on the league’s fifth ranked power play, it seems likely he will finish somewhere in the middle of the two.
Injuries Have Limited Him
Last season’s totals of 28 goals and 57 points were both career highs for Perron. This is largely due to the fact that he dressed for 78 of the team’s games, the highest total since the 2009-10 season, where he played all 82.
Perron has had a history of injury problems, dating back to a head-injury he suffered during the 2010-11 season that limited him to just 10 games with the St. Louis Blues. Perron has missed 122 games over the course of his career, that’s nearly a season-and-a-half.
The Pittsburgh Penguins currently sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 58 points, five points behind the New York Islanders for top spot in the Eastern Conference, but also four points behind the Boston Bruins for the last Wild Card spot. Meanwhile the Oilers continue to sit last place in the NHL with 31 points and don’t look to be moving from that spot anytime soon.
Pittsburgh always has the potential to be one of the best teams in the league and if he can continue to do what he has done since joining the club. Perron could really help the Pens be a Stanley Cup contender.
Craig is an intern at The Hockey News where he has written for both the website and the magazine. He is also a featured-blogger at http://www.hockeyforums.net/index.php/blog/46-its-a-canadian-game/. Craig has an Honours in Journalism from Wilfird Laurier University and is currently completing the Sports Journalism Program at Centennial College. Follow him on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman.