Hear me out...
The Penguins have experimented in every was possible with line combinations and call ups. Evgeni Malkin, a forward, has manned the blue line on the power play since Sergei Gonchar went down back in September. Jordan Staal finds time on the second unit, Jeff Taffe gets worked in from time to time (when he's with the club) and a healthy Tyler Kennedy was even getting a few shifts as well.
So here's my suggestion, one that stems from conversing with Pensburgh user AngelaMC during the Pens/Bruins game thread.
Admittedly the first unit is a healthy mix of (give or take) Malkin, Crosby, Sykora, Goligoski, Satan, Staal and Letang - basically a mix and match of whatever you like. If anything you can do what Mike Yeo does and just throw their names in a hat and run with it. Ryan Whitney's recent return will find him in the scheme as well.
The Penguins have given up six shorthanded goals this season, the latest coming last night against the Bruins. Often these instances stem from poor puck control at the point, crashing d-men getting caught on their back foot because they were involved with the attack before something went HORRIBLY wrong or just general overpassing.
Pascal Dupuis would not solve this problem. The return of Sergei Gonchar, a certified master at the point, is the only way in which the Penguins can improve in the area of puck control and power-play efficiency.
But here's an idea - go with five forwards. Alex Goligoski has shown he can shoot, on occasion even a slapshot - but it's not breaking glass, causing rebounds or creating opportunities. His wrist shot has proven effective and there's no taking away from that.
Kris Letang - beter known as SHOOT THE DAMN PUCK, in my honest opinion, has no place on the power play. Not impressed at all. For a guy who has registered as much time on the first unit as he has the numbers should be much better than 1G, 12A.
There's no arguing Malkin can crank out a slap shot, accurately place a wrister or deke a goalie out of his pads. The only complaint, if any, is the aforementioned inability of him to control the puck at the top when they kick it back out. Given enough time I'm sure he'd manage it, but this guy has been relied on heavily for immediate results since he took over the duties when Gonch went down. In other words, he's doing the best he can with what he's capable of at this given time.
So let me throw this out there - Pascal Dupuis on the top power play unit. Drop a defenseman and make it a five forward attack. Can it be any worse than getting caught with your pants down while the other team charges after Fleury on a 3-on-1? No. Is it likely those things could happen with five forwards? Sure, but it can happen any game.
Dupuis' slapshot has a lot of zing to it. He whipped one past Thomas last night and embarassed Marty Biron with a similar shot from the same spot back on October 14 in the dying seconds of overtime.
By definition Dupuis is a grinder - a guy who isn't known for his scoring but instead for his hustle, ability to neutralize the other teams offense and at times get the puck out of the zone as a member of the PK unit. But I think Dupuis is a hidden weapon that the Penguins can utilize more efficiently.
Dupuis' 9G, 3A doesn't put him far off from Letang's 1G, 12A mark. You also have to consider who Letang is passing to on that first unit. Toss Dupuis on that line and he'll have four or five more assists by the All-Star break and hopefully a few goals to go with it thanks in part to that powerful slapshot of his. Heck, put him on the point next to Malkin.
Basically what I'm eying up is a Malkin-Crosby-Dupuis-Satan-Fedotenko line as the top unit. The second unit would probably be the finest Frankenstein of players that Yeo could make up, but given the team's current state with minor leaguers it's hard to say who's left. That's why the unit has to really man up and put in a solid two minute effort, complete with slap shots (and hopefully rebounds), a body in front of the net deflecting/screening and the ever-so-popular puck movement from tape to tape.
Dupuis on the top line - a temporary solution?