(preface: trading Malkin is incredibly stupid, and i no way am i suggesting that, FWIW)
...then this Montreal-Philadelphia series (and really, so was Philly-NJ) is making a strong case. The Flyers have totally decimated the trap this year, dominating arguably the best trapping team, NJ in the regular season and playoffs, and now (albeit 2 games in) they are wreaking havoc on Montreal's version. the key to defeating the trap is having wingers who are skilled at puck handling and attacking. trapping in the neutral zone forces the puck oft of the center's hands, and makes it very difficult for them to carry it into the zone and set up the offense, it really puts an onus of wingers who can handle the puck and play a finesse game. obviously the Penguins have physical wingers, which complement Crosby, Malkin and Staal well, and when teams don't trap the centers, they are able to set things up and the offense is gravy, problems arise when we force TK, Kunitz, Dupuis, Guerin, or Cooke into a role they are uncomfortable with. none of those players are really able to create their own shot, or create that well for others, they excell at hitting and scrumming for lose pucks on the boards, which works against Ottawa, Detroit, Washington, Philly or anyother top flight team that doesn't trap. Philly has the wingers that can shred the trap; Carter (when healthy), Carcillo and Hartnell (vomit), seem to have the ability to defeat this. against the rest of the league our center strength is enough to win, against trapping teams we need something else, so what do we do?
for games against trapping teams, and only trapping teams, because everyone else we have the team to win, we put Malkin on Crosby's wing, the entire time. bump Staal to second line center, and Talbot to third.
line combos (assuming Poni, Guerin, and Feds all walk):
i feel this plan would help us establish our offense with the puck not in the centers hands against trapping teams, it will also give us 2 potent lines, and allow Staal more ice time against trapping teams. for all other games/series we just go business as usual with the 3 centers. the plans not perfect, and I'm not Shero or Bylsma, just some joke writing on a Penguins blog, but i feel its a realistic and viable option when playing the trap, and it allows to keep the same personnel and identity, but exploits our versatility. what do you guys think?