As much as Ray Shero believed in his pre-trade deadline acquisitions, he probably didn’t realize how valuable players such as Jussi Jokinen and Brenden Morrow would become so early in their tenure with the Penguins.
Pittsburgh’s smooth general manager has got plenty of mileage out of the aforementioned players over the past three weeks along with fellow newcomer Jarome Iginla, who entered Wednesday with points in six of his past seven games to help the Penguins clinch top spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Penguins will enter Thursday’s game at New Jersey with a 7-3 record without captain Sidney Crosby. They are also 9-4 this season without defenceman Kris Letang, 10-3 in blue-liner Paul Martin’s absence, 15-2 when Evgeni Malkin has been sidelined and 6-1 without James Neal, who is currently out with a concussion.
"We always play good through injuries," Letang told the Gazette newspaper in Montreal recently. "Other guys take advantage of the situation and pick up the slack."
Jokinen has eight points in eight games as Crosby’s fill-in on the top line with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis while Morrow has five goals and 11 points in 13 games as a Penguin.
In the gallery above, we feature eight other players who have made an impact with their new team since the April 3 trade deadline.