I don't believe that we have a "need on D". We're top ten in the league in 5 on 5 goals against AND top ten in the league on the PK. Plus out goalies are playing well. Defensively we're fine.
You could argue that we need better puck movers, but I'm not really sure that's true either. While Kronwall isn't playing well, there's no reason to believe that he won't pick it up at some point. He's consistently produced points throughout his career. Likewise Green and Kindl are moving the puck well given our offensive woes. Even Dekeyser is a capable puck mover, albeit not his specialty. I think a lot of the lack of production from the back end (as well as the forwards) was the result of learning to get comfortable in a new system which asks more of our defensemen than they've previously been expected to contribute. As the offense picks up steam, and our shot differential improves, so will the defensemen's numbers.
I do think that it wouldn't hurt to have a power forward type who can bang and crash around the net. But even that seems less necessary when you consider that Richards' return will likely push AA to the wing and given that Sheahan is currently playing wing (and looking good). That gives us decent size on the wings for the first time all year.
However, if we are absolutely sold on acquiring a big, gritty, forward, I'd take a look at Kerby Rychel for Columbus. He was drafted one spot ahead of Mantha, plays a physical game, and is rumored to be on the block. Columbus is also rumored to want a defenseman in return, and lord knows we've got a bunch of those. It's a pretty low risk move even if the kid doesn't pan out.
Otherwise I'd say stand pat. We've looked better the last 5-6 games against better competition, we're not slipping in the standings, and I think there's every reason to believe our guys (and coach) are finally finding the right fit for the system they're playing.
- krsmith17 likes this