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Jun. 1—After the New York Islanders eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the East Division playoffs, they advanced to play the Boston Bruins.

When asked to compare the Bruins’ top line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to Sidney Crosby‘s line with Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, Islanders head coach Barry Trotz’s critique was less than kind to Rust and Guentzel.

In this week’s “Madden Monday” podcast (on Tuesday this week), Mark Madden of 105.9 The X and TribLive says that as much as Penguins fans may not like hearing it, Trotz has a point.

Even if those of us in Pittsburgh took it as a slap in the face.

“It’s also true,” Madden said. “If you took the Bergeron line and the Crosby line, the best player among the six is Crosby but the next three are all on Boston.”

So, what should the Penguins do moving forward about that? Madden wonders if a trade of Guentzel should be considered.

“I think Guentzel is really good. I don’t know that he is quite as good as the numbers he has posted in Pittsburgh. And they are going to have to make a trade to make a statement that what has gone on of late — these last three playoff years — is unacceptable,” Madden said.

Crosby has insisted that he won’t play general manager when it comes to what the team does in the offseason. But, as Madden says, he can’t play coach either. Either directly or subtly.

“He does it so passive aggressively,” Madden said. “I can tell you for certain he has never gone into a coach’s office and said, ‘Play me with this guy.’ Or never gone to a general manager’s office and said, ‘Trade for that guy, or don’t trade for that guy.'”

But Madden remembers moments such as when the Penguins acquired Jarome Iginla in 2013, presumptively to play with Crosby. And Crosby mentioned in the media how much he enjoyed playing with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.

“The coach at that time, Dan Bylsma, took that as a papal bull. Again, passive aggressive. He makes clear in some avenue what he wants, and he gets it because the team is afraid of him,” Madden said.

Along with the Penguins, Mark and I talk about the rest of the NHL playoffs, the new book from former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and a recent run of bad fan behavior.


Listen: Tim Benz and Mark Madden talk about the moves the Penguins could make in the offseason

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.