NHL Buzz: The First key Domino on the goaltending market falls

 

Latest NHL Buzz The first domino fell on the goaltending market Friday when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Scott Darling this week from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2017 third-round pick. Many teams are looking for the next Cam Talbot and three teams had Darling as their No. 1 target. Carolina, Las Vegas and the Dallas Stars. Darling has had Carolina Hurricanes written all over him for months as GM Ron Francis is not a believer in having $5 to $6 million a season tied into one goaltender after the Cam Ward contract hamstrung the Hurricanes for many years.. It’s anticipated a deal will come together between the Hurricanes and Darling in the $3-$3.5 million range. Many teams between now and the expansion draft are looking to get a leg up as the Blackhawks did and move goaltending assets before losing them for nothing. Multiple clubs are eyeing Washington’s Philipp GrubauerRead More »

Penguins – Capitals: How the Penguins Stole Game 1

 

Penguins Steal Game 1 “To steal a game in their rink and kind of effectively get home ice back in the series, I think that’s huge.” — Penguins center Nick Bonino The Pittsburgh Penguins escaped Game 1 with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals despite all the numbers saying this should have been a blow out in Washington’s favor. The eye test also says this was a bad performance by the Penguins, outside of a few players. Washington out-attempted Pittsburgh 83-41, was +21 in scoring chances, +14 in shots (35-21) +6 in high danger chances (13-7) and carried the play for significant portions over the final two periods. Yet, the Penguins did what the Penguins do in putting one more puck in the back of the net than the opposition. Timely goals and goaltending propelled the Penguins to a 1-0 series lead. It’s a recipe the Penguins will haveRead More »

Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally be exposed in Round 2?

 

Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally haunt them in Round 2? As discussed the other day, the Washington Capitals on paper are more equipped to match up with the Penguins than they were last season and when you factor in the Penguins injury situation with players who were so valuable to Pittsburgh winning last postseason, there’s no excuses for the Capitals not to get the job done and finally breakthrough vs Pittsburgh. The fascinating thing to watch in this series will be whether those areas the Penguins high-end talent has been able to cover up over the last month or so finally comes to an end.  The Penguins possession numbers have been average for a long-stretch now but it hasn’t had much of an impact because of Pittsburgh’s ability to create high danger chances near an elite level. Pittsburgh was at 46% in driving possession vs theRead More »

Sabres GM Search: Bill Guerin on the rise as a top GM candidate

 

Bill Guerin emerges on Sabres short-list Since becoming owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, Terry Pegula is widely known to let his close friends influence hirings that have back fired. This time around Pegula is taking a different approach. He’s begun relying on other NHL owners and long-time establish NHL folks to do a proper landscape of the NHL GM scene. While there’s lots of talk Pegula will go the re-tread veteran GM route and Pegula himself admitted he’s looking for experience, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin has emerged on Pegula’s short-list and was one of the first interviews conducted by the Sabres. NHL sources say Pegula’s short-list of GM candidates is coming from a wide net of NHL executives he has reached out to. Guerin whose stock has been rising throughout the NHL as a top GM candidate due to a reputation developing of being a greatRead More »

Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper?

 

Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper? For Penguins – Capitals, when you breakdown a lot of areas between the two clubs, the Capitals enter Round 2 as the favorite but as the series begins Thursday night in D.C., there is certainly a pause surrounding who is the favorite in the series. Washington has the goaltending edge, they have the better personnel on the blueline, a better power play and they draw more penalties. Pittsburgh has the edge at forward and also have that special championship mystique about them that makes them such a daunting task to beat four out of seven times. Not only are the Penguins defending champions, there is that history thing backing them where they have won eight of the nine all-time series between the clubs. All of the pressure is on the Capitals this series. Pittsburgh won that coveted second Stanley Cup of the Crosby eraRead More »

Penguins – Blue Jackets Series Fallout

 

Penguins – Blue Jackets Series Fallout “We just played one of the top teams in the league. I believe our best hockey is ahead of us.” — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan “A very good team we played, and we had no fear. I’m proud of our club. That didn’t feel like a 4-1 series. But they win it.” — Jackets coach John Tortorella GAME 5 The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to Round 2 with a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets, doing quick work in the first round for the second consecutive year. Games 3 and 4 had a ton of ebbs and flows and Game 5 also lived up to that reputation. Pittsburgh after building a 3-0 lead, saw the game turned into just a 3-2 lead but when an official waved off a Blue Jackets game tying goal and called Alex Wenneberg for interfering goaltender Marc Andre Fleury,Read More »

Penguins – Blue Jackets: Telling signs series could extend beyond Game 5?

 

PIT-CBJ GAME 4 FALLOUT “I don’t think we played the game the right way. You’ve got to stay on the right side of people. You’ve got to have some depth to your attack. You’ve got to reload on the 50-50 battles. If you don’t pay attention to those details, you’re going to give up odd-man rushes or high quality chances. We weren’t committed like our team usually is. I know we’re better. I know we will be better. We certainly weren’t good enough tonight” — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. The Columbus Blue Jackets forced a Game 5 with a 5-4 win on Tuesday night and while the Penguins have been the far better team in the series, Pittsburgh is a lucky break from a Brandon Dubinsky shot going off Marc Andre Fleury’s head in Game 3 from this series being tied 2-2 right now. Are there any signs that thisRead More »

NHL Playoffs: Capitals running into a bad matchup?

 

NHL Playoffs: Leafs giving Caps similar problems that the Penguins do Are the Washington Capitals living up to their reputation of being playoff chokers? Or are they just running into a bad matchup? A week from now regarding the Capitals we’re either going to be talking about the Capitals getting pushed in Round 1 potentially being a positive for them moving forward or discussing a shocking Round 2 matchup between the Penguins and Leafs. Whether the Leafs can finish the job remains to be seen but the Leafs were badly overlooked in this series, many predicted a sweep, just from the standpoint the Capitals are the President Trophy winners and Toronto’s best players are a bunch of kids. Last post-season the Capitals struggled against a Penguins team built with skill and speed. What does Toronto have? The Leads are certainly not the Penguins but like Pittsburgh they have more speedRead More »

Game 3 Fallout: Superior High-End Talent wins out again

 

Penguins take 3-0 series lead behind their biggest strength GAME 3 STORYLINE The Columbus Blue Jackets scored 10 seconds into game…….. scored 3 goals on their first six shots……..and finally solved Marc Andre Fleury who was giving up juicy rebounds all night. Yet, what played out again in Game 3 was the Penguins superior high-end talent winning out. The Penguins and Blue Jackets were close in regular season points and Columbus finished with the fourth most points in the NHL. But, the discrepancy in high-end talent between the Penguins and Blue Jackets is just on another level and that’s even with the Penguins missing Kris Letang and their No. 1 goaltender. It’s the story of the series and why Pittsburgh has a 3-0 series lead. A lot of headlines Monday morning will be talking about the Penguins resilency, their leadership and so on…… It’s talent and having the right coachRead More »