Keys on the NHL Navigating through a Great Unknown As the Coronavirus has put North America on lockdown with no end in sight, the NHL, MLB and NBA are living in a period of unknown like the rest of us are. We’re months away from sports returning and it’s going to be even longer for a complete normal way of life returning. With a vaccine several months away and experts in the medical field believing the virus may return again in the fall before a vaccine will be available, this is just such unchartered waters for professional leagues and all have to be prepared for a number of different scenarios to play out in the coming months. At the end of the day, if the professional leagues want to salvage their seasons, they’ve had to come to accept the reality that playing without fans is going to be about theRead More »
Worrisome Trends Continue The Pittsburgh Penguins have dropped seven of nine after a sleepless performance Saturday afternoon in a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. In a year where there looks to be real separation between division winners and wild card level teams, the Penguins continued a worrisome trend against their arch rival on a day that was a four point swing in the wrong direction for the Penguins. A concern amongst the coaching staff has long been that when the Penguins get fully healthy, the bad habits and lack of commitment to playing all three zones with structure and discipline would re-emerge. And that’s exactly played out and it’s been building for several weeks. Mike Sullivan was warning against it weeks ago as he and others all saw it coming. The Penguins winning two straight against the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres proved nothing and it was two winsRead More »
Latest Trade Deadline Buzz Jim Rutherford’s desire to add a third line level player has had the Penguins expanding their target list to as many as five to six forwards over the last 48 hours league sources say. One situation the Penguins have strongly looked at is Patrick Marleau in San Jose. The Penguins in the past couple days have been in regular contact with the Sharks and Marleau’s agent Pat Brisson
Latest Trade Deadline Buzz –Scuttlebutt on the Penguins trade deadline plans — Pittsburgh for weeks has preferred to stay out of the d-man market unless a significant setback pops up between now and February 24th with Brian DuMoulin who has just begun skating and had another c[heckup] on Tuesday. Adding a defenseman on a two-way contract is in play but Pittsburgh actively trying to add a legitimate top-3 pairing or a true No. 7 defenseman hasn’t been a top priority to this point. [/hide] The focus has been on adding another veteran forward. Pittsburgh’s brass believes when fully healthy, they are one of the deepest teams in the NHL 1-12. The team remains hopeful Nick Bjugstad will return at somepoint and they’ll be getting Zach Aston-Reese back next month, but in the wake of acquiring Jason Zucker this month, the priority is being 13-14 deep with legitimate NHL forwards. DespiteRead More »
Fallout of the Penguins acquiring Jason Zucker 1. Prior to finalizing a trade for Jason Zucker on Monday night, Pittsburgh’s pursuit of Zucker for months was setting up as being their only realistic play ahead of the deadline to land an impact winger. It was going to be Zucker or have to go the rental market for a Tyler Toffoli type. There was nothing else in the woodwork nor anything likely to emerge that was out there to resemble a similar type of acquisition the Penguins feel they made last night in acquiring Jason Zucker — a long-term addition –. Sources say a similar offer would have been considered internally to make for Montreal’s M a player I’ve learned in recent days they’ve liked for years and actually tried to trade Phil Kessel to Vegas in the summer of 2018 for This led to the Penguins deciding at the endRead More »
Penguins land Jason Zucker The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired winger Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild. Zucker, 28, has three years remaining on his contract with a $5.5 million cap hit. Rutherford had honed in on Zucker for weeks and the inclusion of top prospect Calen Addison sealed the deal as Rutherford makes his big move two weeks prior to the Feb 24th trade deadline.
Penguins – Panthers What We Learned The Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night escaped with a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Best way to put it is that it was a fortunate two points for the Penguins. No player came up bigger than Tristan Jarry in goal. Jarry was sensational with 33 saves, making a number a number of side to side athletic saves. His quickness on side to side puck movement is prime Fleury-esque. Pittsburgh was atrocious for several long stretches in giving the Panthers the middle of the ice. From just a couple minutes into the game to the waning, Jarry was bailing his teammates out. The Penguins did little well in all three zones, including struggles in the faceoff circle, winning just 38% of their draws. For the Penguins what stood out again in a negative way was how the opposition controlled the play 5 vs 5.Read More »