Who Should Start Game 4? Sullivan tasked with no wrong decision

 

Game 4: Murray or Fleury? It was bound to happen that once Matt Murray was deemed healthy enough to play, that the first slip up from Marc Andre Fleury would lead to a controversy in goal. The Penguins now have one as they enter Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final down two games to one. Mike Sullivan left the door open for a change following Game 3 in saying he had to sleep on it. The facts are Sullivan believes Matt Murray is a better goaltender than Marc Andre Fleury and that’s been clear since Murray evolved on the scene last spring. The slightest opportunity to turn to Murray, Sullivan was always going to strongly consider going back to Murray. For Sullivan, I don’t think there’s a wrong decision on whether he goes with Fleury or Murray for Game 4. The popular decision is to stick with Fleury andRead More »

Game 3 Analysis: Senators have Penguins searching for offensive mastery

 

Game 3: Senators take 2-1 series lead The Ottawa Senators have put the Penguins in a position of chasing the series after a 5-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night. What the Penguins found out tonight is the ‘boring’ Senators are a different team at home. However, they shouldn’t have been caught off-guard. On the road in the playoffs the Senators have evolved into this play it safe, prevent defense type mindset, while at home they play a tad more aggressive in the offensive zone by taking more chances and pushing the tempo. The Penguins knew it was coming and had no answer for the Senators aggressive start. Mike Hoffman scores 48 seconds in and then the Senators kept pushing. Marc Methot, Derick Brassard and Zach Smith score on consecutive shots in a 2:18 span, the fastest three goals in Senators franchise history, and Marc AndreRead More »

Steve Mears in as the Penguins new play-by-play announcer

 

Root Sports and the Pittsburgh Penguins are making a shakeup with their announcing crew for the foreseeable future. The team announced today Steve Mears has been hired by Root Sports as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mears have agreed to a multi-year contract and will join Bob Errey in the booth. Errey has also agreed to a new multi-year extension. A Murrysville native, Mears spent the last four years with the NHLNetwork/NHL Live shows. Previously, he was the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Islanders from 2006-2009 and worked for the Penguins radio network from 2009-13. What happens now with Paul Steigerwald? He’s going to be taken care of. Per the team, Steigerwald will transition to the Penguins front office in a new role with the communications and marketing departments. The club states Steigerwald “will work with the Penguins’ in-house media operation, making regular appearances on PensTVRead More »

Game 2 Analysis: Grind it out, prevent defense style of game can also favor the Penguins

 

Eastern Conference Final: Penguins in for a Grind The Eastern Conference Final has evolved into a matchup of two polar opposites. Whichever team can be more effective in playing a mix of their own style and their opponents game is going to be in the best position to advance to the Stanley Cup Final in what’s setting up as a grinding series. Game 1 that advantage went to Ottawa. They dictated the terms in limiting the Penguins ability offensively to make that critical ‘next play’ and countered-punched just enough in transition. Game 2 was a complete reversal. The scoreboard for Game 2 says the Penguins and Senators played a one goal game in a Penguins 1-0 win to even the series at 1-1 but it was all Penguins in this one. “We had a number of high quality chances,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of the Penguins who outshot OttawaRead More »

Eastern Conference Final: Structure out-executes High-End Talent in Game 1

 

Structure out-executes High-End Talent in Game 1 The Ottawa Senators took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on a Bobby Ryan overtime goal to secure a 2-1 OT win at the PPG Paints Arena. The Senators with the Game 1 win, improved to 6-1 in overtime during the 2017 playoffs. “Our players are really good at not fearing the outcome, and we play the way we play,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said after the win as the Senators slowed down the Penguins offensive attack. The Senators are playing with house money in reaching the Conference Final and are now three wins away from an improbable trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Stunning loss for the heavily favored Penguins to drop Game 1? Coming off an emotional seven game series against the Capitals, if there was going to be a let down game for the Penguins it was going toRead More »

Game 7 Fallout: Penguins Ground Capitals strength’s with best performance of playoffs

 

Penguins Ground Capitals Offensive Attack When it Mattered The Washington Capitals had some bad luck in this series. It’s not just the underlying numbers that say it but the eye test also showed it. In Game 7, though, there was no bad luck hovering around the Capitals. The Pittsburgh Penguins just wanted it more and looked like a team that’s been there before. “I don’t think the urgency was there,” said Alex Ovechkin, who is now 0-3 all-time against Pittsburgh and 3-7 in Game 7’s during his career. Stunning omission from Ovechkin who was a non-factor for a Capitals team that had so much on the line. Ovechkin wasn’t the only Capital stating the facts that Washington didn’t play with urgency despite being on the stage of a Game 7. Again with the Capitals, something just isn’t right here with how good and talented they often are, yet, they haven’tRead More »

Penguins 2 – Capitals 0: The Champs are Moving On

 

Penguins 2 – Capitals 0 Off to the Conference Finals for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pittsburgh Penguins on goals from Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist, knocked out the President Trophy winners for the second straight season with a 2-0 win in Game 7. Washington’s momentum from Games 5 and 6 did not carry over into Game 7 and the Penguins showed tonight why they’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions. From Marc Andre Fleury between the pipes, to skaters 1-18, it was a vintage Penguin performance in everyone doing what it took to deliver a win. The Penguins withstood an early surge as the Capitals had four shots in the first 2:18, only to hold the Capitals without a shot for the next 13 minutes in period one. The Penguins started to get to their game and would then be the one’s to rise to the occasion from there. Mr. EliminationRead More »

Game 7 Series Buzz: Can Penguins halt the Capitals momentum?

 

Game 7 Series Buzz Will the Penguins all-time record on the road in Game 7’s improve to 6-0 after tonight? The Penguins might not have momentum in the series anymore but Game 7’s in hockey are not easy to predict. Who rises to the moment and who doesn’t is what determines who comes out on top of what is a one game playoff tonight. With the way the last two games have gone, we should see very early where this game is going to trend. Teams that score the first goal in Game 7’s are 124-42 all-time. For Pittsburgh, how they start is going to tell the story with how the Capitals have taken over the series since the third period of Game 5. Pittsburgh needs to strike early or at least establish their pace in carrying the play and start to get in the Capitals heads again. A strongRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Where does quick moving goaltending market now leave Penguins?

 

Latest NHL Buzz The goaltending market is playing out as expected. Scott Darling ending up in Carolina and nabbing a four year contract and after Darling’s rights were traded, it was a near lock Ben Bishop’s rights would be traded to Dallas or Calgary. Dallas won out yesterday in landing Bishop for a 4th round pick. The Flames were also in the mix. Bishop wanted to sign with Dallas on July 1, so it’s expected to be smooth sailing on the two sides reaching an extension. A lot of goaltenders available this summer, few teams looking for big ticket starters. If the Penguins season ends tonight, they might be smart to get a jump on things with Marc Andre Fleury. Despite Fleury’s sometimes spectacular play in the playoffs, his market hasn’t changed. Entering game 7 tonight with a .910 save percentage in Round 2, clubs believe Fleury needs a greatRead More »