Ovechkin, Capitals are Stanley Cup Final Bound; What’s Next for the Lightning & Lookahead to WSH-VGK


The NHL couldn’t be getting a better Stanley Cup Final when it comes to storylines. This is everything. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/9mDKjv9fBE — Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 24, 2018 The expansion Vegas Golden Knights and the Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals. Ratings will never be that high for the NHL but this matchup is going to draw a little extra attention from the casual sports fan and places like ESPN may allot 4-5 minutes of coverage instead of 1-2 minutes. There’s certainly a lot of buzz surrounding this matchup and should be. Capitals showing 2016 Penguins Resemblance — The Washington Capitals finally did it with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The series might have went seven games with the Capitals trailing 3-2 after give games, but the better team throughout the seven games prevailed. Washington was handily the better team in fiveRead More »

Vegas Stanley Cup Bound, Fleury’s Hall-of-Fame Case & More Buzz


Vegas Marches to the Stanley Cup Final The remarkable story of the Vegas Golden Knights continues with a run to the Stanley Cup. The Western Conference Champions ousted the favored Winnipeg Jets in five games, winning four straight to close out the series. In the Golden Knights series clinching 2-1 win, it had quite the Pittsburgh connection. There’s Marc Andre Fleury putting together a 31 save performance to close out the series, Ryan Reaves a major outcast in the Penguins system, scoring the game winning goal, and Deryk Engelland playing 23 minutes in Game 5 and on the ice for the final minute of play to preserve a one-goal lead and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Vegas reaching the Stanley Cup Final has already cemented them as one of the greatest stories in NHL history and winning the Cup would turn it into one of the greatest storiesRead More »

Rumors: Hurricanes motivated to trade Jordan Staal


TIOPS Inside Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* — A familiar name to Penguins fans is strongly on the trade block: Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal. As former Hurricanes GM Ron Francis saw the 29 year old Staal as a building block in his long-term plan, declined to entertain any trade inquiries into Staal the past two years, namely from the Pittsburgh Penguins, that is no longer the case under new owner Tom Dundon and GM Don Waddell, a former pro scout with the Penguins. Waddell and ownership are highly motivated to move Staal who has 5 years, $30 million in actual cash left on his contract, league sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports. The Hurricanes willingness to move Staal this summer is more about the contract than anything else. Staal who went through a lot this past season with the death of his daughter to a terminal birth defect, is loved byRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins are open for business on Kris Letang


Where are Things Headed Between the Penguins, Letang? As stated here for months, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has three untouchables on his roster: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Matt Murray. There are some others who are 100% going nowhere this off-season and pretty much unavailable like Brian Dumoulin who Penguin coaches regard as the clubs best defenseman, Jake Guentzel is another one who is tremendous value for one more season on an entry level contract and of course Patric Hornqvist who begins a new 5 year contract next season. For others like Phil Kessel and Kris Letang, vital members of the team, the Penguins are wide open for business on them. Basically where things stand for both is the Penguins are fine with keeping them and fine with trading one or both. Rival General Managers have been fully aware in discussions with the Penguins that the team will listenRead More »

Rumors: Penguins internally optimistic of getting a seat at the Tavares table in late June?


Latest Penguins Buzz A 92 point regular season won’t have Phil Kessel’s name escaping the trade rumor mill over the next month in a half. Kessel’s poor performance in the postseason followed by a continued rift with head coach Mike Sullivan has only heightened the situation regarding Kessel this coming summer. Sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports, the coaching staff has reached the point with Kessel where they feel if he’s not producing offensively, he’s a detriment to the lineup 5-on-5 because of his inability to do the little things away from the puck. Pittsburgh had some serious trade talks last summer with From NHL executives, to top NHL insiders, it’s no secret around the league that Pittsburgh will entertain Kessel trade scenarios leading into the draft. Kessel has four years remaining on his deal with a $6.8 million cap hit. He’s due to make $26 million in actual money overRead More »

Changes Are Coming This Summer for the Penguins…….


Rutherford anticipates being active to upgrade the roster Changes are coming to the Penguins this summer. How big? Time will tell. “It’s obvious I’m going to keep an open mind to changes and I will make some changes,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said today at his season ending news conference. “We’re a good team, we will be a good team going forward,” said Rutherford. “We’ll have the chance to win again, we have the nucleus to do that.” Whether the Penguins go into the direction of moving a core player remains to be seen but talk among rival executives already is the Penguins have the appetite to move a big name player in the right deal with One thing Rutherford noted today is the Penguins have a number of tradable assets to make desired changes in certain areas. “We also have the pieces in place that are players other teamsRead More »

Series Fallout: 5 Key Takeaways on why the Penguins were ousted in 6 games to a less talented Capitals team


MBetter Team Prevailed in Penguins – Capitals The Washington Capitals on Monday night finally broke the curse in ousting the Penguins in six games on a overtime goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov, 5:27 into OT. The Capitals will make their first trip to the Conference Final in the Alex Ovechkin era. “Finally…..” Alex Ovechkin proclaimed. The Penguins three-peat chances officially ended on an overtime goal, just like their three-peat quest in 1993 also ended in overtime. Pittsburgh was the more talented team on paper in this series but in a number of areas Washington was just slightly better from first-second level scoring, to obviously goaltending, to role players elevating their play at a crucial moments and Washington played with a more efficient defensive structure that kept just about everyone not named Sidney Crosby/Jake Guentzel off the scoresheet during 5-on-5 play. What Went Wrong for the Penguins and why a less talentedRead More »

Game 5 Fallout: On Penguins 3rd Period Collapse, Kris Letang’s play/future, Facing Elimination


Game 5: Capitals put the Penguins on the brink of elimination Mike Sullivan “really liked” the Penguins game Saturday night. He even felt it might have been the Penguins best game of the series. “There was a whole lot of this game that we really liked,” said Sullivan. “It might have been our best game of the series.” Unfortunately for the Penguins, two great periods don’t win you a sixty minute game. The Capitals scored four goals in the third period, including two empty-netters, to rally past the Penguins for a 6-3 win in Game 5 to put the Penguins on the brink of elimination. This was an extremely frustrating loss for the Penguins because of how they significantly carried the play through the first two periods. Pittsburgh had their most productive game from the Derick Brassard line all series, the line producing the opening goal of the game, aRead More »

Game 4 Analysis: Penguins Show Game 7 type mentality with an elite ‘tracking the puck game’ to even-up series


Game 4 Analysis: Penguins Show Game 7 type mentality with 200 ft Game Penguins – Capitals was a true toss-up heading into the series and what shouldn’t be a surprise to many, the series is even at 2-2 after four games and now a best-of-3 in what feels like is going to be a seven game series. The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided a fourth straight home loss with a 3-1 win over the Capitals in Game 4. Jake Guentzel had 2 goals as his sensational play continues, Matt Murray stopped 20 of 21 shots and Evgeni Malkin broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal with 2:29 left in the second period in diving to stuff a puck just past the goal-line for a Penguins 2-1 lead. This series has been about as evenly matched as it could get as all four games have pretty much been 50-50 games, butRead More »

Series Buzz: Potential Return of Carl Hagelin & Impact of the Capitals losing Tom Wilson to a suspension


Penguins – Capitals Series Buzz The NHL Department of Player Safety pulled a stunner on Wednesday evening in suspending Capitals winger Tom Wilson for three games, meaning he will only play in this series if it goes seven games. There were countless debates on whether Wilson deserved at least 1-2 games with a crowd among former players who believe it was a hockey hit. Nonetheless, there was no escaping for Wilson on avoiding a suspension here because of the NHL’s precedent of factoring in injuries on whether to suspend a player or not. Wilson is a predatory, head hunter type of player and while I hated the Wilson hit on Dumoulin much more than the Aston-Reese one as Aston-Reese was at least bracing for the hit, the NHL Department of Player Safety’s breakdown of the video in slow motion further illustrates Wilson got what he deserved. The thing that standsRead More »