Round 1 Goes to Fleury and the Golden Knights


Golden Knights 2 – Penguins 1 In a game dubbed Murray vs Fleury, neither goaltender would disappoint. Matt Murray turned aside 24 shots in a very strong performance after being on the shelf for six games and Marc Andre Fleury also stopped 24 shots, but it was Fleury and Golden Knights who would prevail with a 2-1 win. This was a game you knew Fleury badly wanted and he delivered to knock off his former team, stopping all 10 shots he faced in the third period. It’s December 15th, more than two months into the season and it’s the Golden Knights with a 20-9-2, 42 pts, record, while Pittsburgh has lost three straight and are 16-14-3, 35 pts, on the season. Jon Merrill (1) broke a 1-1 tie at 8:17 into the third period to put the Golden Knights ahead 2-1. The goal was off a brutal turnover from BrianRead More »

Rumors: Penguins – Sabres emerging as a trade match?


Latest Trade Winds Sabres GM Jason Botterill has signaled to General Managers he is open for business and willing to move pending rentals well before the February 26th deadline. Trade action on winger Evander Kane has heated up significantly in the past week and talks with a couple teams are reaching the serious enough stages where it won’t surprise some NHL execs if Kane is moved by early January. TSN’s Bob Mckenzie reported Tuesday evening the Sharks, Ducks, Blues and “perhaps” the Calgary Flames are amongst the most serious suitors for Kane at this point. Speculation around the league has also linked the NHL-lead Tampa Bay Lightning to Kane, one of the NHL’s best even strength goal scorers among wingers. While Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is notorious for looking into almost every big name on the market and Pittsburgh had some internal discussions on Kane last June, there’s no indicationRead More »

Penguins – Avs Fallout: Dominik Simon flashing legit NHL skilll; Parking 4th line on bench in tight games continues


Evaluators often believe a 6-8 game sample is a proper evaluating period for when it comes to young/inexperienced players on NHL call-ups who are not sure-fire NHL prospects. What scouts don’t much stock into is games 1 or 2 but how the player tracks after that initial adrenaline rush of a call-up. For skilled players, though, I think you can put more stock into what you see right away, compared to players like Josh Archibald for example, whose games are built on speed and creating chaos with speed on the forecheck, ect. Two NHL games this season has been enough of a small sample to declare that Dominik Simon has NHL talent and could become a factor for the Penguins if the coaching staff/management embrace more skill over playing a more trust worthy player in Tom Kuhnhackl, others. What has been really impressive is Simon’s ability to make plays inRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Bottom-6 Center group was exposed vs TOR; PIT/EDM Trade Talks, Jordan Staal & More Buzz


Bottom-6 Center Situation was Exposed Entering tonight’s game, Riley Sheahan has goals in back-to-back games, the first time he’s scored in consecutive games since December 20-22, 2015, a span of 158 games and he’s sprinkled in some assists of late to have 9 points in 22 games with Pittsburgh. Still, how he struggles against high quality bottom-6 centers has the Penguins alarmed and don’t let the recent production believe the Penguins will look to stand pat at the center position. A Penguins source indicates Saturday 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs was another “wake up call” in regards to the Penguins third line center situation, hence, it’s an area that must be addressed by the deadline. In front of a Penguins brass that would love for the Leafs to entertain moving Tyler Bozak before the deadline (highly unlikely), Bozak was a man among boys in going head-to-head with bothRead More »

Dominik Simon could add needed element to 4th line LW position


— The primary forward in Wilkes Barre/Scranton that Jim Rutherford’s top lieutenants had recommended for an NHL call-up for over two weeks now has been 2015 5th round pick Dominik Simon not Daniel Sprong. With an injury to Tom Kuhnhackl that is going to knock him out of the lineup for a little while, Simon, as expected, gets the call-up over Sprong and others in Wilkes Barre. A strong playmaking forward who creates offense well for linemates, Simon has 13 assists in 20 games and is tied for the points lead (16) in Wilkes Barre. Simon is far from a sure-fire NHL player but his call-up is worth watching from the standpoint of what the Penguins lack; most notably from the forward position on the 4th line, Pittsburgh desperately lacks skill on the wing and players who can create individual high danger chances. Kuhnhackl is well liked by the Penguins’Read More »

Rumors: Is a Matt Cullen to Pittsburgh reunion potentially in play?


Matt Cullen is struggling mightily in Minnesota and is falling out of favor with Bruce Boudreau……Penguins Jim Rutherford has a soft spot for Cullen and Pittsburgh is on the hunt for another center…….. It was only going to be a matter of time before some Cullen to Pittsburgh speculation started surfacing. The early feedback on Cullen from evaluators has not been good. In a return to the Western Conference against heavier teams, one scout via text says Cullen has been consistently getting “worked” in the defensive zone leading to extended shifts and he has looked “physically overmatched” [at times]. Another scout said Cullen has looked everything If Pittsburgh entertains a Cullen reunion and Cullen is willing to leave his family when the return to Minnesota was about settling at home, the main question is whether Cullen at the level he is playing at this season is an upgrade over whatRead More »

Metro Watch: Penguins have nose-dived in 5 v 5 goals department, Islanders #2 in NHL


Islanders scoring at high rate during 5 vs 5 play, Penguins have dropped to 29th Two months into the season, the New York Islanders (16-9-2, 34 pts) and Pittsburgh Penguins (15-11-3, 33 pts) enter tonight’s game at PPG Paints Arena neck and neck in the standings. It’s too early to say whether the Islanders are a team to take serious in the Metropolitan Division but there’s no denying they’ve evolved as one of the most fun teams to watch. They have a head coach now in Doug Weight who lets his high-end talent play a free wheeling, run-and-gun game. It leads to a lot of goals in the back of their net but they’re an entertaining team to watch. 2015 first round pick Mathew Barzal who was selected by the Islanders with the 16th overall pick, which was originally Pittsburgh’s first round pick that they traded to Edmonton for David Perron,Read More »

Latest NHL Chatter: Penguins bending on term will dictate a Hornqvist extension by July


Rangers attack Penguins effectively in transition The Pittsburgh Penguins  learned pretty quickly Tuesday night the Buffalo Sabres were no longer in town. While the Penguins would go on to out-attempt the New York Rangers 59-42 during 5 vs 5 play, and 76-50 in all situations during a battle of backup goaltenders, Pittsburgh met their match in how the Rangers exposed them in transition. Pittsburgh’s speed game is no longer steps above the rest of the field like it was during their 2016 Stanley Cup run and lesser teams like the Rangers have caught up to them in that area where they can exploit the Penguins on the rush. While the Penguins were +17 in shot attempts (5 v 5), New York was +2 in high danger chances during the win. Trade Talk: Penguins in the d-man market While the Penguins’ focus in recent weeks has been exploring the forward marketRead More »

Penguins high-end talent toyed with ‘AHL’ Sabres


Penguins 4 – Sabres 0 While Tristan Jarry posted a 34-save shutout and was locked in all night, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night toyed with the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-0 win in the first game of a home-and-home situation. Pittsburgh’s high-end talent made the Sabres as a whole look like the Penguins were playing a scrimmage game against an AHL team. The Arizona Coyotes get labeled as the ‘AHL’ Coyotes by some and it might be time to stamp the same label on the Sabres. “It’s quite embarrassing,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres who have lost 10 of 11 and are a team that looks like a train-wreck in their own end. “We’re playing a backup goaltender  and we didn’t take advantage of that tonight.” With how quickly Terry Pegula fires coaches and executives, Jason Botterill and Phil Housley might not make it to Christmas.Read More »

Ray Shero has built the Devils back up from a dire situation with a future that looks bright


Ray Shero has started to make the Devils Interesting Again Another pretty big hockey trade in the month of November. The New Jersey Devils today traded forwards Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round pick. 🚨 TRADE ALERT 🚨 The #NJDevils have acquired defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round pick from Anaheim. New Jersey sends forwards Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round pick to the Ducks. — New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) November 30, 2017 The Devils are starting to get pretty interesting in the Metropolitan Division due to the high-end talent that’s been brought in over the last year. Devils GM Ray Shero is often known for dealing defensemen for top-6 forwards, but this was a move where Shero has the forward depth to move a productive forward in Henrique forRead More »