Which Penguin forwards are on notice with Hornqvist’s pending return this week?


Competition increases at forward position   With Patric Hornqvist’ pending return this week to the lineup, likely Wednesday night vs the Washington Capitals, it moves one of the regulars from the first three games of the season to the press box. Pittsburgh also has Josh Archibald a healthy scratch to open the season, who provides great speed and energy when given an opportunity, waiting to get his first crack into the lineup this season. The Penguins have a situation brewing where some of the bottom-tier forwards will be on notice every game and a bad game or two will plant you in the press box. If Monday’s practice is a pre-cursor of what to expect vs the Capitals, Scott Wilson will be the odd-man out with Conor Around the League Stuck with too many NHL defensemen on 1-way contracts, Vegas GM George McPhee has been around long enough where he should notRead More »

Rumors: Avalanche trying to re-engage Penguins in trade talks?


NHL Source: Avalanche have tried to re-engage Penguins in trade talks After the Colorado Avalanche backed out of what the Columbus Blue Jackets believed was a verbal agreement the two sides had that would have sent Matt Duchene to the Blues Jackets about a week before training camps began, the Avalanche over the past 5-7 days have tried to expand the market for Duchene and reignite talks with clubs that have been on the outside and pretty much out of the mix for months due to a lack of trade match.

Penguins – Predators Player Grades: Maatta, Rust earn high marks


Post-Game Player Reports Game 3  Saturday, October 7,  2017 Penguins 4 @ Predators 0 (Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0) Centers Sidney Crosby| Grade: 3.7 2 Assist night for Crosby, including a great setup on Olli Maatta’s third period goal to ice the game. Where Crosby wasn’t involved, though, was getting shots on goal. Limited to 1 shot and just 1 attempt. Was a combined 3 for 12 on offensive/defensive zone draws. Evgeni Malkin | 4.3 Malkin opened the scoring with a blistering one-timer a 1:06 into and he set the tone. Malkin’s 200 ft game was as good as it gets and the commitment level he showed away from the play had him a force all over the ice. This was a performance where the awful possession numbers (11/19, 37%) don’t tell the story of the impact he had. A computer says he had a bad game, but the eyeRead More »

Penguins – Predators X’s & O’s Patience off Zone-entries, improved structure down low in d-zone fuel win


Penguins 4 – Predators 0 Tonight showed why the Pittsburgh Penguins are back-to-back champions. A quick turnaround from the debacle in Chicago was probably the best thing for this club and it was only Game 3 of 82, but what the Penguins did tonight was get emotion back in their game that was lacking Wednesday and Thursday night to open the season A rematch of the Stanley Cup Final saw a physical and nasty game play out. With a complete game performance in all three zones, the Penguins got outstanding play in goal from Matt Murray who shutout the Predators again, the third straight time with a 26-save performance, and there was one particular player that set the tone for a great response game from the Penguins. It was Evgeni Malkin. Malkin who netted the opening goal with a blistering slap shot just inside blueline, was a beast in theRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Refocusing commitment level, how patient will organization be with Niemi?


Coaches staff eyes change to commitment level Coming off a second straight Stanley Cup, there are said to have been some alarming signs late in training camp for the Penguins’ coaching staff that this group didn’t have the right mindset and focus yet of being ready to turn the page and treat this as a new year. That was quite obvious Thursday night in Chicago with the debacle that played out in a 10-1 loss to the Blackhawks. “We were all embarrassed How Patient will the Penguins be with Antti Niemi? It was just one game and Chicago continued to light up Matt Murray when he came into relief, but some buzz around the league is don’t be surprised if the Penguins don’t show a lot of patience with Antti Niemi who is on a one year contract with a $700,000 cap hit. Sources say the organization has been aRead More »

From the goaltender on out, the Penguins were run out of the building minutes into the game


Blackhawks stomp Penguins with 10-goal outburst The schedule makers did the defending Stanley Cup Champions no favors by opening up with St. Louis and then a back-to-back situation tonight in Chicago. Still, from the goaltender on out, the Pittsburgh Penguins did not come to play tonight in suffering an embarrassing 10-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Just about everything went wrong for the Penguins. Patrick Kane dazzled minutes into the game and the Blackhawks erupted with 4 goals in a 2:55 span, ending Antti Niemi’s night after just 9:16 of play. This was supposed to be a night off for Matt Murray but he was forced into action after Niemi allowed 4 goals on 13 shots. Pittsburgh showed up in this one like tonight was a preseason game. With Niemi chased from the game before the half-way mark, the Blackhawks in period one just kept coming andRead More »

Penguins Player Grades vs Blues: Crosby, Schultz, McKegg earn high marks


Post-Game Player Reports Game 1  Wednesday, October 4,  2017 Blues 5 @ Penguins 4 (OT) (Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0) Centers Sidney Crosby| Grade: 4.3 Playing 23:59, Crosby had a goal, assist in the loss and looked to be in mid-season form. His dominance down low in controlling the puck was on display early, possessing the puck away from two Blues defender to get the puck to the point to Justin Schultz who scored the Penguins opening goal with a screen in front from Jake Guentzel. There were some moments early in the first period and a few shifts late in the third period where Crosby’s line looked to be on the cusp of taking the game over. Crosby not only jumpstarted the Penguins third period rally with a power play goal, he drew a penalty just prior to the goal with a zone entry. Evgeni Malkin | 3.6 Malkin had aRead More »

X’s & O’s: Two heavyweights go toe-to-toe, Pens plagued by poor transition defense in loss


Blues 5 – Penguins 4 OT As the Pittsburgh Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner for the second consecutive season, the St. Louis Blues played spoilers with a 5-4 overtime win on Wednesday night at the PPG Paints Arena. Alex Piertrangelo scored a 1:15 into overtime to sink the Penguins who rallied down from two goals in the third period to force overtime. Pittsburgh’s first two goals of the season came from defensemen, Justin Schultz and Olli Maatta, as the Penguins were involved in a back and forth game through 60+ minutes. Maatta and Schultz not only found the back of the net, both had great possession numbers, Maatta at 68% (19/9) and Schultz at 65% during even strength play. Down 4-2 with under eight minutes to play, Pittsburgh got third period goals from Sidney Crosby (1) and Conor Sheary (1) a 1:04 apart to force overtime. The Penguins overRead More »

Quest for Three Peat Begins Tonight; Reasoning behind Kessel trade talk surfaced


Blues @ Penguins 8:00 p.m. | Tv: NBCSN Quest for Three-Peat It’s banner raising night for the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Penguins open the season with a bit of a gauntlet against the upper tier of the Western Conference. Pittsburgh host the St. Louis Blues tonight, followed by a trip to Chicago Thursday night for a back-to-back situation and then back home Saturday night for a Stanley Cup rematch. For a club whose regular’s looked quite lackadaisical in the preseason finale against Columbus, this tough stretch to open the season could be good for the Penguins. Pittsburgh having a Cup Hangover under Mike Sullivan would be a surprising development. “I think it’s crystal clear what our identity is, and our players understand that,” Sullivan said today. “I think every team’s a work in progress. I don’t know that we’ve ever arrived. We’re always striving to get better.”Read More »

Where evaluators got it wrong on Pouliot, Latest Trade Chatter & More Buzz


Pouliot was Badly mis-judged by Evaluators Scouts often miss and the Penguins obsession back in the Ray Shero era of drafting puck moving defenseman saw Pittsburgh not only take Derrick Pouliot 8th overall in the 2012 draft, but the team mis-calculated so bad on Pouliot, the organization had him rated No. 4 on their board. “That was a funky draft coming in,” a 20+ year scout tells TIOPS. “Prospects were [rated] all over the map……Derrick sure looked like a safe pick [at the time] because you can coach a player up to become a better defensive player, but you can’t teach high-level puck skills. He had it” The stunner to many in the Penguins organization regarding Pouliot is that the offensive prowess he possessed in juniors and elite puck moving ability that wowed the Penguins amateur scouts never materialized once he turned pro. At worst the Penguins four to fiveRead More »