On next 4 game stretch being key evaluation tool; Murray/DeSmith Dynamic; GM/Coach differ on Riikola?


Next Four Game Stretch an important one for PEnguins With a 4-3 OT win Saturday night vs the Los Angeles Kings off a Phil Kessel game winner, the Penguins capped off the week (12/10-12/16) 3-1-0 that once again ignited talk of have the Penguins started turning the corner? In the present, this team just needs to start racking up points, but big picture I wouldn’t go crazy just yet on the Penguins putting together a 3-1 stretch. Yes, Casey DeSmith is playing at a No. 1 caliber level and Pittsburgh got a ton of secondary scoring during the four game stretch but the quality of opponents still puts an asterisk on things. A shootout win against the Islanders and an overtime win against the Kings is nothing to write home about and Pittsburgh’s one win last week against an actual quality opponent (likely playoff team) came on the backs ofRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On another bad loss, Malkin’s woes, Missing Hagelin, Derick Brassard Latest


Another Step Back Pittsburgh’s 6-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks continues a trend of one step forward, two steps back. “We’re trying to build some traction here,” coach Mike Sullivan said after the loss. “We’ve played a lot of good hockey over the last three or four weeks. We’re trying to string some wins together and points together and momentum. When you have a night like tonight, it sets you back.” The lack of fire from the group Wednesday night and some disinterested performances from the likes of Evgeni Malkin is what made Wednesday’s loss feel like such a bad one when also considering the Blackhawks were playing in a back-to-back. Common trends have played out all season where the Penguins look more like a middle of the road team than a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With the Penguins no longer a great forechecking team that hunts the puck atRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Blockbuster scenarios kicked around with Blues & More Trade Buzz


Penguins remain active in trade talks The Pittsburgh Penguins have points in nine of their last 11 games and are now just two points out of second place in the Metropolitan Division. That’s the good for Pittsburgh. A reality check for the Penguins is the same as it was 3-4 weeks ago: They’re the second best team in the Metropolitan Division, no matter where they currently are in the standings. As Jim Rutherford and his staff look at this team with a full lens they have that going for them. What Rutherford, though, continues to evaluate this team is how they stack against the rest of the league and the numbers don’t lie. Despite the recent surge, this is still a team 19th in the NHL in points. Pittsburgh is by no means a bottom 10-12 type team, but there’s a group of 6-7 teams a level above the PenguinsRead More »

Rumors: Penguins tested the market for Phil Kessel recently


Kessel Trade Talk has re-emerged Industry buzz when the Penguins were really floundering a few weeks ago is that if the team misses the playoffs or has an early playoff exit, most likely scenario, Phil Kessel will come out of it as the scapegoat and be traded. And a growing consensus among NHL executives is that Pittsburgh will not win a Kessel trade whether one happens during this season or next summer. Pittsburgh tested the trade market for Kessel last May/June, getting varying levels of interest from the likes of the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers, league sources say. At the end of the day, none of the four teams took the plunge and all backed out of talks during the week leading into the draft. Pittsburgh was the aggressive initiator in a some of these talks. The team offered Kessel to Florida for

Patric Hornqvist saved the day with fastest hat trick in franchise history


The Pittsburgh Penguins blew a 3-0 first period lead and in the midst of a game that looked to be slipping away, Patric Hornqvist saved the day in the third period, scoring three goals in a 2:47 span for the fastest hat trick in team history. A power play marker from Hornqvist at 6:11 in his office broke a 3-3 tie and the goal stopped the bleeding as Hornqvist would get some lucky breaks on his next two goals to complete the hat trick and secure a 6-3 win as the Penguins averted another brutal loss. Hornqvist big night moves him into a tie for second on the team in goals with 12 as he’s just eight goals away from another 20 goal season. — Five Penguins have 10 or more goals through the teams’ first 26 games: Sidney Crosby – 14 Goals Jake Guentzel – 12 Goals Patric HornqvistRead More »

Fallout of the Daniel Sprong Trade & failure to trade top prospects before value plummets


Fallout of the Daniel Sprong Trade Up until about a week ago, the Penguins and Ducks had a number of trade talks regarding a much bigger trade than the minor one that happened Monday. But, as if often the case and especially this time of the year, after a significant trade between the two sides doesn’t come together, you’ll see a small one come together and that’s what happened here with the Daniel Sprong – Marcus Pettersson swap. From the Ducks end, this move is being praised around the league in that when you’re a team like Anaheim that’s looking to add more skill, you should always take a flier on trading a third pairing type defenseman (where most scouts see Pettersson maxing out at) for a potential top-6 winger. The upside in this trade is clearly in Anaheim’s favor, though, Sprong has just as good of a chance asRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins show willingness to listen to trade scenarios on Matt Murray


Matt Murray’s is out there in trade talks In about a four week span, the Matt Murray situation has gone from strange to now even now beyond that. Could a guy the Penguins envisioned being their franchise goaltender for the next 10 years be in a different uniform come next season? Reality is it’s not crazy talk, multiple NHL sources say. Rumblings of Murray’s name being out there in trade talks started to surface around 10 days ago, league sources say, and whether Murray’s name was put out there by the Penguins or Murray’s camp is up for debate, General Manager’s are like hawks and once word got out that both sides are extremely frustrated with each other, inquiries have been coming in. And the inquiries have piqued the Penguins interest enough

On Crosby’s Wizardry & Key Takeaways from Pens – Av’s


Greatness Happened in Colorado Sidney Crosby’s wizardry vs the Colorado Avalanche was more proof that a couple months from now we’re going to be looking at this 5 game stretch from Crosby where he single handily changed the Penguins season. The final score ended up being 6-3 after an empty net goal and a late garbage goal but the final score might have actually been spot on as before Crosby’s 3 goals in a 5:34 span, the Penguins were taking a beating where this was setting up to be a 5-1, 6-1 type loss. The Avalanche a faster team were just coming at the Penguins in waves and waves for the first 30 minutes until Sidney Crosby happened. “I thought Sid tried to will us to a win with his effort,” said Mike Sullivan. “I loved our fight. It was inspired by our captain,” said Sullivan. Once Crosby came outRead More »

Fallout from the Penguins 4-3 win over the Jets


Fallout from the Penguins 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets Riley Sheahan Scored a Goal!!!! The Penguins didn’t just have one shocking moment in Tuesday’s 4-3 come from behind win over the Winnipeg Jets. Down 3-2 in the third period Derek Grant scored a 1 out of a 100 type shot down the right side for his first of the season to tie the game at 3-3 as Zach Aston-Reese would score a tiebreaking goal with 5:12 remaining. Two Goals from the 4th line and some actual production outside of the top-2 lines or the power play. 3-0-1 in their last four games, the Penguins have gone from playing at a 78 point pace just seven days ago to now an 89 point pace entering tonight’s game vs Colorado. They’re not out of the woods yet. A 4th line of Garrett Wilson – Riley Sheahan – Derek Grant is goingRead More »