Penguins – Sabres: Will Bylsma make it to year 3 in Buffalo?


Penguins not to blame for Pouliot’s lack of development As Derrick Pouliot was re-assigned again this morning, his lack of development is reaching the point where it now falls on his shoulders. Nearing the end of his 3rd professional season, he’s just not an NHL defenseman yet and that’s the reality of the situation. Pouliot was taken 8th overall in the 2012 draft and was No. 4 on the Penguins board because the amateur scouts in the organization believed he was a special offensive defenseman. Penguin scouts were so giddy when the trade was made and Pouliot was still on the board you would have thought the Penguins landed Erik Karlsson. The long-term problem isn’t that Pouliot can’t play his own end well enough at the NHL level. He was never expected to be a strong defensive player. The issue is there’s not even much to like from a skill standpointRead More »

How new Pitt AD Heather Lyke will eventually be viewed always starts with the football program


The university of Pittsburgh filled their Athletic Director position on Monday by naming Heather Lyke their new AD. With the hiring, Pitt chancellor Patrick Gallagher cited Lyke “exemplary record of 22 years” in high-level roles in collegiate athletics administration. Lyke comes highly respected from Ohio State and Eastern Michigan. Lyke had served as Vice President and Director of Athletics at Eastern Michigan since 2013. Prior to her EMU tenure, she was a ranking athletic administrator at Ohio State for 15 years. A native of Canton, Ohio, Lyke additionally held posts at the University of Cincinnati and with the NCAA. “Heather Lyke’s track record exemplifies her dedication to student-athletes. She has a passion for success in the classroom, on the playing field and in life after graduation,” said Gallagher. “She is the perfect person to lead our Department of Athletics into a new era of excellence, and I am thrilled to welcomeRead More »

Transaction Monday: Steelers make one ‘meh’ signing, one intriguing signing


After failed pursuits of big name free agents Dre Kirkpatrick and Dont’a Hightower during the first week of free agency, the Steelers are making the typical zero risk, minimal impact type signings they are accustomed to making after the first, second wave of free agents are off the market. They are signing bodies who could play depth roles but are no guarantees to make the 53-man roster. Pittsburgh inked wide receiver Justin Hunter last week and Monday made two signings, agreeing to a one-year contract with Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis and signing veteran cornerback Coty Sensabaugh to a two-year contract. A 3rd round pick (96th overall) in 2013 of the Chiefs, Davis has become mostly a journeyman type player, spending parts of his four year career with the Chiefs who drafted him, a few weeks with the Packers (traded by Kansas City to Green Bay on 10/18/16 |Read More »

Penguins – Panthers Fallout: Key development with Neutral zone/d-zone play


Penguins – Panthers Fallout Highlighted by a Sidney Crosby hat trick in a 10:45 span, Crosby and his line took over the game in a Penguins 4-0 win over the Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Jake Guentzel (3 primary assists) and Conor Sheary assisted on all three Crosby goals. “They’ve been a dynamic line for us,” Mike Sullivan said afterwards…..”The three of them, to a man have all played terrific for us,” said Sullivan. As was the case today, the Crosby line was unstoppable again. What all three continue to do so well is support each other away from the puck below the dots that is making the line so hard to defend, despite the smallish stature of the line. “Biggest thing that makes them is how well they support each other down low,” said Sullivan. “They play that give and go game.” — A big sidebar in the victory was the PenguinsRead More »

Too Little, Too Late for Glasnow?


Too Little, Too Late for Glasnow? LATEST BUZZ [Brault has support of Pirates coaches for No. 5 ] [ Kang Latest] [Kuhl has stranglehold on #4 spot] The vibe surrounding Tyler Glasnow when the Pirates reported to spring training is he would need a lights out camp to start the season in Pittsburgh. A month later things remain status quo. A promising start from Glasnow on Saturday is not expected to change much on which direction the Pirates are leaning. However, there is an internal battle brewing for the No. 5 spot and it doesn’t necessarily involve Glasnow. Pirates coaches are pushing for

Sunday’s Penguins Buzz: Deepest team in NHL at right wing?


SUNDAY’S PENGUINS BUZZ 1. Evgeni Malkin has a bad bruise from blocking a shot vs the Calgary Flames last week. The injury is limiting him right now when he shoots the puck but further evaluation on Friday showed it’s nothing more than that. There’s no reason to overanalyze the injury. He’ll be fine. The Penguins have no long-term concern, though, why have him practicing like the Penguins did Saturday when Malkin admitted it bothers him to shoot and it’s expected the Penguins will hold him out for one more game and maybe a couple more after that as a precaution. 2. A pleasant surprise for the Penguins is winger Bryan Rust is a couple weeks ahead of schedule. “Things are coming along quicker than expected,” Rust said on Saturday. Rust at the time of his injury on Feb 9 was playing a first line role with Sidney Crosby. He won’tRead More »

Penguins – Devils Fallout: Few options for opposition to slow down Crosby line


Penguins – Devils Fallout “There’s a time for all four lines to start scoring, it’s March and April and then into the playoffs” — Nick Bonino After being shutout Wednesday night, the Penguins put up six goals on the New Jersey Devils Friday night and while the team gave up a lot of chances against, Pittsburgh kept pushing and pushing all game in peppering the Devils with 43 shots. Pittsburgh scored four 5 v 5 goals, getting goals from four different lines: Kessel – Cullen – Hornqvist |Phil Kessel Goal, 6:37 of 1st period Guentzel – Crosby – Sheary | Jake Guentzel Goal, 13:30 of 1st period Kuhnhackl – Bonino – Rowney (makeshift line) | Nick Bonino Goal, 15:47 of 2nd period Sestito – Rowney – Kuhnhackl | Carter Rowney Goal, 5:17 of 3rd period The New Jersey Devils are a bottom-feeder team that might be hard to get upRead More »

Penguins still few weeks away from knowing who will & won’t be ready for start of playoffs


The Pittsburgh Penguins dealing with a magnitude of injuries is nothing new. The team has shown over the years they are equipped to deal with them in the short-term. Pittsburgh already missing Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, Olli Maatta, Carl Hagelin, and Bryan Rust to long-term injuries, will get Patric Hornqvist (concussion) back in the lineup tonight, but the injury report got even longer as Evgeni Malkin and Ron Hainsey are out tonight. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that Malkin who participated briefly in the morning skate, has been dealing with an upper body injury for a while. Malkin last season dealt with a serious left elbow injury that sidelined him for the final month of the regular season and hindered him throughout the playoffs where surgery in the summer was being mulled to fully correct the issue. “We will know more soon,” Sullivan said this morning ofRead More »

Penguins becoming a top destination to develop college hockey forwards


Penguins bolster Next Wave of Prospect Group The Penguins signing of top NCAA scorer Zach Aston-Reese is being looked at around the league as the rich getting richer. Aston-Reese is not regarded by scouts as the type of blue chip college prospect Jimmy Vesey was seen as last year, but the general consensus from scouts is Aston-Reese has a chance to be a productive bottom-6 NHL player. Aston-Reese, 22, led the NCAA this past season with 63 points (31G-32A) and had 31 goals in just 38 games. In four years at Northeastern, Reese has 148 points (66G-82A) in 145 contests. A Hobey Baker Award finalist, Aston-Reese posted a 20 point improvement in points this past season, going from 43 to 63. The significance for the Penguins is this: Multiple agents (while officially representatives for college players) contend the Penguins have become a top destination for college free agents, a drasticRead More »

The March of the Penguins


The March of the Penguins A four game losing streak from the Washington Capitals has turned a seven point lead in the division to now a one point lead over a seven day span. Pittsburgh with a win tonight vs the red-hot Calgary Flames would move into sole possession of first place. As the Capitals were steamrolling through teams, when the club acquired Kevin Shattenkirk they not only strengthened themselves for a Stanley Cup run, which they did with the acquisition, but it was widely assumed first place would stay a bit of reach for the Penguins. But, spring is upon us and we may be seeing another ‘March of the Penguins’ The Penguins may say it doesn’t matter where they finish, but it matters to the coaching staff who always want home-ice. There will certainly be a strong push to go for the division. It’s quite a difference inRead More »