Latest Pens Buzz: Sizing up Antti Niemi’s night vs Lightning, Bryan Rust contract talk & more

 

Penguins-Lightning Fallout Two teams built with speed and skill, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning clashed their similar styles to a highly entertaining game in a Lightning 5-4 win. It was probably too much fire wagon hockey for the coaches but fans got their money’s worth. “We don’t want to be a team that trades chance for chance,” Mike Sullivan said afterwards on the high scoring affair. In the second game of a back-to-back, Pittsburgh was under siege during the first period in allowing scoring chance after scoring chance, Pittsburgh chased the game throughout, trailing by scores of 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 and battled back each time before eventually falling short. The Penguins got goals from Jake Guentzel (2), Conor Sheary (3), Bryan Rust (1) and Matt Hunwick (1) in the loss. Antti Niemi made 29 saves on 34 shots. The Penguins outshot Tampa Bay 40-34. — Tampa BayRead More »

Penguins – Capitals Player Grades: Dumoulin flashes dominant game in all-three zones

 

Post-Game Player Reports Game 4, Wednesday October 11, 2017 Penguins 3 @ Capitals 2 (Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0) Centers Sidney Crosby| Grade: 3.5 Crosby had a power play assist and posted a 48 CF% in the win. Crosby has points in all four games but was limited to one shot on goal for the second straight game. In the faceoff circle Crosby was 14-14 (50%) and rebounded after a rough first period, though he struggled mightily on offensive and defensive zone draws. Crosby was 3-11 (27%) on offensive zone draws and 3-8 (38%) in d-zone. Evgeni Malkin | 3.9 Malkin was pointless in the win but he was active again in all threw zones. Had 4 shots on goal, 6 attempts and led all centers with a 53 CF% (17/15) at even strength. In the second period created an offensive turnover and just missed beating Holtby upstairs on a quick breakawayRead More »

Penguins Capitalized against the Caps with key adjustments, work-man like performance

 

High compete level, work-man like performance fuel Penguins win New season, same results. The Pittsburgh Penguins went into Washington D.C. last night and came out with a 3-2 win over the Capitals. The Penguins again beat the Capitals with what can be categorized as a work-man like performance and what stands out over the last games, wins over the Predators and Capitals, Pittsburgh has capitalized on making key adjustments that hindered their play  to open the season against St. Louis and Chicago. The penalty kill was disorganized vs the Blues….. Pittsburgh was 4-for-4 on the PK vs the Capitals and have now killed 17 straight. Poor puck management at the blueline has been replaced with smart decisions the last two games, notably patience with the puck when entering the zone that have fueled back-to-back wins. “We got pucks in. We hung onto pucks in the offensive zone,” Mike Sullivan said ofRead More »

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 »