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 »

Penguins – Oilers Fallout: The March of Nick Bonino, Fleury & Expansion Draft Talk

 

Penguins – Oilers Fallout — The Penguins don’t see it often but the Oilers outskated Pittsburgh Friday night in a fast paced, high-octane game. Connor McDavid was a big reason why. “It was a pretty fast-paced game,” Mike Sullivan said. “It was certainly one of the faster-paced games that we’ve played in.” Hard to see the Oilers getting through the West this season but lets hope a Penguins – Oilers Cup Final happens in the next couple years. What the Oilers did well after the first period vs the Penguins, was take advantage of the Penguins weaker players in matchups. Chad Ruhwedel, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Carter Rowney among them. — The March of Nick Bonino Bonino’s game transformed last spring in March with 13 points in 16 games and that built a lot of momentum into his game that carried over into April, May in making the Penguins a majorRead More »

Malkin’s season on par with 87? Sheary a $4 million a year player?

 

Tuesday’s Penguins Buzz Evgeni Malkin points/60 (5v5) over the last five years: 2016-2017: 2.85 2015-2016: 1.86 2014-2015: 2.39 2013-2014: 2.57 2012-2013: 1.75 With 67 points in 57 games, Malkin is giving Sidney Crosby a strong run for the team scoring race as the two are neck and neck in points and points per game, Crosby averaging 1.19 points per game (1st in NHL), Malkin 1.18 points per game (2nd in the NHL). It’s been several seasons since when Crosby and Malkin both played full seasons that near the end of the season a topic of discussion was ‘who’s having the more dominant season.’ This is finally one of those years as Malkin is putting together his best season since 2011-2012. Many hockey people think this is finally Washington’s year, I’m also in that boat, but if the Penguins get around .925 save percentage again this post-season from Matt Murray likeRead More »

Center Mismatch on Friday night, Mark Streit’s sparkling debut, & Justin Schultz future in PIT

 

The Center Mismatch Penguins – Lightning last night was a classic case of a major mismatch down the middle. Pittsburgh sported Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, while the Lightning came at the Penguins minus no Steven Stamkos (injured), Brian Boyle (traded) and Valtteri Filppula who was traded to Philadelphia, with Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point as their top-2 centers. With Victor Hedman getting the Crosby matchup as he often does, personnel wise the door was open for Evgeni Malkin to have favorable matchups and he made the Lightning pay all night. Malkin was dominant in all facets with 2 goals, 1 assist, and a puck possession machine, on the ice for 16 shot attempts and just 4 against in 5-on-5 play. Lightning goaltender Petr Budaj called the Penguins scoring surge a “couple lucky bounces”. “A couple lucky bounces [for Pittsburgh], but when you have possession and you have some odd-manRead More »

Steelers Rumors: Steelers have pinpointed Dre Kirkpatrick as the missing piece?

 

The NFL combine is tampering central, the unofficial week when free agency pretty much begins. Behind the scenes, Agents and NFL clubs all set the stage for deals this week for when the free agency window opens. The official free agency window period begins March 7-9 where teams can begin negotiating with agents openly. Players can be officially signed at 4:00 p.m. on March 9. The Pittsburgh Steelers were somewhat of a player in free agency last year, signing Ladarius Green to a $20 million contract, while also pursuing safety Eric Weddle. Already giving Antonio Brown a $72 million contract with the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Stephon Tuitt on the docket later this off-season for big contracts, could the Steelers still be a surprise player in free agency? The talk in Steelers circles is the team feels a sense of urgency with Ben Roethlisberger at age 35 and alreadyRead More »

Will Penguins end up regretting not getting ahead of others in a flooded goaltending market?

 

The Summer Goaltending Market If the Penguins thought the goaltending market was bad this winter in trying to move Marc Andre Fleury, wait till the summer where the market is going to be flooded with younger, cheaper capable options. One of the questions surrounding the Penguins after Fleury was not moved at the deadline or last summer when they might have had the best chance to move him, is whether they will end up regretting not getting ahead of others in what’s going to be a flooded goaltending market in June. Unrestricted Free Agents Ben Bishop Scott Darling Brian Elliott Ryan Miller Steve Mason Mike Condon Chad Johnson Peter Budaj The market is deep here with a plethora of options for clubs. You have Ben Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist who while having a down season, will be the top dog on the market in seeking $5-$6 million per seasonRead More »

Penguins – Blackhawks Fallout & Post-Trade Deadline Chatter

 

Penguins – Blackhawks Fallout In a back-to-back situation, the Penguins played a good road hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks. “I thought we competed hard. I really liked our compete on the puck, liked our zone time,” head coach Mike Sullivan said…..”We’re not going to play a perfect game [every night]. Thought we had some heightened intensity. Our compete level was really good.” Pittsburgh outshot Chicago 37-29, were +10 in 5 v 5 shots, +13 in 5 v 5 shot attempts (64-51) and the Penguins were +7 (17/10) in high danger scoring chances. Pittsburgh’s top lines created chances and zone time, Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each with four 5 v 5 shots, Crosby team-high seven attempts, Evgeni Malkin while a minus-3 in the loss, had a Shot Attempts For Percentage of 58%, Phil Kessel 70% (16/7). An interesting development in the game, at even strength Sidney Crosby and PhilRead More »

Penguins Trade Deadline Breakdown & Grades

 

Penguins Trade Deadline Breakdown [Letang out a while?] [Penguins leave open door for big move this summer] [The Fleury Narrative] [Scouts Buzz on Streit] Penguins accomplish goal of moving Fehr’s salary Trade Analysis: The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired defenseman Frank Corrado from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick. Grade: C+ The Penguins and Leafs had discussions for weeks about Fehr but the acquisition of Brian Boyle appeared to likely close the door on that scenario. So much so, the Penguins decided to play Fehr last night instead of protecting the asset. For the Penguins, though, the possibility to trade Fehr to Toronto surfaced again in the final 90 minutes of the deadline when the Leafs circled back to the Penguins after Fehr cleared waivers. The Penguins accomplished the primary goal of being able to move Fehr’s salary off the booksRead More »