Rumors: Penguins sought Nick Ritchie in talks for Erik Gudbranson & More Buzz

 

Latest Penguins Buzz Erik Gudbranson re-entered the lineup Sunday night in the Penguins 7-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets but is the writing on the wall that Gudbranson is getting a ticket out of town? Gudbranson hitting the trade block became news early last week but league sources say the Penguins started surveying the market for Gudbranson a few days prior to opening night and before Pittsburgh was ravished by injuries upfront. The trade winds have become a shock to Gudbranson and his camp as exit meetings last spring with coaches and GM Jim Rutherford had Gudbranson feeling quite secure about his role in Pittsburgh moving forward. What changed so quickly? John Marino for one. The jury is still out on whether the Penguins are greatly overvaluing Marino and trying to believe he’s something he’s not, but the front office is quite sold on Marino already in the short-term andRead More »

Pens – Jets What We Learned: Poor Wall Play/Defensive Rotations against high-end skilled teams a growing problem for far too long

 

Penguins – Jets What We Learned The Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins both had excuses coming into Tuesday night’s matchup. For Pittsburgh it was the obvious in being down two of their top-3 centers in Evgeni Malkin and Nick Blugstad, to go with top-9 winger Bryan Rust already sidelined. For the Jets, they could have came in and laid an egg without much fuss. Among the reasons why: It was the fourth and final game of an East coast swing to start the season and most notably the Jets were dressing a lineup vs the Penguins with their entire defensive corps from the end of last season wiped out. Yet, it was the Penguins with their entire group of d-men in the lineup, including a seventh defenseman dressed that was the team that put on a display of squirt-level defensive play. The Penguins entered this season when healthy as aRead More »

Key Takeaways from Penguins – Blue Jackets

 

Jared McCann happened in the second period and the rest is history as the Penguins throttled the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 7-2 rout on Saturday night. 12 different players records points in the win as Mike Sullivan improves to 16-3-1 all-time vs John Tortorella as head coach of the Penguins: — In the immediate aftermath of Evgeni Malkin leaving the game with an injury in the second period, Jared McCann was bumped up to the second line center role and took the game over in period two. McCann scored two goals off the rush in a 7:32 span as McCann’s back-to-back goals saw a 2-1 game quickly get away from the Blue Jackets in going from 4-1 to escalating to 7-1 by the mid-point of the third period. McCann who the Penguins soured on as a center last season, flourished with the open space in place of Malkin. —-Read More »

Penguins – Sabres What we learned

 

Penguins – Sabres What We Learned — It was just one game but…….— 1. Penguins – Sabres had the look of two wildcard level to fringe-level playoff teams going at it. 2. Pittsburgh’s biggest need in the off-season was revamping their d-corps and from a personnel standpoint you can argue they are even weaker than last season with Olli Maatta shipped off to Chicago. All of this off-season talk of being more defensively responsible is non-sense. This group isn’t changing and I will remain in the corner that this group can’t change defensively with the way Kris Letang plays when a defenseman who plays as much as Letang does dictates your style of play. Letang who was on the ice for two even strength goals against, is still doing maddening Letang things with his decision making. 3. As expected, post-game talk of the Penguins giving up a number of breakawaysRead More »

Rutherford calls BS on a report that Jack Johnson was getting traded

 

Jack Johnson has supporters among the coaching staff A report from The Athletic Pittsburgh over the weekend citing team and league sources that Jack Johnson was on the cusp of being traded and had even been informed a trade was coming within 48 hours has been shot down by Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. “That was some pretty shabby journalism,” said on 937 The Fan of the report when appearing on the Cook and Joe show. “All these reporters have 24 hour access to me….you should probably go right to the person [Jim Rutherford]” Rutherford said. Rutherford in the interview with Joe Starkey and Ron Cook was annoyed at the suggestion from the report that claimed he [Rutherford] informed Johnson a trade was likely before the season opener. “They [PR staff] pointed it out to me and [the report] suggested I had talked to Jack Johnson and I didn’t [talk toRead More »

Penguins place Casey DeSmith on waivers

 

Casey DeSmith in the first year of a three year, $3.75 million contract, has been placed on waivers. The move to place the Penguins No. 2 goaltender on waivers is a cap move as having Tristan Jarry on the opening night roster over Casey DeSmith would put the Penguins in the neighborhood of being cap compliant.

Pirates fire Clint Hurdle

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates have fired manager Clint Hurdle. Hurdle trying to run a power play earlier this week in saying he received assurances he would be back in 2020, now see’s him getting a pink slip and Neal Huntington keeping his job. “This has been a challenging season on many levels,” Huntington said in a statement of firing Hurdle. “We are committed to assessing and improving upon our operations at all levels in order to return postseason baseball to Pittsburgh.” The 62 year old Hurdle had run his course as manager after four straight seasons of missing the playoffs. Hired in November 2010, Hurdle and his staff posted a 735-720-1 record in nine seasons with the Pirates. Pittsburgh has made the postseason just three times in the last 24 seasons as Hurdle’s tenure will be remembered for that three year run in 2013-2015, especially the 2013 season where the wildcardRead More »

The Optimist Angle: 8-8 Season still more likely than a disaster 4-12 type season

 

The stats don’t lie. An 0-3 start to the NFL season is almost always a death sentence for NFL teams. Especially for ones without a franchise caliber QB behind center. Only six teams have made the playoffs since 1980 after an 0-3 start with the 2018 Houston Texans being the sixth team to it. While Mason Rudolph is capable of keeping the Steelers competitive in games as he showed vs the Seahawks in week 2 and the 49ers Sunday afternoon, unfortunately for the Steelers Rudolph is no DeShaun Watson. There’s every reason to think the Steelers are done and they probably are, but in a conference filled with mediocrity with little separation after New England and Kansas City, there’s reason to still have some slight optimism that a 2013 type situation is going to be in play where Pittsburgh could get to around 8-8 and at least be in theRead More »