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Insider Only 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 Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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 a bit concerned already over the last couple weeks in how Niemi’s been constantly getting lit up in Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


Phil Kessel | Grade: 3.2
Kessel was one of the few bright spots. He scored the lone goal, led the team with 5 shots and was the most consistent top-2 line player in creating offense. Kessel was one of two Penguins over 50% in driving possession.

Ian Cole | 3.2
Cole was a minus-1 in over 19 minutes of play is quite a feat for a game where there were 10 even strength goals scored by the Blackhawks.

Evgeni Malkin | 2.9
Malkin was a minus-3 in the loss but he had some impactful moments offensively. Breakaway opportunity, had an assist on Kessel goal.

Matt Hunwick | 2.8
Hunwick was a minus-1 in 13:14 of even strength ice time and led all Penguins’ defensemen with 4 blocked shots. In the second period he had nice outlet pass in springing Evgeni Malkin for a breakaway. That’s the one element the Penguins have felt Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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