The Penguins losing streak extended to five games Wednesday night with a 2-1 loss against the Capitals.
A T.J. Oshie goal with a 1:14 left in regulation sunk the Penguins as Riley Sheahan lost Oshie in space for a tap-in goal.
The positive for the Penguins on a day their General Manager called out his club is that this group responded very well with what should have been a ‘W’ in their column.
Pittsburgh out-shot Washington 42-22, out-attempted the Capitals 70-29 at 5 vs 5 with a +24 edge in scoring chances.
Aside from Evgeni Malkin deciding to take T.J. Oshie with a head shot, Pittsburgh’s big guns were setting the tone.
You could see it from Sidney Crosby who had the lone Penguins goal, a power play marker in the first period, that it was a must for him to go out and lead by example.
Crosby’s 200 ft game was something else, he was all over the ice, blocking shots, getting in shooting lanes. Crosby set the tone for the Penguins to have a very nice bounce back performance despite the loss.
This was a performance for the Penguins, though, where Saturday night against Arizona will tell the story on whether the message has been truly received.
The concern in the organization is that this group has become too content and just feel like when January comes around they’ll start to turn the switch and begin to be motivated to play inspiring hockey on a nightly basis.
This is what they did last year and despite a second place finish, Pittsburgh would have missed the playoffs with five fewer points, that’s how much parity there is, especially in the Metropolitan Division.
Jim Rutherford going off on his team Wednesday on his weekly radio show (105.9 The X) is totally understandable. While Rutherford has played a big part in the glaring warts on this roster, he clearly see’s there’s just not something right with this group.
The most newsworthy quote:
“Has this team been together too long?,” said Rutherford. “It’s something I always have to watch for.” When do you have to make those changes? The players are doing everything they can to tell me now’s the time.”
This is something that’s been building since last spring’s second round ouster, however, actions mean more than words.
In the immediate aftermath of the Capitals loss, Pittsburgh put Phil Kessel and Kris Letang out there in trade talks for about a month to mull options of shaking up the core.
However, Rutherford’s stance of potentially breaking up this group isn’t about Kessel or Letang by any means.
There’s no Phil Kessel trade to be made in season, little to no chance of that, and Letang’s turnaround so far has changed where he was viewed internally since May. He’s going nowhere.
This is more about the 2nd, 3rd tier level players, though, at this time of the year you’re mostly looking at trading a struggling player for another struggling player type trade or finding a Jamie Oleksiak project type deal.
“At a young age, guys win Stanley Cups and lot of guys go their whole career and they don’t even get close to it. We’ve got some young guys that won a couple, then they get bigger contract and then they kind of settle in. They forget what got them to where they are today,” said Rutherford.
Who are these comments about?
It’s surely not Brian Dumoulin who the Penguins decision makers regard as their best defenseman and he is.
Based on who’s been made available in trade talks and who hasn’t been, It’s definitely about Olli Maatta who is actively being shopped in hockey trades (player-for-player type deals) and possibly Bryan Rust, though, you can’t be certain.
Whispers in the last 48 hours is that Pittsburgh is getting some Western Conference interest in To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!
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— One quote from Rutherford that is more him just rambling is this:
“Maybe they change their game,” said Rutherford about players in contract years. “Maybe they think scoring more goals or getting more points is what’s going to get them more money. So they can get away from their game, what their role is.”
Maybe Jake Guentzel who’s been a bit inconsistent?
However, this was an odd-one.
Carl Hagelin in a contract year is playing the way he always does, he just isn’t scoring. The other player in a contract year that isn’t over 40 years old is Riley Sheahan.
He’s just not a good hockey offensive player and isn’t as good defensively as this coaching staff keeps thinking he is. What you get from him is what you get.
— The good thing emerging for the Penguins is that the GM is very unlikely to sit around and be patient. He’ll look to be active as he always.
The bad thing is another bad off-season from the GM has to be fixed.
Rutherford talks about you have to be a step ahead in knowing when to change a group, yet, he brought back a soon to be 42 year old Matt Cullen because he thought the group lacked leadership.
When Pittsburgh traded Conor Sheary, it was mostly embraced because it cleared $5.25 million in cap space.
What did it lead to?
Every dime of that cap space created went to Jack Johnson and Riley Sheahan.
Sheary was a frustrating player at times with the inconsistency, but you still took 20 goals out of your lineup (Sheary averaged 20 goals a season the last two seasons) from a player in his mid-20’s to add a No. 6 level defenseman on a 5 year contract and keep a 4th line caliber center with a $2.1 million cap hit. [hide][/hide]
Pearson is a Penguin
Smart .move by calgary people voting against 2026 Olympics
Agreed… can you imagine how many obnoxious French would have crossed country and invaded the province for the games? Alberta can pride itself on not having any rats inside it’s boarders… we should do the same for frogs
They just resigned Jimmy for 3 more years. What happened to the 3 year plan?
It’s like a slap to the face of the fans. The way they did with db back then when everyone though he was done he got extension. Only in Pittsburgh folks
It’s like Yoda he said he’d be gone and his back for another 3 years
“It’s like Yoda he said he’d be gone and his back for another 3 years” that’s a fantastic post
don’t over analyze what’s been going on. the coach has gone mad. riley sheahan is the new 1st line center skating with kessel and guentzel and sid is on the 4th line skating with rust and simon. putting your best wingers with a bum is counter productive and putting the best center in the league with two fourth liners is counter productive. #sullivanmustgo! #quennevillewatch
Blow it up… 2016 style, fair to assume you didnt watch the last few games? Kessel has been skating with Sid in games periodically. Sid has been double shifting a lot…
In fact Kessel skating with either Crosby or Malkin happened almost as much as the paper penned in lines. They are juggling because things are not working too well overall.
Hard data: a line with Kessel and one of Crosby or Malkin has seen the ice almost more than the 4th line has 5v5 in the last three games. Almost as much as Kessel skating with Sheahan
Kessel with Sheahan has had 14.8% of the ice time
4th line 14.4% of the ice time
Kessel with Crosby or Geno 14.2% of the total 5v5 icetime in the last 3 games
Soooooo… while the Pens fan base has been having candid discussions around whether or not GMJR should fall for the current state of the roster the Pens brass gave him 3 more years…
i can’t believe d didn’t break this story
I imagine this is the nail in the coffin for Geurin with the teams management
Classic Sam 8:04 PM MTN Time: Pens should’ve really got domi – I know Domi got at least one point by this time, Pool Expert told me so but for sam to comment it means he was up way past his bedtime 8:29 PM MTN: Apparently zerotool is glued to the TV watching mcdavid and the oilers tonight – in typical fashion, and much like his favourite world leader, he accuses others of doing exactly what he is doing at that moment lol. What a fucken idiot HAHA! PS after a real slow start the Sabres look like they have… Read more »
You guys saw that prickk Wilsons first game since suspension
Bye bye le veon Bell you won’t be missed .I hate when players think bigger then legendary organizations.
Nylander in NHL is next.
You develop this ideology when Roy bailed on the Habs?
I love the Pens, but I have a hard time going through the roller coaster of emotions until after Football season is over. Pay attention and keep tabs, but the games don’t mean as much until max effort is given on a more consistent basis. This team is good enough to turn it on whenever they want.
Just like npl does come back in April. And self proclaim a die heart fan
Apparently zerotool is glued to the TV watching mcdavid and the oilers tonight
Actually I was watching the last episode of SNL you dumb fuck… you’re the Habs fan so by all means… how’s the game. Domi have more than one? I have him in my pool…
Also Sheary has 10 points so far.. he’s really missing Crosby
Pens should’ve really got domi
Man the wings, pretty much to a man, did few favours here!
Changes must be made and soon!
Wow. Carry on.
Thought the same thing.
The inability of the D to get shots through here is infuriating
They are missing Shultz badly.
Well that took long lol
You can’t blame letang or jj.
It was all desmith fault
Agree. Her just missed the cover. Keeping it at one that period was clutch.
DeSmith is tonights starting goalie.
The Goon has been set free. Tom Wilson’s suspension was reduced to 14 games. He served 16 so he will be back immediately plus he gets $ back for the 2 games served.
Blows. At least it was 16. It’d be incredible if he got a debilitating injury in one of these 4.
I give him 4 months before he does something stupid again.
i think you spelled *days* wrong
Beat me too it… If this guy can get out of the 1st period of his next start without fucken up I would be shocked lol. It’s hilarious that the suspension was reduced to 14 after sitting 16 lol. I know its a $$$ thing but it’s still a laff… Thats Numberwang!
Npl suckss so does the DemocRATS
You seem unusually upset about the democrats winning the midterms. Youre Canadian, go chug maple syrup and relax.
“I’m sorry, Bruce. These boys get that syrup in ’em, they get all antsy in their pantsy.“
Bruce? You weren’t even around when Bruce joke happened. Hmmm someone here had a multiple account
It’s a direct quote from Super Troopers you fucken retard… his name is “Car Ramrod”… figure it out…
He meant Bruce jenner
This is the same level analysis you use watching the game isn’t it!
Sam, was this the bar you were at?
I think npl is the dishwasher guy
He wants to know so he can get you drunk and drive you home…
Got some help from AZ tonight. That team could be really good in a couple years if they manage things right.
Pens winning I wonder why
Murray traded yet ?
MAF looks good tonight.
Murray looks better on the bench
A Win is a win, I do not care who the goalie is as long as he does his job. Your boy MAF looked terrible tonight.
DeSmith looks dialed in. Too bad Riikola couldn’t get one to fall. Be nice to see himpop his first
He plays until he fails… Murray needs a push? This is it! I like how they look.
Simon with a nice feed on the third. And yeah, he’s done nothing but play well since he’s been up.
Stuck at work… caught those tho… Sid with some magic and the worst player in the NHL scores yet again.. 9 or 10 points in 15 games lol
Bell not reporting Tuesday to sign. Flushing the final 6 mill down the drain.
Where’d you see that? Must want to concentrate on his hoop game.
Schefter, Rappaport first and now its all over the net.
Nice that scum bag uber driver is fired. Now he can go work for tmz.
Who you talking about? NPL?
That slob doesn’t even work he only organizes #BlackLivesMatter protests
Penguins are changing their goal scoring song from Party Hard to Free Falling.
Sorry guys Im out at a bar will be missing pens game. Will keep you guys posted about fleury
P.S. npl suckss so does democRats
Boxscore Sam the Band Wagon Fan.
I heard scherbak for sprong
3 goals on 10 shots.
Most likely a gay bar.
Desmith will be in net again
Frauddd murray retired yet?
Meanwhile fleury 10 years older still starting games
Change the record.
10 years older, 1 less Stanley Cup as a starter.
Sam, how’s fantasy hockey going?
I’m 1-2-1. So far Murray’s doing a hell of a job to sabotage me wins
Pens should not take Arizona lightly specially when they are on pp and intend to play sloppy defence…
Coyotes have 9 shorthanded goals this year in 14 games
You shouldn’t overlook most NHL teams as any given night any one can beat another. Raanta was just moved to the IR so there is that but it could be an over-confident thing to think in this manner.
If anything, the way the Pens are playing Arizona may overlook them. Lol.
Yeah but 9 SH goals in 14 games is very impressive
Maatta is the only expendable asset with some trade value. Package him with Spring and a high pick for a LW that can play with Sid (Zuccarello). Third line Guentzel-Brassard-Rust. Then fix your D at trade deadline.
How does one trade a Season?
Is Zuccarello a UFA? If so no more trading away high draft picks. Not for rentals.
He potentially could be resigned, the team is still in win now and the window is getting smaller. It may be another season or two before management starts to stockpile and add to the draft picks. The core is in that range where you either continue to go all in while they are still at the top of their game or start building for the future. Anything in between and they will stay stagnant
Brassard practiced “vigorously”, Sullivan commented on it being a huge step.
Sam beat the bishop vigorously last night per his Mom
Thanks to the generosity of one Washington Capitals fan, the entirety of Thursday night’s 50/50 jackpot at Capital One Arena will be donated to the victims of the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The Capitals announced ahead of their game against the Penguins that they would donate half the jackpot to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh to benefit the victims and families of the Tree of Life Synagogue, where an Oct. 27 shooting left 11 people dead and six injured. A Capitals season-ticket holder won the raffle but chose to donate their portion of the winnings to the victims too.… Read more »
Pick up plekanec from waivers and make him play 4th line
Serious? You don’t think Plekanec looks done to you? I would move Cullen before Sheahan
OH FFS… classic sam… Google Plekanec and the 1st article “Plekanec to retire”. What is it with you and guy at the end of their careers?
I love seeing droolers go crazy lol
Good call Sam.. he RETIRED!
Time for a new GM-JR has done a great job, but After this season, it’s time to move on.
Can’t disagree with any of this. Good one DePaoli. Rutherford needs to own a lot of moves that are shaping up to be really bad.
Most GMs do not want to admit to a bad trade or contracts.
Every gm makes mistakes
Jacques Martin will be coaching the team by the end of the year.
More brilliance from this twaat! How about this… if, BIG IF, Sullivan was to be moved I bet Martin steps down altogether. Guy is 66 years old I am sure he don’t need to stress of a HC job. Also… this is a guy that ran the Sens for years and choked and choked and choked as a HC but by all means… lets praise him. He has carved out a comfy quiet niche role in the burgh and has done well at it without having to deal with HC ********.
Did we trade for some guy named Brassard? I don’t remember any more. No GM can anticipate losing a guy like Schultz for 4 months. His loss is crippling the defense. Beyond that, the second biggest problem is easier to fix. Bottom 6 players that can actually skate can be acquired relatively cheaply. Rutherford has been great for this organization, but he butchered the last two offseasons.
Brass had a groin injury I believe.
Trade everyone! Fire Everything! Kill the zamboni driver! Burn the sticks! Sell the equipment managers! Paint the arena green! Melt the Gatorade bottles! Ship Jim Jimerson to China! Hand Pittsburgh over to the Jamaicans! It’s all over!!! Everyone be like Sam and find 30 other teams to like each week!
Or close their TV like you
Actually, I never do that but nice try there buddy. You show how you are a bandwagon fan in every post you make.
Npl suckss so does the democRATS
All problems start at the top and it trickles all the way down. It is that simple. GM makes bad trades, coach is handcuffed with bad players, bad players do not perform. I do not believe this one is on Sully. You can fire him but the next person will be stuck with the same bottom six and this terrible defense and inconsistent goalies. I do not care if you are Scotty Bowman, this team is what is bc of some bad choices by the GM. When Sully came up he brought with him an influx of hungry, fast youth… Read more »
Agreed we passed on guys like Michael Grabner and Tyler Ennis who are super speedy like Carl Hagelin and will play third& 4th line roles. Tyler Ennis is with Toronto he is flying around on their 4th line and Michael Grabner leads the league in breakaways every year.
Carl hagelin with malkin 2nd line
Grabner with Brassard 3rd line
Ennis with Cullen and Zack Ashton reese 4th line
That was supposed to be GMJR. My mistake.
the coach demoted crosby to the 3rd line. sullivan has gone mad and needs to go.
Blow it up
Maybe JR been with the team very long time and has to go bye bye .
He was suppose to be here for 3 years
This is probably the only bit of coherent thought you’ve had in years. I like GMJR, I like what he has done for the roster but lets face it, he is at the end of his tenure in employment as a human let alone a hockey guy. He is at retirement age… He has made some poor decisions in the past couple seasons that have left the Pens holding the bag. The rumours that it’s him telling the coaches to play Johnson with Letang, to force Sprong into the line up (not to mention keeping him up past 9 games… Read more »
“he is at the end of his tenure in employment as a human let alone a hockey guy.” that’s good stuff
All I know is I hope I have retired before the age of 69 lol
Well he has done some poor choices. But some are not his fault too it started from bone head shero trading all kind of picks for washed up temporary solutions that was total opposite of his coaching style DB.
I don’t disagree, Shero made mistakes. I am not simply jumping on JR as much as admitting that the last couple years he made some questionable decisions. The fact he was only gonna stick around a short time and the fact that we have a guy who is supposed to be a strong GM at some point waiting are why I would be open to a change here sooner than later even if its not this season
Pens had chance to go get julien brisbois yet they chose JR. Not a biggy won 2 cups. What bothers me is that he did some bad moves and was suppose to be pen’s gm for 3 years yet gets another extension
JR BROUGHT kESSEL..HE BROUGHT HAINSEY….HE BROUGHT SCHULTZ….HE BROUGHT OLIESIAK…HE BROUGHT BRASSARD…HE BROUGHT DALEY….. HE BROUGHT BONINO.
MISTAKES NEIMI…. CULLEN BACK…. JACK JOHNSON
Mistakes he kept fraud Murray
Brassard is still up in the air… He hasnt shown much, JR has him forced into a wing role and this injury is yet another set back. While I like Brassard as a player his time with Pittsburgh has pretty much been a disaster. His ability to change that this season started slow and is now compounded by this injury. He also brought in Mike Johnston, He traded a 1st for Perron, playing in Mikes system Perron floundered… he gave up a 1st and Sundqvist for Reaves, this isnt a commentary on whether or not Reaves fit this organization (he… Read more »
Hockey, add Reaves to the mix
RUTHERFORD HAS DONE WAY MORE GOOD THAN BAD…. SULLIVAN NEEDS TO GET HIS HEAD OUT OF HIS ASS AND MAKE BETTER DECISIONS AND NOT BE STUBBORN AND PLAYERS NEED TO PLAY HARDER…YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTROL YOUR EFFORT LEVEL..