Heading into the Olympic break, trade speculation surrounding the Penguins has centered around puck-moving defenseman Alex Goligoski. Goligoski who has not answered the defensive concerns that scouts had coming into the season, has the offensive ability that a number of teams covet. With a $1.83 cap hit for the next two seasons at age 24, Pittsburgh is getting plenty of interest in Goligoski who is viewed as an asset by the organization. There were preliminary discussions with the Dallas Stars about defensive-defenseman Mark Fistric but the Stars have not shown an interest to involve young scorer Jamie Benn in any deal for Goligoski as a number of teams have called about the young forward, including Pittsburgh. One option that is not under any consideration is moving Goligoski for a rental player and questions remain whether there is even a long-term deal out there that would interest Pittsburgh. Per a leagueRead More »
Goligoski on the Stars radar A top priority for the Dallas Stars is acquiring a young puck moving defenseman and while the Stars are among several teams expressing interest in Kris Letang, making a play for Letang would cost at least one of the Stars “big” young guns James Neal or Loui Eriksson. Hence, the Stars have significant interest in puck moving defenseman Alex Goligoski, sources tell me. The Stars have even made young stay-at-home defenseman Mark Fistric and 20 year old winger Jamie Benn to a much lesser extent, available in a potential deal for Goligoski, a league source tells me.
Buffalo 4 – Pittsburgh 3 The Pittsburgh Penguins blew a 3-0 lead as the Buffalo Sabres scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Penguins 4-3 Tuesday night. Jordan Staal (11), Bill Guerin (12) and Chris Kunitz (6) scored for the Penguins, who squandered a three-goal lead for the first time since a 5-3 loss at Nashville on January 8, 2009. Pittsburgh dominated for the first 30 minutes of the game but a turning point in the game was a Drew Stafford penalty shot goal at 12:46 of the second period.
Eric Godard was informed on Saturday that he would return to the lineup Sunday night against Toronto and the likely candidate to be scratched on Sunday appeared to be Max Talbot but Dan Bylsma opted to sit Tyler Kennedy who has 0 goals in 12 games. By making Kennedy a healthy scratch, Bylsma is sending a message in the hopes of jumpstarting Kennedy’s game. *Pittsburgh is 4-for-10 on the power play in their last two games. While three of the goals came in Wednesday’s 8-2 rout, the Penguins have shown more movement and creativity of late. However, for their power play to become consistent in the long run, they’re going to need some kind of production from Kris Letang (1 goal this season) and Alex Goligoski (2 assists in his last 8 games) at the left point. Evgeni Malkin playing the left point is not permanent. *Carolina Hurricanes winger RayRead More »
The vibe around the league heading into the new year as noted by highly respected columinst Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News, is that Pittsburgh will let Sergei Gonchar walk via free agency rather than pay him $15-$20 million on a 3 or 4 year contract. However, independent sources continue to claim that any talk of Gonchar leaving is premature at this point as the first set of substantive talks with Penguins general manager Ray Shero and J.P. Barry the agent for Gonchar will not begin until another couple weeks. Pittsburgh will break off talks after the trade deadline as Pittsburgh now has a 6-7 week window to strike a deal. Meanwhile, team sources have confirmed that Gonchar is indeed seeking close to $5 million per season. As a source told me, if Gonchar was willing to take a home-town discount, a deal would have been struck in the summer.Read More »
Martin Brodeur broke Terry Sawchuk’s 40-year-old shutout record with his 104th career shutout Monday night as the New Jersey Devils (26-8-1) blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 for their third straight win against Pittsburgh this season. While Brodeur continues to entrench himself as arguably the greatest goaltender in the history of the game, the defending champs were over-matched against New Jersey for the third time this season. It has reached the point of concern as the Devils have quickly proved they are among the league’s best teams. The Devils transition game gave Pittsburgh fits Monday night just like it did in the two previous contests. New Jersey not Pittsburgh set the tone in the game and that’s been a common scene in all three games to this point. Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has not found a way for the Penguins to combat the Devils tight defensive game in the neutralRead More »
Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves and was 3-for-3 in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins (25-10-1) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (21-10-3) 2-1 Saturday night for their fifth straight win and 25th win of the season. Sabres goaltender Patrick Lalime did his best impression of Ryan Miller making 23 saves and holding the Penguins to one goal in regulation. Kris Letang scored the lone goal for Pittsburgh in the shootout. Sidney Crosby (5-for-6) was stopped by Lalime in the shootout for the first time this season. The big story of the night was Marc Andre Fleury who earned his 21st win of the season. At the young age of 25, Fleury has established himself as one of the top 5 goaltenders in the game. His development over the past two seasons has him right where the Penguins expected him to be when they drafted him 1st overall in 2003. TheRead More »
Malkin, Fedotenko end scoring droughts Pittsburgh’s struggling power play went 0-for-5 in regulation Saturday night but delivered with a rare big goal in overtime as Evgeni Malkin (9) scored just 37 seconds into over-time on the man advantage as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 at Mellon Arena. Thirty seconds into overtime, Jordan Leopold was called for holding and Sergei Gonchar set up Malkin for a one-timer from the high slot who blew it past Tomas Voukon. Malkin’s OT tally was his first goal in 6 games. Pascal Dupuis (9) and Ruslan Fedotenko (5) also scored for Pittsburgh. Fedotenko put the Penguins up 2-1 in the second period, driving to the net and Evgeni Malkin found him wide open in front of Voukon for a tap in goal. It was Fedotenko’s first goal in 14 games as the struggling winger is on pace for a 12 goal season.Read More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice this morning after Monday nights disappointing loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Head coach Dan Bylsma talked today how the Penguins lacked focus as the Penguins have given up the first goal in seven straight games. One player who did not practice today was Mark Letestu, who was re-assigned to Wilkes Barre/Scranton this morning. Letestu played a strong game Saturday night against Chicago but was a healthy scratch Monday night. Defenseman Alex Goligoski practiced for the second straight day and barring a setback, expects to return to the lineup Thursday night in Montreal. With two full practices before Thursday’s game, the power play will be a top priority for the coaching staff like it is for many practices. Pittsburgh ranks 28th in the league on the power play. One change that will be made is Alex Goligoski replacing Kris Letang at the left pointRead More »
Colorado (15-8-6) @ Pittsburgh (19-9-0) The Colorado Avalanche have been the surprise of the NHL, jumping out to a 15-8-6 record. Many NHL pundits predicted a rebuilding year for the Av’s. The Av’s hot start has them one point out of first place in the Northwest division but Colorado has a lot to prove moving forward. Colorado’s play in the month of December could tell which direction their season will go. The Avalanche are already showing signs of slowing down in the midst of a 3-4-3 stretch. The Avalanche face a big test tonight against the Stanley Cup champions, coming off of a 6-5 loss to the Florida Panthers Wednesday night. The Avalanche are led by forward Paul Stastny (30 pts). Stastny is among the games top playmakers but could be without linemate Milan Hejduk (11 goals) tonight. Hejduk did not play Wednesday night and will be a game timeRead More »