Late Night TIOPS Daily Five Edition: Penguins must do proper evaluation and keep their stubbornness off the table


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. David Morehouse is telling any of his media pals, who he has driving positive PR for him and looking into things like Pierre McGuire tipping the Rangers, that Jim Rutherford and Mike Johnston are staying. Fans shouldn’t buy that talk just yet. Of course Morehouse wants Rutherford to stay. He played a huge part in the hire. Will the Penguins be too stubborn and keep both? Possibility but this will be Ron Burkle’s call on how things go this summer. The Penguins play with his money. Moving forward, Penguins ownership has to do a proper evaluation from the top (front office) all the way down. They shouldn’t fire or commit to bringing anyone back right off the bat. They need to do a full-out evaluation and determine whether Jim Rutherford is the right guy moving forward and then work their way down. JimRead More »

On Penguins horrendous quality of play, Improving Eastern Conference moving forward, Marcus Peters/Steelers & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The quality (high percentage scoring chances, creativity) of offensive play from the Penguins this season, they have averaged under 2.40 goals per game over their last 63 games, hasn’t been this bad since the 2003-2004 season. It is truly horrendous to watch in this series and has been for a while now. What I’m talking about when it comes to quality of play, it’s offensive tempo, high percentage scoring chances/shots, creativity, and a players ability to create their own shot. One thing those matchups in the last month of the season against rebuilding teams like Arizona, Buffalo showed is how poorly constructed this forward group is and it’s stunning how many forwards can’t create their own shot. In those games the Penguins upfront looked like a rebuilding team when Sidney Crosby wasn’t on the ice. That has to be something that can’t getRead More »

Clutch and Grab, Rangers letting teams stick around, Buy-out talk for Scuderi, Melancon & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. 1. The dead puck clutch and grab era is back and it isn’t like this just happened over the last week. The way teams are allowed to interfere in the neutral zone has been ruining the NHL all season but there might not be a series that portrays the new clutch and grab era more than Penguins – Rangers so far. Other series especially out West, you’re seeing fast paced, high tempo offensive games and teams able to still play entertaining games. The Chicago Blackhawks for example, they are so fast and play with such a high compete level, the clutching and grabbing isn’t a factor at all for them. The Penguins – Rangers series just hasn’t been the case, despite the Rangers having a skilled team with speed that scored the third most goals in the NHL and Pittsburgh having Sidney CrosbyRead More »

On Rutherford’s blowup, Antonio Brown, Daniel Winnik, Smart Hockey, Derrick Pouliot & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Jimmy Rutherford feeling the pressure of a GM who might get fired? Rutherford has been a loose cannon over the past couple weeks behind the scenes even before last night’s incident, sources say, and I guess I’d be to if my boss who hired me barely acknowledges me anymore when he comes into town. Rutherford went on a tirade last night following the Game 3 loss and took his frustrations out on Tribune-Review columnist Rob Rossi who is one of the biggest critics of Rutherford out there. Rossi outlined the interaction in his column. [“After exiting a media elevator and while walking with other reporters to the Penguins’ dressing room, Rutherford addressed this columnist, a frequent critic since his hiring last June, in an obscenity-laced diatribe. “Thanks for your support,” Rutherford said repeatedly. “You’re a (expletive) jerk,” Rutherford said repeatedly. Rutherford followed theRead More »

All about the Rangers Tonight, Johnston vs Vigneault, Selling Tickets, Brandon Sutter & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Tonight’s Game 3 is all about the New York Rangers. They’re the heavy favorite in the series and the pressure is all on them. This is suppose to be their season. As Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote, the Rangers are a team right now in neutral through the first two playoff games. How the Rangers respond tonight after giving the Penguins momentum in Game 2 and a belief that they can win, will dictate where this series is heading. New York has yet to bring out their “A” game in the series. If the Rangers “A” game shows up, then this series is going to go as expected. It’s possible New York’s “A” game never shows up all series. If not, this series will be a toss-up if the Sidney Crosby of Game 2 shows up a couple more timesRead More »

Star players coming up big actually still happens, Pavel Datsyuk, Trends, Top line & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The Detroit Red Wings, an underdog like the Penguins in their first round series, were able to do something the Penguins weren’t able to do; Steal Game 1 when they got excellent goaltending and were badly outplayed. You have to take advantage of those type of situations to have any chance. Just like Fleury last night, how many more games is Petr Mrazek going to play like that in the series? The Red Wings were outshot 46-14 in a 3-2 win over the Lightning and were 7-for-7 on the penalty kill. A fluke win but it still counts as being up 1-0 in the series. The first night of NHL playoff action on Wednesday saw the impact of role players standout, last night was star players stepping up for their respective teams. For Detroit they got a two goal game from Pavel DatsyukRead More »

Melancon’s future, Ike Taylor, Similar situatons for GM’s in Pittsburgh/Boston & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Neal Huntington and his scouts have a niche for finding high upside relievers who cost next to nothing. Arquimedes Caminero is the latest potential gem the Pirates have found. Caminero has flashed nasty stuff with a fastball that sits around 98-99 and a slider that hits 91 mph. Huntington is one of the best in the business in a building a Major League bullpen on a year to year basis and his belief of not paying high salaries to relievers has been a blueprint that’s worked for years now. Fans are likely looking at the last season Mark Melancon is around, who is already making $5.4 million and with his drop in velocity, the Pirates will move him before next season. Heck, some won’t be surprised if he struggles to hold on to the closers job. 2. Ike Taylor called it quits onRead More »

A potential win-win situation for Pirates/Alvarez, Vigneault – Johnston coaching matchup, Matthew Murray/Pekka Rinne comparison & more in today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. In front of the largest crowd ever at PNC Park (regular season), Monday’s home opener embodied just about everything in regards to where this team is heading. There’s a buzz around the Pirates and in this town that is starting to resemble the second, third seasons in the Sidney Crosby era. Excitement and a belief of competing for a championship. Monday’s game just had a special feel for an exciting team that fans actually believe in that can rival almost anyone in the Majors. Last year there was still that cautious approach that 2013 was a fluke. Not the case anymore. 2. The Pirates could not be happier with the start Pedro Alvarez is having and that goes back to spring training when he first arrived. Despite being disgruntled with the lack of opportunity to win back the third base job, Alvarez cameRead More »

Home Ice $$$, Puck Possession Talk, Big picture for Penguins & more in today’s TIOPS Daily Five


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Home ice might not matter to teams when it comes to having an advantage but it does to nhl owners, especially the group in Pittsburgh. The Penguins last season had a second round exit and still had 7 home playoff games due to having home ice. Playoff money is very important. The revenue the Penguins would get for instance from six playoff games this spring would cover the salary owed to Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero for next season. From a financial standpoint, the Penguins only getting the revenue of potential two playoff games and a fan base that hasn’t been this less enthused since around 2003, it’s not good for the franchise, but the guaranteed revenue of two playoff games is better than none. The Penguins are not struggling financially but they budget on a year by year basis with expectations ofRead More »