PITT Coaching Search: Dan Hurley Heads to UConn


Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley has been named the new men’s basketball coach at UConn, the school announced Thursday. Hurley received a six-year deal, ESPN reports. Hurley, 45, was Pitt’s top target in their coaching search but reality is Hurley was never coming to Pitt and the Panthers offer of at least $3.3 million per season didn’t change anything other than making UConn come up on their initial offer which is said to have been around $2.5 million per season. Where Pitt goes from here remains to be seen but the school has known for days that getting Hurley was a hail mary. Former Ohio State coach Thad Matta has long been a favorite of Heather Lyke but Pitt officials have had trouble getting Matta to consider the job. Matta turned down an offer from Georgia last week who then went on to hire Tom Crean, another coaching candidateRead More »

Crosby scores dazzling goal, Guentzel shines late to close out Habs 5-3


Penguins 5 – Canadiens 3 PIT GAME LEADERS Jake Guentzel | Goal (21), 2 Assist Sidney Crosby | Goal (24), Assist Evgeni Malkin | Goal (41), Assist Derick Brassard | Goal (20, GWG) Phil Kessel | 2 Assists Casey DeSmith | 27 Saves, .900 SV% CROSBY’s MOMENTUM CHANGING GOAL The Pittsburgh blew a 2-0 lead and trailed 3-2 late in the second period against the lowly Montreal Canadiens until a dazzling goal from Sidney Crosby tied the game at 3-3 with 4:58 left in the period and Pittsburgh re-took control of the game in a 5-3 victory over the Canadiens on Wednesday night at the PPG Paints Arena. Crosby’s 24th of the season was certainly a top-10 goal of his career from a highlight reel standpoint and it was a goal in a big situation, scoring 38 seconds after the Canadiens went up 3-2 as Pittsburgh was potentially heading intoRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Penguins underwhelm in Murray’s return; Impact of rental winger additions in CLB/SJ


Islanders 4 – Penguins 1 PIT GAME LEADERS Matt Murray | 33 Saves, .923 SV% Conor Sheary | Goal (15), 2 SOG Phil Kessel | Assist, 3 SOG Derick Brassard | Assist, 2 SOG The Penguins performance in Matt Murray’s return to the lineup was underwhelming to say the least. Pittsburgh fell behind 2-0 in the first 10:33 of the game and although it was a one goal game going into the third period, it just never felt like it was going to be the Penguins night. In three games so far during a four game stretch against teams that are nine points or more out of a playoff spot, the Penguins have taken 3 out of a possible six points and the Penguins have looked like a bored team, especially in the defensive end. Defensively the Penguins did a lot of standing around against the Islanders Tuesday night andRead More »

Steelers near impact signing with safety Morgan Burnett


Morgan Burnett (6-1, 210) Age 29 | Experience: 8 years Previous Contract: 4 years – $24.75 million 2017 Stats: 12 GP | 68 total tackles, 1 FF | The Pittsburgh Steelers are making their biggest splash in free agency, agreeing to terms on a deal with 29 year old safety Morgan Burnett, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. It was first reported Monday night by NFL Network. Burnett is scheduled to take a physical with the Steelers today, Strengths/Fit Burnett has been tabbed as a potential great fit for the Steelers since the start of free agency because of his versatility. He can play anywhere and possesses the type of versatility the Steelers haven’t had from a safety since Troy Polamalu in that you can play Burnett in the slot to right around the line of scrimmage. Burnett’s biggest strength is that he’s a top run supporting safety. Where theRead More »

Penguins commit to Casey DeSmith as No. 2 goaltender


The Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday re-assigned goaltender Tristan Jarry to Wilkes Barre/Scranton, paving the way for Matt Murray to return this week and likely start vs the New York Islanders tonight. Barring another injury to Matt Murray, the reassignment of Jarry to the minors will be more of a permanent basis for the rest of the season. The Penguins are committing to Casey DeSmith as the No. 2 goaltender

Coaches eye Rust to spark top line? Murray to see bulk of games this week? Sprong’s learning curve continues


Coaches now eye Rust spark to top line? Bryan Rust in two games since returning to the lineup and playing on a line with Derick Brassard and Phil Kessel: 2 Goals and 1 Assist, all at even strength. The third line of Rust-Brassard-Kessel had some dominating moments on the ice in an OT loss to the Rangers Wednesday night and 5-3 win against the Canadiens the following night but getting the Sidney Crosby line going remains a priority for the coaching staff. Tentative Plan is to start Murray 3 out of 4 games this week The primary target date was initially Wednesday vs Montreal but there’s been discussions of going Tuesday – Friday – Sunday for Murray,

NHL: Hurricanes struggling to find a new General Manager


New Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon who has a reputation of looking to be a hands on Mark Cuban type owner, is having a world of trouble in finding a General Manager candidate willing to take the job. Three of the Hurricanes top targets for their GM opening, Mike Futa (Los Angeles Kings), Paul Fenton (Nashville Predators) and Tom Fitzgerald (New Jersey Devils) all withdrew from consideration in a matter of days this week. Once Fenton withdrew, word around the league is the Hurricanes planned to offer Fitzgerald the job this week. All three have cited that it’s not the right time but this is a strong indictment on the situation in Carolina and concerns about the owner. Penguins Assistant GM Bill Guerin also declined a request to interview for the job this week as the Hurricanes tried to expand their initial 5-candidate list after candidates started withdrawing. Where do theRead More »

PIT – NYR Fallout: Brassard line with Rust shines, Crosby line under 35% in possession


Penguins lose out on getting 2 pts, Rust-Brassard-Kessel show early chemistry PIT GAME LEADERS Bryan Rust | Goal (11), 5 SOG, 62 CF% Carl Hagelin | Goal (9), 2 SOG Riley Sheahan | Goal (10), 55 CF% Derrick Brassard | Assist, 3 SOG, 61 CF% The Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers Wednesday night that saw the Rangers outscore Pittsburgh 4-1 over the final 14 minutes of the game, was nothing more than Pittsburgh letting their foot off the gas and playing down to their competition in the third period. Pittsburgh blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the third period. In the big picture when it comes to which opponents are the best matchups, it doesn’t really matter for the Penguins on where they finish in the Metropolitan Division as there’s no real separation between Philadelphia, Columbus or New Jersey, Pittsburgh’s most likely first roundRead More »

Why Conor Sheary’s play on top-line will likely to be tied to whether Rust-Brassard-Kessel can stay together


Penguins to feature ideal third line vs Rangers After Conor Sheary’s breakout game vs the Flyers last Wednesday night, it brought into the question of whether the Penguins best lineup is playing Sheary on the top line to strengthen the lines elsewhere as players like Bryan Rust can have an impact anywhere you play them while Sheary’s play drops considerably when not playing with Sidney Crosby. With Rust set to return tonight vs the New York Rangers, the coaches are at least going to go in that direction in the short-term by still keeping Sheary on the top line. This should benefit Derick Brassard and Phil Kessel starting tonight. The two have been okay together and the Penguins new third line has been lacking an ideal left winger to fit their styles and to add a dimension those two need. Bryan Rust has stood out as a perfect fit toRead More »