Beyond the Box Score: Sharks look like the 2016 Penguins; Low impact games from 71/81; Hertl Line vs 3rd-Pairing


Sharks overwhelm the Penguins in all three zones The San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins might only be separated by seven points in the standings, but that club in San Jose in a step above Pittsburgh in how they’re built and how much pace they play with. Watching San Jose and Pittsburgh last night, it felt like a reversal from 2016. This time San Jose is the club that comes at you in waves and with speed in all three zones that is just on another level. San Jose pushed the pace all night, baited Pittsburgh into trying to play a track meet and the Penguins couldn’t match the Sharks in any area of the rink. “I thought we got outplayed. We got outplayed in every area of the rink,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. We weren’t good enough. We lost the puck battles.” San Jose was excellent at usingRead More »

League Buzz: Brassard’s expiring contract carries value for deals involving high-priced 3rd line centers with term


Penguins eyeing forward for forward swap? Jim Rutherford has gone public again in comments about Derick Brassard in stating the obvious that Brassard is underperforming. Rutherford often speaks off the cuff but he’s also calculated in trying to get messages out. However, it’s reached the point where how does it do Brassard or the team any good at this point to go public that he’s performing well below expectations? Enough messages through the media and to the player have already been sent. The Penguins always planned to get through December before deciding which direction they wanted to go with Brassard and the decision’s been made over the last week or so to aggressively engage in trade scenario’s. Pittsburgh is evaluating situations to move Brassard for a draft pick to open up salary cap space that would be connected to a separate move, and are kicking around a forward for forwardRead More »

NHL: Stars acquire Andrew Cogliano


ANA Receives: F Devin Shore DAL Receives: F Andrew Cogliano Trade Buzz: The reeling Ducks continue the process of getting younger upfront with swapping the 31 year old Cogliano for the 24 year old Shore. Shore an aggressive forechecking winger, has 5 goals and 17 points in 42 games, carrying a $2.3 million cap hit through the 2019-2020 season.  For Dallas, they’re getting a faster, better all-around player as of right now in Cogliano, who can play all three forward positions that brings a ton of speed to the lineup and durability. Getting faster was the key to the deal for Dallas. Still, there is some risk. The underlying numbers are good but he’s having a down year with 3 goals in 46 games and Cogliano carries a $3.125 million cap hit through the 2020-2021 season.

Latest Pens Buzz: Shorthanded Goals Against, Eastern Conference arms race to land Ferland


Long-term Concern or just a short-term bad habit? The Penguins allowed their league-leading 10th shorthanded goal in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 2018-2019 Season: 10 in 45 games 2017-2018 Season: 3 in 82 Games 2016-2017 Season: 7 in 82 Games 2015-2016 Season: 5 in 82 Games Frustrations from Mike Sullivan are mounting and for good reason as this is nothing more than just laziness with the puck from the power play unit. Industry buzz is Pittsburgh initially built a package around

Latest Pens Buzz: Future of Tristan Jarry in PIT; 3rd Line center search back to Ottawa?


What the DeSmith Extension Means Casey DeSmith’s three year contract was a no-brainer for the 27 year old netminder. Maybe DeSmith could have got a few hundred thousand more on the open market, but for a player who has never been on a one-way contract, the security of a one-way contract for three seasons is significant. For the Penguins, there’s little risk with this extension and the three year commitment shows they are sold on DeSmith being a high-level backup caliber goaltender moving forward. “Since joining the Penguins’ organization, Casey has excelled for us at every level, first in Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and now here in Pittsburgh,” GM Jim Rutherford said Friday in a released statement. “We’re pleased to have him signed with our organization for the next three-and-a-half seasons.” A must in the remaining Cup window during the Sidney Crosby era is try to have the least amount ofRead More »

Teddy Blueger the answer to 3rd line center situation next season?


After touting Teddy Blueger as being NHL-ready back in June, the Penguins have instead opted with a conservative mindset towards developing Blueger, where the goal is to put him in position play a 3rd line/and or high impact 4th line center role next season in Pittsburgh. Blueger scored his 17th goal of the season and added an assist Friday night in Wilkes Barre/Scranton’s 5-1 win, giving him 31 points in 39 games. After a 45 point season (0.64 P/G) in 17-18, Blueger is now producing at an 0.80 clip this season, scoring at a 30+ goal pace. These are promising signs for Blueger, a strong defensive player, who will be at the age (25 years old) next season where you have to find out if you have an NHL player or not in him.

Latest Pens Buzz: Penguins-Hurricanes exchanging names in Ferland trade talks?


Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz As the Penguins are surging, is Jim Rutherford looking to strike again well before the deadline? As some targets the Penguins have kicked tires on won’t truly become available till next month, there’s one scenario to monitor already. Canes GM Don Waddell has made it known to clubs he’s looking for a player-for-player type trade at this point, seeking to move Ferland for a skilled forward with term or a left handed defenseman with term. While Carolina would like a future asset also part of any Ferland trade, the priority is to move Ferland for immediate help. Team owner Thomas Dundon wants Carolina to go away from the Ron Francis route of trading rentals for draft picks. There’s enough talk around the league that Pittsburgh believes they can line up with Carolina for a trade. O

Steelers tell Keith Butler to prepare for Senior Bowl


Barring a surprise development, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to retain Keith Butler as defensive coordinator for the 2019 season. Butler has been informed by head coach Mike Tomlin to prepare for the upcoming senior bowl, sources close to the situation say, and Butler has been part of regular meetings with the staff, including having a voice on the next hire for a linebackers coach. Butler has one year left on his contract.