Lineup Notes vs LAK, Hornqvist Update

 

Game 59: Kings @ Penguins LAK Record: 30-21-5, 65 Pts | 1 Point Out of 3rd place in Pacific Division; 3 Points out of final wildcard spot PIT Record: 32-22-4, 68 Pts | 2nd in Metropolitan Division STORYLINES Goaltender Matt Murray (20-12-1, 2.91 GAA, .906 SV%) will appear in his 100th career game, making his 95th career start tonight. Murray is 61-24-7 with a .918 save percentage in his first 99 career games. Murray is 6-0-1 in his last 7 starts. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf acquired by the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night, is considered unlikely to play due to immigration issues.  LINEUP Aston-Reese – Crosby – Sheary Hagelin – Malkin – Rust Guentzel – Sheahan – Kessel Simon – Rowney – Reaves Dumoulin – Letang Maatta – Schultz Cole – Oleksiak Matt Murray in Goal Hornqvist progressing

Rumors: Penguins putting First Round Pick, Top Prospect Sprong in play during trade talks?

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins only have around $800,000 in cap space but as Jim Rutherford always says, when two sides want to make a deal, there’s always a way to get it done and that’s how the Penguins are operating ahead of the deadline. As the trade deadline is 11 days away, the Penguins are currently involved in so many conversations the organization is confident of adding at least one impact forward by February 26th. Even with his team surging, sitting back doesn’t appear to be an option the Penguins GM wants to take. And what appears to be happening here in how active the Penguins are in talks is that Jim Rutherford doesn’t want to be in a situation where he looks back this summer and feels he didn’t do enough. The Penguins have signaled to rival General Managers that draft picks and top prospects are the currency the PenguinsRead More »

Trade Deadline Buzz: Derick Brassard leaves good impression on Pens brass with impact game

 

The Ottawa Senators started the process last night of selling off high salary players in making an in-game trade. The Senators traded Dion Phaneuf, forward Nate Thompson to the Los Angeles Kings for winger Marian Gaborik and center Nick Shore. Even with the Senators retaining 25% of Phaneuf’s cap hit, this was a cash driven deal as the Senators will save around $5 million in actual cash and there’s a chance Marian Gaborik goes off in the sunset to retire/or to Europe before his deal is up that spans three more seasons. Phaneuf gets to stay in Pittsburgh for a few more days to hang with his pal Phil Kessel as Phaneuf’s new team the Kings play the Penguins Thursday night. What would have been something if the Senators also left Derick Brassard in town. As the Senators are trying to take advantage of a sellers market and get aRead More »

Trade Deadline Buzz: Sheahan’s Improved Play & What it means for the Penguins

 

If Jim Rutherford believed Riley Sheahan was the Penguins clear answer as their third line center, he wouldn’t have been so active over the last two months in looking for an upgrade at the position nor being so public in that the Penguins needed a third line center. Sheahan’s surge in play over the last couple weeks has now brought a narrative that the Penguins shouldn’t be trying to acquire a third line center. If you have believed as Penguin management has that Pittsburgh has needed to upgrade the third line center position for 2-3 months, should they let a 2-3 week strong stretch from Sheahan change that stance? Jim Rutherford has been around long enough where I don’t believe he’s going to call General Manager’s this week and suddenly take the team out of the mix for a bottom-6 center. What Sheahan’s improved play, though, has done is makeRead More »

Pirates path to competing next couple years in NL Central gets smaller

 

The MLB off-season continues to get more depressing for Pirate fans. As the rest of the NL Central gets stronger not just for the present but the future, the Pirates have entered tear-down mode with little path to competing as their prospect system has fallen to the middle of the pack and once regarded top prospects like Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows are no longer the significant trade chips they were a year and half ago to improve the roster dramatically. While the Pirates stand on the sidelines, the Brewers have made major additions with the signing of Lorenzo Cain and trade for Christian Yelich……. The Cardinals significantly upgraded their roster with the trade for Marcell Ozuna who belted 37 homers and 124 RBIs, and now the Cubs have made their move in signing free-agent ace pitcher Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal on Saturday night. The Cubs oneRead More »

Rumors: Penguins among 2-3 teams far along in talks for Brassard?

 

Source: Brassard tops wishlist of Penguins coaching staff The Ottawa Senators have reversed course in the last 5-7 days on their trade deadline plans. After being wide open to trading Mike Hoffman, Jean Gabriel-Pageau, the Senators have now signaled to clubs they intend to keep both players and are primarily focused on trading center Derick Brassard who has one year left on his deal with a $5 million cap hit. Up until the last couple days,  NHL execs were of the opinion Ottawa was more likely to keep Brassard than move him. Now that’s not the case. Brassard a player who is said to top the wishlist

Rumors: Penguins weigh putting First Round pick in play for Michael Grabner?

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday night where the Penguins surrendered a 2-0 lead but a Justin Schultz goal with 1:13 remaining in the third forced overtime for the Penguins to get a valuable point. Riley Sheahan and Carl Hagelin also scored in the win. Matt Murray made 33 saves on 36 shots in what was a fast paced game between the two teams that resembled a playoff type feel. The highlight of the game was an electric goal by Carl Hagelin, a type of shorthanded goal that only a couple players in the league could score. Another player who could score a goal like that is on the trade market: In the past 72 hours, the talk around the league is Ottawa has changed course now and have become more aggressive in shopping Derrick Brassard to get a satisfying return. “HeRead More »

Injuries open up opportunity for Teddy Blueger to flash 2-way game

 

Blueger recalled from WBS With Tom Kuhnhackl sidelined for a couple weeks and Carter Rowney now joining Kuhnhackl, Patric Hornqvist on the shelf, the Penguins today recalled center Teddy Blueger from Wilkes Barre/Scranton. Blueger the Penguins second round pick in 2012, has 12 goals and 14 assists and a plus-10 rating in 45 games with Wilkes Barre. His 12 goals rank third on the team. Blueger had a great second half to last season and fared well in training camp but his offensive production hasn’t taken the next step like the Penguins hoped it would. However, Blueger has a two-way game ability he brings to the table the Penguins really like. The skating is a bit questionable against NHL talent, but Blueger has good playmaking skills, see’s the ice well and he’s a player coaches trust. You can put up him out there in tough defensive matchups and plug himRead More »

Latest Chatter on the Penguins Center Trade List

 

Rental Center Market Continues to Lack Impact Options for Pens, others The Penguins center trade board entering the February 26th trade deadline is said to be quite long with 4-5 available targets who are available or the Penguins expect to be available. There’s also another list of 2-3 centers the Penguins have been monitoring for months in the hopes they would become available but likely won’t. The rentals on the Penguins list for a while now include no surprises: LATEST UPDATE Carolina is just one point out of the wild card but have started their annual nose-dive. They haven’t began shopping Ryan yet, per league sources, and would like to resign him, but Ron Francis is always chasing draft picks so we’ll see. Letestu who the Penguins in early January pushed hard to close a deal for, has seen his play fallen off the cliff. He has no goals inRead More »

Pens – VGK Fallout: Ryan Reaves Impact below the dots; Kessel/Malkin; D-Zone Breakdowns

 

Penguins – Golden Knights Fallout The Ryan Reaves that showed up vs the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night is the player Penguin officials thought the team would see more of when Pittsburgh traded for Reaves last June. Reaves second period goal was obviously a bonus but it was his ability to create havoc below the dots that has not been there on a consistent basis this season. Reaves had a goal, 3 shots on goal and 7 hits in 10:15 of ice time. The rugged winger was at 65% in possession (11/6) and was on the ice for 9 scoring chances. 1. Here was sequence in a shift early in the third period where Reaves carries the puck through the neutral zone, gains the offensive zone and gets the puck behind the Golden Knight’s D where he gains possession in the left corner. This led to the Penguins establishing overRead More »