Penguins Prospect Watch: Sprong, Blueger, Sundqvist

 

Trending Up/Trending Down Trending Up: Daniel Sprong was named the QMJHL First Star of the Week. In two games, Sprong had 5 goals and 1 assist and a plus-5 rating to earn the honors. Sprong has been on a tear of late, with 9 goals and 7 assists in his last six games. That’s expected production for a skilled junior player like Sprong who turns 20 in March. 2016-2017 Stats: 25 GP – 15 Goals – 16 Assists – 31 Points – -14 

Latest NHL Buzz: Therrien/Canadiens; More Duchene Talk

 

Latest NHL Buzz   Is Michel Therrien on thin ice? The Montreal Canadiens have four wins in their last 14 games and have lost six of seven after a 4-0 loss to the Bruins last night. The team just can’t flat out score lately and when Carey Price is saying the team has lost their identity, there’s some deeper issues going on. Price having a save percentage under .890 over his last 14 starts isn’t helping things but as the Canadiens enter their bye week, the pitch forks are out for Michel Therrien. Therrien lost his job with the Penguins in February of 2009 due to circumstances when the Penguins had lost their identity but a big difference here is the Canadiens are in first place (for now), Pittsburgh was out of the playoff picture at the time, and Therrien has a major supporter in GM Marc Bergevin who someRead More »

Penguins – Coyotes Fallout: Stars scouted Fleury’s performance

 

Penguins – Coyotes Fallout Hanzal to the Capitals? — The Washington Capitals are the NHL’s best team and may not feel the need to pay the premium it would take to acquire Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, but they should take a good look at the tape from last night in the problems Hanzal gave the Penguins with his size and strength down the middle. Hanzal would drive Penguins nuts in a potential seven game series and create type of matchup problems in the bottom-6 Washington didn’t pose to Pittsburgh last spring. “He was a monster for us tonight,” Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith said of Hanzal. Archibald Shines, PK Usage — Josh Archibald has the makings of being the perfect 4th line player in Mike Sullivan’s system with his skating ability and tenaciousness on the forecheck, while also being able to make a skilled play.  Scouts outside of Pittsburgh have beenRead More »

Matt Duchene to Pittsburgh Rumors Heating Up

 

As reported here in January, the Penguins interest in Matt Duchene is significant and the Penguins have had back and forth talks with Colorado for over a month on Duchene and a much lesser extent, Gabriel Landeskog. (Link here from last month on why the Penguins are drawn to Duchene) Colorado is one of the three to four teams the Penguins have made Olli Maatta available so go ahead and connect the dots on what the Penguins are looking to do. There are strong indications this week that It’s more likely than not that Jim Rutherford takes a serious run at Duchene before March 1. A source says Rutherford told close associates following Thursday’s game vs Colorado

Penguins – Avs Fallout: Negative trends alarming? + Latest Trade Chatter

 

Penguins – Avs Fallout “I don’t think it was one of our better games as of late. Certainly we were happy with the result, but that’s probably where it ends” — Mike Sullivan on the Penguins 4-1 win over the Avalanche — If Matt Murray doesn’t have the game he does, the Penguins are probably coming out with a 5-3 loss instead of a 4-1 win. The quality chances against were enormous, especially in the first period when the Avalanche had a prime opportunity to get the Penguins chasing the game. That’s a typical game against a basement dweller where an elite team like the Penguins doesn’t play particularly well and makes enough plays to come out with two points against an opponent that’s hard to get up for. TIOPS STORYLINES/RUMBLINGS FROM PENS-AVs — Two negative trends for the Penguins this season, has been getting pushed around against bigger teamsRead More »

Penguins Pre-Game: Malkin close to returning

 

Morning Skate Buzz Penguins (33-13-6) @ Avalanche (15-33-2) 1. – Evgeni Malkin is close to returning to the lineup. Won’t play tonight but could play vs Arizona on Saturday. Tonight will be Malkin’s sixth missed game. The Penguins are 3-1-1 without him. Malkin remains 5th in the NHL in points. NHL POINTS LEADERS 1. Sidney Crosby – 60 Points 2. Connor McDavid – 60 Points 3. Brent Burns – 57 Points 4. Brad Marchand – 55 Points 5. Evgeni Malkin – 54 Points. 2. — Matt Murray will start in goal for the Penguins. With the Penguins on their Dads trip, it’s expected Marc Andre Fleury will start Saturday vs Arizona. Calvin Pickard coming off a 4-0 shutout win over the Canadiens, goes for Colorado. Pickard is 1-0-1 in two career starts vs the Penguins. 3. — Sidney Crosby enters tonight with 998 points, looking to become the third PenguinRead More »

Evaluating Three Marc Andre Fleury trade scenarios to the Dallas Stars

 

Fleury Trade Scenarios Trade talks surrounding Marc Andre Fleury are dead quiet at the moment, TIOPS has learned. Team sources indicate the Penguins have nothing brewing right now and they’ve even informed the Fleury camp over the last week that a trade by March 1 is unlikely, but it’s still early enough where something could transpire near the final week of the deadline. As reported here in January, the team the Penguins had the most substantive trade talks surrounding Fleury this season has been with the Dallas Stars. Those talks described as ‘exploratory at the time have cooled significantly over the last six weeks with Dallas on the fence about Fleury but a complicated deal with the Stars could still come into play closer to March 1 if the Stars decided to move on Fleury which they haven’t to this point. Pittsburgh and Dallas were in the news nationally yesterdayRead More »

NFL clubs believe the Steelers eventually could have a wandering eye to explore Antonio Brown’s trade value

 

Antonio Brown trade talk isn’t going away Long-time Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook who is very connected with the Steelers organization and is closer to Ben Roethlisberger than any media member is, had a column about Antonio Brown last week in arguing the Steelers should trade Brown due to the salary cap. The column had some headline worthy tidbits in the worst kept secret in town that Brown had purposely ran wrong patterns this past season. [“The distractions are a real problem,” Cook said of Brown. “Brown’s three excessive celebrations penalties early in season were bad there. But there was the incident in the first Miami game when he jogged back to the line of scrimmage, delaying his teammates from running their two-minute offense. In more than one game, he wasn’t happy with how he was being used, he frequently ran the wrong patterns, either because of a lack of focusRead More »

Penguins – Flames Fallout: Opportunities for a big night were there

 

Penguins – Flames Fallout The Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday night saw them come out of the game with a point in an effort where they deserved two points. “I thought we deserved better tonight to be honest,” Sidney Crosby said afterwards. “I thought by far we had the better scoring chances throughout the night.” Crosby picked up his 30th assist of the season on Chris Kunitz third period goal, 5:51 into the period, and heads into Thursday night’s game against Colorado with 998 career points. It could have been a three or four point night for Crosby but Chad Johnson was outstanding. Crosby had a poor turnover at the Flames blueline leading to a breakaway goal for Micheal Ferland but the Flames for the most part struggled to contain him in the offensive zone. In the faceoff circle, Crosby had a big night, winning 18 of 24 draws,Read More »

Scouts Buzz: Penguins to have close eye on Sabres this month?

 

Scouts Buzz: Penguins to have close eye on Sabres this month? The Pittsburgh Penguins in their quest to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions have one Achilles heel, the Olli Maatta – Trevor Daley pairing. And it’s more Olli Maatta than anything. Daley while not a good player in his own end, gives the Penguins more with his ability to skate where he’s a superior player in joining the rush, has a better first pass off the breakout and a stronger escape ability due to his skating ability. As Daley showed in last Tuesday night’s win vs the Predators, he still has a goal scorers type shot for a defenseman from the point after scoring 16 goals in 2014-2015 for the Stars. Maatta meanwhile continues to show major physical limitations with his lack of skating ability, struggles to defend the net-front, and he doesn’t deal with pressure well against tenacious forecheckingRead More »