PIT – FLA Fallout: On mind-boggling decision to have Matt Cullen center the 2nd line; Options with Kessel limited & More Buzz

 

Penguins – Panthers Fallout A 3-2 overtime loss to the lottery Florida Panthers is nothing to pound your chest about but with the Metropolitan Division so bottled up, Mike Sullivan went the positive route in the Penguins getting a point in Florida. “It’s a big point and that’s what I told the guys afterward,” Mike Sullivan said of his group. The daily swing in the Metro has Pittsburgh entering Friday in the final wildcard spot and just three points up on Carolina. What the coaches will like from the performance vs Florida compared to the Carolina game was the Penguins battling much better in the tough areas. Still, allowing 42 Shots against this Panthers team and being at 45% in possession 5-on-5, were numbers you don’t want to see against an inferior opponent. Among the head scratchers in this one was the use of Matt Cullen. Playing Cullen in theRead More »

Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes

 

Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes In a game that was a four point swing, the Carolina Hurricanes closed to within four points of the Penguins in the Metropolitan division with a 4-0 shutout win on Tuesday night. The Penguins who have lost six of nine, dropped their second straight and there was a trend between the Toronto and Carolina game. Both games turned into 5-on-5 games with limited power play opportunities. Pittsburgh had just two power play chances vs the Hurricanes and one vs Toronto. The Penguins have been outscored 6-1 during 5-on-5 play over their last two games. More concerning 5-on-5 #’s vs the Leafs and Hurricanes: 44% possession vs TOR, 41% possession vs CAR. Against the Leafs, even though the Penguins built up a 2-0 lead, they were behind the eight-ball in the way the game was playing out as the Toronto game sawRead More »

Source: Penguins sent Malkin for imaging on Thursday

 

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin who did not practice on Thursday, was sent for imaging to be done at UPMC Sports Medicine on Thursday, two sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports. Malkin arrived at the Penguins facility Thursday morning with swelling, believed to be from the Steven Stamkos fight, that led to the Penguins sending him out to get some scans done as a pre-caution, a source says. Malkin had 2 assists in the Penguins 4-2 win over the Lightning. The Penguins are home tonight against the Ottawa Senators and did not have a morning skate due to the weather.

Takeaways: Rutherford coy about Brassard’s future, encouraged by Malkin’s 200 ft game vs TB, talks power play adjustments in radio interview

 

Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford appeared on 937 The Fan this morning. Here are some takeaways from the interview with The Fan Morning Show: On Derick Brassard: Rutherford was asked early in the interview about Brassard’s future and when you have a player actively involved in trade talks like Brassard is right now, you’re going to coy as Rutherford was. “He’s

Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz: Ferland talks inching towards the finish line

 

Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz [Canes getting close on Ferland] [The Wildcard in talks] [Silfverberg not Ferland preferred by other decision makers in org? [Brassard done in PIT?] [2 Prospects coveted by other clubs in high-level talks] Ferland talks inching towards the finish line 1. There is a growing sense among clubs that were in the mix for Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland that Pittsburgh There is one mystery surrounding the Ferland talks. This isn’t Don Waddell’s style by any means but multiple executives say Hurricanes 4. One executive on the Penguins willingness to go big in the rental market.

Penguins accomplish pre-deadline goal of starting to create some cap flexibility

 

Penguins ship Jamie Oleksiak back to Dallas A priority for Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been creating some financial flexibility by the trade deadline. One of those priorities in recent weeks has been finding a new home for defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and the Penguins today have traded Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars for a 2019 4th round pick. Oleksiak returns to Dallas where he was a first round pick. Pittsburgh dished out a three year contract to Oleksiak in the summer, valuing his size/toughness + some offensive potential the Penguins believed Oleksiak could tap into where the team was comfortable giving a bottom-pairing d-man that term. However, the Penguins being married to the Jack Johnson contract, plus how high the organization has become of Marcus Pettersson, for a team always looking to add, you can’t have a 7th defenseman when you’re blueline is healthy eating up over $2 million againstRead More »

Rumors: Penguins in heavy trade talks with Hurricanes, Blue Jackets?

 

Penguins have a dance partner in Carolina to pursue creative/complicated trade scenarios MORE BUZZ — Even if the Penguins can’t find the right fit to replace Brassard as the third line center, conversations around the league is that a soft trade Early buzz a month out from the deadline has the Avalanche being a top landing spot for Hayes and the Islanders are widely regarded as a heavy favorite to land Matt Duchene if Ottawa puts him on the market next month. [/hide] — A bottom-6 center flying under the radar is Bryan Boyle of the New Jersey Devils. Always a favorite among coaches, Boyle has 12 Goals on the season and there’s a sense the Devils might be able to nab a second-rounder for Boyle. —

Penguins go 2-3 on Road Trip

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins 7-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday night caps off a 2-3-0 West Coast Road Trip. Pittsburgh heads into the bye/All-Star week sitting in the second wild card spot. The trip as a whole can be looked at as a disappointment. Pittsburgh allowed 23 goals over the five games and most glaring was the defensive breakdowns at every corner. Now past the 45 game mark, it’s easy to look at the Penguins coming out of the West Coast swing when matched up against the likes of San Jose and Vegas as Pittsburgh being in that second tier when it comes to Stanley Cup contenders. The way San Jose and Vegas were both able to come at the Penguins in waves continues to raise concerns for how the Penguins matchup right now against the NHL’s top tier group of teams.