Lemieux Statue Unveiled (Via Pittsburgh Penguins) In front of a large crowd that included former teammates and friends of Mario Lemieux’s, the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled a statue this afternoon forÂ Lemieux, the team’s owner and greatest athlete in Pittsburgh history who dominated a sport like no other athlete did in all of Pittsburgh sports. (via Chuck Greenberg) The statue depictsÂ Lemieux from the 1980’s on a goal he scored against the New York Islanders onÂ December 20, 1988. On the play, Lemieux split through defensemenÂ Jeff NortonÂ and Rich PilonÂ (both are apart of the statue)Â before beating goaltender Islanders goaltender Kelly Hrudey for a breakaway goal. BYLSMA PONDERS CROSBY’S LINESMATES Could head coach Dan Bylsma be breaking up the Penguins top line of Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin and James Neal as early as the weekend?
By MARK MADDEN ESPN’s Barry Melrose recently analyzed the fiasco on Long Island and Mario’s comments thereafter. His conclusions: *Mario was wrong. *The NHL wants Mario to be more involved on a consistent basis. He won’t, but Mario blasted the NHL anyway. That makes Mario wrong on two fronts. *Mario was wrong. *Mario didn’t bitch when the Pens won all the fights in the Feb. 2 meeting with the Islanders. (That’s like comparing a fight during fourth-grade recess to Stalingrad, and acting as if who wins a hockey brawl matters. It doesn’t.) *Mario was wrong. *Mario was wrong to complain when his team leads the NHL in fighting majors and employs Matt Cooke. *Mario was wrong. *The NHL handles suspensions better than any other sport. Thirteen games total was adequate punishment for the Islanders, though Barry said Matt Martin, as a first-time offender, should have received less than four games.Read More »
What Sets Crosby Apart Extending his points streak to 12 games and tallying his 6th regular season hat trick to take over the NHL points lead with 40, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby continues to amaze his teammates in his 6th NHL season. “I’ve seen him for three years and I’m still like… ‘Oh, my gosh. It’s pretty unbelievable, ” Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoski said in his post-game comments. Collecting 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in his last 12 games, there’s a strong argument that Crosby is playing his best all around hockey of his career. Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter said it best when describing Crosby’s game this afternoon, following Calgary’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh. “An elite-level player like him has great creativity in his game and a tremendous skill set,” Sutter said. “It’s because of his work ethic, and how hard he plays every shift.”Read More »
The Pittsburgh Penguins franchise had many ups and downs during the decade. The decade began with a bang as hall of famer/owner Mario Lemieux made a stunning comeback in December 2000 after being retired for 3.5 years. The team would earn its 12th straight playoff appearance in 2001 but financial reasons would lead to cost cutting moves such as trading star winger Jaromir Jagr and the cost cutting moves would continue years after. From 2002-2005, the franchise had no choice but to go into full throttle rebuilding mode and the Penguins endured four straight losing seasons that included rumors of relocation but the latter part of the decade would turn glorious (2009 Stanley Cup Champions, New Arena agreement) due to some luck (draft lottery sweepstakes Sidney Crosby), great drafting (Marc Andre Fleury) and other factors. Pittsburgh Penguins All-Decade Team
Philadelphia Flyers executive/icon/failed GM Bobby Clarke must have just realized the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, because he’s pissed. “We always tried to win,” Clarke said recently. “We didn’t do what Pittsburgh did, lose seven years in a row so they could get good. They did it twice, in fact. “It’s somewhat embarrassing that three of the last teams [in the 2009 playoffs] missed the playoffs six or seven years in a row: Washington, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Now they’re good, and the teams that try to win all the time get penalized. Our philosophy has never changed since 1967.” Most of Clarke’s points are exaggerated. For example, the Penguins only missed the playoffs two straight seasons prior to drafting Mario Lemieux, only three straight prior to drafting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Much of Clarke’s statement is nonsense. How is it “embarrassing” – in any way, for any reason –Read More »
On the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest days in Penguins’ history: the drafting of Hall of Famer /current owner Mario Lemieux in 1984, the Penguins beat the Red Wings 2-1 on what will go down as one of the most important wins in the teams playoff history. There wasn’t a prouder person in the locker room last night than Mario Lemieux. Lemieux who has taking a more active role in the day to day operations visited the team minutes before the drop of the puck. What was most impressive about Pittsburgh’s 2-1 win was that Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were held without a point. It was the first time that the Penguins won a playoff game when Malkin or Crosby were held without a point. Game 6 was a defining moment for the Penguins as their role players, not Crosby, Malkin took the spotlight. Inside The NumbersRead More »
Earning a berth to the Stanley Cup Finals was emotional for the Penguins organization Tuesday night. The team has under-gone a lot of change since last year’s run to the finals, including a coaching change which sparked the Penguins dramatic turnaround in mid-February. It was a special night for the organization and there wasn’t a prouder person in the locker room following the game than owner Mario Lemieux. Lemieux has taking more of role in the day to day operations over the past year as the Penguins have evolved into a Stanley Cup Contender. Lemieux and Sidney Crosby share a close bond as Crosby has grown as a person and a player under Lemieux’s wing. The two shared a good moment in the locker room following the post-game celebrations. * Following Carolina’s 4-1 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher is nowRead More »
The All-Star break may be coming at a bad time for the Penguins. The Penguins have won three of their last four games and on Sunday the Penguins won back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 15. The All-Star break will be a blessing for players Brooks Orpik, Sidney Crosby, and Max Talbot who are nursing injuries but the Penguins have some momentum right now. The Penguins host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and then don‚Äôt play until Wednesday January 28th Janne Pesonen‚Äôs fourth stint with the Penguins didn‚Äôt last long. Pesonen was a non-factor against the Ducks on the Friday and did not dress against the Rangers. The Penguins re-assigned Pesonen following yesterday‚Äôs game. As expected the Penguins have lost Mike Zigomanis for the season who opted for shoulder surgery last week.