Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions

 

Penguins 2 – Predators 0 The Pittsburgh Penguins are building a dynasty. In a goaltending duel between Matt Murray and Pekka Rinne, the Penguins broke through on a Patric Hornqvist goal with a 1:35 left in regulation and a Carl Hagelin empty net goal with 14 seconds left iced Game 6 as the Penguins are Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions. Matt Murray put on a great performance in posting a 27-save shutout for his second straight shutout. He’s now a two-time Stanley Cup winner, becoming the first goaltender to win a Stanley Cup in his first two seasons. Sidney Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP, becoming the first back-to-back Conn Smythe winner since Mario Lemieux. The Penguins in playing in the NHL’s toughest division, are the first repeat Stanley Cup Champion in 19 years and the first team in the Salary Cap era to winRead More »

If Penguins hoist a 5th Stanley Cup, window is wide open for many more

 

Sunday’s Penguins Buzz Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight and here are the Pittsburgh Penguins on the cusp of back-to-back Stanley Cups. Putting themselves in great position to hoist a fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history, if the Penguins finish the job tonight or in Game 7, what can’t be understated is that the window remains wide open for more Cups. This group is not going away and in position to potentially add this summer. The Penguins have not backed themselves into a corner with the cap like the Chicago Blackhawks have for instance and the emergence of difference makers like a Jake Guentzel on a rookie deal for two more seasons are things that have fallen into the Penguins lap. Among others like the cap friendly Bryan Rust deal for another season and Matt Murray’s new contract for next season at $3.75 million per is tremendous valueRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: Penguins follow the lead of Sidney Crosby’s ‘Greatness’ in Game 5 win

 

Penguins 6 – Predators 0 (PIT Leads Series, 3-2) The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from back-to-back Stanley Cups. Wasn’t this supposed to have been the Predators night? [‘Penguins are fatigued’] [‘Nashville has all the momentum and advantage in a best-of-3’] [‘Pekka Rinne is on his way to winning the Conn Smythe’] [‘Pittsburgh would play harder and be more motivated for Game 5 if Fleury started’] Those were some of the talking points from pundits heading into tonight’s game 5. What played out tonight at the PPG Paints Arena was the defending Stanley Cup Champions delivering a beat down to the Nashville Predators with a 6-0 win to take a 3-2 series lead. And this was a beat down in all facets. What the Penguins did was follow the lead of Sidney Crosby’s greatness. This performance in Game 5 from Sidney Crosby was none other than ‘greatness’ from #87.Read More »

Game 5: Lineup Talk, Stubbornness & Ice time for stars/depth players

 

Game 5 Lead Up Matt Murray outplayed Pekka Rinne in Games 1 and 2. Pekka Rinne outplayed Matt Murray in games 3 and 4. The Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3. Did the Penguins actually have a goalie controversy (50-50 decision on who would start) heading into tonight’s Game 5 or was it strictly driven by the pro Marc Andre Fleury media crowd? More likely the latter. Indications are Penguin coaches never really wavered making a goaltending change and as expected Mike Sullivan confirmed this morning that Matt Murray will start Game 5. When you’re at this point, you are almost always going to stick with your No. 1, even with a quality goaltender like Marc Andre Fleury behind him. “I know our guys understand the importance of the short-term focus and staying in the moment,” said Sullivan. “I think it’s arguably the most important for the goaltending positionRead More »

Rumors: Market heating up for Marc Andre Fleury?

 

Latest Penguins Rumors Marc Andre Fleury would have been traded at the 2017 deadline if the Penguins would have found a taker, multiple NHL sources contend despite the Penguins public stance they didn’t want to move him. The Penguins never received one trade offer during the 2017 regular season. That is about to change. Despite a tough goaltender market and most clubs leery of Fleury’s salary, signed for two more seasons with a $5.75 million cap hit, the Penguins have at least one option in play to move Fleury after the Stanley Cup Final, and two other clubs, while not all-in on pursuing Fleury, have engaged in talks with the Penguins recently and are mulling a run at trading for Fleury, sources tell TIOPS. Those clubs better move fast. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Vegas Golden Knights have held substantive talks on the framework of a deal that would clear significant cap space forRead More »

The Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3

 

4 PREDATORS – 1 PENGUINS The Nashville Predators have protected home-ice and the Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-3. Nashville’s 4-1 win in Game 4 of the Cup Final saw the Predators limit the Penguins to one goal for the second consecutive game. Pekka Rinne had the bounces going his way and turned aside 23 of 24 saves. This game was won in the second period in Game 3 and again in Game 4. Calle Jarnkrok opened the scoring at 14:51 of the first period but Sidney Crosby who was the best player on the ice, would even things up a 1:06 later. Ryan Ellis got caught in no mans land and Brian Dumoulin found a wide open Crosby for a breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1. It was just Crosby’s 2nd goal in his last 20 Stanley Cup Final games. A Penguins surge after Sidney Crosby’sRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: A first period of what might have been for the Penguins in blowout loss

 

Predators 5 – Penguins 1 (PIT Leads series, 2-1) Winning three straight Stanley Cup Final games is very difficult to do. Few should be shocked to see the Predators climb back in the series with a 5-1 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. For the Penguins they saw the Predators turn the tables on them. Jake Guentzel scored 2:46 into the game, his NHL leading 13th goal of the playoffs and the Penguins held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. A road game in the Stanley Cup Final against a team that was going to be pretty much fighting for their lives, you’ll take a lead after one in that atmosphere. Nashville, though, would breakthrough in the second period with goals 42 seconds apart from Roman Josi and Frederick Gaudreau to take their first lead of the game and a James Neal goal withRead More »

Rumors: Penguins plan to put the ball in Justin Schultz’ court immediately on whether he’s a Penguin next season

 

Penguins don’t plan to get backed into a corner on the Justin Schultz situation As Justin Schultz is two wins away from being a 2-time Stanley Cup Champion, will he be a Penguin in 2017-2018? It’s 50-50 at this point with some executives around the league believing the percentages are higher than 50% that Schultz is moved. As reported the other day, other NHL clubs see Schultz as the Penguins top off-season priority and not Marc Andre Fleury. Mainly from the standpoint that Pittsburgh seeks clarity before the frenzy starts. The growing sense is the Penguins are prepared to make a long-term offer in the coming days after the season ends and there’s not going to be much of a negotiation from where their number is going to be, per sources close to the situation. The Penguins will move fast to put the ball in Schultz court. Teams that haveRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: Great Goaltending and Quick Strike Offense sink Predators in Game 2

 

Penguins 4 – Predators 1 (PIT LEADS SERIES, 2-0) The Pittsburgh Penguins are two wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley Cup for the second consecutive season. Despite the Nashville Predators being the far superior team for the first 40 minutes, the Penguins got great goaltending from Matt Murray and then an offensive explosion seconds into the third period sunk the Predators in a Penguins 4-1 win on Wednesday night at the PPG Paints Arena. Turning Points? The Penguins were building something late in the second period and it carried over from the drop of the puck in the third. Jake Guentzel struck again 10 seconds into the period on a juicy rebound and the Penguins kept coming. Scott Wilson put the Penguins ahead 3-1 at 3:15 of the period and Evgeni Malkin brought the house down with a blistering shot on a 2-on-1 goal from the left circle 15 secondsRead More »

Stanley Cup Final: Breakouts, Predators closing speed & who’s under the microscope

 

Stanley Cup Final: Lucky or not Pens are 3 wins away In the Stanley Cup Final, it doesn’t matter how you get to four wins. The Penguins are three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup Final and the Predators are four wins away entering Wednesday’s Game 2. Pittsburgh might be the luckiest team in the NHL but they don’t put an asterisk next to the Stanley Cup if you’re deemed lucky. “They won the game. I’d rather be up 1-0,”Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “Just cuts down our opportunity to win four games.” To beat the Pittsburgh Penguins you can’t beat yourself and you have to be able to weather any storm for a particular short stretch they’re bound to take over a game. As great as Nashville was in Game 1, the combination of both above gave Pittsburgh an instance where they won a Stanley Cup Final gameRead More »