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 »

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 »

Penguins – Predators Fallout: Hornqvist best fit; Kunitz in perfect role; Fleury Talk


Penguins – Predators Fallout Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan had soured on using Patric Hornqvist on Sidney Crosby’s right wing for a while but with Evgeni Malkin out and the Crosby line regressing in driving possession with Bryan Rust at right wing, moving Hornqvist back to Crosby’s line paid dividends in a 4-2 win over the Predators. Hornqvist was in a comfort zone from the drop of the puck. With four goals in last four games, Hornqvist scored a 5 v 5 goal and added a power play goal, both goals within 15 feet, where Hornqvist has scored 90% of his goals this season. “He does what he does,” Mike Sullivan said. “He’s our north-south guy. He plays in the battle areas, he goes to the net. He scores greasy-type goals when he’s in tight.” Hornqvist starting to put the puck in the net has been a nice development. TheRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: 2018 Olympics, Goaltending Decisions; Penguins blueline Limitations


Latest NHL Buzz If the NHL doesn’t participate in the 2018 Olympics, league officials are more than confident there won’t be any kind of mass exodus among star players that would be a black eye for the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin is going to go and some Russians may follow him, Evgeni Malkin among them, but there’s no fear among Gary Bettman and his co-horts in the league office that prominent North American star players and faces of the league like Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane would go if the NHL wasn’t participating. In fact top league officials don’t believe there would be one North American player that would go. The Russian players going, the league doesn’t really care. This is the primary reason Gary Bettman is taking such a hard line on the NHL’s desire of not going to Olympics. If they feared a Sidney Crosby would be going that wouldRead More »

Top-5 Snubs from NHL-100 List


Top-5 Snubs from NHL-100 List #66 #10 #68 -Pittsburgh Penguins 1997 first line…..almost unstoppable 😀💪 — Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 29, 2017 The NHL-100 list was always going to have some snubs. Where the voting among the 58 member panel ended up was with too much weight towards the pre-1967 players, the 1970’s Montreal Canadiens dynasty went a bit overboard, and not enough weight towards players from the 1990’s-Present There’s just no way players 50 to 70 years ago are as good as players over the last 25 years where players are bigger, faster and stronger, not mention players over the last 20 years have faced a significantly higher level of goaltending compared to pre-1990 years that should have also been a consideration during the voting. There’s arguments that five to six more active players should have been included. The question is who should have been left off. SergeRead More »