Game 3: Minus Crosby, Penguins show great resolve and compete level in OT Loss


Capitals 3 – Penguins 2 “Thought it was really a hockey play. Unfortunate Sid got injured.” — Capitals coach Barry Trotz “It wasn’t intentional.” — Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen Game 3 Fallout The Pittsburgh Penguins minus Sidney Crosby who exited Game 3 in the first period on a hit from Matt Niskanen, dropped Game 3 with a 3-2 overtime loss and if there’s anything of a moral victory in the playoffs, the Penguins got it. If the Penguins are without Crosby for Game 4 or multiple games in the series, the Capitals will be in for a rude awakening if they think the Penguins are going to fold and roll cover. That group inside the room remains confident they can still get the job done, with or without Crosby. Even if the Penguins didn’t have the epic comeback in the final 1:53 of regulation with 6-on-5 goals from Evgeni MalkinRead More »

Game 3 Series Buzz: Jobs on the line tonight for Washington


Game 3 Pre-Game Are jobs on the line tonight for Washington? If they lose in Game 3 to go down 0-3 that leads to a quick exit, how can the team bring Barry Trotz back? He was brought in to get the Capitals over the hump in the playoffs and this would be three straight years of not advancing past the second round. A round 2 exit and a lot of eyes would also be on the center position with Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov in that the Capitals have to do something and move one of them. Year after year Backstrom and Kuznetsov are getting outplayed in the playoffs from Derek Stepan and the Rangers to Pittsburgh last post-season and the Penguins again through two games. — One former NHL assistant coach on Barry Trotz pulling Braden Holtby in Game 2. “He punted the game,” the coach said ofRead More »

TIOPS Latest NHL Buzz: Sabres GM Search; Active Summer for Devils; FLA eyeing Pens assistant coach?


Latest NHL Buzz *Rumblings, Musings & Opinions* Shero to be active this summer The New Jersey Devils winning the draft lottery is only going to add to what’s going to be an a likely big summer in Jersey. Ownership there has given Shero the go-ahead to be aggressive and spend this summer to start competing quickly in a daunting Metropolitan Division. On the trade market, the Devils are already trying to make a play for Jonathan Drouin who the Lightning are putting out there in trade talks again and the chatter for months has been that Shero and his staff are prepared to throw big bucks at Kevin Shattenkirk who has been a major disappointment in Washington. Another name scouts, executives say the Devils will be all over? Pittsburgh’s Then there’s the question whether Ilya Kovalchuk returns to the Devils or works out a sign and trade to be dealt toRead More »

Game 2 Fallout: Capitals tettering on brink of an implosion or a break-through?


Game 2 Fallout: Penguins – Capitals The numbers say the Penguins are really lucky right now and the Capitals are very unlucky as Pittsburgh has taken a 2-0 series lead following a 6-2 win in Game 2. Lucky or not, what matters is the Penguins are up 2-0 and now have home-ice as the series shifts to Pittsburgh. Caps had 30 5v5 shot attempts in the first. The Peng all game? 34. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #PITvsWSH — (@HockeyStatsCa) April 30, 2017 The Penguins were out-attempted 88-45 Game 2 and have now been out-attempted 171 to 86, yet, have outscored the Capitals 9-4. Pittsburgh improving to 6-1 in the playoffs, continue to prove you’re going to need more than just carrying the play to beat them. What the Penguins continue to do despite giving up a ton of attempts, is limit the high danger chances and at the other endRead More »

Penguins – Capitals: How the Penguins Stole Game 1


Penguins Steal Game 1 “To steal a game in their rink and kind of effectively get home ice back in the series, I think that’s huge.” — Penguins center Nick Bonino The Pittsburgh Penguins escaped Game 1 with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals despite all the numbers saying this should have been a blow out in Washington’s favor. The eye test also says this was a bad performance by the Penguins, outside of a few players. Washington out-attempted Pittsburgh 83-41, was +21 in scoring chances, +14 in shots (35-21) +6 in high danger chances (13-7) and carried the play for significant portions over the final two periods. Yet, the Penguins did what the Penguins do in putting one more puck in the back of the net than the opposition. Timely goals and goaltending propelled the Penguins to a 1-0 series lead. It’s a recipe the Penguins will haveRead More »

Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally be exposed in Round 2?


Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally haunt them in Round 2? As discussed the other day, the Washington Capitals on paper are more equipped to match up with the Penguins than they were last season and when you factor in the Penguins injury situation with players who were so valuable to Pittsburgh winning last postseason, there’s no excuses for the Capitals not to get the job done and finally breakthrough vs Pittsburgh. The fascinating thing to watch in this series will be whether those areas the Penguins high-end talent has been able to cover up over the last month or so finally comes to an end.  The Penguins possession numbers have been average for a long-stretch now but it hasn’t had much of an impact because of Pittsburgh’s ability to create high danger chances near an elite level. Pittsburgh was at 46% in driving possession vs theRead More »

Sabres GM Search: Bill Guerin on the rise as a top GM candidate


Bill Guerin emerges on Sabres short-list Since becoming owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, Terry Pegula is widely known to let his close friends influence hirings that have back fired. This time around Pegula is taking a different approach. He’s begun relying on other NHL owners and long-time establish NHL folks to do a proper landscape of the NHL GM scene. While there’s lots of talk Pegula will go the re-tread veteran GM route and Pegula himself admitted he’s looking for experience, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin has emerged on Pegula’s short-list and was one of the first interviews conducted by the Sabres. NHL sources say Pegula’s short-list of GM candidates is coming from a wide net of NHL executives he has reached out to. Guerin whose stock has been rising throughout the NHL as a top GM candidate due to a reputation developing of being a greatRead More »

Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper?


Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper? For Penguins – Capitals, when you breakdown a lot of areas between the two clubs, the Capitals enter Round 2 as the favorite but as the series begins Thursday night in D.C., there is certainly a pause surrounding who is the favorite in the series. Washington has the goaltending edge, they have the better personnel on the blueline, a better power play and they draw more penalties. Pittsburgh has the edge at forward and also have that special championship mystique about them that makes them such a daunting task to beat four out of seven times. Not only are the Penguins defending champions, there is that history thing backing them where they have won eight of the nine all-time series between the clubs. All of the pressure is on the Capitals this series. Pittsburgh won that coveted second Stanley Cup of the Crosby eraRead More »