Penguins mulling roster moves this week before Feb. 12 roster freeze

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are mulling one or two roster moves, that could involve Martin Skoula or Jay McKee, according to sources. With the roster freeze on February 12 and Pittsburgh off until Saturday, the team has been active looking to make a few tweaks this week, although nothing significant is expected. As of late last night, the team had discussed a potential waiver claim of Ducks defenseman Nick Boynton. The Penguins expressed interest in Boynton last summer but the Penguins don’t like Boynton’s salary, which makes a waiver claim unlikely. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has held preliminary trade talks with the Phoenix Coyotes regarding young forward Peter Mueller. Phoenix is eyeing a targeted roster player and an NHL ready prospect. Other known teams expressing interest include the Canucks, Rangers, Sabres and reportedly the Boston Bruins have been in on Mueller. However a holdup in talks with Pittsburgh has been the inability toRead More »

NHL: Los Angeles & Minnesota interested in Fedotenko?

 

Kaberle on the radar of Rangers, Wild, Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke will begin the process of listening to offers for defenseman Tomas Kaberle and once again Kaberle will be highly coveted. Whether he gets traded though remains to be seen due to his NTC. Among the early suitors, Kaberle is at the top of the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals wishlist. Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has also been coveting Kaberle since the 2009 NHL entry draft but Kaberle nixed a potential deal to Minnesota last summer and will likely do the same again this winter. Burke is looking to sell high on Kaberle who has 35 points in 40 games this season. The asking price begins at a first round pick. Kaberle has one year remaining on his contract at $4.25 million. Bruins targeting top-6 winger Heading into the new year, the Boston BruinsRead More »

Game 40: Fedotenko demoted to the 4th line; Kennedy to return to lineup

 

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has not been happy with the production of his top-2 line wingers. Bill Guerin is the only consistent winger the Penguins have had all season playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Yesterday in practice, Michael Rupp skated with Sidney Crosby while Ruslan Fedotenko took line rushes on the third and fourth line. More changes are instore tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. This morning Chris Kunitz returned to the ice after missing yesterday’s skate and will play on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis tonight. Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin will center Michael Rupp and Bill Guerin on the second line. Dan Bylsma sent a message on Sunday scratching Tyler Kennedy and Bylsma is considering another change tonight.

Power Play delivers in over-time; Team USA Buzz

 

Malkin, Fedotenko end scoring droughts Pittsburgh’s struggling power play went 0-for-5 in regulation Saturday night but delivered with a rare big goal in overtime as Evgeni Malkin (9) scored just 37 seconds into over-time on the man advantage as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 at Mellon Arena. Thirty seconds into overtime, Jordan Leopold was called for holding and Sergei Gonchar set up Malkin for a one-timer from the high slot who blew it past Tomas Voukon. Malkin’s OT tally was his first goal in 6 games. Pascal Dupuis (9) and Ruslan Fedotenko (5) also scored for Pittsburgh. Fedotenko put the Penguins up 2-1 in the second period, driving to the net and Evgeni Malkin found him wide open in front of Voukon for a tap in goal. It was Fedotenko’s first goal in 14 games as the struggling winger is on pace for a 12 goal season.Read More »

Wednesday Practice Report: Frustrations brewing over power play struggles

 

Bylsma taking responsibility for struggles Southpointe _ The Pittsburgh Penguins rank 28th in the league on the power play and any fans hoping for the Penguins to fire assistant coach Mike Yeo is wishful thinking. It’s not going to happen. On Wednesday the power play was an area of focus and head coach Dan Bylsma is taking responsibility for the teams struggles on the man-advantage. To blame Mike Yeo is taking the easy way out. Dan Bylsma over see’s the entire power play and is in on every personnel decision, formations, ect. The situation is nothing like the NFL where the offensive coordinator over see’s the entire offense while the head coach does not have as much involvement. Dan Bylsma made it clear on Tuesday that Mike Yeo is going nowhere and the power play won’t be given to assistant coach Tony Granato. While Bylsma continues to put the powerRead More »

Colorado @ Pittsburgh pre-game buzz; Goligoski out; Hejduk (GTD)

 

Colorado (15-8-6) @ Pittsburgh (19-9-0) The Colorado Avalanche have been the surprise of the NHL, jumping out to a 15-8-6 record. Many NHL pundits predicted a rebuilding year for the Av’s. The Av’s hot start has them one point out of first place in the Northwest division but Colorado has a lot to prove moving forward. Colorado’s play in the month of December could tell which direction their season will go. The Avalanche are already showing signs of slowing down in the midst of a 3-4-3 stretch. The Avalanche face a big test tonight against the Stanley Cup champions, coming off of a 6-5 loss to the Florida Panthers Wednesday night. The Avalanche are led by forward Paul Stastny (30 pts). Stastny is among the games top playmakers but could be without linemate Milan Hejduk (11 goals) tonight. Hejduk did not play Wednesday night and will be a game timeRead More »

NHL: Penguins shopping Ruslan Fedotenko?

 

With a 19-9 record through 28 games, Penguins management has no intentions of messing with team chemistry but a league source tells me, Pittsburgh is shopping winger Ruslan Fedotenko for at least a mid-round draft pick. Fedotenko, 30, is a free agent at seasons end and has four goals on the season along with a team worst -5 plus/minus rating. Pittsburgh has their eye on trying to get something for Fedotenko and also open up a spot on the top two lines for top prospect Luca Caputi after the new year or give them an additional draft pick for the trade deadline. Pittsburgh is believed to be in the early process of seeing what kind of market is out there for Fedotenko.

Players not using “injuries” as a good excuse for recent stretch of losing

 

I’m not sure why everyone is so upset about the Penguins most recent loss. It was a 4-1 defeat to New Jersey at home Thursday night. They barely avoided a third straight shutout defeat. It was their fourth loss in a row. And the players held a closed door meeting afterwards. But it was actually a good night. After all, nobody else got hurt! By recent standards, that’s a major victory. Of late, getting through a game unscathed has been rare for Pittsburgh. Over the past four weeks, the Penguins have lost Tyler Kennedy, Sergei Gonchar, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, and Brooks Orpik. Throw in Max Talbot (who has yet to play this year due to off season shoulder surgery) and that’s 1/3 of their regular skating roster from the playoffs last year. Compound those injuries with the off-season departures of Petr Sykora, Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, and Mathieu GaronRead More »

Post-Game Notebook: Kings No. 1 line proving to be elite

 

Post-Game Notebook Kings No. 1 line vs Penguins No. 1 Line Being the home team and having the last change, Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray took the opportunity to match his No. 1 line of Ryan Smyth – Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams against Pittsburgh’s top line of Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin. The Kings top line held their own as Kopitar netted two goals and held Sidney Crosby pointless for the third straight game. Head coach Terry Murray talked after the game how he’s looking for his top line to be elite. “We’re looking for that line to be an elite line in the game,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. “When you have that kind of expectation on you from a coaching staff, then there is a need to respond, and I’m seeing a more consistent effort that shows Kopitar wants to be thatRead More »

Johnson to start against Florida; Skoula – McKee pairing?

 

*The 8-1 Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice this morning and went through a 90 minute workout today and there will be a few lineup changes when the Penguins host the Florida Panthers friday night. Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will get a night off and backup Brent Johnson will get the start against the struggling Panthers. Fleury (8-0) will start Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. *All eyes will be on defenseman Martin Skoula tomorrow night who will replace star defenseman Sergei Gonchar in the lineup. Skoula was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche in 1998 and when he first entered the NHL, Skoula was regarded as having the potential to being an elite defenseman. Some scouts even described him as a future Nicklas Lidstrom. Skoula never matched those high expectations and the past two seasons were difficult ones for him. Skoula was a team worstRead More »