Morning Tidbits: Struggles on the PK in the playoffs, date back to last post-season

 

Some Pre-Morning Skate Tidbits *Penguins take the ice this morning at 11:30 a.m. The buzz right now is Eric Tangradi will replace Chris Kunitz in the lineup tonight but nothing definite at this point. Comrie is next up on the depth chart but Tangradi gives the Penguins more versatility with their lineup. *The Penguins vaunted penalty kill unit has had few answers for the Lightning, most notably Marty St. Louis who has 3 power play goals in the series. The Lightning are 4-for-11 on the power play in the series. In the post-season, Penguins struggles on the PK date back to the 2010 playoffs. Since the 2010 post-season, Pittsburgh has given up 16 power play goals on 54 chances, a span of 16 post-season games. Pittsburgh is 63.1% on the PK in their first round series with Tampa. *An under-rated part of the Penguins play through three games has beenRead More »

Penguins expecting Adjustments from Tampa

 

PITTSBURGH — The sense from the Lightning players is that Game 1 was a more balanced game than some in the media are letting on. Even Penguins forward Max Talbot pointed that out on Thursday as Talbot said if the Lightning were to get that first goal early on it would have been a much different game. “There were enough scoring chances,” Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “We know we’re encountering an amazing goaltender, who can win a game by himself. But we also know there’s a lot of instances where our guys weren’t in the right place to make something happen.” Lightning forward Dominic Moore celebrating what he thought was a first period goal when the puck was laying right in front of the net is one of those instances Boucher was likely pointing out as guys not being in the right place. Going into game 2, aRead More »

Reasons to fear the Lightning

 

Why to Fear the Lightning I just gave my series prediction and this is a series where it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it goes either way. They are several reasons Penguin fans should fear the Lightning in this series: 1. Streaking Stars: Other than Steven Stamkos who has 6 goals in his last 30 games, just about every top-6 forward on this team is going into the playoffs playing their best hockey of the season. Marty St. Louis who led the Lightning with 99 points this season, second in the NHL, along with a career-high 68 assists, enters the playoffs on a 9 game points streak, collecting 14 points during that span. Vincent Lecavalier who is showing signs of returning to his former elite status, has points in 10 of his last 11 games, collecting 14 points during that span. He’s one of the players who could be a trueRead More »

Penguins to face Tampa Bay in Round 1

 

The Penguins on Saturday night learned that they will enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and face the Tampa Bay Lightning in round 1. The teams have split the season series, with each team winning twice in their own building. The playoffs will start on Wednesday or Thursday. Details are still being worked out as the St. Pete Times Forum is not available this weekend. The Consol Energy Center is also booked for Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Power are scheduled to play. Tampa Bay and Buffalo are only teams in the top 8 that the Penguins have beaten at home this season. The Philadelphia Flyers clinched the Atlantic Division and No. 2 seed with a 7-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Flyers will face the Buffalo Sabres in round 1.

NHL RUMORS MONDAY: Latest Buzz around the league

 

With the Trade Deadline two weeks away, here’s the latest buzz around the league for Monday, February 14th– Forsberg calls it quits: Petr Forsberg’s comeback has lasted just two games. The Brett Favre of hockey will announce his retirement today. Bruins see opportunity in East: With the Pittsburgh Penguins depleted by injuries and likely to take a step back this season, even if Sidney Crosby returns, Contenders in the East are said to be seeing a prime opportunity in front of themselves. The Boston Bruins are believed to be one of those teams. The Bruins are actively seeking a puck moving defenseman with Tomas Kaberle at the top of their radar and they could also explore making a splash. The Boston Globe reports the Bruins are willing to move “Toronto’s “1st round pick but only for two players. According to the report they will only surrender their 1st rounder forRead More »

NHL: Source: Granato on the Thrashers radar

 

Sunday’s NHL Rumor Mill The growing consensus last summer is that the Los Angeles Kings over-paid for defenseman Rob Scuderi who signed a 4 year deal worth $3.4 million per season. Nearly a year later, good luck finding a member of the Kings organization who believes that now.  Scuderi has drawn rave reviews from the Kings organization and they believe he has been worth every penny as others now do. The Kings enter the off-season just a move or two away from making the jump among the elite teams in the West. Kevin Allen of the USA Today wrote weeks ago that “there is an expectation that the Kings will make a big splash in the free-agent marketplace.” The two big names being mentioned from the likes of Allen and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Marleau. There are doubts that the Kings will meet Kovalchuk’s demandsRead More »

Penguins snap two game losing streak, beat Lightning 2-1

 

Penguins snap losing streak Pascal Dupuis (17) and Sergei Gonchar (10) each scored third period goals and Marc Andre Fleury made 21 saves leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday afternoon. The win snapped Pittsburgh’s two game road losing streak and Pittsburgh improved to 22-6-3 in one goal games. Pittsburgh dodged a bullet early in the game when Lightning winger Steve Downie took out Sidney Crosby’s knee’s and Crosby immediately went down awkwardly and was in serious pain.

Some players around the league including Cooke’s teammates feel he should have been suspended

 

The National Hockey League opting not to suspend Matt Cooke has drew plenty of criticism around the league from the media and inside the locker rooms around the league. The vibe coming out of the Penguins locker room is that the majority of players didn’t agree with Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard. and according to team insiders, the growing consensus from Cooke’s teammates is that he should have been suspended. Many players have kept their comments to themselves but veteran Billy Guerin was very blunt in saying that players need to pay the price for their actions. “If a guy gets hurt like that with a shot to the head, there’s got to be something,” Penguins winger Billy Guerin said today. “Actions happen. Guys don’t mean to hurt each other, but they do. You got to pay a price for that.” Guerin added, “we’re all under the same umbrella, whetherRead More »