Penguins overwhelmed in 1-on-1 battles in loss to Canes: The scoreboard made the game close, a Penguins 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night and if they want the Penguins again can hang their hat on, they were missing the likes of Kris Letang, Jeff Petry and Marcus Pettersson. The Penguins, though, still iced quite a talented group upfront and the takeaway from the loss is a Carolina team just being on a different level when it comes to winning 1-on-1 battles and systematic play. Pittsburgh was blown out of the rink in that area. Time will tell if Carolina can get it done in the post-season but that’s a team with few passengers that attacks the opposition with speed, physicality and strong system play. It’s a game the Penguins just can’t match and don’t want to some nights.

Good News on the Schedule front? Home vs the lowly Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night, followed by a home and home series vs the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh has to take advantage of a weak schedule this coming week and come out of those games at worst 2-1.

Next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks will be Rick Tocchet or Mike Vellucci? A coaching change is eventually coming in Vancouver and there’s Pittsburgh connections to whether an in-season move happens or the Canucks wait to make a coaching change in the summer. Multiple NHL sources say the ideal situation with former Penguins GM Jim Rutherford had been to let Bruce Boudreau coach the season out to appease his owner with Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci a strong favorite to get the job next season. Vellucci who came close to getting the Blue Jackets job and the Coyotes job the last two seasons is a rising candidate around the league that has very close ties to Rutherford. The Canucks situation, though, has accelerated To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!