Penguins’ more structured team game standing out for a potential Pens – Caps series

 

Favorites in the East Division? The Washington Capitals have a roster that just looks built for the playoffs. A big, heavy hockey club that will wear the opposition down over a seven game series. More and more, though, the Capitals look like they have a matchup problem when it comes to dealing with the Penguins. Under Peter Laviolette this looks like a Capitals coached team like it was under Todd Reirden. A good to very good team at times that has too many lulls in the attention to details. Where as in Pittsburgh, the play away from the puck has gone to new heights. Playing with speed can be overrated. The Penguins right now, though, look like a Barry Trotz coached team in how structured they’ve become and there’s some signs of being an elite hockey team in how they’ve evolved into a speed/structured type team. The pace the PenguinsRead More »

The $9 Million man in 2022?

 

— The Pittsburgh Steelers this week inked Mason Rudolph to a one year extension that keeps him under contract through the 2022 season. The significance if any? He’ll receive a salary of $5 million in 2022 with incentives that could make the contract worth $9 million per season. Long, long way to go but there is a belief from Rudolph camp based on their conversations with the Steelers brass that the Steelers have all intentions of giving Rudolph a flier as the QB1 in 2022–

Latest Pens Buzz & Rumblings

 

Latest Pens Buzz — Mike Sullivan conducted the greatest coaching job in Penguins history during the 2016 Stanley Cup run. Regardless of how much damage the Penguins do or don’t do in the 2021 playoffs, this season from March 1st on, has been the second best coaching job of his tenure. The 2016 run was majorly coach driven, while the 2017 run was just the perfect storm, from the goaltending combo, to favorable matchups, to at the end of the day, just a championship ‘will to win’ mentality the group had. Point is the 2017 Stanley Cup wasn’t the type of dominant system like play that overwhelmed teams in 2016. Aside from job security Sullivan had due to his contract, at the time of the General Manager change, there were a ton of doubters even among Mike Sullivan’s biggest supporters in the organization that he could get this team toRead More »

Latest Pens Trade Deadline Buzz: Brass willing to go off board for one particular rental Forward?

 

Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz Prior to the last two debacles defensively in losses to the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, the Pittsburgh Penguins have surged with a depleted lineup due to finding an identity as a hockey club: Playing with structure in all three zones, excelling with their play away from the puck to levels that haven’t been seen in quite a few years, to just playing a smart brand of hockey in critical areas of the ice that have hidden deficiencies with the personnel. There’s been a near 100% buy-in from even some of the most reckless players in their lineup. Injuries or not, what’s fascinating with this club is whether they are a group that’s been underestimated. With the East Division not as daunting as it looked that it might be, they probably have been a bit underestimated. Among the top teams, there’s not one teamRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On Big Weekend Wins, Dumoulin/Rust Future tied to 87’s & Malkin/Kapanen Connection

 

Penguins Big Weekend A week ago Mike Sullivan was disgusted with his clubs’ level of inconsistent play following a shutout loss to the New York Islanders. Fast forward seven days and after winning three of four in taking six out of possible eight points in wins against the Flyers and Rangers, the mood has certainly changed. Sunday’s 5-1 win Sunday night over the New York Rangers that included five different goal scorers and 12 different players recording points, saw Sullivan signing a much different tune. “I like the traction our team is getting here of late,” said Sullivan after the Penguins produced one of their most convincing wins of the season despite another poor start. President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke was on-record this week saying the Penguins have to change their ways of giving up the first goal and that your not going to win games that way. MaybeRead More »

Pittsburgh’s debacle Thursday Night further highlighted the challenging areas of playing a complete game

 

60 Minute Game? Pittsburgh’s struggles below the dots at both ends of the ice Little was learned from the Penguins 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday that saw the Penguins collapse after leading 3-0 just 3:57 into the game after three goals in a 71 second span. What the loss did was just further highlight glaring issues with this hockey club that isn’t just going to magically go away. 1. A growing theme is how much of a monumental challenge it is for the Penguins to put together a 60 minute game. “We just didn’t play the game hard enough or smart enough for the majority of the game. When you get up that early in games, you’ve got to continue to play hard. You’ve got to continue to do the things that brought you success.” — Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan on Thursday’s 4-3 Loss to the FlyersRead More »

Key Factors from the Penguins 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers & More Buzz

 

Key Factors from the Penguins 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers 1. Tristan Jarry’s 40 Save Performance — Jarry was outstanding with a 40 save effort in the win. There was no bigger factor than the Penguins earning the two points. Where Jarry won this game for Pittsburgh was in the first period. The Penguins had an egregious start to the game. Two minor penalties in the first 3:57 of game, they survived both early penalties, but it was all Flyers in period one. Pittsburgh had zero rhythm in the first 20 minutes and were outshot 14-5 in the first frame. If Jarry was off his game just a little, Pittsburgh could have been ran out of the building before the second period as the game had a real chance of getting away from them. Jarry stood tall in every facet of the night. 2. Kasperi Kapanen’s Game Breaking PerformanceRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: On Sidney Crosby, Mike Vellucci’s Future, Kasperi Kapanen & More Buzz

 

No Crosby, No Problem? Geno has fans in the building tonight!!!……..And there’s No Sidney Crosby…… Who knows, maybe Malkin has one night where he turns back the clock vs the Philadelphia Flyers. On a serious note, the Penguins have shown in the past to galvanize for a stretch around an injury or absence to a big star, so we’ll see whether history repeats itself. As the Penguins today placed Sidney Crosby on the covid-19 list, the team is mum whether Crosby has Covid or it’s a close contact situation. At the minimum he’s out tonight. “We can do all the right things and this could happen,” said head coach Mike Sullivan. “There are protocols put in place for a reason.” Mark Jankowski remains out and day-to-day, while Tristan Jarry will start in goal. 20 GAMES IN………… 20 Games into the season for the Penguins and the East Division is playingRead More »

Buying stock In four more years of Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin?

 

Sidney Crosby’s Night Saturday night was a celebration of Sidney Crosby as the Penguins captain became to the first player in team history to hit the 1,000 game milestone in a Penguins uniform. Crosby is a special player, all-time Great, who is most importantly just a special human being. A beloved figure by so many who is a rare superstar on the ice on how he meets and exceeds expectations and off the ice in how he conducts himself. Many of Crosby’s teammates were below the line with their level of play in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Islanders, but this team again was able find away to get a ‘W’ with a subpar performance. And at the end of the day, a Sidney Crosby led team will more likely than not find a way to snatch one of the four playoff spots in the East Division. —One of theRead More »

Quietly monitoring QB trade market, are Steelers reversing course on going all-in on Big Ben in 2021

 

Ben Roethlisberger said all the right things a few weeks ago in that he’ll do whatever the Steelers need him to do to make the cap work. More likely than not, it just Ben talking to look good. But, restructuring and kicking it down the road isn’t Ben Roethlisberger being a company man and taking a pay cut. Not one word has come out of the agents mouth that Ben taking anything less than the $19 million Ben is owed in 2021 is going to happen. Everything the agent said was “RESTRUCTURE”, yet, many took the comments as Ben being willing to take a paycut. In a reversal from a couple weeks ago, though, the Steelers have gone from being all-in on another run with Ben Roethlisberger to taking on the $22 million dead cap hit (release) now being a strong consideration. The odds of Ben returning has gone fromRead More »