Post-Philadelphia Reactions & Observations In a game that was a special teams battle, Sergei Gonchar, Matt Cooke each scored power play goals, leading Pittsburgh to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon at the Wachovia Center Pittsburgh went 2-for-8 on the power play but delivered in crunch time as Cooke scored the winner with less than two minutes left in the game when he deflected a Sergei Gonchar slap shot past Flyers goaltender Ray Emery. Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timmonen was called for a delay of game penalty at 16:50 of the third period. Both teams were undisciplined and Pittsburgh was excellent on the penalty kill as the Flyers went 1-for-9 on the power play. Pittsburgh was aggressive and forced the Flyers to the outside all afternoon. Pittsburgh success on the penalty kill under assistant coach Tony Granato has been all about having their “sticks in the passingRead More »
Penguins news and notes As noted earlier, Nick Johnson and Dustin Jeffrey were re-assigned this morning to Wilkes Barre/Scranton. Although Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis are progressing, the plan to re-assign Johnson or Jeffrey was due to management wanting both players to suit up for Wilkes Barre tonight. That was the plan regardless of Dupuis or Talbot’s status. *Forward Pascal Dupuis does not have any structural damage to his upper cheekbones or right eye after being hit from behind by Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton Tuesday night. Dupuis eye was swollen shut for over 48 hours and he would not be playing if the Penguins played tonight. The same for Max Talbot who skated today with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar and was somewhat limited but is improving. The Penguins as a team did not practice. Talbot is regarded as probable to play Sunday afternoon against Philadelphia. Contract Talks: While Pittsburgh’sRead More »
SouthPointe_ The Pittsburgh Penguins returned to the ice tonight after a two day break. Unlike other professional sports, the NHL shuts down on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some players stayed in Pittsburgh while others went back home like Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh got back to work just after 6:00 p.m., going through a hard 65 minute skate. All players were accounted for, including defenseman Mark Eaton (right knee). Eaton participated fully after missing the past two games with a right knee injury. Eaton suffered a right knee injury against Buffalo (12/19/09) and the Penguins decided to shut him down until after Christmas. He will be evaluated by team doctors prior to Sunday’s morning skate. He is regarded as questionable for tomorrow’s game. In other injury news, winger Chris Kunitz was bothered by a nagging knee injury Wednesday night, which limited his ice time against Ottawa in the third period.
12-15-09 – Philadelphia at Penguins PP#1 – The Penguins’ brand-new power-play alignment showed more precision and organization in its first minute than the prior model showed in the previous 10 games…until Evgeni Malkin passed the puck out of the zone before the Pens got a shot off, that is. But before the man-advantage expired, the Penguins scored: Sidney Crosby netting the rebound of a fluky bounce that had zilch to do with precision and organization. The new PP was 1-for-1. Don’t minimize that goal. If the new PP has luck and nothing else going for it, that’s one more positive quality than the preceding version. PP#2 – The Penguins got their second power play of the evening at 9:59 of the second period, killing three of their own penalties in the interim. The Flyers came to play hockey, but the Pens kept gooning it up. The Penguins got four shotsRead More »
There are many reasons the Penguins have jumped out to a 22-10-1 start through 33 games. Marc Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby to name a few but what has really fueled the Penguins hot start is the play of their role players. A stunning stat is projected 3rd and 4th liners Michael Rupp and Pascal Dupuis are tied for second on the team with 9 goals each. In fact, Rupp and Dupuis have combined for more goals than top-6 forwards Ruslan Fedotenko (5), Bill Guerin (7) and Chris Kunitz (3) have combined for. In evaluating this team through 30+ games, Pittsburgh has a much stronger core of secondary wingers (Cooke, Dupuis, Kennedy, Rupp, Talbot) than actual top line wingers. Pittsburgh has found ways to keep winning with a subpar power play after ranking 20th in 2008-2009 and currently 29th. They will continue to do so, at least until the playoffs. However,Read More »
Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke has been suspended two games for a hit to the head of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov in Saturday nights game. Cooke was awarded a two minute minor. Cooke learned of his fate this afternoon when he had a conference call with the NHL before the Penguins departed for New York. Cooke, also suspended for two games in January, is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Because of that, he forfeited $29,268 in salary based on the number of games (82) in a season, rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The New York Islanders in the playoff hunt near the end of the November? That hasn’t been the case too often for the struggling franchise this decade but the Islanders continue to be a tough out and improved their record to 10-9-7, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Friday afternoon. New York overcame a 2-1 third period deficit, as Sean Bergenheim tied the game, a 1:24 into the period and rookie sensation John Tavares scored on a rebound with 6:12 left in the third period to lift the Islanders to a 3-2 win. Although the Penguins held a 2-1 lead after the second period, the Islanders controlled the play, out-shooting the Penguins 37-21. Pittsburgh was flat for most of the afternoon but managed to jump out to a 2-1 lead going into the third period after two blunders from Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson (19 saves) who gave up suspect goals toRead More »
Missing four of its top six defensemen, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their second straight game Monday night beating the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Matt Cooke scored two goals and Bill Guerin ended Pittsburgh’s eight game streak without a power-play goal, scoring a power play goal at 5:13 of the first period. Jordan Staal and Martin Skoula also added goals for Pittsburgh. Skoula’s third period tally was his 1st goal in a Penguins uniform. Marc Andre Fleury made 23 saves to record his 11th win of the season. Pittsburgh controlled the play early and often as the woes continue for the Anaheim Ducks who have lost 10 of 13 games. Anaheim came into the season with expectations of contending for a Stanley Cup but it’s been a struggle for the Ducks. They have the look of a team that doesn’t have a direction. The Ducks no longer have a punishing blueline andRead More »
*League officials are highly optimistic based on early projections and season ticket renewals that the salary cap will remain in the $56.8 million range or even increase for the 2010-2011 season. There doesn‘t appear to be any concern about the cap decreasing $6-$7 million which was once feared. As we mentioned on October 1st, contact talks with J.P. Barry the agent for Sergei Gonchar have been put on hold until mid-season as both sides will wait to see where the salary cap will be. This is good news for the Penguins and other teams around the league. Biron on the Blackhawks radar? *The issue in Chicago is that they have no one to push goaltender Cristobal Huet who has struggled mightily. Huet has a nightmare contract for an unproven #1 goaltender to begin with but the threat of Antti Niemi playing does nothing. *With Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro close toRead More »