Morning Pens Buzz: Offensively challenged Pens have game to build on; X’s & O’s; My take On Crosby Situation


Morning Pens Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped their sixth straight game, losing to the Washington Capitals 1-0 on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center. The Capitals got a 30-save shutout performance from goaltender Tomas Vokoun, and Jason Chimera scored 15:25 into the first period for the lone goal. Washington improved to 22-17-2, 46 pts on the season, while Pittsburgh fell to 21-17-4, 46pts, falling out of the top-8 in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins have embarked on their worst losing streak since Sidney Crosby’s rookie season, the 2005-2006 season when the franchise lost 10 straight in January 2006, and ended the season with the second worst record in the league. POSITIVES TO BUILD ON Unlike Tuesday night, this was a game that the offensively challenged Penguins can build on. The Penguins were much more aggressive, dictating the play at times and got to their game down low in the offensive zone,Read More »

Rehab process still in light exercise mode for Crosby


The Penguins remain pretty mum on Sidney Crosby and word at least coming from the organization today is that Crosby remains in a light exercise rehab stage. Head coach Dan Bylsma when asked about Crosby today, said Crosby is still doing light exercise. No other details were given by Bylsma. Crosby is not at the bad stage where he was last January and February when he couldn’t even attend video sessions due to symptoms, but progress remains very slow as all parties are taking an extremely cautious approach. Crosby last played on Dec 5 and the Penguins at the time felt this was just a little hiccup.

Monday Night Pens Buzz: Martin, Park on the mend but the same can’t be said for Crosby or Letang yet


The Pittsburgh Penguins returned from the holiday break today in preparations for Tuesday night’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes who were victorious tonight, defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on home ice. Brandon Sutter scored twice and Cam Ward made 23 saves to earn the win. Carolina took over the game in the second period, outshooting New Jersey, 13-2 and getting goals from Tuomo Ruutu and Anthony Stewart in the period. The Hurricanes (12-19-6, 30 pts) have won two straight and are 14th in the East with 30 points. Pittsburgh (20-11-4, 44 pts) enters Tuesday trailing the New York Rangers (22-8-4, 48 pts) by four points for the conference and division lead. New York shutout the Islanders 3-0 tonight, earning their 5th straight win. Latest Injury Buzz For the Penguins on the injury front, things are status quo as the Penguins remain mum on the status of Sidney Crosby andRead More »

Sunday’s Camp Analysis: Crosby showing progress; Neal’s transition to RW


Sunday’s Camp Observations & Buzz The biggest positive for the Penguins through two on-ice sessions is the progress of Sidney Crosby. Crosby for the second straight day went through another practice session, participating in all drills with his teammates. [instory] What was impressive today with Crosby was his ability in traffic and the way he battled. Crosby went hard in drills, going full exertion and of note even took several reps as a primary backchecker in a forecheck/backcheck drill mid-way through practice. “They were both all out, ” Crosby said on the exertion of today’s practice. Today was a little bit tougher because yesterday was the first day of going that hard and on back to back days.”

Pre-Camp Buzz: On Pens being more equipped w/o Crosby & banking on Malkin


Pre-Came Buzz *Hockey is back. Players report to camp Friday morning and will go through physicals/conditioning tests before Saturday’s first on-ice session. Sidney Crosby’s status remains unclear from a participation level in camp. The Penguins have remained mum on his status this week and it’s not clear yet whether Crosby or the team will address his status tomorrow morning. If Crosby is cleared to participate in camp, it’s expected to be on a limited basis and no contact. Onto some pressing issues and pre-camp buzz on the team: *Two things I took from Dan Bylsma’s comments at the team’s annual golf tournament on Wednesday;  He feels the team is more equipped and prepared to withstand an extended period without Crosby and he is very intrigued by the strong competion the Penguins will have at forward and on the blueline. Having months to prepare for the possibility that Crosby wouldn’t beRead More »

Camp Countdown: Neal, Cooke among Top 5 Storylines


The Pittsburgh Penguins report to training camp on Friday September 16th and here is a look at five storylines for the Penguins going into the 2011-2012 season: 1. Health of Sidney Crosby: The health of the games best player will not only be the Penguins top storyline but also the entire NHL. Crosby last played on January 5, 2011 and he’s endured a long recovery that has included headaches and symptoms following hard skates and workouts, recently as early as mid-August. Going into training camp, the mystery still remains when Crosby will play again. Although some progress is starting to be made in his rehab process, Crosby’s return to action is still likely a ways away and it would be a big surprise if he was ready to go at any point in early October when the Penguins open the season. The Penguins, Crosby and all parties involved contend to beRead More »

Morning Penguins Buzz: Cooke will be a top storyline; On talk of Crosby being distant from team


Latest Penguins Buzz One of the biggest storylines going into the season, of course aside from Sidney Crosby, will be whether Matt Cooke can actually transform his game and remain a productive player. Cooke who recently sat down with the Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi for an exclusive interview, said in the interview that he will only hit the “right way” and there will be no more elbows, no more blindside shots and no more of the hits that have garnered him the reputation as the NHL’s dirtiest player. The interview also focused on the major scare Cooke had in his personal life when his wife Michelle fell ill a day after the Winter Classic and was believed to be on her death bed four days later on January 6, 2011. “I get a hold of a doctor, and he says, ‘I think you should come back right now,’ ” Cooke whoRead More »

Latest Penguins Buzz: Malkin at wing or center impacts several players on depth chart


The Latest Penguins Buzz Staal to wing talk *Don’t buy into any talk out there of Jordan Staal getting an extended look at wing in training camp. I’m told there are no plans to explore a possible move to wing for Staal. His spot in the lineup will be in his normal third line center role or 2nd line center spot with Malkin at wing. Bylsma hints at Malkin to wing again *The Penguins remain very intrigued about the Staal/Malkin experiment that never got to happen last season. Dan Bylsma again last week referred to Evgeni Malkin as playing wing, via Tribune-Review. Although expectations are eventually that the Penguins are going to end up with their normal three center model when it’s all said and done, the Staal (center)/ Malkin (wing) experiment is going to get an extended look, likely starting in training camp and very early into next season.Read More »

Crosby to resume workouts back home in Nova Scotia


It appears Penguins center Sidney Crosby will go through a normal summer workout routine in the hopes of being healthy for the start of training camp. Crosby who is still recovering from two concussions he suffered in January, has received clearance from Dr. Michael Collins of UPMC to resume workouts. Crosby who was in town shortly this week to visit with his team of doctors after vacationing for several weeks, is back home in Nova Scotia where he will conduct most of his summer routine. Expectations are Crosby will not skate for at least another 4-6 weeks as he normally doesn’t begin on-ice workouts until early August. Following Crosby’s setback in April and the Penguins ouster in the first round, the plan has been for Crosby to get away and not resume workouts until June. The team remains hopeful he will be healthy for the start of training camp inRead More »