Brooks Orpik

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Peaking at the Proper Time; The Penguins Paradox of Finding Health and Consistent Play

Mediocrity, it is certainly one way to describe the Penguins play of late.

Their wins can be broken down into simply taking advantage of what is in front of you, while their losses have come from little effort and lack of dictating play. Some claim it is the toll of so many injuries finally taking its toll on the team, others quote from the book of a post Olympic slump, but either way the team is not improving.

Or are they?

While it is an argument that is destined to fall on deaf ears of aggravated fans, the Penguins are in a better position than they have been the past three seasons.

At 6-5-1 in March the Penguins are barely breaching the plateau of average. This ...

This is our House; Pens beat Jets and Rangers to Extend Home Win Streak to 12

Despite two wins over the weekend, the biggest headlines in Pittsburgh were the returns of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and the 12 game home winning streak.

Malkin, who missed nine games due to a leg injury sustained in Detroit, returned Sunday against the Jets in glorious fashion.  Letang also returned on Sunday against the Jets, but will need further time on the ice in order to find his grove.

On Friday, Pittsburgh welcomed divisional for New York Rangers onto Consol ice. It was expected to be a rather close game considering the beat down the Rangers gave the Penguins at MSG just a few weeks back.

Someone forgot to tell Pittsburgh though.

At the 13:09 mark, C...

Penguins Defense Deeper than Expected; How Current Call Ups Change Pittsburgh’s Defensive Game Plan

Over the past 4 seasons, Ray Shero has had a niche for finding quality defensemen in the draft and via trade. This pursuit of Ray’s had been criticized over the years, stating that Shero has neglected the winger position and the goaltender position, but those critics are tasting the sweet meat of crow right about now.

In 2009, the Penguins drafted two defensemen with their first two selections. First round selection Simon Despres has played sparingly over the course of two years and was recalled from WBS Baby Penguins nine games ago. The Penguins second selection in 2009 was defenseman Phillip Samuelsson. Samuelsson will make his NHL debut on Monday, December 16 against the To...

Kris Letang to IR: Penguins Blue Line Missing Four Top Defenders, Recall Son of Ulf

On Saturday, while in Detroit, Kris Letang injured himself in warm-ups. There were no further comments on his status until Monday morning when Letang was placed on IR in order to make room for two roster moves.

With Kris Letang being moved to IR, the Penguins were able to make room for call ups Phillip Samuelsson and Harry Zolnierczyk.
Letang joins three other Penguin defenders on IR, including Rob Scuderi (likely to return next week) Paul Martin, and Brooks Orpik. Unfortunately, that is all four of the Penguins top four defensemen. With Deryk Engelland certain to be suspended for his hit to the head of Justin Abdlkader, the Penguins had no other choice but to make the call ups...

The Game Deserves Better; A Brief Look at the Actions Taken in Boston.

A calculated act of revenge meant to harm a player is something too often seen today in the NHL. Unfortunately for those watching the Penguins v Bruins game on Saturday, we witnessed such an event.

Bruins notable tough guy Shawn Thornton skated halfway across the ice to address Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. In doing so, Thornton threw Orpik to the ice via a slew foot and then threw two punches to his face.

It appeared from the second shot that Orpik’s head hit the ice, most likely the cause of unconsciousness that occurred. In this instance, the ugly side of the NHL reared its head. These acts are unacceptable, despite whatever justification has been conjured up.

...

Shawn Thornton’s Punch A Cause For Concern

 

 

Just about every hockey fan out there understands that fighting is part of the game. However, the sucker punch thrown by Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins over the weekend to knockoutPittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik is something that is extremely painful to watch, and crosses the line of right and wrong.

As the NHL deals with another brutal incident, people are asking what should be done about this type of play from NHL enforcers.

There are certainly a lot of unwritten rules in hockey, and some will point at Orpik messing things up by not fighting Thornton when initially given a chance. This pr...

Pregame 12/3: Islanders vs. Penguins

The Islanders turn the calendar to December and host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum tonight for the first time since game 6 of the playoffs last spring. This concludes a 4 game home stand before heading on a West coast road trip. This is the 3rd of 4 meetings between the teams this season and the season series is a win each for both teams.

Selecting Team USA Series; Can Any Young Defenders Crack the Roster? A Deeper Look at Possible Pairings.

A strong defensive core is quite possibly the best asset any team can have going into the Olympics. It promotes continuity, kick starts the transition game, regulates the flow of play, and most importantly it protects the goaltender. For team USA’s defensive pairings the following must be considered.

-          Complementary styles of play: The ability to mesh with one’s partner quickly will lead to early success in Sochi.

-          Breadth of play: Despite some talented rookies and sophomores in the NHL today, it is important to have more veteran members taking the ice in bi...

Penguins Drop Two Straight; Looking for Healthy Returns to Provide Consistency

The Penguins have now dropped two straight and are just 5-5 in their last ten games. Their offense has been struggling as of late and the defense has found little consistency following the injury to Rob Scuderi. So the question is, what can the Penguins do find success?

On the Defensive Side – With Rob Scuderi out of the lineup, the Penguins have been forced to alter their defensive pairings. Unfortunately, now Paul Martin is considered day to day and will most likely miss his second straight game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. With all of that in mind, the Penguins do not have too many options other than to alter their pairings.

The first Penguins pairing...

Penguins Finally Snap Losing Streak; Suffer Devastating Losses on the Injury Front

After suffering three straight losses to likes of the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Islanders, and the Toronto Maple Leafs the Penguins finally beat the Carolina Hurricanes.

 An entire week of losses gave the Penguins their first three game losing streak since the early going of the 2011-2012 season. In the three game losing streak the NHL’s leading point producer, Sidney Crosby, was held to just a single goal and no assists.

To be completely fair in this assessment the Penguins were still impressive in their five on five play. The Pens outshot the competition by an average of 12 shots per game and clearly had an advantage in time of possession, but the club was ...