Penguins – The Penguins are the more talented team in this match up and it isn’t all that close. Pittsburgh is a very lucky team in terms of talent.
They will have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, something questioned last season with Crosby coming off a broken jaw. Pittsburgh has a legitimate top six on the back end this season. It currently looks like the only player that will miss significant time in the playoffs is Marcel Goc and his return can be as early as next week.
(Disclaimer, this is not including Pascal Dupuis who is out from ACL surgery in February, there is no possible way he can return this season)
In a brief and sudden press conference on Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero announced that defenseman Kris Letang will be returning to the lineup.
Letang, 26, suffered a stroke in January while the Penguins were on a road trip out west. It is important to note that once Letang had successfully underwent treatment, including blood thinners; he would be medically cleared to play.
“He's at no further risk to suffer a stroke playing hockey than going to grocery store.” Said Ray Shero at the press conference
He is correct in saying so. Letang has a heart condition that doesn’t change with elevated heart rates, unlike the heart condition...
When the rumor came out of the woodwork just a few days back, I was taken by surprise. I figured the Penguins were more interested in acquiring winger depth than trying to reestablish the dominant three center model that won them a Stanley Cup.
But what do I know about building a competitive hockey team.
Pittsburgh is reported by just about every major outlet to be heavily interested in acquiring Kesler’s services. He would be an instant upgrade at the third line center position and has the ability to play wing when needed; however, there is a big problem with this.
For one, Kesler would join the Penguins at a time of depletion. With Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett ...
On January 20th, 2014 the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered their first home loss in over two months.
The complaints start with a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. With the healthiest lineup of the season, a full four days off, and home ice advantage, Pittsburgh managed to play one of the worst games they have played all season.
Allowing five goals is always unacceptable. When a team allows five goals to a bottom percentile scoring threat, then you have an issue.
Since the Pittsburgh Penguins have gotten back a healthy Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, their GAA has risen considerably.
Since the return of Malkin and Letang the Penguins have given up 22 goals in just six ga...
In part two of the opening season review we will examine the forwards and their contributions thus far to the season. While some players are keeping to the status quo, a few forwards have started to make their mark on the early season.
Start with the Obvious – The Pittsburgh Penguins top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Pascal Dupuis is arguably the strongest line in all of hockey. They have a combined nine goals through six games, seven of which have come while playing five on five hockey.
Here are a few other stats to show how good this line has been. *All statistics are a combined total.
+ 10, 56 shots on net, 24 total points, 8 Takeawas, 28 Hits, 87 Fac...
As the seconds ticked off the clock in the second period, the Flyers trailed 3-1 to the Penguins in Game 1.
It was a seemingly insurmountable deficit with the way Pittsburgh controlled the play through the first two periods with their physical bullying style of play.
The Flyers needed someone to step up and stand up to the bull and Brayden Schenn did just that, both metaphorically and literally.
Schenn was charged by Penguins forward Craig Adams with only seconds remaining on the clock. Schenn turned around and absorbed all of the hit, knocking Adams on his rear-end as Schenn stood over him and smiled.
Schenn then got in the face of Adams, goading a shove to the face that wasn’t called and skated away with a smirk on his face after the referees separated the two.
That could have been the turning point for the Flyers, who came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.
Hard hitting, desperation saves and a little bit of extra-curricular activities sprinkled in.
Perhaps, it was a look at what the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals has in store for the Flyers and Penguins. 60 minutes of full throttle hockey with the addition of the playoffs, and the hockey world will be in store for another classic Flyers/Penguins series.
Sunday afternoon's battle - as well as one more game next Saturday afternoon to finish the season - was a preview of the almost inevitable 4/5-seed match up between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.