Evgeni Malkin

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Small Changes Now or Big Changes Later; Penguins Playoff Adjustments Will Decide The Teams Future

Too many questions and not enough answers.

It is becoming an all too familiar storyline in the Steel City. Once thought to have a dynasty in the making, led by two of the leagues brightest and most dominant young stars, the Penguins are now perrinial playoff disappointments.

Wednesday night was no different. The Pittsburgh Penguins came out of the gate and absolutely dominated. They scored three goals in five minutes. The asserted their will and looked poised to take home a three to one advantage in the series.

Instead, the Penguins once again proved that disappointment is truly their greatest talent.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to score a single goal ...

Game Three Observations; When Will The Sleeping Giants Wake

When teams have a two goal lead, the announcers like to bring up the old adage that this is the hardest lead in hockey to hang on to.

They might have a point.

In three games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team with the two goal lead in the game has gone on to lose said game by a score of 4-3. Pittsburgh was victorious in games one and three, Columbus won game two.

For the first time in this series the special teams were not special. There was not a single power play or shorthanded goal scored in this game despite ten combined power play chances.

Here are a few observations so far from this series.

Standouts (average ice tim...

Columbus Takes Game Two, Pittsburgh Needs To Make Adjustments

Columbus beat the Penguins for the first time this season thanks to a valiant double overtime effort in game two.

The Blue Jackets once again used their special teams to their advantage. When Pittsburgh used four forwards on the Power Play, Columbus pressured hard. They were able to score their second shorthanded goal of the series, this one at the expense of a poor decision by Evgeni Malkin.

The game was not a strong one for the Penguins, but it certainly is not a series killer. Tied at one apiece, the Penguins are forced to assert themselves on the road against a confident young team. If Pittsburgh wants to play the series clinching game at home on Saturday, here are a few a...

Depth and Resiliency Key Big Comeback Win for Penguins

I have said on multiple occasions that this Pittsburgh team is not deep enough to beat a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference Finals or in the Stanley Cup finals.

Now, as is the usual case, I might be wrong.

The Pittsburgh Penguins turned the tide in game one by using the following combinations.

Kunitz – Crosby – Gibbons

Bennett – Sutter – Stempniak

Jokinen – Malkin – Neal

Glass – Vitale – Adams

The result was three lines that could not only skate well, but that could pressure enough to score goals.

The game started out as a physical battle that heavily leaned toward the Columbus Blue...

What You Need to Know, Penguins Versus Jackets Team Breakdown

Breakdown: Team Analysis

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)

The q...

The Writing is on the Wall; Pittsburgh's Depth Does Not Spark Confidence Towards a Cup Run

It is a tough pill to swallow, knowing that your team no longer has a quality shot at a Stanley Cup.

With injuries hampering the return of a two top six forwards and a top four defensemen the Penguins are just not fully equipped to go through the rigors of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is just not a feasible request.

To beat a team like the Boston Bruins or the Philadelphia Flyers without Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Paul Martin, the Penguins would have to have their depth come through in major ways. This is assuming the Penguins currently have the depth to pull this off.

Although Beau Bennett has returned and played well since his return, he is not enough. Pittsburgh ...

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 ...

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 ...

Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight; Beat Up Penguins Get Thrashed By Surging Flyers

Fleury was strong despite allowing seven goals.

Yah, you read that correctly. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed seven goals in just four periods of hockey, but he was good. He was actually really good. In Sunday’s game, there were at least five amazing saves that stoned the Flyers, only to let them score shortly after from poor defensive coverage. Fleury never lost his cool. Something that shows a more mature, prepared Fleury. If he can have a strong bounce back week after this weekend, then all will be fine in the Steel City.

Taylor Pyatt should be back in the minors.

He is big. That is about all I can say when it comes to a proper scouting report.

Since coming to ...

Read Scores Twice As Flyers Shut Out Penguins

The Flyers needed to find a way to get back on track after a pair of losses.

They did just that Saturday afternoon. Facing the Penguins at home, the Flyers played one of their best games all season, shutting out Pittsburgh 4-0.

It was the Flyers' first regular season shutout of the Penguins since April 6, 2008, and just the 10th time in 46 games they held Sidney Crosby without a point.

(Photo: Braydon Coburn defends Sidney Crosby in the first period. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)