James Neal

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Penguins Roster Finalized

The 23 man roster has been set as the Penguins head into the 2013 season. The interesting aspect of the current roster was Coach Dan Bylsma’s selection of eight defensemen.

With the roster of defensemen set at eight, the Penguins had to place Brian Straight on waivers.  It is surfacing now that Strait was claimed off of waivers by the New York Islanders.  While a good pick up for the Isles, it is a difficult loss of depth for the Penguins.

It is expected that both Robert Bortuzzo and Ben Lovejoy will be the 7th and 8th defensemen in the rotation, giving highly touted prospect Simon Despres a spot among the Penguins top 4 pairing.  It is expect as well that...

Flyers / Pens Game 4 ECQF: Flyers Look To Clean Up Penguins With A Sweep

The Flyers have given their fans a reason to break out the brooms for Game 4, and gave themselves a chance to complete a playoff series sweep for the first time since the 1994-95 season when they downed the Buffalo Sabres in four.

Will they be able to accomplish this feat with the extra time off between games?

Flyers Vs. Penguins ECQF: Pittsburgh's Asham and Neal to Face Disciplinary Hearings

Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported on Monday that two Pittsburgh Penguins will face disciplinary hearings on Tuesday morning for their actions in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

James Neal will have two hearings at 10am - one for his 3rd period hits on Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux.

Neal left his feet on the hit on Couturier, a hit that was unfounded and unnecessary as the rookie did not have control of the puck and it was nowhere near him. Neal targeted Couturier's head and left the 19-year-old dazed. Couturier left the ice for a few minutes to be tended to, but thankfully returned to finish the rest of the game.

It looked like a blatant attempt to take Couturier out, but Neal claimed it wasn't intentional.

Pennsylvania Wrestlemania: Flyers, Pens Heating Up For Possible ECQ Matchup

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.

Headliner showdown: Blackhawks vs Penguins

The Chicago Blackhawks (22-9-1) go into Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening to face the Penguins with a 7-0-1 record in December, and looking to collect their sixth straight road win. Not counting preseason match-ups, Chicago and Pittsburgh usually only face off once per year, so there's always anticipation around their games.

As the Blackhawks continue their hot streak of games, the team has gained a lot of confidence, and it is showing in their play. Solid, consistent effort across all three periods is becoming more frequent, and Sunday night's game saw the fourth line chipping in offensively as well. The team has consistently flirted with the top spot in the league and cur...

Islanders Fall to Short-Handed Pens

Islanders fall to short-handed Penguins lineup. Travis Hamonic ejected from the game for a mystery elbowing penalty. (Picture courtesy of zimbio.com)

Islanders vs (Some of the) Penguins

Preview:  The New York Islanders are returning home after a Florida road trip where the team experienced more sun than fun.  It was a trip which saw two games, two losses, and a continued futility to achieve secondary scoring.  Not the recipe for success this season drawn up by coach Jack Capuano and GM Garth Snow, and not what the team envisioned after jetting off to a 3 – 1 start. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins head into Long Island for the first half of a home-and-home series against the Islanders playing some of the best hockey in the league.  Despite missing all-world talents in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins just keep winning. ...

Six Games In

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Instead of writing some game recaps, I decided to give my take on some players that are playing well, some that aren't, and some keys to winning games.

 

 

Looking Good:

 

Michal Handzus – This guy might be the prototypical 3rd line center that every team needs. Remember Malhotra? Handzus is the bottom six player the Sharks needed last year, and he has not disappointed. Defensively he is really good, he is always above 50% in the...

Shift Work: What we learned from the first glimpse of the Penguins

Well, then… that was quick.

Penguins fans walked away in May after a stunning series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning wondering what had happened to their team. One power play goal. No Sidney Crosby. No Evgeni Malkin. And no single explanation for how they let a 3-1 lead slip away.

The 2010-11 season was defined by everything the Penguins overcame – notably significant, long-term injuries to their three top centers, the Sid-Geno-Jordan (Crosby-Malkin-Staal) triumvirate that was the backbone of the team’s championship hopes – and in the end it was Pittsburgh that yielded when they should’ve stood strong. The firs...