Jussi Jokinen

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Breaking: Letang To Return To Penguins Lineup Tonight

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...

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 ...

An Underwhelming Trade Deadline Provides Depth; Shero Makes the Right Moves for the Organization

There was so much discussion over the potential trade for Ryan Kesler that many in Pittsburgh became blinded to what this organization truly needed. Thank goodness for the fans, Ray Shero was not “all in” for Kesler as some beat writers seemed to be reporting.

While Ryan Kesler would have been a good addition, it was a move that was seemingly a luxury. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, there is no need to have another top two line center in the fold when your depth is as poor as Pittsburgh’s was this season. To counter that, Ray Shero went and acquired Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak.

Goc and Stempniak were acquired from the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flam...

Kesler Report Becomes Official; The Penguins Are Foolish To View This As A Fix

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 ...

Penguins Start the New Year Off Right; The Top Six Still Remains a Question Moving Forward

With the injury list for Pittsburgh starting to cool down in the New Year, the Penguins looked to regain their top form.

Unfortunately for the Penguins, an injury to top six forward Pascal Dupuis has left a major void in the roster. His top end speed and defensively responsible style made him a very good compliment to the offensive powers that are Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

In his absence, Pittsburgh was able to go 9-2-1 in January. Crosby had his production dip slightly into the range of 1.3 points per game, just below his 1.45 ppg career average. Since his departure Crosby has had a revolving door of wingers including the following: Tanner Glass, Jayson Megna, Brandon S...

Maatta Finnishes Capitals, Pens Win 13th Straight At Home

The Penguins only held the lead in Wednesday night's game against the Washington Capitals for 1:54. The good thing is that it was the final 1:54 of the game after rookie defenseman Olli Maatta finally put the Penguins on top for a 4-3 win.  The Penguins have now won 13 straight at home setting a new franchise record. 

The Capitals got on the board first more than halfway through the first period when Brooks Laich scored shorthanded after a turnover on a breakout pass by Kris Letang. Laich paitently peeled around a fallen Letang who expected a pass before beating Marc-Andre Fleury to the blocker side.

Letang made up for it in the second period tying the game at th...

Fat Lady Has Laryngitis, Pens Stun Canucks

Despite it being a relative rarity, it would appear that Sidney Crosby enjoys playing in Vancouver. The Penguins snatched victory from the jaws of the orca with stunning late game heroics on Tuesday night. After back to back backhanders by Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian seventeen seconds apart past the midway point of the third period, the Canucks were looking at a well deserved win over a stout opponent.

Late in the third period, things changed, and suddenly.  A Crosby clean face off win found its way to Kris Letang who fired a slapshot that was slightly screened initially by Ryan Kesler as he dropped to one knee to block the shot. It was just enough to delay Eddie Lack's ...

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 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...