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.
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...
After another gut wrenching loss, the Islanders must look to thereal reason they are losing. The refs are always bad, Cappy has tried every line configuration there is, and the goalie play has actually been decent. Thomas Vanek has placed the most recent maloik on this team and it is time for everyone to realize it.
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.
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 Islanders came into Pittsburgh Friday night for the first time since last season's playoffs, and just like that series, the Isles caused a lot of headaches for Sidney Crosby and company as they ended up pulling out a miraculous 4-3 win. New York earned their 2 points in over a week and did it in comeback fashion.
After six games the Pittsburgh Penguins currently stand atop the newly formed Metropolitan division with a record of 5-1-0. So far they have not played a truly difficult schedule, beating just one team that has a record .500 or better and have faced three teams on the second night of a back to back series. Despite this, the Penguins are taking advantage of their schedule early on and creating a multitude of storylines for the NHL.
He Isn’t Going Back – After putting together an incredible performance in training camp, Olli Maatta has clearly demonstrated that his talents are NHL ready. Maatta currently ranks third on the Penguins defense in defensive zone draws. His ice ...
The Pittsburgh Penguins have made some very interesting moves on deadline day and not all of them should be taken at face value.
Derrick Pouliot sent back to Portland Winterhawks – It is not a surprising move in the least, even I predicted this one to come to fruition. Pouliot was simply not ready for the NHL and needed to work on his game at a level in which he was comfortable. This is the best move for his growth as a player and should not spark any controversy about his future with the Penguins.
Beau Bennett sent to Wheeling Nailers – This is nothing more than a cap circumventing move for the Penguins and it likely means that Chuck Kobasew has successfully earne...
It was brutal, demeaning, and downright pathetic. It was a four game beat down at the hands of the Boston Bruins that sent Pittsburgh packing to another relatively early exit.
The Pens had beefed up for the run, calling in ringers from around the league via trade. This caused the team to slow down drastically, reportedly in an attempt to be more difficult to play against. The result, however, was a drastic decline in speed and chemistry.
This season has the looks of something very different and the battles in camp should prove this to be true. Pittsburgh is staying in house this season and looking for a spark in terms of a youth movement.
The anticlimactic Eastern Conference Finals left the fans of Pittsburgh with a plethora of questions. These questions particularly focused on the two major pieces of upcoming free agency, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. With both super star players heading into their final year of contractual status with the Penguins, it became top priority to sign both and work from that point on.
The Malkin Deal
Evgeni Malkin could have been a much richer man had he gone to UFA status or headed back to his native country of Russia, but Malkin insisted on staying in Pittsburgh. Malkin signed an eight year, 76 million dollar extension. His 9.5 million dollar AAV is the highest on the team and r...