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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 ...

Playing Catch Up; Big Injuries, Big Trades, and One Terrifying Press Conference

Shocking News

Before the Olympic break the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Kris Letang had suffered a stroke. The breaking and shocking news had left many in the hockey community stunned.

Letang is a noted “freak” of an athlete. His training regimen mocks that of power lifters, cross fit, football players, and endurance athletes. His unique blend of explosive power and endurance allows him to play over 25 minutes a night in the NHL.

All of this makes a stroke seem highly unlikely, but as the doctors noted, a prior medical condition was the root cause.

In a short press conference Kris Letang revealed that he was found the morning of his stroke by his ...

Hawks and Pens prepare to clash at Soldier Field

The Hawks have had a lot to be excited for this year, from an electrifying banner-raising opening night to sending ten athletes to the Olympics (bringing back six who medaled), and as Saturday night approaches, they’ll countine their season with one of the most anticipated games of the season-facing the Penguins in the final game of the NHL’s Stadium Series at Soldier Field.

 

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Home Record Streak Snapped at 13, Alarming Trends Come to Light in Loss

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...

Penguins Defense Deeper than Expected; How Current Call Ups Change Pittsburgh’s Defensive Game Plan

Over the past 4 seasons, Ray Shero has had a niche for finding quality defensemen in the draft and via trade. This pursuit of Ray’s had been criticized over the years, stating that Shero has neglected the winger position and the goaltender position, but those critics are tasting the sweet meat of crow right about now.

In 2009, the Penguins drafted two defensemen with their first two selections. First round selection Simon Despres has played sparingly over the course of two years and was recalled from WBS Baby Penguins nine games ago. The Penguins second selection in 2009 was defenseman Phillip Samuelsson. Samuelsson will make his NHL debut on Monday, December 16 against the To...

Kris Letang to IR: Penguins Blue Line Missing Four Top Defenders, Recall Son of Ulf

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...

Selecting Team USA Series; Can Any Young Defenders Crack the Roster? A Deeper Look at Possible Pairings.

A strong defensive core is quite possibly the best asset any team can have going into the Olympics. It promotes continuity, kick starts the transition game, regulates the flow of play, and most importantly it protects the goaltender. For team USA’s defensive pairings the following must be considered.

-          Complementary styles of play: The ability to mesh with one’s partner quickly will lead to early success in Sochi.

-          Breadth of play: Despite some talented rookies and sophomores in the NHL today, it is important to have more veteran members taking the ice in bi...

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...

Penguins Finally Snap Losing Streak; Suffer Devastating Losses on the Injury Front

After suffering three straight losses to likes of the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Islanders, and the Toronto Maple Leafs the Penguins finally beat the Carolina Hurricanes.

 An entire week of losses gave the Penguins their first three game losing streak since the early going of the 2011-2012 season. In the three game losing streak the NHL’s leading point producer, Sidney Crosby, was held to just a single goal and no assists.

To be completely fair in this assessment the Penguins were still impressive in their five on five play. The Pens outshot the competition by an average of 12 shots per game and clearly had an advantage in time of possession, but the club was ...

Two Week Recap; Defensive Edition

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 ...