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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...