Pittsburgh Penguins

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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 ...

Under the Cap?

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...

Camp All Inclusive Report

With less than two weeks remaining until the start of the NHL season, the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to trim down their roster. Despite the poor start to the preseason, record wise, this Pittsburgh Penguins team has been transforming itself into a younger, hungrier, and meaner club.  Here are some of the standouts from the preseason in both a positive and negative manner.

Top Prospect – Despite just about every single outlet placing Derrick Pouliot as the Pittsburgh Penguins top prospect, there is no doubt after training camp that the title truly belongs to defensive prospect Olli Maatta. Not only is Maatta the most NHL ready prospect in the Penguins organization, h...

Training Camp Outlook; All About The Defense

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.

Out with the old and in with the...

Penguins Hire Jacques Martin

Is the hiring of Jacques Martin a move to simply improve Pittsburgh’s greatest asset?

When the Penguins hired Jacques Martin as an assistant coach it raised plenty of questions. What is a defensively minded, systematic coach’s role on a team that is considered all offense? Well, there are a few ideas.

The first idea is that Martin’s defensive game planning could balance out an overbearing offensive game.

While the Penguins are a perennial powerhouse offensively, it is their defense that tends to break down in clutch situations. Despite finishing in the better half of the goals against statistic this past season the Penguins became dreadfully undisciplin...

Penguin's Free Agency Updates

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...

Breaking the 1-2-2

How does Pittsburgh break Boston’s 1-2-2 without taking the high risk of multiple turnovers?

The stretch change

It is a simple breakdown of play that allows a team in the defensive zone to get a player behind the defense without them ever breaking through the defense. This play results with defensemen not leaving their point positions in reaction to a forward cheating up ice.

For instance; if the draw is in the defensive zone, say on the side of the players bench, once the draw is taken and the puck finds its way into the corner or behind the net, the near side winger will head to the bench.

Using the short side to change into, the team will send a forward onto the ...

ECF: Game One Recap

Game one was exactly what one team wanted and the other was not expecting.

In the most simplistic breakdown possible, Boston’s goaltending stonewalled Pittsburgh’s offense at every turn, forcing Pittsburgh into playing a style of hockey that only benefits the Bruins.

It started off as a game that saw Pittsburgh controlling play. They were everywhere on the ice and showed their excellent speed throughout the first ten minutes.

Pittsburgh had plenty of chances against Tuukka Rask early on. They had a total of 4 posts hit with shots and multiple close encounters that Rask turned away with brilliant play. His overall stability in net forced Pittsburgh into a pani...

Can They?

Zero wins and six losses.

Such a terrible record for a team that has accomplished so much, but this is the Pittsburgh Penguins record in series clinching home games under the coaching of Dan Bylsma. The trend started out as a sign of good competition, but ended with a failure of epic proportions.

In the 2009 playoff run, the Pittsburgh Penguins had a chance to end their opening round series against the Philadelphia Flyers at home, but they put out a terrible effort in 3-0 loss. The Pens would put it together and win the series on the road, but they would start a bad habit that would follow them for years.

 While it would be years of the same, it was in the semi-fina...

Eastern Conference Semi Final Update; Penguins Edition

It took two overtimes and three simple defensive breakdowns to end a pivotal game three in the Penguins and Senators round two playoff series. It was dramatic, nerve racking, and punishing. The nasty play and overall demeanor developing in this series is better than advertised.

The tone coming into the series was mostly anticipation of brutal play. With hopes that the polarizing penguins club could be witnessed getting knocked around by a bigger Ottawa defensive core. This did not happen to the extent in which many were hoping, I see you Philly, but the physicality shown in this series dwarfs the slow tone of the only other eastern conference series.

In game one Pittsburgh had...