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...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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.
It has already been made clear that the Ottawa Senators are a fan of pucks being thrown on net. The Senators are the top team in the league in shots on net. They are also in the bottom seven teams in the league in shots allowed per game. This is the case mostly because of one thing, the one and done style of play.
Ottawa is a team that somehow thrives on this style of play. They have a tremendous goaltender that stops a lot of shots. He does not, however, give up a lot of second chances. This comes in part to Ottawa forcing shots from distance.
The amount of shots in this situation becomes superfluous. The shots taken are from distances and even if rebounds are made available,...
The first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs are in the books, eight teams have been sent packing to hit the links while eight teams remain to square off in the conference semi-finals. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The first round did not disappoint hockey fans who have come to expect physical, fast, dramatic hockey in the playoffs and year after year they are not disappointed.
One year after the Los Angeles Kings became the first eight seed ever to win the Stanley Cup both seven seeds and both six have managed to advance to the semi-finals. The Eastern Conference Semi-final match-ups pit the Pittsburgh Penguins (1) against the Ottawa Senators (7) and the Boston Bruins (4) face off with the New York Rangers (6), while the Western Conference will feature the Chicago Blackhawks (1) who will try to hold off the Detroit Redwings (7) and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings (5) will face their fellow Californians, the San Jose Sharks (6).
With all due respect to the New York Islanders tremendous play in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins were terrible.
They refused to alter their stretch passing breakout plan after the Islanders set up a 1-3-1 trapping system. They refused to battle for long stretches of time in order to stifle the quick transition game of the Islanders. The Penguins almost refused to change everything except for the goaltender and while this worked out to their advantage, it is not going to work this time around.
The Ottawa Senators, the Penguins next opponent in round two of the playoffs, are a completely animal than that of the Islanders. Th...
After a tremendous 6-4 victory at the Nassau Coliseum that evened up the series 2-2 with the Penguins, the Islanders will head back to Pittsburgh for Game 5. The last time the Isles played in Steel City was Game 2, where the team battled back from a 3-1 defect to win the game 4-3.