Robert Bortuzzo

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The All Inclusive Pittsburgh Penguins Preview; The Two Week Late Edition

It is rather rare to see a team that has made the playoffs eight season’s straight fire their head coach. It is even rarer to see a team fire their General Manager after such success.

A new coach, a new system, some fresh new faces, and a different approach to free agency are just some of the major changes that have Pittsburgh fans once again clamoring for hockey.

The coach, the system, and the plausible results

Keep the puck on your stick for the majority of the game and there is a good chance you will win. Tough concept to grasp is it not?

No. For some reason it was for the former regime. Their outdated dump and chase method, plus stretch passing, led to a ...

This Loss Will Bring Changes

It takes an entire team effort to lose a playoff series when you have a 3-1 lead. From the goaltending, to the defense, to the forwards, the coaches, and the management, there is no one who will be able to escape blame for this disappointment.

It starts and ends with the captain…?

This played out old adage shows that we as fans have learned nothing. You win as a team and lose as a team. Yes, Crosby has to perform better and he is a big reason the Penguins are now eliminated, but that is not the only reason, or even the majority of reasons, that Pittsburgh’s season is over.

Sidney Crosby was pummeled from start to finish in this post season play. Say what you...

Rangers Take Game One; Pittsburgh Still In Control of Their Destiny

The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped game one of their series against the New York Rangers in terrible fashion on Friday night. There were multiple instances of horrible turnovers and poor positioning that inevitably led to a Rangers victory.

The Rangers Benoit Pouliot was the most visible player on the ice for a majority of the game. He played physical and smart, leading his team with a goal and an assist. His line mate, Derick Brassard, scored the overtime winner after a horrible Rob Scuderi turnover below the net.

Matts Zuccarello failed to register a point in the game, but certainly had himself a strong afternoon. His mix of speed and tenacity helped keep the Penguins top line ...

What You Need To Know, Round 2: Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers

Team Breakdown

Pittsburgh: The Penguins managed to secure victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets by using their depth, their defense, and strong play on the puck. The Penguins had a tough time getting everything going against the very tight checking Blue Jackets, but still managed to control the puck at a 60% corsi and shake up the lines enough to avoid the preferred match ups of Columbus.

All of this plays in well against the Rangers. Pittsburgh will not have to focus exclusively on the forward match ups, mostly because New York’s shut down play Boyle has not had great success against Crosby. Pittsburgh has been able to use five different lines, comprised mostly of t...

Win And Advance; A Look Back At The Series That Was And How It Came To Be

The series came to end after a dominant performance by the Penguins and a third period they kind of showed up for.

This is not entirely fair to say. The Jackets did come back in game three in an epic way. Scoring three goals in the final ten minutes to scare Pittsburgh was a great ending for all. It gives hope to the fans for next season and reminds Pittsburgh to stay humble.

Although, in all fairness Pittsburgh had to play short Joe Vitale and Brandon Sutter for the final frame. With both leaving via injury, the Penguins only had three lines available.  They got caught flat footed, tired, and instantly fell into penalty trouble. The Jackets then threw everything they had...

An Underwhelming Trade Deadline Provides Depth; Shero Makes the Right Moves for the Organization

There was so much discussion over the potential trade for Ryan Kesler that many in Pittsburgh became blinded to what this organization truly needed. Thank goodness for the fans, Ray Shero was not “all in” for Kesler as some beat writers seemed to be reporting.

While Ryan Kesler would have been a good addition, it was a move that was seemingly a luxury. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, there is no need to have another top two line center in the fold when your depth is as poor as Pittsburgh’s was this season. To counter that, Ray Shero went and acquired Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak.

Goc and Stempniak were acquired from the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flam...

Seven Is Better Than Six, Pens Douse Flames

The Pittsburgh Penguins are making quite the habit of defending their home fortress in recent weeks. The Penguins held on for a 4-3 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames this afternoon for the Penguins seventh win in a row and tenth straight at CONSOL Energy Center.  

Sidney Crosby added three points now leading the league with 54 also having a league leading 34 assists.  

With the exception of the Crosby, Dupuis, and Kunitz line, the first period was not very solid for either team, despite the Penguins taking a 2-0 lead on only five shots.  Defense has been a noted sore spot for the Flames for the bulk of the season, but have been markedly improved recently ...

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...

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...