Sidney Crosby

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Penguins Push Jackets To The Brink Behind A Barrage Of Shots

How does a team bounce back from a game in which they surrendered four unanswered goals? They put 51 shots on net while having an even strength possession time above sixty percent.

That is how strong the Pittsburgh Penguins were on Saturday night.

Snapshots:

Crosby and Malkin played a total of eleven minutes together in even strength situations. It was a desperate move for Dan Bylsma, but certainly paid off. Malkin and Crosby dominated the puck all night long, proving that their goal drought is nothing but bad puck luck.  Crosby, Malkin, and Kunitz had 15 combined shots as a line.

Brandon Sutter hasn’t just played well; Brandon Sutter has become a cataly...

Small Changes Now or Big Changes Later; Penguins Playoff Adjustments Will Decide The Teams Future

Too many questions and not enough answers.

It is becoming an all too familiar storyline in the Steel City. Once thought to have a dynasty in the making, led by two of the leagues brightest and most dominant young stars, the Penguins are now perrinial playoff disappointments.

Wednesday night was no different. The Pittsburgh Penguins came out of the gate and absolutely dominated. They scored three goals in five minutes. The asserted their will and looked poised to take home a three to one advantage in the series.

Instead, the Penguins once again proved that disappointment is truly their greatest talent.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to score a single goal ...

Game Three Observations; When Will The Sleeping Giants Wake

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.

Standouts (average ice tim...

Columbus Takes Game Two, Pittsburgh Needs To Make Adjustments

Columbus beat the Penguins for the first time this season thanks to a valiant double overtime effort in game two.

The Blue Jackets once again used their special teams to their advantage. When Pittsburgh used four forwards on the Power Play, Columbus pressured hard. They were able to score their second shorthanded goal of the series, this one at the expense of a poor decision by Evgeni Malkin.

The game was not a strong one for the Penguins, but it certainly is not a series killer. Tied at one apiece, the Penguins are forced to assert themselves on the road against a confident young team. If Pittsburgh wants to play the series clinching game at home on Saturday, here are a few a...

Depth and Resiliency Key Big Comeback Win for Penguins

I have said on multiple occasions that this Pittsburgh team is not deep enough to beat a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference Finals or in the Stanley Cup finals.

Now, as is the usual case, I might be wrong.

The Pittsburgh Penguins turned the tide in game one by using the following combinations.

Kunitz – Crosby – Gibbons

Bennett – Sutter – Stempniak

Jokinen – Malkin – Neal

Glass – Vitale – Adams

The result was three lines that could not only skate well, but that could pressure enough to score goals.

The game started out as a physical battle that heavily leaned toward the Columbus Blue...

What You Need to Know, Penguins Versus Jackets Team Breakdown

Breakdown: Team Analysis

Penguins – The Penguins are the more talented team in this match up and it isn’t all that close. Pittsburgh is a very lucky team in terms of talent.

They will have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, something questioned last season with Crosby coming off a broken jaw. Pittsburgh has a legitimate top six on the back end this season. It currently looks like the only player that will miss significant time in the playoffs is Marcel Goc and his return can be as early as next week.

(Disclaimer, this is not including Pascal Dupuis who is out from ACL surgery in February, there is no possible way he can return this season)

The q...

2013-14 NHL Awards Predictions: The Hart Memorial Trophy

Daniel Spevak is a writer for The Checking Line - Flyers Edition. This is a part of a multi-part series breaking down the potential finalists for the NHL's annual awards.

The Hart Trophy is awarded to the player deemed to be the most valuable each season.

While a lot of players fit the bill of being good and are capable of putting up statistics, only a handful fit the description of being the most valuable to their respective teams. Here are the players that have been keys to their club’s success.

Honorable Mentions

Phil Kessel - Toronto Maple Leafs

Kessel has had quite the season. He’s tied for fifth in the league with 80 points, and has a career-hi...

Breaking: Letang To Return To Penguins Lineup Tonight

In a brief and sudden press conference on Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero announced that defenseman Kris Letang will be returning to the lineup.

Letang, 26, suffered a stroke in January while the Penguins were on a road trip out west. It is important to note that once Letang had successfully underwent treatment, including blood thinners; he would be medically cleared to play.

“He's at no further risk to suffer a stroke playing hockey than going to grocery store.” Said Ray Shero at the press conference

He is correct in saying so. Letang has a heart condition that doesn’t change with elevated heart rates, unlike the heart condition...

The Writing is on the Wall; Pittsburgh's Depth Does Not Spark Confidence Towards a Cup Run

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 ...

Firing Dan Bylsma? Penguins Fans Have This One Backwards.

There is currently a movement in the city of Pittsburgh that is headstrong on firing coach Dan Bylsma. Despite having the most injuries in the league and the likely probability of finishing second in the conference, the fans seem to have had enough.

Enough, you hear it time and time again. The callers on talk radio say they have had enough of Dan Bylsma, that his system clearly doesn’t work.

Enough of the consistent playoff appearances despite the massive injuries this team has suffered in the recent seasons?

Enough of the team overachieving despite having a clear lack of back end talent left from subpar drafting strategies?

In 2010-2011, the Penguins lost bo...