Simon Despres

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Pittsburgh Takes The Next Step Towards Being Great

It is official. The Pittsburgh Penguins have found a new gear under head coach Mike Johnston.

Nothing is a greater proof of this than their last four games, of which, they have won by a combined score of 19-3. They shut out the Predators, Kings, and Sabres; while scoring 8 goals against the Devils in the process.

It took just one month but the Pittsburgh Penguins are the most dominant team in the league.

They have a plus 19 goal differential on the season, leading the league in goals for with 4.10 goals per game. Their power play has a success rate of 41.9% with 18 goals on 43 chances.

Defensively the Penguins are again one of the best in the league. Their 2.20 goa...

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 Their outdated dump and chase method, plus stretch passing, led to a ...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...

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...

Kesler Report Becomes Official; The Penguins Are Foolish To View This As A Fix

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 ...

Pens Win 6th Straight; Maatta's Exceptional Play Is Turning Heads

With ten regulars missing from the lineup…

Forget it; the Pittsburgh Penguins are not just overcoming injuries anymore. They aren’t just kids filling in for starters and coming away with a victory here and there. They are a deep team, a talented team, a team that is playing like they should.

With a 5-2 victory on home ice against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins firmly move into first place in the Eastern Conference. They are just two points behind league leading Chicago.

They have won six straight games, 11 of their past 12, and nine straight at home.

The team’s goals against average over the past 12 games is a miniscule 1...

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...

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...

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...