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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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...