Kukla's Korner Hockey
15:11 Toronto Leo Komarov - Boarding - 2 minutes
15:11 Toronto Jake Gardiner - Roughing - 2 minutes
15:11 Pittsburgh Kris Letang - Roughing - 2 minutes, Served by Scott Wilson
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
I heard somebody say we're deluding ourselves if we believe the Penguins need only a tweak — or one major move — to reclaim Stanley Cup-contender status.
It's over, the person said. The Sidney Crosby-Evgeni Malkin era produced one Cup and will produce no more. Not this year or next year or the year after that. Open your eyes and look at the window. It's glued shut.
You know what? The man made a compelling case. It's difficult to picture this team making a playoff run. It's nearly impossible to picture it hoisting the Cup.
The Penguins' new reality is what Mike Babcock described in his latter days coaching the Detroit Red Wings.
“We're a team that used to battle to win the Stanley Cup,” Babcock said. “Now we battle to get into the playoffs.”
Still, I cannot fully buy into the idea that the Crosby-Malkin Penguins will fade into oblivion.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
At 7:03 of the second, Jenner and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin made partial contact with their legs as they crossed paths high in the Blue Jackets’ zone. Jenner kept his feet, but Malkin hit the ice and writhed in pain, his head wrenched back and his arms clutching his left knee in agony. A dust-up ensued.
Replays showed Jenner did not extend his left knee to catch Malkin. To the contrary, he turned slightly to his right and appeared to stick out his left shoulder in anticipation of a hit that never came. Their legs brushed as they passed, with the side of Jenner's left leg brushing the lower part of Malkin's left leg.
A few seconds later, Malkin was up and skating under his own power. He returned to take a dramatic test-drive near the end of a TV timeout amid cheers of "Geno!" He finished the game, and was the best player on the ice.
Tortorella was incredulous when a Pittsburgh reporter asked him post-game if he anticipated any further discipline for Jenner from the NHL.
“(Malkin) got up, didn’t he?” Tortorella said. “It’s like he was dead, and then he was out the next shift.”
Tortorella stopped short of saying Malkin was faking it. Asked if he was surprised that Malkin, given his initial response, was able to return to the game and dominate, Jenner said: "I don't think (the hit) was too hard."
more on the 5-2 Columbus loss to Pittsburgh...
Watch the hit Jenner hit on Malkin below...
The Hockey Central at Noon crew discusses the many off-ice mistakes that the Pittsburgh Penguins organization has made that has led to their current demise, and is why the team is fading really fast.
from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“Am I disappointed? Yes. Makes me sick, actually,” he said. “More sick than I've ever been in my career when I've managed a team. I feel for the fans. I feel for everybody.”
But Rutherford also is optimistic.
In November 2005, when he was general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, his team lost 9-0 at home to the lowly Atlanta Thrashers. Seven months later, the Hurricanes were celebrating with the Stanley Cup.
He sees no reason a similar turnaround can't be in the cards for the Penguins.
“The fact of the matter is we have a good group of guys here,” Rutherford said, “and we can still make this thing work.”
The Tribune-Review sat down with Rutherford while the Penguins practiced Sunday at Consol Energy Center to get his take on the state of the team.
via Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“Sid has a lower body injury. Right now his status is day to day. We’ll see how he is tomorrow,” said Sullivan.
He said he believes the injury occurred in the third period of the team’s 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last night.
If Crosby is cleared to play tomorrow there will be no temptation of giving him a week off with the upcoming break.
“I don’t think there’s any temptation. If Sid can play, he’ll play,” said Sullivan. “That’s the type of guy that he is. We’ll make that decision tomorrow. We’ll see how he is.”
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Their 2-1 loss to Carolina — one of the ever-shrinking number of teams behind them in the Eastern Conference standings — Saturday night at Consol Energy Center stretched their winless streak to 0-4-1 and left the Penguins stranded far outside the top eight teams in the conference.
If the season ended today — and it would be completely understandable if the Penguins wished it would — they would fail to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The issue isn’t their willingness to work or compete, at least most of the time, but their consistent inability to generate goals. Consider this: Although Hurricanes left winger Jeff Skinner didn’t get a goal Saturday night, he has scored six in the past five games.
So have the Penguins.
And while coach Mike Sullivan said, “I see signs of improvement in a lot of areas,” their record isn’t one of them. They are 0-4 since Sullivan replaced Mike Johnston as coach eight days ago and have slipped to 15-14-3.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. “We just have to keep going forward.”
Watch the game highlights below...
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
A quick look at the Penguins’ 6-2 loss to Boston at Consol Energy Center Friday night:...
*** The Penguins are in an 0-3-1 skid and have lost their first three games with Mike Sullivan as coach by a total of 10 goals....
*** The Penguins trail Florida, which holds the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, by five points, which makes their game against Carolina Saturday night something close to a must-win. “I wouldn’t say it’s must-win, but it’s really important that we play the right way and hopefully come out with two points,” Sheary said. “I’ve been part of a losing streak before. One win will get you out of that.”
*** Sullivan, on the challenge confronting his team: “There are a lot of doubters out there right now. I believe we can hold this group together. It’s a long season. There’s a lot of hockey left.”...
*** Crosby, on the Penguins’ ongoing skid through the standings: “We have to find a way to go out and win a hockey game. It doesn’t matter what happens. We have to get two points.”
Below are the game highlights...
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
At the risk of stating the obvious, these are bad times for the Penguins. They're missing their franchise goaltender and franchise defenseman. They just had their most beloved player retire. The just brought in a new defenseman who is unfamiliar with the system. The coach just got fired and his successor is trying to sort through a mess. The team looks like it has absolutely no confidence in trying to score.
And they just lost to their "rivals."
This. Is. Bad.
But it's not surprising. If you add up all the variables we listed above, the Penguins should be in this situation. They're malfunctioning team missing some of it's most vital components while going through a transition period.
Right now, it looks like new head coach Mike Sullivan is running a research and development laboratory. He's trying just about anything within his current limitations created by injuries to see if it might work.
continue for more on the Penguins 3-0 loss to the Bruins...
Watch the game highlights below...
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is set to miss at least one-to-two weeks after suffering a concussion.
Fleury may have suffered the concussion in Penguins' 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday night. Forward Beau Bennett suffered an upper-body injury in the loss has been ruled out for four-to-six weeks.
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Fleury's injury, but said he there was no concrete timetable.
“I haven’t talked to the doctor yet. I don’t have any further information other than he was examined, and it was determined he was concussed,” said Rutherford. “At a minimum one to two weeks. You can’t put a timeline on these things though.”
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Fleury told the team he was feeling symptoms after the team's Tuesday morning practice.
“Marc came to us after the game and said he did not feel right and so, potentially it’s a concussion,” Sullivan said prior to Rutherford's announcement.
Sullivan added Fleury did not mention when he believed he could have sustained the injury, but that he believes it did not occur during Monday's loss.
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