Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The talent is obvious, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the lot. But there’s a reason this team has not returned to the Cup final since 2009. Rutherford’s eyes, which have seen more hockey than most, are tasked with spotting what the missing ingredients are, but really, who knows what the Penguins truly have?
The mumps and injuries have ravaged Pittsburgh all season, including the loss of stellar young defenceman Olli Maata (shoulder surgery) and veteran winger Pascal Dupuis (blood clot in his lung) for the remainder of the season.
“We haven’t seen this team yet,” Rutherford said. “We’ve managed to stay near the top of the East with all the adversity that we’ve dealt with, and all the different players who have come in. Now, I’m hoping we get to see our team. And even with that, Maata won’t play ’til training camp, and Dupuis is a top-six forward.”
Rutherford’s dad was in the car business, and that’s a good thing. Because in his first year as Penguins GM, there will be some wheeling and dealing to do prior to the deadline. He wants a defenceman for sure, and a left-winger to put next to Malkin is also a priority.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
COLUMBUS, Ohio- Sidney Crosby's first decade in the NHL is almost over. And here is what he needs to know: Being Sidney Crosby isn't his job anymore.
Just being Sidney is all any of us should ask of “The Next One” who became “The One.”
Being Sidney Crosby meant breathing life into hockey after the NHL attempted to suffocate the game at its highest level. Being Sidney Crosby meant resuscitating a Penguins franchise that was on life support while calling a decaying Igloo home.
As Crosby became the world's finest player, Being Sidney Crosby came to mean raising the NHL and Penguins from their respective deathbeds. Either feat should have exhausted Crosby. Both tasks were too much to ask of any “Kid.”
Now a man at 27, Crosby can take the deep breath he is long overdue. His Penguins are perennial contenders. More importantly, they're financially sound, with 360 consecutive home sellouts and supreme regional TV ratings. His league is thriving, topping $4 billion in revenue, and working peacefully with its players' union to finally bring promise of tangible growth.
Being Sidney Crosby wasn't necessary here this weekend.
via the NHL,
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will miss the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game because of a lower-body injury, executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday.
Crosby has been playing with the injury and will need about a week to heal, the Penguins said.
As a result of missing the All-Star Game, Crosby will not be permitted to play in Pittsburgh's home game on Jan. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets.
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are outraged at Flyers left wing Zac Rinaldo.
They're angry over a dirty hit that injured Letang in the first period of the Flyers' 3-2 overtime victory on Tuesday night a Wells Fargo Center and disgusted about Rinaldo's postgame comments in which he bragged that he "changed the game" and "might have changed" his club's fortunes in what's been a bad season.
Since his hit, Rinaldo has been getting bashed virtually nonstop with messages sent to his @rinaldozac Twitter account, many of which were quite vulgar.
Others kept it clean by calling Rinaldo a disgrace, thug, beer leaguer, embarrassment, idiot, Neanderthal, coward, punk, puke, scumbag, tooth bag, meathead, dirty, useless, moron, garage, trash, scrub, goon and savage.
Plus a game misconduct.
Update #2: Via The Score's Navin Vaswani:
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Games Tuesday and Wednesday at the Flyers and against the Blackhawks present the Penguins an opportunity to take a few days off feeling good about themselves, the best-case scenario a 5-3-1 record in January entering the break.
Or the Penguins could stew for four days and reconvene for practice following two losses that dropped them into fourth place in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-5-1 record in January and losses in seven of eight against division opponents.
“We have to get our game back and get back in sync,” coach Mike Johnston said. “That's the real key thing for me right now.”
That the Penguins need to bounce back from losses to the Islanders and Rangers, one more wretched than the next, is the easy part.
How they do it gets a little more complex.
The Penguins went winless in back-to-back games twice over the first 10 weeks of the season. It's happened three times — including a seasonlong four games without a win Dec. 22-29 — since.
“You can't get into a spot where you lose a couple games in a row,” Johnston said. “We've lost two. Now, we have to respond.”
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
This notion of just get in is no different than just show up, so the Penguins should forget about sneaking into the playoffs. The Kings, with two titles in three years, have earned the right to try that.
These Penguins haven't earned anything in a long time.
Late Sunday afternoon, after his club's sixth regulation loss in 11 games, Johnston repeated a word his Penguins need to learn: “response.”
The Penguins' response since winning the Cup almost six years ago is always to just show up, and it's never been good enough for greatness.
Never will be, either.
New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will serve as injury replacements at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game to be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Halak and Fleury will replace injured goalies Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.
No explanation needed...
You make the call...
Max Paciorettyput the Canadiens up 1-0, but may have had some help from Brendan Gallagher.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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