Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: pittsburgh penguins

Penguins’ Matt Murray To Miss Time After Passing Of Father

Via Sportsnet:

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  Tags: matt+murray, pittsburgh+penguins

NHL releases Conference Final schedules

From the NHL:

The Anaheim Ducks will host the Nashville Predators at Honda Center when the 2017 Western Conference Final gets underway on Friday (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Ducks defeated the Oilers in seven games in the Western Conference Second Round. The Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues in six games.

The Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators will begin at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals in seven games, the Senators defeated the New York Rangers in six games.

All times ET, subject to change

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Pittsburgh Penguins (M2) vs. Ottawa Senators (A2)

Saturday, May 13, 7pm: Senators @ Penguins | NBC, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports

Monday, May 15, 8pm: Senators @ Penguins | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Wednesday, May 17, 8pm: Penguins @ Senators | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Friday, May 19, 8pm: Penguins @ Senators | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Sunday, May 21, 3pm: Senators @ Penguins | NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

*Tuesday, May 23, 8pm: Penguins @ Senators | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Thursday, May 25, 8pm: Senators @ Penguins | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Anaheim Ducks (P1) vs. Nashville Predators (WC2)

Friday, May 12, 9pm: Predators @ Ducks | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Sunday, May 14, 7:30pm: Predators @ Ducks | NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Tuesday, May 16, 8pm: Ducks @ Predators | NBCSN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports

Thursday, May 18, 8pm: Ducks @ Predators | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Saturday, May 20, 7:15pm: Predators @ Ducks | NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

*Monday, May 22, 8pm: Ducks @ Predators | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Wednesday, May 24, 9pm: Predators @ Ducks | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, nashville+predators, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins

Crosby vs. McDavid derby lived up to the hype

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout last night, and the game came down to a pair of shootout goals traded by Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid--and a winner potted by Phil Kessel:

According to Sportsnet's Mark Spector, the Crosby-vs-McDavid game lived up to its massive hype:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Connor McDavid kicks a goal in his own net

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the easiest goal of his career as Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers accidentally kicked the puck into his own net:

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, evgeni+malkin, pittsburgh+penguins

Enstrom concussed

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Sestito was suspended for 4 games for hitting Tobias Enstrom "in the numbers," and the Jets updated Enstrom's status on Friday:

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  Tags: paul+maurice, pittsburgh+penguins, tobias+enstrom, tom+sestito, winnipeg+jets

Penguins’ Sestito gets 4 games for boarding Enstrom

PENGUINS’ SESTITO SUSPENDED FOUR GAMES FOR BOARDING

NEW YORK (March 9, 2017) – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Sestito has been suspended for four games, without pay, for boardin Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom during NHL Game No. 984 in Winnipeg on Wednesday, March 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 13:10 of the first period. Sestito was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Sestito will forfeit $12,777.76. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, tobias+enstrom, tom+sestito, winnipeg+jets

Is Brent Burns ‘all Hart?’

TSN's Scott Cullen issues "Three Quarter NHL Awards," and his Hart Trophy pick is...intiguging...

HART
Winner
: Brent Burns, D, San Jose
Runners-Up: Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh; Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton

This is a difficult decision. Crosby has been my pick through the first two installments, but as his goal-scoring pace has slowed, it gets more reasonable to consider Burns, a defenceman who is leading the league in shots on goal and has more than a point per game. Furthermore, Burns is on pace for 34 goals, and the last time a defenceman scored that many goals, had better than a point per game and four shots on goal per game was Doug Wilson in 1981-1982 (The only other defenceman to meet those thresholds in a season was some guy by the name of Orr, three times).

This isn’t to take away from Crosby, who is having a great season, and McDavid, who is leading the league in scoring in his second season, but Burns’ season is extraordinary, and we’re far enough down the road that I’ve shifted into Burns’ corner, though it’s admittedly a close race.

Some others to consider: Chicago right winger Patrick Kane, who is suddenly second in the league with 70 points, is probably the best candidate outside the top three. Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Jeff Carter have all been really good, too, but not quite at the same level.

Cullen continues...

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  Tags: brent+burns, connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, hart+trophy, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, sidney+crosby

Fight night in Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins engaged in a pair of fights last night, with Evgeni Malkin fighting Blake Wheeler and Tom Sestito fighting Chris Thorburn:

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  Tags: blake+wheeler, evgeni+malkin, pittsburgh+penguins, tom+sestito, winnipeg+jets

Bad hit of the night: Tom Setito on Tobias Enstrom

Tom Sestito was brought up for the Winnipeg Jets-Pittsburgh Penguins game last night, and he did two things:

1. He fought Chris Thorburn;

2. He threw this check on Tobias Enstrom:

Here's what Jets coach Paul Maurice had to say about the hit post-game:

“Toby is at the hospital now, he’s getting checked for facial fractures, so we’ll have a better idea about that tomorrow,” Maurice said.

Update @ 11:44 AM:

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, tobias+enstrom, tom+sestito, winnipeg+jets

Eric Fehr goes to Toronto

From TSN's Bob McKenzie:

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  Tags: eric+fehr, pittsburgh+penguins, toronto+maple+leafs

Get ready for the usual amount of trade deadline fireworks (like a Shattenkirk trade)

George here. I've been on a "scouting trip" to Grand Rapids, Michigan to cover the Red Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, over the past two days, and Griffins coach Todd Nelson had a simple take on the trade deadline when asked how he was preparing his players:

Nelson, whose team is about to embark on a two-week trip to Texas and California, said that he told all his players to bring their passports with them to Austin and San Antonio, because the Red Wings will spend the trade deadline in Western Canada, and there's no telling when a team that's "selling" for the first time in a quarter-century might have to call up a player or two.

According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, the final 48-to-72 hours before Wednesday's trade deadline will finally separate "buyers" and "sellers," and despite forecasts of a "weak draft" and "flat cap," the normal amount of trades will occur:

The talk has certainly increased over the last 48 hours with teams such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings accepting the reality of not making the post-season by unloading players for picks.

It won’t stop there with Arizona, Buffalo, Colorado, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Winnipeg, with assets they can deal to try to get something in return. League executives predict GMs will be busy at the last minute, because they usually are.

“It’ll be the same — somewhere between 20 to 25 trades,” a league executive said last Thursday. “Everyone knows who’s out there. Some teams have games to play before Wednesday and most teams will wait until the wire.

“But if they have a deal that makes sense, they’ll do the deal.”

Garrioch continues, and he offers a representative example:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: kevin+shattenkirk, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals

Crosby still wows at 1,000

From USA Today's Kevin Allen:

The most impressive aspect of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby approaching 1,000 career points is that we may not have seen his best work.

Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford said he believes Crosby, with 998 points in 753 games going into Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, is still finding ways to refine his game.

“I don’t know if there is any other athlete in the world who is more prepared to be successful,” Rutherford said. “It started at a young age, and it has never dropped off. And it never will.”

At 29 years, 185 days through Wednesday, Crosby is in position to become the 12th youngest to reach 1,000 points. He would also rank 12th fastest with 753 games entering Thursday's meeting.

Nobody has done it faster since Jaromir Jagr reached 1,000 points in 2000, not long before Jagr’s 29th birthday.

“(Crosby's) at a level all by himself right now,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Can he take it to another level? I wouldn’t put it past him.”

Continued

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  Tags: jim+rutherford, ken+holland, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Looking forward to McDavid vs. Crosby on Tuesday night

From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

The way he plays, the way he handles himself, the way he elevates the Edmonton Oilers, it's easy to forget that Connor McDavid is 19 years old. He has played 58 NHL games, because he missed three months because of a broken clavicle as a rookie last season. As good as he is, one of the top players in the NHL already, he's still experiencing new things, still learning, still growing.

McDavid will play against Sidney Crosby for the first time when the Oilers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, SNW, NHL.TV). It's No. 97 vs. No. 87, the Next One vs. Sid the Kid, the No. 1 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft vs. the No. 1 pick of the 2005 NHL Draft. And McDavid talks about it like, well, a teenager. He doesn't call him Mr. Crosby, like he did the first time he met him three years ago, according to USA Today, but makes him sound like an old man at age 29.

"It's exciting for me," McDavid said. "He's someone I grew up idolizing, and for me it's going to be pretty cool."

McDavid said he continues to follow Crosby most nights he plays.

"He's the best player in the world, and if you can take anything from his game, obviously that'll help," McDavid said. "Definitely don't pattern yourself after him or anything like that, but you try and learn from things that gave him success."

Continued

added 4:28 PM: Here's the other side, from NHL.com's Wes Crosby:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Crosby, McDavid ‘cross over’ to success

From TSN's Frank Seravalli:

The hockey world’s eyes will be focused on Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, watching intently as Connor McDavid faces off against Sidney Crosby for the first time.

The matchup will be billed as the second coming of Gretzky versus Lemieux - and the parallels are certainly there, both with the teams represented and the fact that perhaps the game’s best two players will compete on the same ice.

The pure skill and skating from Crosby and McDavid is easy enough to see. But what may be under appreciated is how McDavid and Crosby generate the speed that clearly sets them apart from the rest of the NHL.

McDavid, now 19, has been compared to Crosby in just about every way imaginable: hockey sense and timing, hand-eye coordination, playmaking ability, and even his deferential off-ice demeanor.

In a league full of elite skaters, though, McDavid is maybe the best since Crosby.

How do McDavid and Crosby literally break away from the pack?

According to Crosby’s skills coach, Darryl Belfry, it is with the use of linear crossovers.

Continued...

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, edmonton+oilers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Matt Cullen energized by Cup win, wants to play one more year

From NHL.com:

Matt Cullen spent his first day with the Stanley Cup this summer reiterating that he wants to play a final season in the NHL, even if it's not a return to the champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I want to play one more season. It's just a matter of figuring out that destination," Cullen told 970 WDAY radio in Fargo, N.D. "We'll see. It's a work in progress."

Cullen had the Cup in Detroit Lakes, Minn., on Friday and will take it to Moorhead, Minn., on Saturday. He also won the Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's fun to see how excited everybody gets around it," Cullen said. "There's just something special about it. We win it, we work really hard to win it ... It's really rewarding and it makes it a lot more special for all of us players, but especially me being able to bring it home and seeing how much people respect it and how much it means to everybody.

"You see that trophy, and it just kind of takes your breath away when you see it, so it's cool. It's fun to bring it home and it's really fun to see people's reactions and how much it means to everybody."

Continued

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  Tags: matt+cullen, pittsburgh+penguins

On Phil Kessel’s day with the Cup

From the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle:

It was a Stanley Cup party that had surprisingly little to do with hockey.

Held at the posh Forest Hill mansion of entrepreneur Michael Kimel, Phil Kessel’s night with Lord Stanley’s silverware last week was a well-organized to-do, with valet parking and a heavy security presence at the front door.

What the Pittsburgh Penguins star’s celebration didn’t have was many fellow players. No current members of the Toronto Maple Leafs were present, and former captain Dion Phaneuf – who flew in for the celebration from his off-season home in Prince Edward Island – was the only former teammate.

A rowdy P.K. Subban, meanwhile, showed up hooting and hollering at around midnight, still wearing a cowboy hat from his introductory press conference in Nashville that afternoon.

But that was it, in terms of NHL star power.

According to those who attended, Kessel wanted his Stanley Cup party to be a thank you to the other friends he made in Toronto, many of them from the hospitality industry. He was a regular at some of the higher-end restaurants in the downtown, and it was there that he first met many close friends during his six years playing for the Leafs.

Continued

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  Tags: dion+phaneuf, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, pk+subban, pk+subban

Penguins’ makeover now the ‘rebuild-on-the-fly’ blueprint

From the New York Post's Larry Brooks:

A year ago at the top of Entry Draft week, Phil Kessel was a Maple Leaf, Nick Bonino a Duck and Carl Hagelin a Ranger. Which is to say that in a league in which trades have become tools of last resort, Gentleman Jim Rutherford was able to pull off three of them over the course of seven months to construct what became the most dynamic line in hockey.

The Pittsburgh general manager remade his team and organization on the fly in a process that began with the July 1 acquisition of Kessel, included a coaching change in mid-December, and culminated with a Stanley Cup victory that proves championship windows that seem shut can reopen darn quickly, even in a cap world.

Going into last June’s Entry Draft, Brandon Sutter, Blake Comeau, Paul Martin, Nick Spaling, David Perron, Daniel Winnik, Rob Scuderi, Ian Lapierre and Steve Downie were still Penguins a couple of months removed from a first-round defeat to the Rangers. So was Mike Johnston. None was with the team by the end of January.

The Penguins did not create a template to follow on the ice as much as they perfected the one adopted by teams throughout the league that want to play with speed and with the puck. It is not just one-way speed or north-south speed on the rush. It is speed on the backcheck to negate attacks as much as speed on the forecheck to create turnovers. It is speed to the puck in both end zones to create battles to be won.

The Penguins-Sharks Stanley Cup final was all but devoid of drama. Never truly caught anyone’s imagination. Never was as competitive as the scoreboard connoted. Was not able to carve a niche in the national profile. The modicum of suspense in the series — through which Pittsburgh’s three-zone speed made San Jose look clunky, bad and out of place — was created singularly by the brilliance of Sharks’ goaltender Martin Jones.

Brooks continues...

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  Tags: blake+comeau, brandon+sutter, carl+hagelin, daniel+winnik, david+perron, ian+laperriere, ian+laperriere, jim+rutherford, martin+jones, nick+bonino, nick+spaling, paul+martin, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, rob+scuderi, san+jose+sharks, steve+downie

Penguins skate with the Cup

Here's the ceremony awarding the Stanley Cup to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as a good long set of player hand-offs:

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, stanley+cup

Sidney Crosby earns the Conn Smythe Trophy

Here's Sidney Crosby being awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs:

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  Tags: conn+smythe+trophy, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Metallica with the anthem

Metallica did a lovely job of playing a straight-forward national anthem before Game 4 of the San Jose Sharks-Pittsburgh Penguins series on Monday:

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks

Penguins’ ‘no-name defense’ thriving

From ESPN's Scott Burnside:

The Pittsburgh Penguins' defense corps has been listening to two basic storylines for months.

It was either: The Penguins were doomed because their defense wasn't good enough.

Or, the Penguins might be OK in the playoffs in spite of their defense, which would otherwise doom any other team unlucky enough to have this group on its roster.

But the one storyline that has, until recently at least, rarely been given voice: Holy cow, this Penguins defense is good. And maybe not just good, but Stanley Cup good.

And say this about a blue-line corps that, outside of star Kris Letang, lacks the profile of pretty much any other playoff team this spring, these Penguins are extremely self-aware.

They know what people have been saying about them and they have excelled in spite of it. Or maybe because of it.

"I think that particular storyline is something that they've been saying from the start of the year," Penguins defenseman Ian Cole said in an interview. "We got [Phil] Kessel and they're like, 'Oh wow, they're all set but man, their D.' So I think everyone's aware of that."

Continued

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  Tags: ian+cole, kris+letang, pittsburgh+penguins

Breaking down the Sharks-Penguins series tactically

From the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle:

The explanation that’s been given on the broadcasts and in most of the coverage is that the Penguins are winning with speed, and that’s true to a point. They’re the smaller, quicker team, as is typically the case in the Eastern Conference. Increasingly, it seems to be what wins in the NHL.

But Pittsburgh skaters such as Ian Cole, Ben Lovejoy and Nick Bonino, among others, aren’t particularly fast players. Part of what’s winning this series for the Penguins is tactics. Coach Mike Sullivan deserves credit for being able to take advantage of his team’s strengths – offensive talent and ability with the puck throughout the lineup – and the Sharks weaknesses – some bigger, slower players down the lineup who mishandle the puck.

San Jose’s strength, meanwhile – dominating the cycle deep in the offensive zone – has been mitigated by the fact only Joe Thornton’s line is spending much time there.

Those tactics were talked about a little bit after Game 3. Instead of the traditional dump and chase, the Penguins are using more of a chip and chase – placing pucks in good spots in the neutral zone or the shallow portion of the offensive zone and skating into them. Their no-name D (aside from Kris Letang) has done a nice job of breaking the puck out assertively and finding the forwards with this simple approach in mind.

Continued with analysis from Ray Ferraro, Chris Johnston, Jamie Baker and coach Pete DeBoer

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  Tags: ben+lovejoy, ian+cole, kris+letang, mike+sullivan, nick+bonino, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks

Penguins’ Sheary scores in OT, Pens take a 2-game lead in the Stanley Cup Final

The Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves with a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final thanks to an OT win-the-faceoff-score-the-goal play in which Conor Sheary hammered home the gamer:

San Jose was able to rally very late to force overtime on a goal credited to Patrick Marleau, but the Sharks never really sustained an attack as they were out-shot 41-26 as Martin Jones played keep-it-competitive dominant hockey in the Sharks' goal.

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  Tags: martin+jones, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks

Marleau catches Rust in the jaw

Patrick Marleau's hit on Bryan Rust was late. Not egregiously so, but late enough that it caught Rust shoulder-to-jaw, and late enough that it sent Rust to the "quiet room" twice, with Rust not returning after the second hit.

Do you think this is a suspension-worthy hit in today's NHL, or is there still some impetus on the player getting hit to not lead with his chin?

added 11:33 pm,

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  Tags: patrick+marleau, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks

Here’s the NHL’s Conference Final broadcast schedule

2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE

NEW YORK (May 12, 2016) – The National Hockey League today confirmed the dates, starting times and television information for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final features the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and begins Friday in Pittsburgh. The Western Conference Final features the St. Louis Blues against the San Jose Sharks and begins Sunday in St. Louis.

NBC Sports in the U.S. and CBC and TVA Sports in Canada will provide exclusive television coverage of the Conference Finals.

All times listed are ET and subject to change.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning

NHL releases ‘Conference Finals scenarios’

2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE SCENARIO

NEW YORK (May 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and television information for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final features the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and begins Friday in Pittsburgh. The Western Conference Final features the St. Louis Blues against the winner of Thursday’s Game 7 of the Second Round series between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators and begins Sunday in St. Louis.

NBC Sports in the U.S. and CBC and TVA Sports in Canada will provide exclusive television coverage of the Conference Finals.

All times listed are ET and subject to change.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning

Hornqvist’s OT winner gives the Penguins a 3-games-to-1-lead over Washington

Patric Hornqvist jumped on a turnover from Mike Weber and scored the 3-2 OT winner in Wednesday's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, giving Pittsburgh a 3 games-to-1 lead in the teams' second-round series:

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  Tags: mike+weber, patric+hornqvist, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

Ovechkin hacks Crosby, who reacts angrily

Sidney Crosby took s nasty slash to the right hand from Alexander Ovechkin and angrily exited the Capials-Penguins game. Crosby would return:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, washington+capitals

T.J. Oshie’s OT goal

Here's T.J. Oshie's overtime game-winner for the Washington Capitals, which required video review to confirm:

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, tj+oshie, washington+capitals

Here’s the NHL’s second-round playoff schedule

From the NHL:

2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE

NEW YORK (April 27, 2016) – The National Hockey League today confirmed the schedule for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round. In the U.S., NBC Sports Group has exclusive coverage of the Second Round. Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports continue exclusive coverage throughout Canada. All times listed are ET and subject to change. Future start times and television information will be released as they are determined.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: dallas+stars, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

NHL announces start times for Games 5 of Pens-Rangers, Ducks-Preds and Blues-Hawks series

From the NHL:

START TIMES SET FOR FIRST ROUND GAMES ON SATURDAY, APRIL 23

NEW YORK (April 22, 2016) – The National Hockey League today announced the following updates to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule:

· The start time for Game 5 of the First Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers has been set for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 23, in Pittsburgh. In the U.S., the game will be broadcast exclusively on NBC. In Canada, the game will be on SN360 and TVA Sports.

· The start time for Game 5 of the First Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators has been set for 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on Saturday in Anaheim. Outside of the local markets, the game will be televised on NBCSN in the U.S. In Canada, the game will be on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

· The start time for Game 6 of the First Round series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks has been set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Saturday in Chicago. In the U.S., the game will be broadcast exclusively on NBC. In Canada, the game will be on CBC and TVA Sports 2.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins, st.+louis+blues

Saturday Headlines: On the John Scott trade, Ducks trade talk and more

Among Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman's Saturday Headlines:

  • The John Scott trade to Montreal was legitimate in that Coyotes GM Don Maloney wanted Jared Tinordi badly and were afraid that the deal with the Canadiens would fall apart, so they didn't wait 3 weeks to make the deal, and Scott was the "only player who could go" back to Montreal in the trade;
  • Cox states that the Canadiens got $200,000 in cap relief and a player in Nashville's Victor Bartley, who the Canadiens believe may actually contribute to their blueline;
  • The NHL offered Scott the opportunity to go to the All-Star Game as a paid family vacation, but he's not responded, and Scott isn't sure whether he's going to bow out;
  • Cox states that Pittsburgh and Anaheim made the Hagelin-for-Perron-and-Clendening deal at 3:15 AM Saturday morning, and Cox says that the Penguins are taking on 3 more years at $4 million for Hagelin, and Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still believes that his team will contend, while the Ducks' trade...makes people wonder if the Ducks are setting themselves up to trade for Jonathan Drouin;
  • Friedman says that the Ducks' Simon Despres and Cam Fowler may generate trade interest, as will the balance of their blueline;
  • Flames defenseman Kris Russell is generating interest, too, but the Flames still want to attempt to re-sign Russell;
  • Eric Staal is "still in limbo," and his agent, Rick Curran, will try to clarify his client's situation;
  • And Friedman says that the Kings still want to sign Milan Lucic to an extension if at all possible.

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, cam+fowler, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, david+perron, eric+staal, jim+rutherford, john+scott, kris+russell, los+angeles+kings, milan+lucis, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, simon+despres

A potential Tortorella classic

The New York Post's Larry Brooks has an idea for the next "Winter Classic moment," if you will:

The Winter Classic is a great event — NHL outdoor games all have been colossal successes on either a local or national stage — but let’s face it, there are few great (inter)national matchups available to command attention beyond the spectacle itself.

You know what would represent a compelling matchup that apparently is nowhere on the league’s agenda? John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets against the Penguins at Ohio State, that’s what.

Seriously.

Can you imagine? Potential combined charges of collusion and whining? Maybe the NHL can and that’s why it would have nothing to do with it.

Instead, get ready for either Rangers-Leafs in Toronto or Penguins-Flyers in either respective city’s pro football stadium.

Yawn.

Brooks continues with more on Brad Marchand and Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Schneider

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, john+tortorella, pittsburgh+penguins, winter+classic

Pens trade Scuderi to Blackhawks for Daley

This happened in the middle of a game:

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, pittsburgh+penguins, rob+scuderi, trevor+daley

Dubinsky cross-checks Crosby in the back of the head

From Sportsnet: Brandon Dubinsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets cross-checked Sidney Crosby in the back of the head, and Dubinsky got 2 minutes for cross-checking:

Update:

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, columbus+blue+jackets, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Kessel unconcerned with ‘spotlight’ involved with returning to Toronto

Phil Kessel is a little...let's say socially challenged...but it's refreshing to hear Kessel tell the Pittsburgh and Toronto media that he simply doesn't care about the "spotlight" involved with returning to Toronto tomorrow night:

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  Tags: phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, toronto+maple+leafs

Allen offers ‘overreactions’ to early-season trends

Among the items that USA Today's Kevin Allen believes are overreactions levied far too early in the 2015-16 NHL season:

Coach Bruce Boudreau is on the hot seat in Anaheim C’mon folks. This is a parity league, and even quality teams struggle on occasion. You wouldn’t even pay attention to their 0-2-1 stretch if this was the middle of January. The Ducks are in a scoring slump, probably caused by players trying to find chemistry with new teammates. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry don’t have a point. Do you think the NHL has magically discovered how to stop that duo after a decade of domination? The Ducks are a contender. They have the necessary ingredients to make it happen. Boudreau will be judged by what happens next spring, not what happens in the first three games of the season.

The 1-3 Penguins are already in a world of hurt Let’s take a step back here and remember that the three teams that have defeated the Penguins are a combined 11-1, including the white-hot Canadiens. We know that Crosby is eventually going to score plenty, and the Pittsburgh power play will likely end up as one of the league’s best. The Penguins have given up an average of two goals per game in the four games. They would be thrilled with that goals-against average  for an entire season. This is another team that is trying to figure out how to best use new personnel. It’s too early to assess where the Penguins are going this season.

Connor McDavid has been slow to adjust Now you understand why general manager Peter Chiarelli tried to tamp down the hype over this future superstar. Although McDavid has an overflowing amount of skill, he’s still an 18-year-old trying to find his way against the world’s best players. The lack of points (one goal) is not a shock to the Oilers. They understood that even budding superstars need time to sort out what works and what doesn’t. His point total will grow significantly as he gains experience. Don’t forget that he is not playing with a Stanley Cup contender. He is surrounded by players still exploring their own games. If you have watched McDavid in his first four games, you can see his potential dominance bubbling just below the surface. He always seems like he’s a half-second from a breakaway.

Allen continues

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, bruce+boudreau, connor+mcdavid, corey+perry, edmonton+oilers, peter+chiarelli, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, sidney+crosby

Kessel fitting in well with Penguins

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports that all is going well for Phil Kessel in Pittsburgh thus far, and Kessel's teammates certainly vouch for the ever-guarded #81:

"He’s pretty funny," said Crosby. "You know what, he’s just comfortable. He seems like he’s been here a lot longer than a month or whatever."

"We have fun with him — that's one part I'm a little bit surprised [about]," said David Perron, who met Kessel for the first time at training camp and now occupies the locker stall beside him.

"You never know what kind of guy you're going to get. He's been awesome, he's been pretty funny. Guys keep him loose."

These are the early days of what should be a long marriage. Kessel is under contract through 2020-21 and carries a cap hit of $6.8-million (the Leafs are covering the other $1.2-million) to go with a limited no-trade clause.

Often a change of scenery has a positive impact on a player, especially one coming from a team that missed the playoffs five of the last six years and is being promised more freedom.

"It's a tough market in Toronto," said Perron. "I think he was loving it there, but maybe it was time to move on. I don't know all that happened there. We're really happy to have him."

Continued

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  Tags: david+perron, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Road-ice advantage?

Among the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren's "Five Takes":

ROAD SWEET ROAD?: As the Senators packed for the season opening road trip, Bobby Ryan and Patrick Wiercioch were among those who said it was easier starting the season away from Canadian Tire Centre. Now, they have some solid stats to back up that argument.

The Senators went into Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh with a perfect 3-0 record on the road, extending their undefeated regular season road record to 17 games (14-0-3), dating back to February.

The Senators aren’t alone. Montreal (4-0-0), Vancouver (3-0-0) and Winnipeg (3-1-0) also kick-started their seasons with hot road starts.

Before Thursday’s games, road teams had gone 29-19-1.

Home teams? 20-25-4. That includes the woeful start by the Los Angeles Kings, outscored 12-2 in losing their opening three games on home ice. If they keep this up, they’ll be facing a ridiculous climb to a playoff spot by the time they play their first road game Oct. 22.

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, montreal+canadiens, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, vancouver+canucks, winnipeg+jets

EA Sports predicts an Anaheim Ducks Cup win

From the Canadian Press:

The Stanley Cup is headed to Anaheim this season, according to a video game simulation of the NHL season.

EA Sports says its "NHL 16" simulation has the Ducks winning the Presidents' Trophy, symbolic of the best regular-season record, and then defeating the Montreal Canadiens in the Cup final. Anaheim forward Corey Perry claims the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

The Ducks defeat the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference final while the Habs dispatch the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East final.

EA, which develops the hockey video game in suburban Vancouver, had the Los Angeles Kings winning the Cup last season in its pre-season simulation and the St. Louis Blues the year before that.

The new simulation has the Buffalo Sabres, who finished last in the 2014-15 standings, missing out on the playoffs by just two points. The Los Angeles Kings make it back to the post-season only to lose in seven games to the Calgary Flames in the first round.

Continued

Update: Here's EA's video of their simulation:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, corey+perry, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, pittsburgh+penguins

Penguins open practice and medical facilitiy

From NHL.com's Wes Crosby:

With the opening of the 185,000-square-foot UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, the Pittsburgh Penguins hope to be considered to host the NHL Draft Combine in the future.

The Penguins' new practice facility, which will also serve as a public skating rink, sports medicine clinic and physical therapy center, was unveiled Friday and will open to the public Monday. Unlike in seasons past, when they primarily practiced at Consol Energy Center when not on the road, Pittsburgh is expected to skate at the complex for each practice this season.

With the perceived advantages the facility provides, the Penguins have expectations for it to become more than a practice rink.

"I think it gives us the opportunity to potentially host the NHL Draft Combine, because we'd be the only facility where you wouldn't have to bring in the medical testing; we already have it here," Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. "We've already talked to the NHL about that. We're certainly going to be in the bidding for the World Cup of Hockey training camps. We think those kind of events that we wouldn't have been able to access before, this gives us an opportunity to do those things.

"Those are snippets. But it's just nice to know you have that kind of facility."

Within the complex's half-mile perimeter are two full-size hockey rinks, one specifically for the Penguins and one for public use; a sports medicine clinic with 24 private patient rooms; a physical therapy gym that overlooks Pittsburgh's practice rink; on-site MRI and X-ray imaging; 1,500 square feet of hockey-skills training space; and 14 locker rooms.

Continued

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins

Penguins sign Sergei Gonchar to pro try-out

This is interesting...

Update: It's official:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, sergei+gonchar

Is Mark Recchi a Hockey Hall of Famer?

From ESPN's Joe McDonald:

There’s no denying the impact Mark Recchi had during his 22-year career. He won three Stanley Cups with three different teams: the Pittsburgh Penguins (1991), the Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and the Boston Bruins (2011). He made a difference both on and off the ice wherever he played. Recchi could have retired after a disappointing 2009-10 season in Boston, but decided he wanted to go out a winner and stayed for one more season, helping the Bruins hoist the Cup with a win over the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. He officially announced his retirement while celebrating with his teammates on the ice at Rogers Arena. "Rex" didn’t earn induction in 2015.

The Case For

Not many can go out the way Recchi did. I still remember the image of him sitting at his locker at TD Garden after the Bruins lost in historic fashion to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bruins had a 3-0 series lead, but the Flyers erased that deficit and won in seven games. By the time the media was allowed in the Bruins’ locker room, all of the players were out of their equipment with the exception of Recchi. The only piece of equipment hanging in his stall was his helmet. The 2010 version of the Bruins missed their opportunity, and Recchi knew it. He said he needed time to decide whether or not he would retire. It didn’t take him long to realize the team’s potential, so he signed another one-year deal for 2010-11. It was that drive, determination and never-say-die attitude throughout his entire career that made Recchi so good, and the players around him better.

His contributions on the ice were impressive, too. He finished with 577 goals and 1,533 points (12th all time) in 1,652 games. He produced three 100-point seasons. He was extremely durable, too, routinely playing a full 82-game season. Plus, three Cup championships speaks for itself. He’s one of only three players to win a Cup with three different teams, joining Joe Nieuwendyk and Claude Lemieux.

Continued

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  Tags: boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, mark+recchi, pittsburgh+penguins

Ron MacLean talks about the Kessel trade, Babcock’s machinations in Toronto

Hockey Night in Canada's Ron MacLean spoke with Sportsnet's Luke Fox regarding five "hot topics":

On what the Phil Kessel trade means to Pittsburgh: “It’s great for Sidney Crosby. The challenge with Sid, thinking back to the Vancouver Olympics, is figuring out who to play with him. Finally after about three games, coach Mike Babcock said, ‘Sid, who do you think?’ And he said Eric Staal and Jarome Iginla. I see Kessel as maybe that triggerman that Sidney needs.

On 2015′s biggest free agent, Mike Babcock, moving to Toronto:“Mike Babcock is a big believer in ghost rosters. He doesn’t want too many of the same players. I’m not sure the Leafs had too many other Kessels, to be honest. Toronto will assemble a team in Mike Babcock’s version of teams.

“Mike didn’t want Marty St. Louis, who was the leading scorer in the National Hockey League [in 2013] to go to the Sochi Olympics because he had set out a roster of what he had in mind. He told Steve [Yzerman]: ‘You can pick him, but I won’t be able to play him.’ And Yzerman drafted according to Mike both at Sochi and Vancouver.

“In Vancouver at six in the morning, Yzerman called him and said, ‘Are you up?’ Mike said, ‘I’m a coach. I’m always up.’ And he let him make the final selection on forwards. Mike took Jonathan Toews and put him on the checking line with Rick Nash and Mike Richards—very unconventional. That’s what’s happening in Toronto: Mike’s doing the ghost roster as he sees fit.”

Continued

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  Tags: 2014+winter+olympics, martin+st.+louis, mike+babcock, phil+kessel, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, toronto+maple+leafs

Penguins get Lovejoy

From TSN's Bob McKenzie:

Here's compensation:

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, ben+lovejoy, pittsburgh+penguins, simon+despres

Crosby doffs mitts with Brandon Dubinsky

This was unexpected:

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, columbus+blue+jackets, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Sidney Crosby, the ‘vanilla’ face of the NHL?

USA Today's Kevin Allen discussed the maturation of Sidney Crosby--or perhaps the lack of the need for any real maturation--in a particularly long "backgrounder," and this...Well, this is, in my opinion, why people find Crosby so frustrating in terms of his off-ice personality:

"I'm pretty old-fashioned," Crosby told USA TODAY Sports. "I never feel the need to say where I am. Because I do a lot of interviews, people might believe I want my opinion heard. But I don't ever feel a need to share my opinion. This just comes with the territory."

...

Some athletes bristle at tough questions, or joust with the news media about questions being asked. But that's not Crosby's style because it's not his personality.

"When you are asked a question, that question reflects someone else's opinion," Crosby said. "And my opinion may be different than their opinion, but it's not the place to get into an argument over my opinion and your opinion. They are trying to do their job the best they can, and I have to do my job by answering the question the best I can."

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Dreger: Max Lapierre goes east

Okay, this trade is just weird. Marcel Goc is a solid grinder, and the Blues have grinders. The Penguins already have some acerbic players, but Max Lapierre? He's the king of dick mountain:

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  Tags: marcel+goc, maxim+lapierre, pittsburgh+penguins, st+louis+blues

Pittsburgh may have run rampshod over Minny, but they’ve lost Maatta for the year

The wheels may be coming off the train in Minnesota, which dropped a 7-2 decision to Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening...

But Mike Yeo isn't the coach who had to deal with the hardest news on Tuesday evening:

Thyroid cancer, mumps and now shoulder surgery. Bad year to be Olli Maatta.

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  Tags: minnesota+wild, olli+maatta, pittsburgh+penguins

McKenzie educates us about mumps; give the media booster shots, NHL!

Because TSN doesn't give us nearly enough Bob McKenzie thanks to the NHL's new TV deal with both Sportsnet and McKenzie's TSN = a whole hell of a lot of geo-blocking videos, here's 2:35 of McKenzie talking about the NHL's mumps outbreak with NBCSN's Kathryn Tappen (via Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahibian).

McKenzie explains that Sidney Crosby had already suffered damage to his salivatory gland thanks to a scrap with Riley Nash, so that was the reason that the Penguins allowed him to meet with the media--and he does a superb job of explaining why childhood immunizations aren't 100% effective:

Other good backgrounders: ESPN's Katie Strang and Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski.

My hope is that the NHL's teams, which are finally providing booster shots to players, coaches and team personnel (from a Wings perspective, it was fascinating to hear Mike Babcock's lecture on the subject because he revealed that many European players don't get the mumps-measles-ruebella vaccine) will be fitting the bill for booster shots for the media.

Working with NHL players = understanding that you're going into an environment in which massive amounts of physical activity, sweaty equipment, heavy travel schedules and workloads for everybody and everyone bringing in the germs of any school-age kids to a giant petri dish of handshakes, coughing, spitting, sweating and talking in close proximity...

But the fact that this virus can be passed on while people aren't displaying symptoms + vaccine success rates in the 85% range = there's significant risk for not only the NHL's family, but also the families of the people who cover the team. Prophylactic immunization of all adults interacting regardless of employer makes the most sense here in terms of nipping this damn thing in the bud.

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  Tags: bob+mckenzie, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

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