Kukla's Korner

The Confluence

Category: Opinion

Staal’s contract ties Shero’s hands, or does it ??

The current downward spiral of the Penguins certainly provides more than enough fodder for the blogs and message boards.

But the 4-year, $16 million contract extension to Jordan Staal has set off yet another firestorm of controversy in Penguinsland.

NOTE:  A lot of my comments on this topic have already been spewed over at Puck Daddy in Sean Leahy’s article.

So let’s break this one down a schmidge, shall we ??

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  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Pat Quinn on Penguins’ speed dial ??

Pittsburgh radio host and hockey enthusiast Mark Madden, on his afternoon radio show on Pittsburgh’s WXDX-FM, reports that the Penguins are contemplating replacing Michel Therrien with Pat Quinn.  Moreover, Madden reports that had the Penguins lost to the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night, the coaching change would have been made at that time.

The Penguins are on the road starting Thursday in Nashville, Colorado and Philadelphia before returning home next Wednesday vs. Washington.  So it remains to be seen if the change will be made at all, and if so, when.

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It’s time for Ray Shero to call Brendan Shanahan

Last night’s 3-1 Penguins win over the Atlanta Thrashers wasn’t just crucial because it snapped their five-game losing streak, nor because they got two powerplay goals in the process.  That snapped a 33 powerplay scoreless streak in itself.

But that’s not the only reason it was a great scene last night.

It should have caused Penguins’ GM Ray Shero’s head to pop a big lightbulb with the realization on what his team desperately needs.

It needs Brendan Shanahan.

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Penguins should pass on Happy Valley possibility

A year has now passed since the inaugural Winter Classic at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium (I almost typed Rich Stadium) between the Penguins and Sabres.  It appeared to be a great experience for all those in attendance;  The huge crowd, the snow (although that didn’t help the on-ice conditions), and of course, the game itself.

Now that Winter Classic II between the Wings and Blackhawks has passed, and it certainly appears to have been a wonderful success as well, the lobbying from around the NHL has already begun for the possibility of a third installment of the New Year’s Day game.

Comcast president Peter Luukko was quoted in today’s Philadelphia Daily News that “We [the Flyers] are very interested in being a part of the Winter Classic,  We have already expressed our interest to the league. It really is a unique event that we would love to be a part of.  We have talked to the league and the Penguins about playing at Penn State or elsewhere.”

Well, that’s fine and dandy, it’s not exactly new news that the Happy Valley matchup is being explored.  But let me just opine that if I had any input on it for the Penguins, and of course I don’t, I’d say “thanks but no thanks”.

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Road Trip Report, the Bruins, and oh those Penguins

Aaah, home sweet home.  Nothing like driving the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95 during the holidays, I always say.

Except for the bummer of the outcome, always great re-visiting the Igloo, this time for last night’s Bruins/Penguins tilt.  Gonna be sad when they tear down the ‘ol barn.

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Trouble in Penguinsland ?:  Therrien’s job, Crosby’s “C” being questioned by fans

It’s not just a Penguins thing, nor is it just a Pittsburgh thing (we’re notorious for complaining about the Steelers too), I’ve been reading Rangers and Wings fans moaning about their first place teams for a few weeks now as well.

But the Penguins blogosphere and message boards are getting hammered regarding the mess that is playing out on the Igloo ice recently.  Putting it bluntly, the Penguins are simply playing bad, bad hockey and things are going to have to start changing, and soon.

There have always been people that haven’t been Michel Therrien fans, but the numbers are growing fast that now want Therrien and his staff fired.  But that’s not even the eyebrow-raising recommendation some of the fans have been putting out there;

Some even want Sidney Crosby to lose the “C”, at least temporarily.

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Two years ago today, Penguins’ “Plan B” went into action

Tip of the hat and props to my buds over at The Pensblog for jogging my rapidly aging memory.

It seems so “business as usual’ now, as we watch the Penguins’ new arena, the Consol Energy Center, prepare for its first steel girders this week on the Pens’ webcam.

But two years ago today, there was a whole lotta uncertainty going on in Penguinsland.

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Pittsburgh Penguins Roundtable discussion #2

I’m back with my second Penguins roundtable of the season, and my first here at KK (my first was when I was still at MVN, check it out.

Here’s who will be participating;

Sean Leahy (SL) - Going Five Hole
Chris Wassel (CW) - The Program
FrankD (FD) - Pensburgh
Stephanie (ST)  - The Steel City Sports Fan (Penguins Edition)
Hooks Orpik (HO) - The Sweater Ted
Greg Wyshynski (GW) - Puck Daddy, Yahoo! Sports Blogs
Chris Gates (CG) - Pittsburgh Puck Talk
Seth Rorabaugh (SR) - Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Empty Netters
Matt Bodenschatz (MB) - Faceoff Factor
Brian Metzer (BM) - Hockeybuzz.com
Jesse Marshall (JM) - Faceoff Factor
Pensblog Staff (PB) - The Pensblog
Tony Ferrante (TF) - Kukla’s Korner/The Confluence

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It was eight years ago today…..

I was still on active duty in the Navy in December 2000 (I retired in 2003).  I happened to be on temporary duty at a conference in Fort Huachuca, Arizona of all places on December 11th, 2000.  I had gone down to the cafeteria on our lunch break, had sat down with my plate of cholesterol and believe that I was watching either Sportscenter or CNN Headline News, something like that.

And then I heard something that absolutely stunned me, in a wonderful kind of way.  Le Magnifique, Mario Lemieux, was coming back, out of his 3 1/2 year retirement.  My co-workers, I’m sure none of them hockey fans, gave me a kinda “what the hell ??” look towards me as I spouted “Oh My God !!” and a couple “Holy Shit’s !!” out.  I’m getting goosebumps just typing it right now.

Now, I should mention that even though I was a Penguins fan and a hockey fan in general, I wasn’t the fanatic that I am now (I attribute a lot of that to the frickin’ Pirates, but that’s for another day).  In addition, I was overseas for many of Lemieux’s years with the Penguins, being WAY back before the days of easily accessible satellite TV.  I was stationed in the Pentagon during the Pens’ cup years.  So because of all that, I always felt I missed out on so much as a Penguins fan.

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Penguins, Capitals fans unite to get Ovechkin into All-Star Game starting lineup

Courtesy of The Chief’s busom buddies at The Pensblog;

The Ovechkin Counter-Offensive

In the coming month, Penguins fans and Caps fans from around the world will form the most unholy alliance to date. And we will be launching the largest internet battle in the history of the NHL.

NHL—Those letters should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore, like the fact the Pens own the Caps in the postseason.

We will be united in our common interest of jobbing Montreal Canadien fans and getting Alex Ovechkin into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Perhaps it’s fate that bitter rivals have decided to join forces, not to fight tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but to cause humiliation to smug Canadien fans.  We are fighting for our right to see the best three players in the world play on the same line, to enjoy it.

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  Tags: nhl-penguins, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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