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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Going Down The Dark Road In Pittsburgh

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

I can’t help but think of another team as the Penguins fade. It’s the team that helped shaped this one in its formative years. The one that showed them what high-stakes hockey was all about.

I’m talking about the Detroit Red Wings and how, after losing to the Penguins in the 2009 Stanley Cup final, they began to erode, imperceptibly at first. They still had a couple of 100-point seasons in them. Still a few trips to the conference finals. You always knew they would make the playoffs. They did that for 25 straight years.

By 2016, though, the Red Wings had become garden-variety, first-round flameouts. That is where their season ended three straight years (sound familiar?). They still seemed dangerous — at least to where you could conjure images of one last title run if you tried hard enough.

But by that time, Detroit’s Big 3 — their Crosby-Malkin-Letang — was down to one: an aging Henrik Zetterberg. Nicklas Lidstrom had retired in 2012. Pavel Datsyuk was headed back to Russia to finish his career.

Instead of competing for championships, the Wings were competing for playoff spots.

I always wished the Penguins and Red Wings would play a finals rubber match and be linked in history forever.

Instead, more than a decade later, they are linked in another way: These Penguins have become the late-stage Red Wings.

The Penguins won’t fade easily. Once-great teams rarely do. They will rage against the dying of the light. No Mike Sullivan team would go down without a fight (except the one in the bubble two years ago).

But let’s be honest here. It’s getting awfully dark.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sidney Crosby Had Wrist Surgery, Out At Least Six Weeks

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent a successful wrist procedure today, it was announced by general manager Ron Hextall.

The procedure to Crosby's left wrist was performed by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss of New York, in collaboration with team physician, Dr. Dharmesh Vyas of UPMC.

The 34-year-old center will miss the start of training camp and is expected to be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks.

"This is not a new injury for Sid. It is something that he has played through for years," said Penguins general manager Ron Hextall. "After exhausting all minimally-invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest."

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Brian Burke

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

SPORTSNET: What did you learn about Sid you didn’t know?

BRIAN BURKE: We have the best practice habits of any team in the NHL, and he drives all that.

Our practices are high-tempo, difficult practices with thoughtful drills and the guys really work hard. Mike Sullivan does a great job, but Sid drives it.

Can we assume your early assessment of the Penguins is that the team isn’t ready to rebuild just yet?

Correct. This group is under contract for another year and we’re going to keep seeing what we can do. We believe in the group.

We’ve made the playoffs 15 straight years. We won two Cups - five and four years ago - and then we were eliminated in the first round the last three years. We’ve got to reverse that trend.

What was the biggest adjustment to getting back into management?

The part that was different was we got right back into it – I signed my deal on a Thursday and went to Pittsburgh on a Sunday or Monday and we were right in the bubble.

No bars, no restaurants or going out. We’d play the games, fly home and it was regimented and no social life at all.

I actually had a hard time spending time with my players, which I love to do.

It’s going to be a lot more fun now that things are opening up.

continued, includes more than just Penguins...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mike Lange Announces He Will No Longer Do Play-By-Play

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange announced today that he will not return to the radio booth for play-by-play duties, but will remain a part of the Penguins Radio Network. Fans will continue to hear Lange's voice during radio appearances and various Penguins programming.

Lange, 73, missed the majority of the past season out of an abundance of caution during the pandemic while awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine. He returned to the booth alongside color analyst Phil Bourque to call two home games at the end of the regular season and Games 1 and 5 of the Penguins' Round One series against the New York Islanders.

"Mike is a broadcasting legend, not just in Pittsburgh, but in all of sports," said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse. "He is respected and admired by all, including our ownership, players and management and executive team. Mike's clever phrases and goal calls are synonymous with the most iconic moments in Penguins history. Although he is stepping away from the booth, he remains a huge part of the Penguins' family and we look forward to hearing his voice for years to come."


Below, a look at Mike Lange.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goaltender Needed For The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

So, no Fleury. Darcy Kuemper went to the Colorado Avalanche. Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta are both going to Carolina. Braden Holtby is on his way to Dallas. So, what does that mean for the Penguins in goal?

After all, they can’t go back to Tristan Jarry as the top option in net with Casey DeSmith as the lone backup. Not after Jarry’s hideous playoff series against the New York Islanders.

Can they?

“(Jarry and DeSmith) did a good job for us last year,” Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said last week. “And we anticipate them both being back.”

Oh. Well, then, maybe they can.

During this week’s “Madden Monday” podcast, Madden suggested that was a poor idea.

“I think they are going nowhere with Jarry and DeSmith as the goalies,” Madden said. “People are panicking about losing Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev. They are small potatoes. They are bottom-six guys. … That’s still a team that won the division last year. But unless they solve the goaltending, they aren’t going to win a playoff series. And let’s not forget they are in a tougher division this year. It won’t be as easy to make the playoffs, let alone win it.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questions In Pittsburgh Need Answers

from Emly Sadler of Sportsnet,

Questions will be asked about the core: can it stay together, sustainably, for another run? Since winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, the club has won just a single playoff series.

But front of mind for many right now, in the wake of Wednesday's disheartening loss, will be goaltending. Once boasting the kind of depth organizations dream of, the team chose Matt Murray over Marc-Andre Fleury with Vegas calling a few years ago, then went with Jarry over Murray last off-season. Jarry’s under contract for two more seasons at $3.5 million per; DeSmith, one more at $1.25 million.

While his regular season numbers weren’t as strong as last year’s, which ultimately won him the starting gig, Jarry put up respectable stats worthy of a No. 1 behind a strong offensive team through most of 2020-21. But he now finishes the post-season with a stat line that tells a drastically different story: 3.18 goals against average, .888 save percentage through six games in his first full playoff series against the Islanders, a team not exactly known for scoring.

With the core at the age and stage that it is, top-tier goaltending was the most obvious missing piece this spring. With new management at the helm, where does that factor in? Time for a young netminder to develop isn't the kind of luxury this group has if they're to turn around and make another run. How Pittsburgh tackles its crease will be the biggest key as we shift focus from looking back on this season that was to looking ahead to what the next could be.

more and a look at all the games played on Wednesday...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Pittsburgh Penguins Are On The Brink Of Elimination

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Good luck to the Penguins trying to bounce back from this defeat.

It is not a stretch to say their 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders in double overtime Monday night was one of the most painful playoff losses in franchise history....

But this latest loss still hurt badly.

The damn Islanders, right?

This is becoming a really rotten trend.

By losing Game 5 despite thoroughly outplaying the Islanders, the Penguins need to win Game 6 on Long Island on Wednesday night and Game 7 back at PPG Paints Arena on Friday night to avoid falling to 1-5 against the Islanders in postseason series. If they lose either game, they will be bounced from the playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive season.

There are two ways of looking at the Penguins’ chances for survival:

One, they need only to match their effort from Monday night in Game 6 in order to live and play another day.

Or two, they took their best shot at the Islanders, and it wasn’t good enough.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Bad Goal Of The Night

Tristan Jarry


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

From Bad Jarry To Good Jarry

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

On this night, they sang his name.

“Jar-ry! Jar-ry! Jar-ry!”

Unlike the other afternoon, there was no expletive in front of it.

Such is life for an NHL goaltender at playoff time. When his team loses, it’s all his fault. But when it wins? He’s the biggest sports hero in town.

That is the life Tristan Jarry has chosen.

He was on the right side of the deal Tuesday night.

As bad as Jarry was Sunday afternoon in the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders, he was that good in their 2-1 win against the Islanders on Tuesday night. It’s fair to say he is most responsible for the first-round playoff series being tied at a game apiece.

There was no better player on the PPG Paints Arena ice in a game the Penguins desperately needed.

I have to admit, I didn’t see this bounce-back performance coming from Jarry. His teammates did, though.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Better Goaltending Needed In Pittsburgh

from Neil Best of Newsday,

You know those position-by-position analyses sportswriters have produced before postseason series since around the time the first Stanley Cup playoff was held in 1894?

They generally prove irrelevant or inaccurate once the games are played. But not always.

Consider the current first-round series between the Islanders and Penguins. It widely was assumed before it started that the Islanders had the edge in goaltending. Then Game 1 confirmed that, in the extreme.

To review: The Islanders’ second-best goalie seems to be better than the Penguins’ first-best goalie.

Poor Tristan Jarry. He sounds more like an ancient Canadian baseball stadium – ask your grandparents – than a modern Canadian goalie. And he was exposed (see what I did there?) on Sunday.

If the Penguins are to have any hope of beating the Islanders four times in six games, he is going to have to be better than he was in the 4-3 overtime loss, in which he allowed a series of savable pucks to go unsaved.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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