At the risk of mimicking that annoying blue jay perched on a branch outside your window that just won’t shut up, I’m once more going to expound on my favorite hockey subject.
The Penguins need to get bigger. Especially up front. In a hurry.
Last week’s games were a case in point. After delivering a superhuman effort to beat an infinitely larg [...]
Back in the day, Ivory Soap boasted that it was so pure it wouldn’t leave a bathtub ring. As presently constructed the Penguins’ defense could make a similar claim. It won’t leave a mark.
Losing rugged Robert Bortuzzo to injury certainly hasn’t helped. In his absence GM Jim Rutherford assembled a defense that’s built for the Autobahn, not NHL [...]
When the Pittsburgh Penguins traded promising young goalie Jim Rutherford to Detroit back in 1974, nobody dreamed that one day he’d return as the team’s general manager. Yet there he was, standing at the CONSOL Energy Center podium on Friday, fielding questions about his new assignment as coolly as he once gloved opposing slap shots.
There’s no denying it. The Pittsburgh Penguins enjoy a wealth of riches when it comes to defensemen. Thanks to the drafting and bold maneuvering of GM Ray Shero, the Pens can boast of no fewer than a dozen defensemen (counting prospect Scott Harrington) who could be skating a regular shift in the NHL. That’s enough to stock two teams.
Of all [...]
Say this about Penguins GM Ray Shero. He sure doesn’t wait for an invitation to join the party.
In a pair of bold moves that preempted the NHL’s April 3 trade deadline by over a week, Shero acquired two missing pieces to the Pens’ Stanley Cup puzzle. On Sunday he swapped defensive prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick in the 2013 Entry Dra [...]
When Ray Shero sat down to do the math involved in trying to decide who to acquire for the Penguins stretch drive to the playoffs, it didn’t take a genius to see how the numbers added up. Trading for Eastern European goal scorers(Kovalev, Poninkarovsky) = Playoff flame out whereas acquiring North American, hard nosed, gritty, leadershi [...]
They say confession is good for the soul. If so, I must confess here and now that this isn’t my favorite Penguins team. I think they’re too small. They lack defensive structure, especially in their own end. And coach Dan Bylsma seems rigidly resistant to making meaningful adjustments.
Still, I couldn’t be more proud of our boys for the way th [...]
For the past couple of seasons I’ve watched with increasing alarm as the Penguins have downsized (and defanged) in order to better fit Dan Bylsma’s “damn-the-torpedoes, full-steam-ahead” system.
It’s no secret that Bylsma’s approach is predicated on wearing the other team down with a relentless attack. While speed certainly is an asset in tod [...]
It wasn’t supposed to work out this way. Thanks to a pair of bold trades by Penguins GM Ray Shero at the Entry Draft that freed up millions in salary-cap space, the black and gold were supposed to be major players in the Zach Parise-Ryan Suter free-agent sweepstakes.
One could almost picture Parise working the give-and-go to perfection with p [...]
In nature everything runs in cycles. Seasons change from winter to spring to summer to fall, and back again. The same holds true in sports. Championship teams are cultivated and nurtured through a combination of drafts, trades and free-agent signings until they peak. Then they gradually diminish until they enter a rebuilding phase.
Only three [...]