When Penguins GM Ray Shero acquired Harry Zolnierczyk from Anaheim last summer for minor-league defenseman Alex Grant, I thought it was a terrific move. Given the departures of Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy, I figured “Dirty Harry” could fill an energy role on the third or fourth line, with the potential to put up Kennedy-type numbers.
And he [...]
Lately the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t had a whole lot to write home about. The black and gold is mired in an ugly 2-4-1 funk. They’re a mediocre 6-6-2 since the Olympic break. With superstar Evgeni Malkin (hairline foot fracture) joining the ranks of the wounded, the injury bug continues to take a wicked toll.
While good news is decidedly to [...]
During each of the past three seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins rocketed through March and April, only to pull an el foldo in the playoffs. This year Dan Bylsma’s crew seems to be trying a totally different approach—play as poorly as possible in the stretch run and hope to heat up in the postseason.
With a 5-4-2 record since the Olympic break, [...]
What a difference a year makes. Eleven months ago Penguins fans were dancing in the streets following GM Ray Shero’s blockbuster deadline deals for Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray.
And this season? Not so much.
Shero tried to add some glitter. He vigorously pursued Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, only to be rebuffed. [...]
Celebrated author Charles Dickens opened his classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, with the famous phrase, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It sounds like he was describing the present state of Penguins hockey.
On one hand, the Pens remain perched atop the leaderboard of a weak Eastern Conference. However, in the wake of [...]
In the wake of Team USA’s heartbreaking loss to Team Canada on Friday, a buddy of mine shook his head and muttered, “The damn Penguins lost again.” His eyes widened as he caught his mistake, and he quickly corrected himself. But the analogy was made.
He was right, too. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was watching a replay of our season-e [...]
When Ray Shero acquired Jussi Jokinen from Carolina at last season’s trade deadline it barely caused a stir. After all, the Pens’ GM had already amped our emotions to a fever pitch by trading for Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray.
These days Iginla, Morrow, and Murray are skating for other teams. And Jokinen? Heading int [...]
As I watched the Penguins take one on the chin last night at the hands of the Dallas Stars, I couldn’t help but note that for the second time in the past four games the black and gold got lit up by a younger, faster, hungrier team.
It made me wistful for the time when injuries forced the Penguins to dress some of their kids. Remember how it f [...]
Through the first few months of the season Marc-Andre Fleury was a virtual brick wall in the Penguins’ net. Gone was the tentative, skittish goalie whose porous play last spring forced coach Dan Bylsma to turn the reins over to veteran Tomas Vokoun. In his place a new and improved No. 29 emerged—calm, cool, athletic as ever, and rock solid.
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 [...]