In the wake of Ray Shero’s dismissal in May, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle repeatedly stressed the need to add more grit and character to their hockey team.
On the first day of free agency new GM Jim Rutherford devised a novel approach for addressing that need. He let the Pens’ grit-and-character guys bolt.
In a mass depa [...]
With the NHL free agent signing period set to begin July 1, here’s a list of Penguins free agents by category.
Unrestricted free agents (such as Jussi Jokinen and Matt Niskanen) may sign with any team without compensation. Under certain conditions restricted free agents may sign with other teams. The Pens then would receive compensation in t [...]
It’s hard to say whether the Penguins have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. Conventional wisdom says GM Ray Shero has some holes to fill—especially on the third line. While the team’s championship pedigree may be in question, its heart and soul are not.
The Penguins displayed plenty of both against a surprisingly spirited Buffalo squad a [...]
Back in 1973 the Philadelphia Flyers drafted defenseman Larry Goodenough with their second-round pick. Cleverly nicknamed “Izzy,” Goodenough enjoyed some early success with Philly before fizzling later on.
It made me think of the Penguins’ defense. As it’s currently constructed, is the black-and-gold blueline corps good enough to anchor a Sta [...]
I’ve written on numerous occasions that the Penguins need to be bigger and tougher in order to compete for the Stanley Cup. While I still feel the black and gold would benefit from some extra beef up front, the team’s collective heart is plenty big enough.
Last night’s 4-1 victory over Detroit was one of the most courageous efforts I’ve witne [...]
More than any Penguins’ defeat in recent memory, last night’s gut-wrenching 3-2 loss at the hands of the Big, Bad Bruins at TD Garden left a bad taste in my mouth and set off a tidal wave of emotions.
It wasn’t so much that the Penguins lost as how they lost. After giving a valiant effort for 58 emotionally charged minutes, they leaked for tw [...]
When the Penguins and Flyers resume the Commonwealth Cold War in Philadelphia on Thursday night, it’ll be the definitive case of two foes headed in opposite directions. While the Pens have zoomed to the top of the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers are off to a ghastly 1-6 start.
Indeed, the Pens are firing on all cylinders while Philadelphia [...]
For my fourth and final installment on the toughest Penguins ever, I’ve listed the guys I’d most want to have with me if I were entering a dark alley.
1. Bob “Battleship” Kelly (1974-77) As a 27-year-old rookie with St. Louis, Kelly beat reigning heavyweight king Dave Schultz twice in a preseason game. Able to intimidate foes simply by skatin [...]
During the first four games of their incendiary opening-round series, the Penguins and Flyers provided enough fireworks to rival any Fourth of July pyrotechnics display. On Friday night Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show with a goaltending effort for the ages. In perhaps the most brilliant performance of his career “Flower” made 24 saves—includ [...]
Prior to the “Battle of Pennsylvania,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell boldly proclaimed, “It’s going to be a bloodbath.” The Philly villain’s prediction came true—in spades—on Sunday afternoon during a raucous Game 3 at the Wells Fargo Center. In an ugly affair that featured 158 penalty minutes and battles galore, the Flyers outclassed the Pen [...]