As our Penguins prepare to enter a brand-new era under Mike Sullivan, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on some pluses and minuses through the first third of the 2015-16 season.
It’s not meant to be an all-inclusive list. Obviously, players such as Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury deserve praise, as do the unsung defensive tandem of [...]
“We want to be a team that’s tough to play against.”
Remember when former GM Ray Shero uttered those words? Shortly after he took over the reins from Craig Patrick in the summer of 2006? It seems like a lifetime ago.
Shero backed up his words by building a team that could physically compete. Guys like Matt Cooke, Ryan Malone, Brooks Orpik, Ga [...]
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 [...]
I was searching for a word that best described the Penguins’ pathetic showing during Sunday night’s abysmal 3-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Soft immediately came to mind.
With a chance to wrap-up their second-round series and atone for a wretched showing in Game 5, the Penguins turned in one of the most [...]
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Pittsburgh Penguins opponents hated visiting the Steel City. Not only would they have to face a lethal lineup featuring hungry young stars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but they knew they’d absorb more than a few bumps and bruises, too.
Now it seems, opponents are having far too eas [...]
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 [...]
With all due respect to Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, and Douglas Murray, my favorite Penguins acquisition at the 2013 trade deadline was Brenden Morrow.
Call me old school, but ever since “Scary” Gary Roberts left the ‘Burgh during the summer of 2008 I’ve felt the Pens have lacked a certain element. Call it “functional snarl,” if you will. I [...]
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 [...]
For the third time during the course of the Pens-Flyers rivalry, the momentum shifted with the arrival of a superstar. Sidney Crosby would lead the Penguins to a third Stanley Cup—and become a lightning rod for Philadelphia fans’ hatred and jealousy.
As if scripted, “Sid the Kid” received a rude welcome from the Flyers. On November 16, 2005, [...]