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 [...]
The Penguins have employed their share of pests—the thorn-in-the-side guys who make a living out of irritating the opposition. Here are my top seven:
1. Bryan Watson (1969-74) Watson wasn’t nicknamed “Bugsy” and “Superpest” for nothing. Like his partner in crime, Glen Sather, the tough little defender excelled at getting under the oppositions [...]
The Dirty (Half) Dozen features the Penguins players who were most likely to stray over the boundaries of fair and gentlemanly play. Needless to say, none was ever a candidate for the Lady Byng Trophy.
1. Steve Durbano (1974-76) A wild man on skates, “Demolition Durby” was renowned for his razor-edge temper and unpredictability. Aptly describ [...]
It didn’t take Penguins general manager Ray Shero long to wrap up his summer’s work. During the four short weeks that passed since the black and gold bowed to Boston in the Conference Finals, he resolved virtually all of the team’s looming personnel issues and laid the foundation for the upcoming campaign.
Here’s a quick review of Shero’s mov [...]
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 [...]
Matt Cooke has deserved his time spent as public enemy number one in many cities over the years. It’s not even debatable. He has done a few things that are going to keep him from ever receiving the hockey equivalent of saint hood, or the Lady Byng award. The entire city of Ottawa has spent the last two months trying to prove that Coo [...]
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 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 [...]
The Sports Illustrated jinx is alive and well. Seven days after SI posed the question—“Who Will Stop the Penguins?”—on the cover of its April 15 issue the new-look Flyers provided the answer. Paced by Claude Giroux’s three-point effort and some stingy defense (40 blocked shots), the Flyers eliminated their surprisingly subdued rivals in Game [...]