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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
It’s safe to say the Penguins have endured more than their share of hardship this year. With key performers such as Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi dropping like flies, the black and gold ranked fourth in the NHL with 161 man-games lost to injury as of December 15—a staggering total at this stage of the season.
While it’s never a good thin [...]
It’s getting so you can’t tell who’s on the ice and who’s in the hospital ward for the Penguins these days. In rapid succession the club lost Beau Bennett (wrist surgery), Tanner Glass (broken hand) and, now, top defenseman Paul Martin (broken tibia). Combined with previous injuries to defensive stalwart Rob Scuderi and forward Chuck Kobasew [...]
… the Penguins remind me an awful lot of last season’s Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks. They’re playing with the same mix of speed, skill and grit, not to mention confidence, focus and desire.
… Ray Shero should win his second straight General Manager of the Year award. Not only did the wily GM keep the team’s talented core intact [...]
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 [...]