“I don’t even know how to assess it,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, when asked about his team’s incendiary 8-7 overtime triumph over Washington last night before an amped-up capacity crowd at PPG Paints Arena.
That’s okay, Mike. I’m not sure I can describe it, either. Except to say that in my 40-plus years of watching Penguins hockey, I’ [...]
Aside from the fact that they both hail from western Canada, Justin Schultz has little in common with his lone Penguins namesake. Indeed, Dave “the Hammer” Schultz was a ferocious left wing of modest ability who brawled his way to 535 penalty minutes in 113 games with the locals back in the day.
Justin is quite the opposite—a sublimely skill [...]
He wasn’t the winningest general manager in Penguins history. Nor did his teams capture a Stanley Cup. Or even a division title. Yet Jack Riley was a pivotal figure through the Pens’ difficult early years. Thanks, in large part, to his perseverance and dedication, a foundation for future champions was formed.
Riley, who passed away on Wednes [...]
The history of the Pittsburgh Penguins is filled with anomalies and precursors.
Consider, for example, the strange case involving three of the team’s brightest stars—Michel Briere, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby. If you add the uniform numbers of Briere (21) and Mario (66), it equals Sid’s 87.
Stuff like that.
Along those lines, the paths [...]
Phil Kessel isn’t your stereotypical hockey player. Indeed, in a sport dominated by athletes with lean, chiseled physiques, the round-faced Penguins’ winger sort of resembles your Uncle Walt. Even after he trained last summer with ex-Pens hard rock Gary Roberts.
Nor does he possess a common skill set. Keen anticipation. Excellent vision. Grea [...]
I’ll be honest. Jim Rutherford wasn’t my choice to succeed Ray Shero as the Penguins’ general manager back in the summer of 2014.
I’m not sure he was the Pens’ top choice, either. The club was considering associate GM Jason Botterill and analyst Pierre McGuire, among others, before JR emerged—seemingly from left field—to win the job.
Now? It [...]