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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

5 Tricks, 5 Treats from the Early Season by @Nick422

3:00:00 PM 0
The Penguins season has been... well... hooooo boy.  Where do we start?  However it's Halloween and things aren't all bad!  We go trick or treating with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champs!

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Too Early to Panic? by @MedinaMarie_PI

10:00:00 AM 0
"What is the meaning of October hockey...?"
(Photo credit: The Express)

The Penguins finished out the first month of the NHL regular season with a record of 7-5-1. Not too shabby but coming off yet another set of back to back games which showcased another abysmal performance and overall throttling, this one coming from the Winnipeg Jets, it's becoming clear that "Stanley Cup Hangover" is the least of whatever problem there may be.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Niemi Gone and DeSmith Up by @disgruntledbill

3:02:00 PM 0

Image result for antti niemi penguins
Pittsburgh Post Gazette 

Antti Niemi has played 3 games this season. Simply put he has not been good in any of those games.  Currently his GAA Is an absurd 7.49. and his save percentage is 0.797 Both marks are good enough for worst in the league.
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Monday, October 23, 2017

New Life for Kuhnhackl by @MedinaMarie_PI

2:56:00 PM 0

Around this time in 2016, my article "Kuhnhackl in the (Time Out) Corner" was published. It told of the struggles the young forward was having early on in the 2016-2017 season, his lack of playing time, and his subsequent benching that had fans and media alike scratching their heads. The 25 year old winger didn't even see much playing time during the Stanley Cup Playoffs or in the Finals due to a nagging and lingering injury.

This allowed fellow forward Scott Wilson to raise his game and put into question if Kuhnhackl, who has never been the flashiest of players, would be used as possible trade bait in the coming off season.
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

More Thrills than Phil by @Nick422

12:00:00 PM 0
Tuesday's 5-4 come from behind victory against the Rangers was a thrill ride of emotion.  With stars stepping up big and toppling a division rival in impressive fashion, the Penguins are proving to be a high octane, fun team.  And eventually that will be a problem.

Say what you will about advanced stats or deep dives into pools of data but the fact remains that outshooting your opponent is your best chance at winning.  While the Penguins have pumped 106 shots on net over the past three games (good for 35 shots per game) they're not doing so hot when it comes to shot suppression.

While the numbers aren't overwhelming in the favor of the away team, 112 shots on net against Matt Murray and Antti Niemi (good for 37 per game) isn't what you want to see as a coach or player on the stat sheet.

The 2015-16 Cup was won by overwhelming the opposition and shot suppression.  It's what made the end result so unsurprising.  The inverse was true for the 2016-17 Cup team.  They lived on the edge needing timely goals, clutch goaltending and some luck from a flailing Pekka Rinne to lift Lord Stanley.  It worked once, the odds of it working again are slim.

The regular season is a time to iron out wrinkles, that's a given.  And the Penguins had turn over like that of a typical team, not one that was perfectly placed to win back-to-back Cups with few new additions and fewer subtractions.  It's all the reason why there's little need for concern.

However the nail biting 5-4 finals, which the Penguins have seen three times this year, as well as the odd 4-3 tally (seen once) will need to be fewer than regular in order for the Penguins to see the same success they saw in the past two years as they look for a three-peat.

It's far too soon to worry or gnash your teeth in concern.  For now it's fun and fine to sit back, relax (lol jk how's your heart?), and enjoy some 1980s era fire wagon hockey.  If this continues into the new year, and past time any additions are made to shore up and third line and defense missing pieces, then we should worry.

For now let's put a three-peat on hold.  Let's put entertainment first.  We have Sid, Geno, Phil, and Tanger for a reason.  Let them shine and enjoy the ride.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Three on Three: Three Thoughts on Three Games in Three Days by @disgruntledbill

12:00:00 PM 0
The “three in three” is a uniquely American Hockey League event.  While the most recent CBA has kept teams out of action in the NHL on three nights in a row, many weekends turn into an all you can eat hockey buffet for AHL fans.  This reporter, a fan of both buffets and a hockey, gladly lived out of his car and made it to all three games in person this weekend.

Birddogging it with the scouts all weekend long. 

This past weekend WBS hosted the Phantoms on Friday (winning 5-0), then braved turnpike construction and went on the road to Allentown (losing 3-2), and finally finished up the weekend hosting the Syracuse Crunch with a 6-1 win. 
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Hornqvist: The Heartbeat of the Penguins Lineup by @MedinaMarie_PI

12:30:00 PM 1
(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
It didn't matter how fans enjoyed Wednesday October 10th's game versus the Washington Capitals- be it in person at the Capital One Center, watching on television or listening on the radio- the fact that Patric Hornqvist was back on the bench and ready to finally start the season made everyone feel...different.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Now Let's Play by @Nick422

5:21:00 PM 0
The day everyone either awaited or feared arrived.  The Penguins were going to meet with Donald Trump in the White House.  It was a polarizing moment that, sexist comment about Amanda Kessel aside, went about as smoothly as it could have gone.

It was a controversy weeks in the making.  Everyone had an opinion.  You were either "stick to sports" or "don't normalize this behavior."  Externally the lock room was committed to the company line, "It's not about politics" as we further delved in to a world where "not about politics" no longer became an option.

But banner raisings, blow out losses, and finally victories kept pushing aside the fact that the Penguins, really, just wanted to play hockey.  Tone deaf or just not wanting to rock the boat, it's hard to say.  Hockey, by nature, is a game of the upper crust.  The cost of equipment makes it hard for anyone but those with a desire, and money to burn, to become a player and become accepted.

It spun narratives, one way or the next, as these situations are wont to do.  "Sidney Crosby is a racist."  seemed to be a popular overture, a new take on "Sidney Crosby is a whiner" that really isn't much better or factual.

Finally it came to a head.  As Trump complimented Crosby, Malkin, Kessel (ugh), and even brought up NAFTA to Ron Burkle, the Penguins escaped without any scrapes.  While faces can tell a story (take time to read everyone's face in the photo above) there were no signs of boats rocking, with the only potential "Actually" coming from Mike Sullivan after the fact:

Fortunate to escape being used as pawns as the NBA and the NFL have been by the current administration (perhaps the "this isn't political" comments were made to dull that possibility) the Penguins now move on to hockey and a three-peat.

Gone is the controversy.  Gone is the fear that they'll be tainted.  Vanished is the worry that they'll unwittingly partake in some sick endeavor brought up by what ever thought enters the mind of someone at a mic.

All that's left is sport.  And thank God for that.  It's a great day for hockey, now let's play.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Every Blackhawks Goal Set to Yakety Sax by @nick422

3:30:00 PM 0
The Penguins lost last night.  Badly.  There's really no other way to put it.  When you're beaten that badly all you can do is laugh, unless you're the Penguins I suppose.

Let's all laugh.

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Dealing With Loss: 5 Positives to Take From That Drubbing by @ToonsBrian

11:20:00 AM 0

Things don't always go your way in life, love, war or sport. Exhibit A would be Thursday night's beat down of the Pittsburgh Penguins handed out by the Chicago Blackhawks. Any rationally-thinking human adult realizes this and acts accordingly.

For Blackhawks fans, this was a perfect game. For our fellow Pens fans, not so much.

For those of you who may simply find yourself struggling with dealing with the atrocious performance of our Penguins, allow me to offer 5 positives things we can all (well, most of us) take away from last night's game.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pouliot: He Didn’t Waive Good Bye by @disgruntledbill

12:00:00 PM 0
All of the pressure was on Derrick Pouliot. He was taken in the first round, chosen 8th overall. He was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins at a draft in Pittsburgh. Oli Maatta (taken 22nd) and Matt Murray (taken 83rd) were both drafted after Pouliot in his draft year.  Given his higher draft spot, Pouliot was expected to be better than those two players. He was expected to have carved out a roster spot in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, these lofty expectations for Pouliot left many fans very disappointed.
It's weird not to see Mike Johnston in this photo. 

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The Phil - 007 Scratch That by @ryank_119

8:00:00 AM 1
Raise it up! Raise it up to the rafters and make room for another one!

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Penguins Trade Derrick Pouliot

1:53:00 PM 0
We all kind of waited for this moment and finally it came as the Penguins shipped woe begotten defender Derrick Pouliot to hockey Siberia and the Vancouver Canucks.

In return the Penguins pick up a 4th round pick in the 2018 draft and 24 year old, 6'5" 213 lbs defender Andrey Pedan.  Let's take a look at some Pouliot highlights.







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The Phil - 006 Friends To The End by @ryank_119

8:00:00 AM 0
Bozie to the rescue, proving that ketchup indeed is the best way to douse a toaster oven fire!
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Monday, October 2, 2017

#JagrWatch Ends, former Pens great signs with Flames

12:19:00 PM 0
All smiles from 68...he is back for another year..but not in Pittsburgh
With just days before the start of the 2017-2018 NHL regular season, and the Penguins still on the search for a reliable third line center, all eyes were on former Penguin, Jaromir Jagr. Hope abounded throughout the Penguins fan base that General Manager, Jim Rutherford, would finally pull the trigger to bring number 68 home once again.

I hate to be "that guy" but Jagr is officially not coming to Pittsburgh.

Per NHL correspondent Elliote Friedman, the Calgary Flames announced in the late morning hours of October 2nd that they had struck a deal with the 45 year old veteran in the terms of a one year contract worth $1 million dollars plus $1 million in bonuses.

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The Phil - 005 Coach's Weakness by @ryank_119

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