- A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009

Recap: Penguins 4 - Lightning 3 [OT]

If, in October, someone had told me that one of the season's biggest highlights would be an overtime victory against Tampa Bay, I would have laughed. Of course, I also would have laughed if someone told me the Penguins would be in a desperate race for the finals playoff spot with Florida and Carolina.

But both of those things are true.

Evgeni Malkin is the best player on this team. Sidney Crosby is an amazing talent with great vision and skill. He's the kind of guy who will work as hard as he can every single game. But no one on this roster can take over a game like Evgeni Malkin can. The commentators during the game were right, it was like watching Mario out there.

This was one of those games that makes me want to throw out $150.00 for Malkin's jersey, despite the fact that I still hate the Penguins RBK Edge jersey design.

It was actually a pretty pathetic game. The Penguins once again spent the majority of the game being outplayed by a team they should have easily dominated. They seem to always struggle against new goaltenders and last night was no different. As the second period ended I truly believed Mike McKenna was going to get a shutout in his first full NHL game. I've been a Penguins fan for almost 20 years and I was ready to give up on the team. But Evgeni Malkin proved me wrong.
"I'm mad because we're losing." - Evgeni Malkin
That's exactly right. The Penguins shouldn't be down on themselves, they shouldn't be sad, they shouldn't feel hopeless. They should be mad. If you look at the talent on this team, even with all the summer defections, you see a team that should definitely be in the playoff hunt.

This was a great, character-building victory. It will be incredibly hard for the Penguins to build on this, since they face Columbus, Detroit and San Jose in their next three games, but that is exactly what they need to do.

Last night proved that the season isn't over yet. Maybe the boost from this game, combined with the challenge of facing two of the best teams in the West, will cause the Penguins to up their game and finish the season strong. Maybe they'll make the playoffs. Maybe Malkin will win the Hart Trophy.

After last night those things don't seem so impossible anymore.
Continue reading...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins


Anaheim Ducks
@Pittsburgh Penguins

Game Time: 7:30pm/ET
From: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Penguins Record: 24-23-5 (10th in Eastern Conference)
Flyers Record: 17-24-10 (12th in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting:
December 23rd, 2008 @ Pittsburgh (2-0 Lightning)

Matt Cooke - Sidney Crosby - Evgeni Malkin
Luca Caputi - Jordan Staal - Petr Sykora
Chris Minard - Maxime Talbot - Tyler Kennedy
Pascal Dupuis - Bill Thomas - Eric Godard

Brooks Opik - Rob Scuderi
Mark Eaton - Kris Letang
Alex Goligoski - Ryan Whitney

Marc-Andre Fleury (16-13-3 / 2.85 GAA / .910 SV%)

Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (shoulder) - on injured reserve
Ruslan Fedotenko (broken right hand) - on injured reserve

GOALS: Evgeni Malkin (22)
ASSISTS: Evgeni Malkin (54)
POINTS: Evgeni Malkin (76)
+/-: Evgeni Malkin (+16)

Vaclav Prospal - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone - Jeff Halpern - Evgeny Artyukhin
Steve Downie - Steven Stamkos - Mark Recchi
Gary Roberts - Ryan Craig - Adam Hall

Andrej Meszaros - Paul Ranger
Steve Eminger - Lukas Krajicek
Cory Murphy - Matt Smaby

Mike McKenna (0-0-0 / 0.00 GAA / 1.000 SV%)

Jamie Heward (concussion) - on injured reserve
Paul Szczechura (lower body) - on injured reserve
Marek Malik (ankle) - on injured reserve
Mike Smith (upper body) - on injured reserve
Olaf Kolzig (left biceps tendon surgery) - on injured reserve, out for season

GOALS: Vincent Lecavalier (23)
ASSISTS: Martin St. Louis (30)
POINTS: Martin St. Louis (48)
+/-: Martin St. Louis (+6)

Miroslav Satan will be a healthy scratch tonight. I have to say that's a good move. He has not been performing recently and the last thing the Penguins need is another defensively liability. If he was scoring goals his lack of defensive hockey would be overlooked but he's not. Scoring goals is his only job and he's not doing it, so benching him makes sense.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited about Gary Roberts return tonight. This may be the last time Roberts steps into the Igloo, so I hope he gets a large ovation. When he left I assumed that his veteran leadership was no longer required, but I was wrong. Gary Roberts is the exact kind of player the Penguins need right now. He works hard every single night and, even at his age, he's always a factor. I wish he'd come back and finish his career in the 'Burgh.

Mike McKenna will be in net for the Lightning. He played in his first NHL game last night, stepping in in relief.

If the Penguins lose this game it is very bad news. Their schedule only gets tougher from here on out. The upcoming Western Conference games against Columbus, Detroit and San Jose will likely not be pretty. They then finish off the month with games against Toronto, Montreal, Philadelphia and the Islanders. Outside of that last one, all of those teams have given them trouble this year.

It's another must win tonight.

Prediction: 4-2 Penguins
Continue reading...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Recap: Canadiens 4 - Penguins 2

None of the mistakes the Penguins made last night were new. They got an early lead, they blew it, they fell apart for a period, they played weak defense, they mounted a comeback attempt too late and they lost the game.

It's the same story every night.

We all know the team's problems. There defense is completely shaken. The guys that shut down teams like the Flyers and the Rangers during last year's playoffs now can't manage to clear one puck out of their zone. The Penguins defense is the definition of soft. This team is incredibly easy to play against.

Secondary scoring is nonexistent. It was great to see Luca Caputi work hard in front of the net and score. I'd forgotten what that looked like. People like Jordan Staal, Maxime Talbot and Miroslav Satan have disappeared. The team's offense cannot rest with only two players, no matter how good they are. Again, the Penguins are making it too easy. They don't work hard. They don't gather loose pucks. They don't head to the net and scramble for garbage goals. They're too easy to play against.

Their power play, despite scoring yesterday, is as close to useless as it gets. Rarely do the Penguins make their opposition pay for fouling them. Unless their definition of "payback" is "pass the puck around the perimeter until a defenseman can get a shot off that will likely be blocked and cleared from the zone." Again, it's all too easy.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are incredibly easy to play against.

Malkin, Crosby and Fleury are the only players who look like they care. They're the only players that look like they remember how to play NHL hockey. The rest of the team is lost, including the coaching staff.

I'm not sure what else to say.
Continue reading...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Montreal Canadiens


Pittsburgh Penguins
@Montreal Canadiens

Game Time: 7:30pm/ET
From: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Penguins Record: 24-22-5 (10th in Eastern Conference)
Maple Leafs Record: 28-16-6 (4th in Eastern Conference)
Last Meeting:
December 27th, 2008 @ Pittsburgh (3-2 Canadiens)

Matt Cooke - Sidney Crosby - Evgeni Malkin
Miroslav Satan - Jordan Staal - Petr Sykora
Pascal Dupuis - Bill Thomas - Chris Minard
Luca Caputi - Maxime Talbot - Eric Godard

Brooks Opik - Ryan Whitney
Mark Eaton - Kris Letang
Rob Scuderi - Hal Gill

Marc-Andre Fleury (16-12-3 / 2.82 GAA / .911 SV%)

Sergei Gonchar (left shoulder surgery) - on injured reserve
Mike Zigomanis (shoulder) - on injured reserve
Ruslan Fedotenko (broken right hand) - on injured reserve

GOALS: Evgeni Malkin (21)
ASSISTS: Evgeni Malkin (54)
POINTS: Evgeni Malkin (75)
+/-: Evgeni Malkin (+17)

Sergei Kostitsyn - Tomas Plekanec - Alexei Kovalev
Christopher Higgins - Saku Koivu - Matt D'Agostini
Max Pacioretty - Maxim Lapierre - Sergei Kostitsyn
Alex Henry - Steve Begin - Tom Kostopoulos

Andrei Markov - Mike Komisarek
Josh Gorges - Roman Hamrlik
Ryan O'Byrne - Francis Bouillon

Carey Price (17-8-5 / 2.53 GAA / .913 SV%)

Mathieu Dandenault (left arm surgery) - on injured reserve
Georges Laraque (lower body) - on injured reserve
Alex Tanguay (separated left shoulder) - on injured reserve
Robert Lang (left Achilles surgery) - out indefinitely
Guillaume Latendresse (shoulder) - week-to-week

GOALS: Robert Lang (18)
ASSISTS: Andrei Markov (33)
POINTS: Andrei Markov (40)
+/-: Andrei Markov (+9)

The Montreal Canadiens are hurting. They're missing Robert Lang, their leading goal scorer, among many others. They've only won one game in their last six. If there was ever a time for the Penguins to strike, it's tonight.

Unfortunately Carey Price will be at the other end of the ice.

Price was outstanding during the last meeting between the Penguins and Canadiens. He was the main reason the Habs were victorious.

Just like every game, the Penguins need this win. Their line-up is finally getting healthier. They need to start winning.

Tyler Kennedy will miss this game with a suspension. Phillipe Boucher will be a scratch as will Alex Goligoski, for some reason. Goligoski deserves to play, at least until Gonchar returns.

Paul Bissonnette was returned to WBS and has been replaced by Luca Caputi in the line-up. This will be Caputi's NHL debut.

In other news, the Penguins have named Evgeni Malkin the permanent alternate captain for the remainder of the season. The days of alternating the 'A' each month are over. Brooks Orpik will be the other alternate until Sergei Gonchar returns to action. This is a great move. Malkin definitely deserves the honour.

Hopefully Petr Sykora sees decent playing time tonight. He is third on the team in scoring and deserves to be on the ice more, especially during power plays.

Prediction: 3-2 Penguins
Continue reading...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tyler Kennedy Suspended for One Game


Tyler Kennedy has been suspended for one game for leaving the players' bench to instigate a fight with Toronto's Luke Schenn.

Schenn had just delivered a big hit on Evgeni Malkin with Kennedy left the bench to engage Schenn in a fight. The Penguins' defense was that the team was on a line change at the time.

The Official NHL Rulebook states:

70.2 Legal Line Change – A player who has entered the game on a legal
line change or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has
expired) who starts an altercation may be subject to discipline in
accordance with Rule 29 – Supplementary Discipline.

A player or players who have entered the game on a legal line
change during a stoppage of play, who line up in preparation for the
ensuing face-off, and who participate in an altercation shall be
penalized under the appropriate rule and will be subject to discipline in
accordance with Rule 29 – Supplementary Discipline (a game
misconduct is not automatic in this situation unless provided for as a
result of his actions in the altercation).

Continue reading...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Just in case there is anyone that doesn't know, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl last night.

It was an outstanding game filled with lead changes and drama.

There's a lot that the Pittsburgh Penguins can learn from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I've posted a new article at The Hockey Writers on that very topic.

What the Penguins Can Learn from the Steelers.

Check it out!
Continue reading...

Monday, February 02, 2009


There's been an issue moving some of the posts off of MVN and back onto Blogger.
As soon as I get that fixed they will return. Continue reading...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Game Recap: Maple Leafs 5 - Penguins 4

This was a game the Penguins should have won. They scored four goals and yet still lost. They were outplayed by a team that they should be able to handle.

It wasn't good.

At least there's that other game on today.

There aren't many good things to say about the situation the Penguins are currently in. I thought they were finally coming out of their slump, but it looks like that's not the case.

I guess "Go Steelers?"
Continue reading...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Places to Watch NHL Hockey Games Online in 2012

It's been a few years since we put together our 10 Places To Watch NHL Hockey Games Online list, so it makes sense that we do an update. Despite the fact that this blog isn't updated vanymore, the original post is still quite popular. However, a lot of the sites listed there have been shut down, so we thought we'd list  some new options:

We'll deal with the 100% legal services first. These options may work for you depending on where you live:
  • NHL GameCenter Live - This is available online as well as on various devices (iPad, Xbox 360, etc.) for a monthly or yearly fee.
  • CBC Sports shows live NHL hockey in Canada from their Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.
  • Leafs TV on Rogers on Demand - If you're a Rogers customer and you subscribe to Leafs TV, you can watch Leafs games anywhere.
And now onto the rest...
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