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GAME 52 RECAP: That’s Sidney Crosby’s Music. Pens roll again.

We’re getting to the point now where we’ll soon be past the “Man, the Penguins look completely different under Mike Sullivan” phase. We’re not exactly sure what the next phase will be, but it’s just great to be pumped about the Penguins again. It doesn’t hurt when they score three goals in the first period […]

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GAME 50 RECAP: Broken Down Fleury

Here’s how the game went in one pic: It felt like the Pens had no chance in Hell of winning this game. People were freaking out that Malkin was out for maybe two games and that Eric Fehr is gonna be out for a month. It’s far from the end of the world. The Florida […]

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GAME 49 RECAP: Saved by the Crossbar. Penguins hold on for another W

Remember back when the Penguins got Phil Kessel over the summer and everyone thought there would be games like 6-5 every night. And then Mike Johnston ruined hockey for half the year? Knowing the NHL like we think we do, this game is probably a foreshadowing of what the next 33 games are going to […]

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The Sudden Death II story we never finished

So back in 2010 we, Rick City, and Stephen S started talking about making a story about Sudden Death II. When we (Derek and Adam) started the blog long ago, we did a story called “Jobbers.” We always wanted to do another story. By then we had become friends with Stephen S. What people don’t […]

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All Star Gameday Live Thread

The All Star Game is being live streamed on NBCsports.com. Malkin and Letang will play in the first game. Actually looking forward to this game for some reason.

during the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skill Competition at Bridgestone Arena on January 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The All-Star Skills Competition was actually pretty cool

We don’t know about you, but growing up NHL fans, watching the All-Star Skills Competition was always a major highlight. Because of technology now, we get to see players every night that 20 years ago we’d only get to see during the playoffs. Over the years it has lost it’s luster. But for some reason […]

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Looking for a Spring intern

We’re looking for a spring Intern to help with daily posts, some original post ideas, and to make fun of people on the internet. Apply here: Thepensblog@gmail.com Your application needs the following: – A homemade gif – Example of previous writing ( if not make one up) – Whatever else to make it interesting. Perks: – […]

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Evgeni Malkin’s Players Tribune fill in the blank is amazing

Everyday the Players Tribune gets better and better. Today is no different. They handed Evgeni Malkin a blank card with some questions. And the answers were amazing. [ The Players Tribune ] Malkin’s answers were very interesting and his handwriting is actually really good too. His most interesting answer was that he thought Patrick Marleau […]

Game 48 Recap: A Simple Plan. Penguins win 2-0.

There is going to be a subset of people that are going to start accusing others of leaving the Penguins for dead back in late December.

No one left the Penguins for dead earlier this season.

They were dead.

But here we are at the all-star break, and the Penguins have crawled out of the shit tunnel they were in and have placed themselves into a realistic place to make the playoffs.

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Tons of credit to everyone but Jim Rutherford, really. Because he still sucks.

Mike Sullivan has waltzed into Pittsburgh and gotten Crosby and friends back on track.

We were listening to the Sullivan post-game presser until Tim Benz asked a question, but Sullivan credited Crosby for getting his game back. You’d be a giant spaz if you think Sullivan hasn’t had a lot to do with getting 87 back on track.

It’s hard to say if Sullivan did a great job unraveling the stupid plans Mike Johnston had, or if he just fixed everything by keeping the Penguins’ new plans simple.

Whatever that answer is, it doesn’t really matter. Winning games is all that matters. And Sullivan has the Penguins doing that.


 

Snore Fest 2016

Literally four things happened in this game:

1. Crosby scored:

2. Kessel scored:

3. The Devils hit the post once.

4. The Devils hit the post again.

That’s it. If you didn’t watch the game, that’s all that happened.  The Devils seem to have some random players assembled, and they just dick around the entire game. Not clue how they’ve won any games at all.


 

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– Matt Cullen seeing unlimited time. And you know what? He deserves every minute.

– It’s hard to remember one shift Kuhnhackl had. That’s not a job on him either way.

– Patric Hornqvist plays so fucking hard. Inspirational player in our opinion.

– Hagelin, man.

 


Sharts stats

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The return of Shero

Ray Shero was back in CEC in this one. The Pens had a tribute for him, which was nice. Jim Rutherford probably had Nam-like flashbacks of the Staal trade. No word yet if Ron Burkle took time away from sniffing Puff Daddy’s sac and eating to see it.

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Picture: Ron Burkle after eating two stacks of his own money.


Craig Adams retired

This game was so boring, Craig Adams retiring became a headline. Big goal in game 7 against the Caps.

Adams’ Hall of Fame ceremony has already been held:

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Game 46 Recap: Walks like a sellout, quacks like a sellout. Pens win.

Let’s take a live look at Vox Media’s own Turtle Hughes after the Penguins’ big win against his beloved Flyers: Huge kudos to Mike Sullivan, who did something his predecessor could not in beating the gaggle of douches in orange. Probably a signature win for Sullivan, and just at the right time.  

Game 45 Recap: Way she goes. Pens fall apart in third period, lose.

The Greatest Show On Ice, the St. Louis Blues, were simply too much for the Pens on the second night of back-to-back job. It didn’t help anyone in the Milky Way Galaxy that Jeff Zatkoff got the start, but what are you gonna do. That’s the way the team is constructed. It has nothing to do with being lucky or anything.

When you have bad players in important positions, like goalie and defense (looking at you Ben Lovejoy), chances are it will be revealed. We will say this is probably a 2-2 game with MAF in net, Hagelin scores some goal, and the Pens win.

But that’s the way things have been going this season.

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The Penguins best move would be to make no move at all

Despite all their flaws, the Penguins sit one point out of the playoffs.

To recap how amazing that is, look at this:

To further that the Penguins chance of making the playoffs are hovering around 50%…

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Graph via the tried and true sportsclubstats.

So this all positions the Penguins for a pretty crazy finish to the 2015-2016 season. We’ve been saying this for awhile, but every game from here on out is huge.

The stats are pretty clear, they are going to have to finish at least five to six games over .500 in the next 38 games to give themselves at least a 50% chance of making the playoffs.


The product of no plan

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Our stance on Jim Rutherford will never change. Based on what we know now he was a bad hire, by a lame duck ownership group. He has no plan. He never did. He’s winging it. If you don’t believe that, that’s on you. Every move he’s made is based on a win-now, answer for later platform.

He rightfully drafted Kasperi Kapanen in 2014. Then he traded him as part of the Phil Kessel trade. He traded a first round pick for the lifeless David Perron. At the 2015 draft he drafted Daniel Sprong, then the Penguins botched that.

Of the once good young defenseman core the Penguins were thought to have, they only now have Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.

He’s the same GM that openly questioned his own Ben Lovejoy trade, and added a 4-million dollar career third line signed until 2019 for an expiring contract.


 

Please god stop him from making a trade

Good internet friend Ryan Wilson had a thought about the Penguins trading for Kevin Shattenkirk.

St. Louis isn’t going to want to take on any players who are due for huge massive raises otherwise they would just keep Shattenkirk. They will either want a proven NHL commodity with term at a reasonable rate or they will want an NHL ready prospect that is cost controlled.

Pittsburgh has one of each of those. Patric Hornqvist is the proven NHL commodity that is cost controlled and Derrick Pouliot is the NHL ready prospect. While those two players may somewhat fit what the Blues are looking for I do not believe that Pittsburgh’s pieces are strong enough to beat out other teams that will take a run at Shattenkirk.

Like Ryan says though, that package wouldn’t be good enough. Plus, in our view, Hornqvist is a guy the Penguins need.

But let us circle back to our main point. The Penguins, given where they are, should stand pat. See if you can make the playoffs with the current roster. It’s a toss up anyway, so why risk another short-sighted move?

We have a feeling that isn’t going to be the case for Stone Cold Jim Rutherford, and we’ve very afraid of what that means.

 

 

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