The Jim Rutherford Panic trades begin: David Perron and Adam Clendening for Carl Hagelin

Mercifully the David Perron era in Pittsburgh is over.

After trading a first round pick to get Perron last year, Jim Rutherford has seen enough.

At around 3:00am Saturday morning Rutherford traded Perron and little used Adam Clendening for Carl Hagelin.

Here is Hagelin’s stats:

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You may remember Hagelin from his murdering of the 2015 Penguins season:

Reaction from others

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 22: Carl Hagelin #26 of the Anaheim Ducks returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time as a member of the opposing team against the New York Rangers on December 22, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 22: Carl Hagelin #26 of the Anaheim Ducks returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time as a member of the opposing team against the New York Rangers on December 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Seth from Empty Netters take:

This strikes us as an exchange of two underachieving top-nine wingers with a side of a borderline NHL defenseman thrown in.

A vital part of the Rangers’ postseason success in recent seasons, Hagelin never found his groove with the Ducks this season. In fairness to Hagelin, he wasn’t the only one to struggle in Anaheim. A lot of the Ducks’ top offensive players have struggled to produce. 

Hagelin did not exactly thrive in a top-six role to start the season and has been used in a more traditional third-line role in recent weeks. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the Orange County Register:

“We tried him first line, second line at the beginning of the year. Realized this is what he is. He’s a solid third-line guy who’s going to get between 13 and 18 goals probably in a year and be responsible. And he’s a really good penalty killer.”


Mike Darnay, a new blogger at Pensburgh loved the deal beyond belief:

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Boudreau’s comments up top are pretty much all you need to know. Hagelin’s basically a third liner, and a good penalty killer. We do know he is fast, but so is your mom’s car. Doesn’t mean they can succeed in the top 6 of the NHL.  The Penguins needed another top six, but instead got another Nick Bonino.

Look just getting rid of David Perron is probably a win, but why in the living fuck would you trade an expiring contract for a guy who’s never scored more than 20 goals, and is signed through 2019 with a NTC?

Edit: Thanks to Rage in the comments for finding this:

In regards to his NTC, I give you CBA 11.8: 

“If the Player is Traded or claimed on Waivers prior to the no-Trade or no-move clause taking effect, the clause does not bind the acquiring Club. An acquiring Club may agree to continue to be bound by the no-Trade or no-move clause, which agreement shall be evidenced in writing to the Player, Central Registry and the NHLPA, in accordance with Exhibit 3 hereof.”

Overall, it’s good to see Perron go, but really not sure of the allure of a 4-million-dollar third line penalty killer.

Would have rather ridden out the Perron contract and then worked with that cap space in the offseason.

We’ve been alluding to Jim Rutherford making a panic trade, and this is probably the first of another one. The trade speaks to what the Jim Rutherford era is.

Aimless and random


Game 43 Recap: Same Old Song. Pens lose in OT.

So, that game was interesting. Mike Sullivan, to his credit, has undone the Mike Johnston 2-1 hockey and has opened up the 4-3, 5-4 hockey. Here’s the thing, though, the result is the same. A loss. The Penguins’ offensive talent will now keep them in games, but their defense is so horrid, it all offsets. There […]

Game 42 Recap: Tropical Depression. Pens fall in OT.


This Game as a Gif

We’re in the middle of January now. From here to the trade deadline are the dog days of winter. We have no stats to back this up, but we feel this to be the most important stretch of any NHL season. It’s basically like saying a true judgment of character is what you do when no one’s watching. Carolina has a couple of games in hand, but they are no joke. Pens and Flyers play probably 10 times between now and mid-April. You can see the standings; what a logjam.

For the game itself, what else would you expect from a regular-season game in Carolina?

Although Carolina seems to have sucked forever now, they always give the Penguins a game.

Going into the game, there was a 100% chance that Eric Staal was gonna score, and he did. The Canes also got a goal off a horseshit deflection that snuck in OVERTOP of MAF. Kris Letang scored on the 2009 Caps Overtime Goal Play to make it 2-1. That all happened in the second period.

After Kevin Porter dumped the puck in for the 15th time, we decided to look up some great moments in Carolina history:

still hate lincoln




Then came the third period. The Pens tied it.

And then came the 3-on-3 OT, and this tweet sums up the buildup to the OT nicely:

Jordan Staal ruined the OT by having Malkin hook him behind the net.

The ref said “Malkin” when assessing the penalty. Then went to the number:


The Good

Chris Kunitz scored his monthly goal, so people can pretend he is good again. ROOT Sports should make a tribute video for every time he scores.

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$4.0 million.


The Bad

David Perron.

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Two predictions for David Perron in 2016:

1. Mike Sullivan tries to kill him.

2. He signs with some bullshit team over the summer and scores 25 goals next season.

He might be one of the most miserable players we’ve seen in a Penguins uniform in a long, long time.


The Ugly

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The Defense

Do us a favor. Get every advanced stat you have that tells you the Penguins are “fine defensively.” Print them out, roll the papers up real tight, walk to your garage, get in your car, start it, and then sit there and die.

The Penguins defense is ugly. They get beat in transition, they struggle to get pucks out, etc. Ben Lovejoy continues to play 17+ minutes a night.

The state of the defense is going to cause Jim Rutherford to make a panic move. Just wait; it’s coming.


Game 41 Recap: No one hit the powerball, Steelers won, and the Pens too

What a time to be alive. 1. No one hit the powerball. The Jackpot next Wednesday is 1.3 billion. 2. The Penguins waltzed into Montreal and got two huge points. Goals by Hornqvist, Byran Rust, and the empty netter. Elite goal by Bryan Rust:   3. The Steelers won the most insane playoffs games in […]

Game 39 Recap: Framing the Defense. Pens squeak out point in thrilling OT loss

If Dean Strang and Jerry Buting were as bad as the Penguins defense can be sometimes, the only murder show you’d be watching on Netflix would be the Office. ( Because it murdered humor) Eat a sac.

The Penguins got a big point late, otherwise this would have been a shitty loss, especially going into Chicago tomorrow night.

We can’t state this enough, every game is just so huge. Here are the latest standings:

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Last year on Jan 5th the Penguins had 53 points. They finished with 98. 90 points is usually a make or break for the playoffs, you get where we are going with this.

Massive two points on the line in Chicago Wednesday night.

Things people will be talking about

Crosby’s back, jack.

Here’s a live look at Sidney Crosby and the NHL scoring leaders:

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A chunk into the third period, Crosby injected life back into the game with a snipe job and then almost brought the city to its knees 10 seconds later:


Crosby is cured of the Mike Johnston blues. Been fun to watch these last couple of games.

Kris Letang…has been outstanding

We’d have to go back and check, as if we give a fuck, but this is probably the first time we’ve said something nice about Kris Letang since he signed his contract. Even though he took a penalty, he was really good in this game. Letang fans like to say ” take the good and the bad,” what they forget is that he actually needs to do good stuff.

Right now he is. He tied the game with a simple, yet nasty shot, and he almost won it in a crazy OT session. We’ll take this Letang all day.

Bonus stunned gif:

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Ben Lovejoy, Ian Cole. Just not good.


But seriously, the Penguins defense. Horrific at times. Ben Lovejoy isn’t good. He never was good, he’ll never be good. He was on the ice for two goals for this one. Kane turned Lovejoy into a Pixar movie for the first goal. The second goal was probably his fault too.

As for Ian Cole, he’s the real life version of Ken Kratz’s narrative in “Making of a Murderer.”

( two references, and so many more to come.)

Corey Crawford highlights


Corey Crawford getting ready to make a big save.



But Crawford standing tall.

David Perron might be the new Tyler Kennedy

David Perron has a case of the Tyler Kennedys right now. Everything’s going wide.

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Perron had a couple actually decent plays in this game. He had a sick saucer pass that somehow Crosby didn’t score on. Dude can’t catch a break.

3 ON 3 OT

We should just probably take video of the entire OT because it was really, really good. Fleury and Crawford both made unbelievable saves. Malkin, Crosby, Toews, Kane, Hossa, Letang, Kessel all had chances.

So of course some dude no one has ever heard of before goes thriller on MAF:


Still a good point.



– Close to a half million Blackhawks fans were in attendance.

– Then the Pens got a power play. And then that got taken away because everyone is in love with Jonathan Toews.


– Have to admire the last of the hold-out yinzers who still boo Hossa. What a player.

– Quick turnaround tomorrow night.

Game 38 Recap: Making of a Goal Scorer. Pens beat on Isles 5-2

Back in October sometime, Isles goalie Thomas Greiss said CONSOL had a dead atmosphere compared to what he was experiencing with the Isles. Wonder what he thinks about that now. The Pens just ran away with this game. Crosby is coming alive. The power play is coming alive. 2016 is coming up Sullivan.



Recap Game 36: 2015 Comes to a miserable end.UPDATED: 2015 isn’t over just yet. Pens fall to Leafs

EDIT: Totally forgot that the Penguins play the Wings tonight. Whoops.


This ref summarizes 2015 in one GIF:

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Things everyone will be talking about from this game

– The Penguins make another shit goaltender look amazing.


Last night Jonathan Bernier gave up six goals on 15 shots. In three of his last five games his save percentage is sub .890. In this game, his save percentage in this game: .951.

The Penguins had 41 shots, but Bernier trended against everything you know about him and played like 1986 Patrick Roy.

– Too many odd man breaks against.

This from War on Ice.

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Minutes of the game are on the bottom. Scoring chances on the left. Everything was close until about halfway in the third period. You can see that the Leafs climbed a good bit about around the 50 minutes mark, which included the Penguins powerplay, which about sums things up.

With the Penguins defense the way it is, there is nothing you can do. It’s bend but don’t break. And thank god for…

– Matt Murray saving the day

Murray did his best MAF impression, and kept the Penguins alive. He made his best save about eight minutes into the third period. The once lifeless Daniel Winnik, had a scoring chance right on the doorstep while shorthanded. Murray did this:

In the shootout Murray looked like Steven Avery and the Leafs won.

– Dion Phanuef made Mike Babcock mad

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Dion Phanuef sucks. He was up to his old tricks in this one. He wore Crosby and Malkin like a suit. Then he took some bizarre penalty. Mike Babcock wasn’t happy.

– Kris Letang Quiet Room Trip ™

Letang got boarded, again. Here’s the Sportsnet panel talking about it:

Some people didn’t like Darren Pang’s comments about the hit, but we think it’s fair. Real issue is at this point Kris Letang’s brain is going to be the star of “Concussion 2″ yikes.

– Crosby scored a nice goal, and had an assist. Here is a live reaction from Consol:

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– Standings:

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2016 should be something. Thanks to everyone who still bothers to read us for whatever reason. Hope 2016 is great for you.


Game 35 Recap: Connor and the Jets. Pens lose.

Connor Hellebuyck is his name, and shutting out the Penguins is his game. There’s been a running joke the past dozen years about no-name goalies shutting out the Penguins. But there’s no such thing as no-name goalies anymore. Even as recently as the late ’90s, some NHL goalies (and basically every backup goalie) looked like […]


People who got mad online: Game Recap 34

When Christmas joy was over you settled in to watch the 2015 Penguins: After a so-so first period though the Penguins actually appeared to be playing with a pulse. They ran most of the second period from inside the Wild’s zone. Sidney Crosby cashed in about five minutes into the second: Devan Dubnyk yikes Eric […]

Game Recap 33: Christmas comes early. Pens win actual hockey game.

Phil Kessel came alive just in time for Maple Leafs fans to complain about it at their Christmas dinners. The goals came against a goalie playing exactly how you’d expect Whoopi Goldberg to play goal, but they still counted.


The Penguins really needed a win to stop the points bleed, and they got it. Columbus has definitely become a rival because by the end of the game you were hoping the scoreboard would fall on their bench.


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VIDEO: Glass comes loose and thankfully no one gets hurt.

This is pretty crazy. Ian Cole took a hard check in the corner and the glass came completely off: First off thank god that little kid didn’t get hurt behind the glass. Secondly, the glass just misses that woman’s face. Third, thankfully Ian Cole saw the glass falling on him. Dangerous, weird play.    


Jim Rutherford is mad in the papers again

As his tenure continues to head towards its embarrassing conclusion Stone cold Jim Rutherford keeps getting more upset. Here are his latest rants: “Am I disappointed? Yes. Makes me sick, actually,” he said. “More sick than I’ve ever been in my career when I’ve managed a team. I feel for the fans. I feel for everybody.” […]

Game 32 Recap: Penguins freefall continues. Canes beat them 2-1.

So, the new narrative is that Mike Sullivan is a great guy, who is saying the right things. He’ll fix this, in due time, blah blah blah blah.


All this might be true.

But it doesn’t make you scratch your head any less wondering how in the world a team that just fired their coach has managed to show not one sense of desperation. Honestly, the last two games have been as gutless as we’ve seen since the Dark Ages.

This is a spent-to-the-salary-cap team, not some run-of-the-mill bullshit team. Spare us all the excuses. It would be different if the Penguins played with any type of life other than when Evgeni Malkin is on the ice.

Mike Sullivan will take care what he has to, but at this point, all the quotes in the world don’t and won’t mean dick.

The Penguins are in trouble.


Jordan Staal returns

(Listen to Steigerwald blow the call again)

Thank God Jordan Staal scored that goal. Also scored a big goal in Game 6 that doesn’t get as much play.

Staal’s goal put the Canes up 1-0. John-Michael Liles scored, as well, and the Cans were up 2-0 in a flash. 

Matt Murray’s debut

Matt Murray had his first NHL start. Fast fact: At 6’4″, he’s the tallest goalie in franchise history. He didn’t look too bad.

The first goal was just a better play by Jordan Staal, and the second goal featured Olli Maatta screening him.

Safe to say he’s earned the start against the Jackets on Monday. If he doesn’t start Monday you’d have to question the direction of the organization at this point.

Watch one shift

We were going to just make an entire post of videos of Chris Kunitz committing turnovers but decided it would be a waste. Truth is Kunitz enables a lot of breakouts, but that’s only because Sidney Crosby is there to do all the work for him.

Watch this shift. It features Sidney Crosby making one mistake, and the Hurricanes jumping all over it because Ben Lovejoy plays for the Penguins. Seriously, watch Ben Lovejoy:

No wonder Crosby is playing the way he is. He has to be almost perfect because the Penguins have a trash defense.

If there is any silver lining in this whole mess, it’s that Conor Sheary appears he can play with Crosby.

Sheary is easily the best forward to ever come from Wilkes-Barre. Think about it. Sadly, it’s true. He makes some kind of play every time he’s on the ice. Late in this game he had a little 2-on-1 with Crosby and he flubbed the pass. This was the hardest Crosby’s moved toward the net all season:

Crosby taking the baby shit pass by Lovejoy with one hand. Buzzing past the Canes defense shows us he still has it; it’s just he is getting killed with weak-ass D-man pairings. If Sheary can complete that pass he’s going to have a long, healthy relationship with Crosby.

Malkin’s near miss

Evgeni Malkin, again, scored the only Penguins goal. He also had a chance to tie the game and he missed it:

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Newflash: Penguins need to win a game soon.

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Daniel Sprong goes back to Juniors

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So, did Jim Rutherford somehow see enough between hiring Mike Sullivan and firing Mike Johnston? We guess.

This is the right move, and probably saves Sprong from being completely ruined. Sprong has talent but he isn’t ready for primetime yet. Give him sometime to develop, see you in a few years.

Game 31 Recap: Maybe they will win the next game. Pens rocked by Bruins 6-2

If watching Jeff Zatkoff was like riding a ride at Kennywood, it would be like that time someone died riding the whip.

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The Jeff Zatkoff experience came to a crashing halt as he gave up six goals on 13 Bruin scoring chances. It’s not just his fault, though. The entire team is basically dogshit at this point.

Here is an actual play that shows you all you need to see

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No words really needed. Poor Meesh will have all of the Bruins goals broken down, and if he doesn’t kill himself, you might after watching them.

Mike Sullivan on the game:

His only reaction to the game should have been lighting someone on fire.

People ask Ben Lovejoy questions now

It’s December, dawg.

Ice time

Here are the game stats for whatever reason:

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  • David Perron with the solid -3
  • So wait, is Jim Rutherford going to complain about Mike Sullivan not playing Daniel Sprong?
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  • Screen cap is from the Pens holiday video, which might be the only good thing to happen this season.
  • Ian Cole might be the worst defenseman in the NHL right now.
  • On a rare solid note, Connor Sheary actually can play on Sidney Crosby’s line. He scored his first NHL to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.

Matt Murray on Saturday

Big time situation for Matt Murray on Saturday night. The Penguins desperately need a win, and a sign of life. It’s an extremely big spot for Murray who has been outstanding in Wilkes Barre the last few years.


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By comparison, the Penguins had 44 points on the same day last year.

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Recap Game 30: In Search of a New Hope. Still looking. Pens fall in Boston.

This had that feeling that the Bruins-Pens games used to have a couple years ago. Actually, when both teams are respectable, it feels like a playoff game, especially when it’s in Boston for whatever reason. It’s not hard to recall those afternoon games on FOX in the late ’90s. We remember Petr Nedved scoring a big goal. (We typed that before looking this up. Final game of the 1995-1996 season. Pens lost 6-5. Nedved scored two goals, and they were big because he was trying to finish the season with 100 points. Finished with 99. We are that good.)

So this game was really bad for the Penguins. They weren’t too far off from breaking through, but they didn’t score any goals, so that isn’t a good way to make a point or to even get a point.

The easiest things to say about the Penguins right now are the following:

1. They have no identity whatsoever.

2. They look like a randomly assembled bunch of dudes trying to play against teams that have a style, identity, system, and years of experience playing together.

This was the risk/reward of the Jim Rutherford era. He was going to build a team on paper and hope like hell it would translate to the ice.

It hasn’t. And it is looking like a long shot that it will.

Ryan Whitney had an interesting tweet the other day when someone asked him about what his favorite place to play was:

“Grew up in the minors with a lot of guys.” 

This was one of the rosters:

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Rob Scuderi, Colby Armstrong, Max Talbot, and Marc-Andre Fleury are some guys who played big roles in the building of the Penguins’ mini-powerhouse from 2008-2009. They, coupled with homegrown talent Ryan Malone, Brooks Orpik, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, and Good-Sidney Crosby, made the Penguins a team. Of course, the Penguins added Sergei Gonchar, Gary Roberts, Marian Hossa, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, etc. to the mix, but their core was with guys who grew up and formed an identity together.

Now the Penguins have Malkin, Bad-Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, the corpse of Chris Kunitz, and then a whole bunch of other guys that were just brought in with hopes of fitting.

Let’s face it; they aren’t built right, and the record and play reflects that.

Now, that doesn’t mean this isn’t fixable. In fact, Mike Sullivan may fix it. It’s only his second game in, and based on everything he said he knows young guys that will be the Armstrongs, Talbots, etc. needed to play.

Example: Connor Sheary saw 16 minutes of ice time. He got better every shift and he was rewarded. Brian Dumoulin saw 23 minutes and was rock-solid (minus the first goal being his fault). Would have loved to proclaim Daniel Sprong in this, but he played 7 minutes and saw the ice twice in the third. Woof.

The upcoming weekend games will tell the tale. If the Penguins can get a simple split, or even win both, Sullivan may be able to right the ship. Anything short of that, and it could get really ugly.


Here’s the video of how Marc-Andre Fleury got concussed. And it doesn’t look good UPDATED

Unreal footage here via WTAE:

Here is a GIF of it as well:

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Here is a slowed down gif.

It looks like Chris Kunitz got him as he was skating past the crease. In the full video over at WTAE, Fleury looks stunned, and appears to struggle to stand.

Fleury will be out for 1-2 weeks, and will not travel with the team to Boston tomorrow. At first it wasn’t clear as to how Fleury was concussed, but this video tells the tale.


Typical bad blogging by us. It turns out this video occurred on Sunday. And so that means Fleury played in the Caps game, and maybe it hit him after? Here was Mike Sullivan’s quote for

Marc came to us after the game and said he did not feel right,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think it was in the game last night, but he didn’t indicate when. When he brought it to our attention we addressed it.”

GAME 29 RECAP: Save us Mike Sullivan. Pens fall 4-1

It was great settling in for a Pens game and being genuinely pumped about it. New coach Mike Sullivan played a big part in that, and so did the Capitals coming to town.

Back in the good old days, before we were cynical assholes, we used think one game at a time for the Penguins. And that’s how it is now. Mike Sullivan has to be given time, at least 20-25 games before a good summary of his coaching style can be judged.

It might get worse before it gets better.

The biggest problem is the Penguins have no wiggle room. This is the Eastern Conference:

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As Dan Rather once said on his infamous 2000 election night :

“The race is as hot and tight as a too small bathing suit on a too long ride back from the beach.”

The Penguins have two massive games against the Bruins this week that could decide where this season goes.


OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 3: Trevor Daley #6 of the Chicago Blackhawks corals the puck against the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on December 3, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Rob Scuderi traded for Trevor Daley: UPDATED

In the first trade of the NHL season the Penguins have traded Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley. We’ll break down the trade later, but this was the first reaction: Trevor Daley is a pretty decent NHL defenseman, and he can move the puck, which is something new coach Mike Sullivan demands. Daley this season has […]


Game 28 Recap: Penguins scratch out point thanks to Malkin and Fleury.

You could talk about this game in a few short points, and it really just becomes a microcosm of the Penguins’ season to this point. 1. They got outplayed for a large portion of the game. 2. Sidney Crosby wasn’t really involved. 3. Marc-Andre Fleury saved their ass. 4. Evgeni Malkin carried the offense. 5. Mike […]

Game 27 Recap: Colorado super sucks. Pens win 4-2

So Colorado blows. Like seriously. Almost feel bad for Erik Johnson, Matt Duchene, and Nate Mackinnon. Gabriel Landeskog was supposed to play but he injured himself thinking about how everyone thought he was the next best thing a few years ago. Colorado’s goalie name sounded like a minor league pitcher. Awful team.

Moving on to what actually happened, the vultures are circling over Mike Johnston right now. Stone cold Jim Rutherford was in attendance, here’s footage of him walking into the arena:

The game was on NBCSN, and they seemed to really be reaching for something with Sidney Crosby and everyone. They showed this during the intermission:

Yea, sorry Keith Jones is an asshole.

We’re big fans of the Avalanche’s third jerseys:

The Pepsi Center plays the Super Mario Bros. power-up sound when the Avalanche kills a penalty:

That works well. It’s awesome.

The Return of Daniel Sprong

Daniel Sprong made his emotional return to the lineup, played maybe 27 seconds through the first two periods, and almost scored on a quick snap that hit the post from the top of the circle. Then he didn’t even see the ice for the third.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.01.28 AMThat’s just bizarre. What an FU from Johnston.

Avalanche goalie Reto Berra might be the worst player in the NHL.

Beau Bennett managed a couple of goals, and that’s gonna look great on his page, but there are no advanced stats that show how Colorado goalie Reto Berra played the whole game like he was in that Breaking Bad butcher-knife scene. What a joke.

The NBCSN broadcast had Brian Boucher – yes that Brian Boucher – and you know when he is confused about what happen it’s a bad goal.

One of the worst 3-on-2’s maybe ever to result in a goal.

Bennet would score again, and then this happened:

Damn. Bennett did return though.

Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist big performances

Hornqvist, we feel, has worked his ass off all season. He doesn’t have the stats to back it up, but in this one he got some. He had two points as did Olli Maatta – who was good as well. Maatta had the primary assists on both Penguins goal even though the game winner was basically his:


Big PK probably won the game

Biggest turning point was in the third period. The Pens took two penalties and had to kill off a 5-on-3. Thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury, and Tyson Barrie who couldn’t hit the net, the game changed.

Meesh up next.


Bob Mckenzie: Penguins exploring trades with Dupuis cap space

Bob Mckenzie appeared on TSN1050 on Tuesday afternoon, and said the Penguins are looking to make some deals. Today’s SlapShot transcriped the audio: But you’re right, they’ve got to get more goal scoring. I think they’re looking hard at trying to make some trades. They’re trying to find a puck-moving, top-4 defenseman. They’re still continuing to […]