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.

 

 

Postgame_Thoughts_Game_44

Thoughts: Game 44 – Pens Finally Get Results in 5-0 Win over Hurricanes

Pens 5  Hurricanes 0 Record: 21-16-7, 49 pts Goals Maatta (5) from Malkin, Kessel Sheary (2) from Porter, Cullen Crosby (13) (PP) from Kessel, Malkin Crosby (14) from Hornqvist, Lovejoy Daley (3) from Hornqvist Penalties Malkin (slashing) – Unnecessary (chases Skinner in the neutral zone and whacks him in the hip with his stick) Lovejoy […]

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Thoughts: Game 43 – Pens Drop Another Point, Then Send Perron to Anaheim

Lightning 5  Pens 4 (OT) Record: 20-16-7, 47 pts Goals Letang (6) from Crosby, Hornqvist Hornqvist (10) (PP) from Malkin, Letang Daley (2) from Malkin, Kessel Kunitz (7) from Maatta, Hornqvist Penalties Rust (holding) – Overly aggressive (tries to get around Stamkos to get the puck off of him in the offensive zone, but uses […]

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Jim Rutherford continues to contradict himself, does anyone notice or care?

Dateline: December 15, 2015. This quote appeared in Friedman’s 30 thoughts: One defenceman we may not see in a Penguins uniform too quickly: Derrick Pouliot. “We’re going to be careful with him,” GM Jim Rutherford said last Saturday, “We were too quick to push him last year. It’s better to leave him in the minors, […]

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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Summary

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

Recap_43L

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 […]

Postgame_Thoughts_Game_42

Thoughts: Game 42 – Another Point Bites the Dust, Pens Lose 3-2 (OT)

Hurricanes 3  Pens 2 (OT) Record: 20-16-6, 46 pts Goals Letang (3) from Maatta, Crosby Kunitz (6) from Crosby, Hornqvist Penalties Daley (interference) – Bad (reaches out across Versteeg to stop him from getting to a rebound and takes Versteeg down away from the puck) Cole (slashing) – Stupid (slashes Hainsey as they skate behind […]

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

 

This Game as a Gif

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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:

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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.

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Thoughts: Game 41 – Fleury Continues to Dazzle in Pens 3-1 Win Over Montreal

Pens 3  Canadiens 1 Record: 20-16-5, 45 pts Goals Hornqvist (9) (PP) from Kessel, Malkin Rust (1) from Bonino, Dumoulin Fehr (5) (SH) (EN) unassisted Penalties Dumoulin (tripping) – Careless (tries to shove Byron in the back and loses his balance, getting his stick into Byron’s skates as he puts his hands and stick down) […]

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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 […]

January Outlook for Secondary Market Pittsburgh Penguins Tickets

The disappointing season for the Pittsburgh Penguins is reaching the halfway point and they’re still struggling to put a consistent winning product on the ice night in and night out. Through 40 games the Penguins are two points off of the fourth spot of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference (trailing the New Jersey […]

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Thoughts: Game 40 – Even Fleury Can’t Save Pens in 3-1 Loss

Blackhawks 3  Pens 1 Record: 19-16-5, 43 pts Goals Malkin (19) (PP) from Kessel, Letang Penalties Fehr (interference) – Overly aggressive (chases down Garbutt on a 2-on-1 rush and knocks him down into the net) Bonino (hooking) – Lazy (tries to lift the stick of Desjardins getting a loose puck and doesn’t move his feet […]

CrosbyPens672

Sidney Crosby will not be at the NHL All-Star Game again this year

Despite being the face of the league, Sidney Crosby was not selected for the NHL All-Star Game. Arguably the best hockey player on the planet for the last ten years, Crosby has only played in one All-Star Game in his career due to various reasons. Last season, Crosby was suspended one game for no-showing due to an […]

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Thoughts: Game 39 – Pens Put Together Encouraging Effort Despite 3-2 (OT) Loss

Blackhawks 3  Pens 2 (OT) Record: 19-15-5, 43 pts Goals Crosby (12) from Perron, Letang Letang (4) from Crosby Penalties Letang (hooking) – Good (gets his stick into Hossa’s gloves to stop a chance with Hossa wide open in front with the puck after Cole stepped up and missed the puck) Letang (interference) – Unnecessary […]

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.

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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

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Corey Crawford getting ready to make a big save.

 

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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:

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Still a good point.

 


MISC

– 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.

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Thoughts: Game 38 – Pens Start 2016 Right with 5-2 Win over Isles

Pens 5  Islanders 2 Record: 19-15-4, 42 pts Goals Kessel (12) from Cullen, Malkin Crosby (10) (PP) from Malkin, Letang Crosby (11) (PP) from Letang, Malkin Cullen (4) (SH) from Letang, Maatta Hornqvist (8) from Dumoulin Penalties Sheary (hooking) – Overly Aggressive (tries to lean into Strait as they battle for a puck and falls […]

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