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The Pens Gurus

Latest Pittsburgh Penguins News and Rumors. Affiliated with

Updated: 2018-03-06T16:50:12.153-05:00




I don't have the time to post on this blog 24/7. I now blog here- under the name J.RUUTU37.

The main blogger on this blog is The Big K but I do post once in a while so be sure to check it out!

Red Wings Vs Penguins Review


So that time is upon us in just over a day. The Stanley cup finals begin between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. Both teams up to now have a had a great run to the finals. The Red Wings facing their toughest test so far vs the Dallas Stars in which the Stars down by 3 managed to get it 3-2 before they were dumped 4-1 and 4-2 series. The route for the Pens was a little easier as they beat the Flyers 6-0 to take a 4-1 series win. With both those facts aside i think we will be in for a very competitive final that could go right down to the wire.For the purpose of this review i will take a look at what i see as the key areas to the series and what could ultimately win or lose it. The first area that has to be looked at is the attacking flair both these teams possess, while yes the Pens punch a greater threat on paper, you have to look at it in the way that the joint leaders on 21 points are Sidney Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg. Also in the top ten the Red Wings have Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen so by no means do these Wings lack offensive punch, each player skilled in their own right. However i think the Pens win this contest by a country mile as they have just too much attacking prowess the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Malone, Dupuis, Sykora, Hossa, Staal, Gonchar, Whitney to name but a few. This is a area the Pens can really drum home a advantage and really make the Wings pay. If the Pens can get all these players firring they will be to much. The problem they face is if Crosby or Malkin doesn't perform one night there many others who will but also if one doesn't the other probably will.The next key area to look at is defense. This is key to both sides as they both have a great defensive unit (I will assess goaltending later in the review) that has been very solid, with much thanks to the Goaltenders. This is a area i think the Red Wings have a slight advantage on paper however trying to keep the likes of Crosby&Co silent is no easy task and i think this could be a great drain on the unit as the final progresses. The key will be for the Red Wings to shut down this attacking force or it could be a clean sweep for them. However i don't see this happening but I'm always game for surprises. As for the Pens i feel they will be just as busy. However the unit will be much stronger later in the series as they will not have to worry too much about too many attacking forces that possess endless skill. This match-up is a lot tighter in which i feel the Wings have a slight edge of a young Penguins defensive unit, but i don't think this alone would be enough for the Wings to win the Series. Expect a low scoring series though.The next area and what i think is the biggest area and will be key to the whole series and that is that of the Goaltenders Marc Andre-Fleury and Chris Osgood. Two very solid goalies with one playing the hockey of his lifetime and living up to those expectations. Fleury who has been brilliant since his return from a High Ankle sprain. He thought he lost his Place to Ty Conklin has come on too show us he is a Franchise Goalie. He will however be up against Chris Osgood a seasoned veteran who has been there many times. If Fleury can play like he has been the Pens have a great shot but equally the same can be said for the Wings. This area which is the key to it all is hard to decide and i would not like to be the one to do that. I will say one thing if one has a bad game it will be a big momentum shifter in the series for whichever team wins. Expect low scoring between these two.The next areas to look at are the Powerplay (PP) and Penalty kill (PK). The first being the PP this is a area the Pens win marginally mainly due to the same points mentioned in the Attacking section at the beginning. They possess too much of a attacking punch. However the Wings do have a very good PP unit. They are the best two in the league it will be interesting to see how they play. I do give the Pens a slight edge. The next area the PK again pits two of the best in the Playoffs and Pens team [...]

Pens vs. Red Wings Lineup - Game 1


SCF: Game 1 Lines

By mvuk, Pittsburgh Sports Insider

Pens Line Combinations

Dupuis - Crosby - Hossa
Malone - Malkin - Sykora
Ruutu - Staal - Kennedy
Roberts - Talbot - Laraque

Defense Parings

Orpik - Gonchar
Gill - Scuderi
Letang - Whitney

Wings Line Combinations

Holmstrom - Zetterberg - Datsyuk
Franzen - Hudler - Cleary
Samuelsson - Draper - Drake
Maltby - Helm - McCarty

Defense Pairings

Lidstrom - Rafalski
Stuart - Kronwall
Lebda - Chelios

Watch Games 1&2 Inside Mellon Arena
During the playoffs, fans without tickets have been watching the Penguins games at Mellon Arena on a big screen outdoors.
But now, the team is offering a unique way for fans to catch all the of the action of Games 1 and 2.
The Pens will face off against the Detroit Red Wings beginning this Saturday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Game 2 will be on Memorial Day, May 26, also in Detroit.
The series then moves to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4 at Mellon Arena on Wednesday, May 28 and Saturday, May 31.
All Stanley Cup Finals games will start at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Penguins are opening Mellon Arena for fans to watch Game 1 and 2 on the Jumbotron.

SCF: Penguins vs. Red Wings


SCF ScheduleGame 1, Saturday, May 24: Pittsburgh at Detroit (VERSUS, CBC, RDS)===Game 2, Monday, May 26: Pittsburgh at Detroit (VERSUS, CBC, RDS) ===Game 3, Wednesday, May 28: Detroit at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC, RDS)===Game 4, Saturday, May 31: Detroit at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC, RDS) Game 5, Monday, June 2 (if necessary): Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC, RDS)===Game 6, Wednesday, June 4 (if nececssary): Detroit at Pittsburgh (NBC, CBC, RDS)===Game 7, Saturday, June 7 (if necessary): Pittsburgh at Detroit (NBC, CBC, RDS) Stanley Cup Finals Tickets -From limited number of individual game tickets for the first two home games of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, May 21 at 10 a.m., the Pittsburgh Penguins announced. -The Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings will open the best-of-seven championship series at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit with Games 1 and 2 on Saturday, May 24 and Monday, May 26. -The series then moves to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4 at Mellon Arena on Wednesday, May 28 and Saturday, May 31. All games in the Stanley Cup Finals will start at 8 p.m. Tickets for the first two home games will be referred to as “Round 4, Home Game 1” and “Round 4, Home Game 2”. - Approximately 1,000 tickets will be available for each game. Fans may purchase a maximum of two tickets per game. -Fans are encouraged to order online at since tickets for all home playoff games this season have sold out in a matter of minutes. -Tickets also are available for purchase at the Mellon Arena Gate One Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 412-323-1919. Fans are advised that lottery systems will be used at the Gate One Box Office and Ticketmaster locations. Video: Good Bye Filthadelphia Criers!- [...]

Pittsburgh advances to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1992


Penguins shutout Flyers 6-0, take the Eastern Conference title 4 games to 1Sunday, May 18, 2008The future is indeed now as the Pittsburgh Penguins, powered by youth and tempered in the crucible that is the Eastern Conference playoffs, have earned their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1992. The Penguins shutout the Philadelphia Flyers 6 to 0, taking the Eastern Conference Finals 4 games to 1.The Philadelphia Flyers, showing signs of life with a game 4 victory, received a morale and defensive boost as defenseman Kimmo Timonen returned to the lineup after being sidelined by a blood clot in his right ankle. Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn remained on the shelf due to the facial lacerations he received when a slap shot by Penguins defenseman Hal Gill deflected off fellow Penguin Evgeni Malkin's stick. However, the return of their best player, as described by Flyers head coach John Stevens, just would not be enough for Philadelphia.The Penguins came out of the gate on fire and never looked back. Penguins left winger Ryan Malone opened the scoring with a power play goal at 2:30 of the 1st period. Seven minutes later, center Evgeni Malkin scored as Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Martin Biron got his stick tangled up with Ryan Malone behind the net, allowing Malkin to tap the puck in under Biron's left pad from behind the net.Right winger Marian Hossa, acquired at the NHL trade deadline, one-timed a beautiful pass from Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby to put the Penguins up by 3 goals midway through the second period, which seemingly deflated the Flyers. Malone scored again on a power play, this time on a deflection from Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar 11:42 into the second period. Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal scored a late goal in the second frame when he poked the puck past Martin Biron with just 52 seconds left.Philadelphia appeared to have scored a goal in the waning moments of the second period. However, referee Paul Devorski ruled that Flyers left winger Patrick Thoresen was interfering with Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and waved the goal off.The Penguins scoring department closed up shop with left wing Pascal Dupuis scoring with a deflection off his leg from Marian Hossa's slap shot from the right point 4:03 into the third period.While the offensive firepower of the Penguins was on display, the incredible Penguins team effort on defense cannot be overlooked. Marc-Andre Fleury was once again spectacular in net, stopping all 21 shots that he faced. Meanwhile, as a team, the Penguins blocked 15 shots from ever reaching Fleury, with defenseman Brooks Orpik leading the way with 4 blocked shots. Kudos go to Pittsburgh head coach Michel Therrien for instilling a great back checking ethic into his forwards.Time will tell whom will face off against Pittsburgh, but one thing is certain: the evolution is complete. With a suffocating defense and incredible scoring power, the Penguins are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 2007-2008 Eastern Conference Champions!Illness in the IglooThree Pittsburgh Penguins players are under the weather of late. Center Evgeni Malkin and right wing Peter Sykora both missed practice, but did play in the 6-0 trouncing of Philadelphia on Sunday. Sykora left midway in the second period and did not return to the game. Left wing Gary Roberts was scratched from the line up once again due to illness.The Waiting GameThe Penguins have their tickets punched for the Stanley Cup Finals. The question is, who will they face? Will they face the President's Cup winning Detroit Red Wings, lead by Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, or will they face the Dallas Stars, lead by goaltender Marty Turco and his spectacular play in net?These questions could be answered Monday evening as Detroit visits Dallas for game 6 of the Western Conference final.Eastern Conference Finals - StatisticsPhiladelphia FlyersDaniel Briere: 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -4M[...]

Pens - Eastern Conference Champs!!!


Eastern Conference ChampsOfficial Pens MerchandiseBUY IT HERE-> By Brian Compton, Staff WriterFor the first time in 16 years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have reached the Stanley Cup Final. For Ryan Malone, it’s been a long time coming. The Pittsburgh native scored twice, Marian Hossa had a goal and three assists and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 21 shots he faced as the Pens advanced to the final round for the first time since 1992 with an emphatic 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Mellon Arena on Sunday. The victory was Pittsburgh’s 16th straight in the Steel City. The Penguins have not lost at Mellon Arena since Feb. 24, when they dropped a shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks. The Pens needed little time to break the scoreless tie, as Malone notched his first goal of the game at 2:30 of the opening period. Just 12 seconds after Mike Knuble was whistled for hooking, Malone redirected a feed from Sidney Crosby past Flyers goalie Martin Biron as the Pens took a 1-0 lead. Evgeni Malkin put Pittsburgh up by a pair just over seven minutes later with his first goal since Game 1 of this series. After Malone was able to seize control of the pick from Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher, he fed Malkin for the easy tap-in. “This is what you play hockey for,” Malone said. “I think everybody dreamt about it as a hockey player. To get a chance now to battle for the best prize there is, it’s going to be fun. I think we’re all excited to get going.” Hossa extended Pittsburgh’s lead with his ninth goal of the playoffs 8:24 into the second period. With the teams at even strength, Hossa took a pass from the corner by Crosby and one-timed a laser past Biron to make it 3-0. Hard to believe that it was only three months ago when the soon-to-be free agent was skating for a struggling Atlanta squad. “Sometimes, it takes time to adjust, and it took me a little bit,” Hossa said. “Right now, I feel like I’m at home. I’m just happy to be here.” Malone tallied his second goal of the game less than four minutes later via the power play. Fourteen seconds after Jeff Carter went off for tripping, Malone parked himself in front of the net and redirected Sergei Gonchar’s wrist shot from the point past Biron as the Pens went up, 4-0. Jordan Staal sent the Flyers reeling towards the dressing room when he made it a five-goal game with just under a minute to play in the second. “We got a great start and we didn’t let our foot off the gas,” said Crosby, who had two assists and was a plus-2. “We made sure that we kept coming. Everyone contributed and everyone bought into what we had to do. It’s a great game for us.” The Penguins held the Flyers to eight shots in the third period and took a 6-0 lead at 4:03, when Pascal Dupuis – who arrived in the same deal as Hossa – redirected the latter’s shot past Biron for his second goal of the playoffs. Philadelphia finished 0-for-4 on the power play and experienced a tremendous amount of difficulty generating quality chances against Fleury, who improved to 12-2 this postseason. “I don't think you can put too much weight into one game,” Flyers coach John Stevens said. “I think we're going to look at our season as a whole, have a really good evaluation of the things we did well and the areas we need to get better. And this one game to me is going to have very little to do with that overall evaluation.” Mike Richards – who had seven goals and seven assists this postseason and is one of the team’s leaders despite his young age (23), was proud of the way his team performed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Philadelphia finished with the worst record in the NHL a season ago. “Through all the adversity and the highs and lows, it’s great to see that we can get through some of the adversity we had thrown our way,” Richards said. “I had one of the funn[...]

Improving the Game of Hockey


My Take1. Bigger NetsGoalie Equipment BeforeGoalie Equipment AfterAs of right now the current net is at six feet wide to four feet high. I'd add an inch to the height of the net and add two inches to the width of the net. Goalies/equipment has gotten much bigger over the years Goalies have become more flexible over the years. Some goalies (especially Europeans) can stretch so far that they can reach both goal posts with ease. Goalies have improved so much that I think a small increase in the net size is needed. When the first nets were established goalies were almost like stick figures. They wore little goalie equipment and the goalies themselves were smaller. This made the net look much bigger to players and there were many openings for the puck to get through. Now the Goalies look like sumo wrestlers and the puck has less of chance of getting into the goal due to the many factors already explained in this post.EM Swift, had a great column about this very issue. He wrote the following,"It's not just that scoring is down. The league is averaging 5.8 goals per game, including overtime, this season. That's down from 6.1 last season and way below the seven-plus average from the late 1970s through the early '90s -- before teams even played overtime.The bigger concern is that certain types of scoring attempts have all but disappeared. The booming slapshots from a wing breaking across the blue line, which popularized hockey and made Bobby Hull a matinee idol in the 1960s; the sniper blast from the sideboards of the kind that made Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy and Mike Gartner so deadly."When I was growing up, I saw a lot of goals scored by guys going down the wing, slap shots to the far corner," says Calgary's Jarome Iginla, a member of the NHL's competition committee. "Those were exciting to see. The bigger nets would give you more chance to have those goals." (Swift)To Read the Rest of the Article:“Goalies have to get smaller or the nets have to get larger,” Darcy Regier (Sabres GM) said.The NHL needs to increase the size of the NHL net in order to produce more scoring.2. Remove the Instigator PenaltyRule #56An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant. A player must be deemed the aggressor when he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.An altercation is a situation involving two players, with at least one to be penalized.'s pretty self explanitory and teams are already wanting this to happen according to Eric Lindros.From HockeyFights.comEric Lindros, newly appointed NHLPA ombudsman, said the NHLPA has visited four teams so far in their fall tour. Addressing a question about concussions and what can be done about them from Ron McLean on Hockey Night in Canada: Hockey Tonight, Lindros mentioned equipment and respect. Lindros said all four teams mentioned getting rid of the instigator rule as a way to increase respect for other players on the ice.Link to Article: Penalty to players who dive to block shots or passes, or to knock the puck off a stick. By someone, Article is MIA (Missing in Action):“If I’m standi[...]

Latest NEWS -- 5/17/08 - Nightime Edition


Gary Roberts May Play Tomorrow*Kudos to The Sidney Crosby Show*By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-GazettePenguins winger Gary Roberts, who has been battling pneumonia, practiced with the team today and said he could be ready to play tomorrow against Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.Article: Paul, KuklasKorner.comQ. How did Gary Roberts feel after practice today? COACH THERRIEN: He felt pretty good we’ll see tomorrow. Q. Think he’ll play tomorrow? COACH THERRIEN: We’ll see tomorrow. Article: and Sykora Miss Practice By Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune ReviewPenguins center Evgeni Malkin and right wing Petr Sykora, both out sick, did not skate today at the RMU Island Sports Center. Both are expected to play against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final Sunday at Mellon Arena. In their absence, Kris Beech and Jeff Taffe skated with Ryan Malone on the second line.Article: Paul, KuklasKorner.comQ. I guess is there any concern about Malkin and Sykora for tomorrow? COACH THERRIEN: They should be ready for tomorrow. They should be there. Q. Is it just a sickness? COACH THERRIEN: A sickness. And we believe at this time of year rest sometimes can be more important than practice, and they should be there tomorrow. Article: with Michel TherrienBy Paul, Q. How important is home ice advantage throughout the playoffs for you guys? COACH THERRIEN: Home ice is huge. And you work really hard through the course of the season to get home ice. We felt comfortable in that building. We like to play in front of our fans. Our fans have been great, and we’ve got their support. And that’s why we’re glad that Game 5 is going to be home. We’re glad that we have home ice advantage, because we’re a tough team to play in our building. Q. What do your guys have to do to avoid playing the kind of game that Philly likes to play, as they did for a period or so? COACH THERRIEN: Well, they played really well in the first period. They were desperate. And we had a hard time in that first period to match that desperation. But I believe in the second and third we started to play the way we’re capable of playing, and we’re going to need to bring that to the next game. We’ve got momentum, especially in the third period. We could have tied the game. We got some great chances. Biron was good, obviously. So we’ll try to bring the momentum that we got especially in the third period to the start of tomorrow’s game. Q. Timonen and Coburn, if they come back does that have much impact? COACH THERRIEN: We focus on our team, how we’re supposed to play. Timonen is a good, obviously, he’s a good defenseman for them. But when we played Ottawa we had a similar thing. They got Alfredsson back in the lineup and it brings some energy. But it’s demanding for players. Especially when you’re missing so long, you lose your game shape. This is playoff hockey and a playoff game. They’re demanding. But, for us, Timonen is going to have to be ready to play a playoff hockey game. In the meantime, it’s not about them, it’s about us. And we’re going to play, and we’re going to focus on the way we’re supposed to play. To Read the Rest of the Article: Will Play; Coburn Might PlayFrom CBC.comTIMONEN IS BACK The Flyers will have Kimmo Timonen (blood clot) back for Game 5. He has full medical clearance to play and he says he is ready. “I’m ready to go,” he said, coming off the ice today at practice. Later h[...]

Sergei Gonchar


(image) After a disappointing game 4 against the Flyers for the Pens in which they took a 4-2 loss. The unfortunate player to be reviewed after a bad game for the Pens is that of the Penguins key defender Sergei Gonchar.

After a great regular season in which he was second in points for a defence man behind Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings. He was also leading point scorer in the Eastern Conference on the Powerplay. So overall a great season for him. The playoffs thus far have been good for him as well, but not on a attacking front for a change but a defensive one. He has been instrumental in the Pens success this season in the playoffs. That was clearly shown in Game 3 when he made probably one of the best defensive plays you will ever see (shown below)

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Game 4 however was for much a different prospect as Gonchar didn't really have is best game in a Pens jersey. Spending time in the box early for a silly penalty which helped shift the momentum in the direction of the Flyers as they raced to a 3 goal lead in the 1st period. His defensive play after that was a little slack although the Pens as a whole managed to tighten up. His offensive play didn't really come into action until the third period where he was trying to get the Pens first goal and getting it tied in the dying minutes in which he began to look more like a threat to the Flyers having a few shots blocked. It will not be a game Gonchar will remember as it wasn't his strongest and although he looked a little frail i am sure he will bounce back in Game 5 on Sunday.

Thanks for reading the blog please feel free to leave any comments. The next player under the microscope will be Kris Letang for Game 5 if i can watch the Game, due to early start i may be busy. Otherwise it will be the Game after that.

Latest News -- 5/17/08


Geno is DownBy Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteWhat had been the team's best line -- Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora -- has gone absent. Without the Malkin line performing at or near its highest capability, the Penguins have no skill advantage. After all, what kind of advantage does a supposed skill line give a team when it has scored one goal and three assists in the past three games? This is the same line that carried the team in the latter stages of the regular season and through the first 10 games of the playoffs.Seems hard to believe that about a week ago Malkin was being talked about as possibly the best player in the game. He was mentioned frequently as a leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the MVP of the playoffs. While Sidney Crosby struggled to score, Malkin was a goal-scoring machine.But look what he has done lately. His only point in the past three games was the second assist on Malone's score that gave the Penguins a two-goal lead midway through the third period of Game 3. He has managed only seven shots on goal in those three games, compared to 10 in the final game against the New York Rangers. He has been charged with eight giveaways. There's no Conn Smythe candidacy in those numbers."He hasn't been productive like he was in the past," said coach Michel Therrien in a conference call with the media yesterday. "He's going to have to find a way next game to make sure he's going to be productive like he [was] at the playoffs start."Malkin had two goals against Ottawa, four against New York and two in the first game against Philadelphia.It was suggested to Therrien that perhaps Malkin was tired. He wore down in the playoffs last year, failing to score a goal in five games against Ottawa, and now, in the third round, he is involved in an even longer season.Therrien didn't buy it."Yes, it is a long season. He had been through that last year. I think he's got more experience this year to play through the schedule that we're facing in the NHL, plus the playoffs. I could understand fatigue would be a factor if we would have played seven games in every round. I think we've had some quality time for rest. And because of the amount of games that we played in the playoffs, I don't think fatigue is a factor."To Read the Rest of the Article: Admits he Made a MistakeBy Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteIt was, coach Michel Therrien said, a mistake that led to Sidney Crosby being on the ice in the waning seconds of the Penguins' 4-2 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final at Philadelphia Thursday night.Not by Therrien for sending him out, but by the referees for passing along faulty information that prompted Therrien to deploy Crosby even after the Flyers had scored an empty-net goal.Therrien said yesterday that, in the wake of a skirmish between Penguins winger Ryan Malone and Philadelphia defenseman Derian Hatcher at 19:37 of the third period, the officials told him the Penguins were going to have a 5-on-3 power play.Add an extra skater who would replace goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a two-man advantage, Therrien said, and he believed the Penguins had an outside chance to force overtime, so Crosby got the call."On a five-on-three, you pull your goalie with 30 [sic] seconds left, and you could have a chance to go 6-on-3," he said. "And we're still feeling that, with a good rush, in 10 seconds we could have scored a goal, and you're still hoping."When all the players were on the ice [for the resumption of play, a ref] came to the bench and told us [the Flyers] don't have two minors. They've got one minor. All the players were [on the ice] already. So that was a bad communication from the referee to the bench. They changed their mind."Twelve seconds after the game resumed, Crosby scuff[...]

Latest NEWS -- 5/16/08


Timonen will PlayBy Eklund From,Timonen spoke to reporters and told them he is out of danger, will skate today and likely play game 5. Various Flyers players also are telling me that Timonen will be in the line-up.Prior to last night's game Timonen asked to speak to his teammates because he felt the team was too uptight. Not sure that he told him that he was going to be back or not for game 5 if they won...In all likelihood the Flyers kept this super quiet so as not to give the Pens an extra motivation to wrap it up.Link to Article: with MT-By Alanah from,-Q. The first two rounds, both the Senators and Rangers kind of complained about the officiating going towards the Penguins, and Stevens did the same thing early in this series. Do you feel kind of a backlash that maybe you’re not getting some of the calls that you would have been getting on the first two series because of that?-COACH THERRIEN: Well, I don’t know. It’s tough for me to say. The one thing I know, since the Flyers complained after Game 2 that they spent time in the penalty box. And it seems that since then they’re really disciplined. We only had two power plays a game. And that’s all I could say. That, yes, they’re disciplined. We’re having a hard time with our speed to be able to draw a penalty.-Q. Is that affecting your game plans at all? Or affecting your team that they’re not getting some of the of calls that they have come to expect to get?-COACH THERRIEN: Well, you know what, we’re not going to change our game plan. We’re going to use our speed. I think speed is important to this game. It’s just we try to sell the game with speed. We try to sell the game with the offense. Even if you have to play really well defensively, and it’s just we try to do it with our club.-We’re not going to change our game plan. We’ve still got to move. We’ve got to be really quick. Because speed usually brings scoring chances. Speed, usually, it’s tough to contain speed. And there are times that the other team has no choice to get obstruction, to get hooks and hopefully we’ll get some calls eventually. We’re not going to change our game plan, we’re going to use a lot of speed.-Q. Sort of a follow‑up, I’m wondering if you had a chance to take a look at the Jones hit on Malkin midway through the second period last night, hit from behind, behind the net. Just wondered if you had seen it and what your thoughts were on that?-COACH THERRIEN: Honestly, I didn’t look at the tapes so far. So I’m going to work on it tonight, and I have to make sure the teams are prepared tomorrow for the practice. So I wouldn’t make any comment, sorry. -To Read the Rest of the Article: Things we've Learned-By Scott Burnside from ESPN,com,-Five things we've learned from Thursday:-1. Philadelphia coach John Stevens has raised the possibility that his two top defensemen, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen, missing for most of the series, could make a return at some point.-"Well, we won't know until each day ... but is there a chance? I think there is, either or both," Stevens said after Thursday's Game 4. "The first thing is you have to make sure of is the health of the player here, and we're not going to put anybody at risk. If they're not able to go, we'll keep marching ahead like we are. But if we're able to get one or both back, it would be a huge lift for our team."-It was thought that Timonen would be lost for the balance of the season with a blood clot in his ankle, while Coburn took a Hal Gill shot to the face early in Game 1 and hasn't felt well enough to play. The return of one, or both, of the skilled rearg[...]

Yes Michel Therrien is a Good Coach!


(image) I was strolling through the message boards today and noticed that Michel Therrien’s coaching is a hot topic. I just want to say that MT has done a good job for this team since the day he set foot in Pittsburgh.

  • Right from the onset he took a struggling team with no system and led them to a noticeable improvement.
  • In his first full season with the team, he took a bunch of young and talented players with limited professional experience to their first ever playoff appearance.
  • Earlier in the year when the PK was struggling a lot of people here and in the media thought he should be using his star players more frequently to kill penalties. Instead, he stuck with his third and fourth liners. They have gotten better and now we can keep our star's fresh for 5 on 5 play. That is a competitive advantage over many other teams.
  • MAF is playing his best hockey, yet some still insist that MT has somehow handled him incorrectly? How can you come to that conclusion based on his playoff performance?
  • Brooks Orpik has played great physical defense ever since he got moved to wing. Remember who made that decision?
  • Many people including myself complained about Jordan Staal's uninspired play early this season. Some thought he should be moved to wing. Now look at him. He is our shutdown center and continues to be a key penalty killer.

Michel Therrien has taken a great set of players assembled by Craig Patrick and Ray Shero and molded them into a team on the verge of making it’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. Coaching isn't just about the short term. It's also about the long term. Therrien didn't just turn into a good coach in the playoffs. He was a good coach the minute he arrived in Pittsburgh.

Evgeni Malkin


So game 3 is over and the Pens lead the series 3-0. Now onto the next review in the series, that of Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin.

After a great first season in which he won the Calder Trophy, even though he seemed to run out of gas towards the end of the season. This season he has come on leaps and bounds since Sidney Crosby was injured with a high ankle sprain. He managed to take the team through this by tearing up the points table and his goals tally second to only Ovechkin in the points race.

After a strong start to this playoff campaign in which he has 18 points thus far and was looking very formidable until game 2 vs the Flyers where he seemed to have a quiet game recording 0 points. The same can be said for game 3 in which he got one assist on the Malone goal. In the game Malkin seemed a little more active than game 2. The point that lies is he wasn't really as productive as he can be, what is this down to? It could be a many factors, maybe his tank is all out, or the Flyers have managed to control him and know what to do to him. I think it is a combination of both mainly the latter. Sid is once again looking like his old self as i mentioned in a previous blog, the Malkin threat has been subdued for the time being. The problem the Flyers now have is they will have to be careful as Malkin being such a skilled player who can make something out of nothing, and that fact still remains however bad he plays he can do one thing to change a game. Although i thought his play in game 3 was better than 2 it still wasn't much to write about and i think the kid needs a rest so a sweep of the Flyers may be a good thing. Also he is still not use to such a long season especially when he has carried them most of the way, it can strain you mentally.

I see another quiet game for Gino but expect him to come out all guns blazing in the Stanley cup finals. "Form is temporary, class is permanent" that is the fact we all have to remember.

Thanks for reading please leave any comments.
The next blog will be on Sergei Gonchar. If anyone wishes for me to do someone else please email me with suggestions at Maybe the next one can be a readers choice.

Detroit SCF Tickets on Sale NOW




Presale, BUY THEM NOW!:

Presale Code: 08SCUPSTH

Updated Schedule according to WDVE
If both Detroit and Pittsburgh Sweep:
Game 1-Next Tuesday
Game 2-Next Thursday
Game 3-Next Saturday
Game 4-Memorial Day
If either Detroit or Pittsburgh goes to game 5
Game 1-Next Thursday
Game 2-Next Saturday
Game 3-Memorial Day
Game 4-May 28
If either Detroit or Pittsburgh go to game 6
Game 1- Next Saturday
Game 2-Memorial Day
Game 3-May 28
Game 4-May 30

Thanks to SID87GENO71 from the big board!



Stupidity at its BESTRed Wings vs. Penguins PreviewBy Spector from,Poised to sweep their respective conference finals, the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins have established themselves as the dominant clubs in this year's playoffs.The Red Wings have gone 11-2, with their only losses coming in the first round against the Nashville Predators.The Penguins stand at 11-1, the sole loss coming in the second round against the Rangers.This shouldn't come as a surprise as the Red Wings were first overall in the NHL and the Penguins finished second overall in the Eastern Conference. Yet at season's end, some observers doubted if the two clubs had what it took to make it this far.Rest of the Article:,-Wings-look-poised-for-fine-FinalsIts all OVER!!!By Phil Sheridan of Philadelphia Inquirer,The Flyers asked the question 20,000 times on the 20,000 orange T-shirts they gave their fans last night. The Pittsburgh Penguins answered it just once. “Why not us?” Because the Penguins are better. The Flyers’ season is not over, of course. But after falling behind three games to none, the outcome of this best-of-seven series is no longer in doubt. Miracles happen. Four miracles in a row do not, at least not against these Penguins.Rest of the Article: Sidney Crosby Show: Netters:'> src=",3,313" frameborder="0" width="480" height="289"> Frozen MomentScottie Upshall of the Philadelphia Flyers goes head over heels against Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 13, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Site:[...]

Roberts OUT?, Pens TV Ratings, and other stuff


Scary Gary OUT? Parent to Replace Coburn.By Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,Penguins left winger Gary Roberts is questionable for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against Philadelphia tonight because of illness, and Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn has been ruled out because of an eye injury.Roberts did not participate in the game-day skate at the Wachovia Center this morning. Adam Hall is Roberts' likely replacement.Coburn's left eye is still swollen shut. He was hit in the face by the puck early in Game 2. It opened a cut that runs above the eye, down and across the bridge of his nose, requiring dozens of stitches to close and causing extensive bruising.Ryan Parent will take his place in the lineup.The Flyers, down 2-0, in the best-of-seven series, already are without top defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has a blood clot in an ankle.Article: Ratings are Through the ROOF!By Steve From KuklasKorner,Versus drew a record 1.7 rating for Sunday night’s Pens-Flyers game, to the tune of 2.3 Million viewers. I’d like to take you a little deeper with some of these numbers, to show you how impressive the NHL’s “drawing power” was on the network no one can seem to find on Sunday night.-VERSUS was the #1 cable network among total viewers , Men 18-34, and Men 18-49 for it’s time period.-The game drew a 9.4 in Philadelphia, and a whopping 22.3 in Pittsburgh, the largest in either market for any NHL game in those cities. VERSUS was the #1 TV network in Pittsburgh Sunday night, counting both cable and broadcast. The game was #2 in Philly among all networks.-The telecast was the second highest-rated, and second most-watched telecast in VERSUS/OLN history. Only Lance Armstrong’s 2005 Tour de France victory drew higher numbers.-It was the most-watched hockey telecast in network history, beating out Game 4 of this year’s Rangers/Penguins series.-It was the most-watched Conference Final in network history, beating out the 1.1 for Game 7 of the 2006 Buffalo/Carolina series.Article: w/ MTBy Paul From KuklasKorner,Q. A couple of off‑ice issues. Gary Roberts, how is he feeling? Is there a chance he might play? And Jordan Staal getting some unfortunate news. How do you keep him focused for tonight’s game? COACH THERRIEN: First of all, Gary will take a decision tonight. He’s sick this morning when he came to report to the team. We’ll see how he’s going to feel before the game, and we’ll go from there. Regarding Jordan, he’ll leave the team tomorrow morning, and he’s going to come back with the team tomorrow night.Q. How do you keep him focused for tonight’s game or do you leave him alone? COACH THERRIEN: This is personal. Everybody deals with those things differently. So he came to see me yesterday announcing the bad news, but he seems all right. He’s focused to play tonight, and I’m sure all of his concentration will be there for tonight’s game. To Read the Rest of the Article: Schedule Game 1/2-I posted the SCF schedule for game 3 - game 7. I found the schedule for game 1/2 on The Big Pens Message Board.-Kudos to Spydey 629-Game 1: TUESDAY, May 27 @ 8 on Versus---Penguins at Red WingsStars at Penguins-Game 2: THURSDAY, May 29 @ 8 on Versus---Penguins at Red WingsStars at Penguins-Video of the DAYSweden Vs. Russia Fight - Hockey VM 2008-05-10 (Both fights)[...]

Marc Andre Fleury


Sorry this post is a little late. As i said in my previous post my next player review will be about Marc Andre-Fleury.

After going down to a high ankle sprain in the game vs the Flames and Ty Conklin taking over and playing some of the best hockey of his career, things didn't look to good for Fleury. There was talk of the Pens going for a new goalie many doubted the kids ability. However after his time at WBS he has been probably the best goalie in the NHL. He bounced back in the Regular season with vigour and determination and guided the Pens to the playoffs. The big question that lay over him was could he turn into a playoff goaltender and turn round figures of 1-4 and a GAA in the 3's. Well quite simply the answer is yes he is now in the mid 1's and has a record of 10-5, 10-1 this season. All due to some great performances vs the Rangers and Senators and the first 2 games vs the Flyers.

The review is to focus Game 2 vs the Flyers. It was a typical game for Fleury who is in a rich vain of form and is playing brilliant and keeping his mind steady. The key point to all that i see is that he remains in a good position and is not getting out of position to often which forces him to dive around the crease. Sunday was tough for him mentally as he had very little to do in Period 1 which can lead to loss in concentration, but it didn't as he guided the Pens to a 30 save win. Both goals you can't deam him at fault specially the second one. It was a solid game for Fleury much like the rest of the playoff run for him.

However i will tell many of you don't get too excited, he really hasn't had a solid test for a prolonged time so there has been no real pressure on him other than Game 4 vs the Rangers and Game 5 which he came through well. I expect him to get one tonight vs the Flyers as they will be fighting for their lives. The true playoff test for Fleury will start here. The last two rounds of the Playoffs have to be honest easy for the Pens as they have out gunned the previous teams. I expect to see Fleury tested in the next game and if the Pens make it to the Finals. It is time to see Fleury's true colours and i think they are exactly as we have seen them in the previous rounds of the Playoffs. He will be just fine and pull through.

Once again thanks for reading any comments are welcome. The next player i will review will be Malkin.

Planning Ahead - SCF Schedule


Stanley Cup Finals Schedule


Game 1 and 2 are not available at this time.
All games listed below will appear on NBC(HD)

Saturday, May 31, 8 p.m. ET
(Game 3)
Red Wings at Penguins
Penguins at Stars

Monday, June 2, 8 p.m. ET
(Game 4)
Red Wings at Penguins
Penguins at Stars

Wednesday, June 4, 8 p.m. ET
(Game 5 if necessary)
Penguins at Red Wings
Stars at Penguins

Saturday, June 7, 8 p.m. ET
(Game 6 if necessary)
Red Wings at Penguins
Penguins at Stars

Monday, June 9, 8 p.m. ET
(Game 7 if necessary)
Penguins at Red Wings
Stars at Penguins - Frozen Moment 5/12/08


Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks to make a pass to teammate Ryan Malone behind the Philadelphia Flyers' net during the third period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on May 11, 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Coburn OUT; Eaton Returning is Unlikely


Coburn -- Flyers' defenceman Brayden Coburn was hospitalized in Philadelphia Monday afternoon for further observation.Coburn was struck in the face on a shot by Pittsburgh's Hal Gill in the Flyers' 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh Sunday night. Coburn was left with 50 stitches and is out of the Flyers' line-up indefinitely.Coburn will be replaced in Philadelphia's line-up by Ryan Parent.Article: Coburn Injured Mark Eaton's Return is UnlikelyFrom Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton, who is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, is scheduled to have an MRI this week.The results could let Eaton know whether it's realistic to believe his recovery has progressed well enough that he has a realistic shot of being able to play sometime before the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which would run as late as June 9.But even if Eaton is physically capable of returning at some point, there's no guarantee the Penguins will have a spot available for him."[Darryl] Sydor can't get in the lineup right now," general manager Ray Shero said yesterday. "For Mark to have missed all that time ..."Shero acknowledged that he hadn't gotten an update on Eaton's condition in a few days, but suggested that targeting these playoffs for a comeback might be unduly optimistic."I think he's pushing the envelope a little bit right now anyway, in terms of a timetable," Shero said.Eaton was injured Dec. 23, when Boston forward Marco Sturm knocked his legs out from under him during a game at Mellon Arena.Article:[...]

Game 2 Pens vs. Rags - Pics Included


My Pics: The View from Section DPens Take Ice During WarmupsPens During WarmupsAnthems Random Pic During the Game Random Pic During the GameHighlightsKennedy vs. UpshallRECAPSThe Sidney Crosby Show: Netters: Should Have Been a Goal[...]

Talbot IN, Hall OUT - TSN


Maxime Talbot to Play Tonight / Hall to SitFrom Staff,Pittsburgh centre Maxime Talbot will be in tonight's lineup when the Penguins face the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Fourth line centre Adam Hall is expected to come out in place of Talbot. Sidelined with a broken foot since Game 3 of the second round against the Rangers, Talbot skated on Saturday for the first time since the injury.The Lemoyne, Quebec, resident has one goal and one assist with a plus- 1 rating in these playoffs.Article: 1250 has confirmed that Talbot will play tonight but MT hasn't disclosed who will sit. According to, Adam Hall will sit but I can't confirm this report. Q&A w/ MT - KuklasKorner.comMichel Therrien Q. You guys have been to be able hold home ice through these first two games. How is your team’s approach going into Game 2? Have you been aware of just that, the opportunity to preserve that home ice? COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: When you get home ice, there’s no doubt the second game is always crucial. All the teams want to try to win at least one game, when you are on the road. But for us, you know, it’s a crucial game. Every game we go through the series, the next one is always the biggest one, so that’s their approach. We don’t look too far ahead. We look one game at a time, and the second game you always try to bring a bit more of yourself, because the first game it was a good game, we got a good result, we expect the Flyers to be better tonight, and we expect from ourself to be better as well. And we always respond really well in the second game. Q. What the decision on Max Talbot tonight? COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: He’s going to play. Q. What changes will there be then? COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: We’ll see. He’s a popular guy, eh? (Laughs). Q. What are some of the ingredients to your success at home, do you think, the way you have been able to run the table at home? COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Well, as we all know we got a lot of success at home in the playoff, but I will say in the second half of the season, we have been a dominating team here. We capable of making the match up that we’re looking for. I think that’s a big help. We feed from the crowd. This is a young team, whose focus is there. But when you have the emotion that you need to be had, we’re on top of our game. As we all know, every detail, every emotion it’s really crucial when you get to the playoffs, but one of the things is to get the match up that we’re looking for that always helps the home team. Q. Has Fleury’s game been any different or a whole lot different than the regular season? Or it is a fact that maybe your skaters in front of him are doing a better job defensively? COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: I will say it is a combination of both. First of all, Marc Andre he’s really square to the puck. The game slowed down in front of him. That’s normal. Well, he’s only 23, but he has got a few years of experience and you ask any goalie with time and experience, and the game slowed down in front of you so doesn’t have to make those big saves that when he’s out of the position. He’s more square to the puck. He’s more aware of plays going in front of him. That comes with experience. And in the meantime we’ve played a much better defensive game too as well. You put those two together, and you get result that defensively you are better. Q. It ha[...]

Geno's Contract


Evgeni Malkin Contract Update


According to CBC Sport's Hotstove Evgeni Malkin won't give the Penguins the hometown discount that Sidney Crosby gave them last year.

Expect Malkin to sign a long term deal which will cost a lot more than Sidney Crosby's current contract which is at 8.7 Million a year. Malkin might even get the maximum amount of money allowed for NHL players which is a little over 10 mil a year. I wouldn't be suprised to see Malkin sign a contract that is similar to Alexander Ovechkin's contract which is at 13 years, 124 million.

Malkin is currently signed through the 2008-2009 season and is paid $984,200.

Honours and Awards
2007-08 - Played in NHL All-Star
2006-07 - NHL - Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
2006-07 - NHL - All-Rookie Team
2006-07 - Played in the NHL YoungStars Game

You can watch the Video here (About 5 minutes into video)-

Player Page:

Sidney Crosby


Sidney CrosbyLast Night I decided to do my second blog post on a particular player after each game and there is obviously no better place to start than with Sidney Crosby. Now I actually planned to have some criticism for Sid but after last night, I don't believe I can criticize him.So going into last nights game vs. the Flyers Sid had recorded 14 points primarily in assists and within them the majority were secondary assists i.e. not the pass to the scorer. While there is nothing wrong with that it has been evident that Sid is trying to force the game too much and do to much with the puck and this is clear while he is loosing the puck in the majority of the games before the series with the Flyers, also a key reason why he hasn't scored so many goals in the Playoffs.I am happy to say this all seemed to go last night as he looked more like his old self again. Coming out with a bright start and some good puck handling. The goal a key one for him and the team as it was the momentum changer for the game. After this he was a far more free player looking even better and not trying to do it all, like in previous games. The factors why this occurred will be looked at different by different people. I feel though maybe being against the Flyers and his previous record vs. them maybe allowed Sid to relax a bit and be like his old self. Also with the knowledge of how well Malkin is playing at the moment helped allow this transition to take place in Game 1. I personally believe that this is a new turn for Sid in this playoff series as he seems to have settled down into his stride of free flowing passing hockey. If this Years cup run falters (fingers crossed it won't) he will be back bigger and even better next year.While this intended to be a brief overview of Sid I would be interested to see others view on it soplease feel free to contact me The next game I will review Marc Andre-Fleury.Sidney Crosby Scores in Game 1 vs. Flyers Preview: COMING 10/7/08 src="" frameborder="0" width="480" height="289">This is just a preview of a show that will appear on October 7, 2008.[...]

He's BACK? -Mad Max-


Mad Max may Play Tomorrow


From Dave Molinari at the P-G,
Center Max Talbot, who missed the Penguins' past three games because of a broken right foot, said he believes he will be ready to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final tomorrow night at Mellon Arena.
Talbot rejoined his teammates for practice at the arena this morning and was on the ice for about 90 minutes.
Talbot broke his foot as he blocked a shot during Game 3 of the Penguins' second-round series against the New York Rangers.

The Penguins beat Philadelphia, 4-2, in the opener of the conference final last night.

Location of Article:

Player Page:

MT's Response

Q. Max Talbot was able to practice today, can you give us an update on his status, might he play tomorrow, and, if he can, what will you do with the lineup?

COACH THERRIEN: We’ll see tomorrow. He looked pretty good today. We’ll go through the morning skate and make a decision. We’re going to sit down with him and see how he feels. But it’s nice to see him back practicing with the boys.

To Read the Rest of the Article:

Game 1 Pens vs. Rags - Pics Included


Pics: The View From Section DClik on the pic. to see a larger image.The Media was everywhereThe Whiteout T-shirt WarmupsMalkin during WarmupsDon Cherry in PinkPens coming out through the smokeAnthemWhiteoutFaceoffRandom picRandom PicRuutuGary Roberts For President!Random Netters- Sidney Crosby Show- Latest NewsKudos to Kuklas Korner - is Humanfrom Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs, Maybe this is unfair to Biron, the man most responsible for the Flyers reaching this point. There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL who would be expected to stop Malkin on a 3-on-2, or on a shorthanded breakaway. Malkin’s winning and insurance goals fall on Biron’s teammates more than they fall on him. Nevertheless, it’s still the truth: Biron has to be sensational for the Flyers to beat a team with as much talent as the Penguins. He has to make the same saves that he made against the Capitals and the Canadiens. Then he has to make some more. At a minimum, he can’t do what he did with just less than six minutes left in the first period. He can’t transform an innocent Pittsburgh dump-in into an easy goal for Crosby, can’t afford to be so cavalier at such a crucial momentTo Read the Rest of the Article: Have Too Much Emotionfrom Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Raw emotion is like a shot of adrenaline. It can lift a team for a little while, but sooner or later it wears off.The Flyers were hit with two shots of pure emotion before Game 1 of their showdown series with the Penguins here last night.First, defenseman Kimmo Timonen unexpectedly appeared. A day after being shocked by the news that a blood clot would keep Timonen from playing in this series, here he was in the flesh to rally "the boys."Then, coach John Stevens told his team about something that happened across the state a few hours earlier. Matt Liczbinski, the 24-year-old son of fallen Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, briefly turned his father's funeral into a Flyers pep rally.To Read the Rest of the Article: Post Game - Nightly Sports Call[...]