Tag: jake guentzel

HBK Line 2.0; McCann-Crosby-Guentzel..

Something a lot of fans do not talk about is Jake Guentzel. The 3rd round 77th overall in the 2013 NHL draft. Guentzel emerged in 2016-2017 when he scored 16 goals with 33 points in 40 games and continued his tear in the playoffs scoring 21 points in 25 games. The next season Guentzel scored 48 points, 22 goals in 82 games.

Since Guentzel emergence in the NHL he has been able to form a bond with captain Sidney Crosby and the two have been near inseparable since Guentzel joined Pittsburgh in 2016-17. Crosby and Guentzel had solid 2017-18 playoff runs but fell short. They struggled to find a third line mate all season but after the Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad trade it seems they have found their third partner to help rally the Penguins.

One thing a lot of people credit the Penguins success to is Sidney Crosby byt Jake Guentzel has certainly been the main focal point of that lines success or could be an argument for being a major contributor to that McCann-Crosby-Guentzel success.

This season a lot of people clearly knew about Guentzel after his amazing playoff appearances and first 40 games in the NHL. But, not many fans had him on their radar as a potential 40+ goal scorer. On the year Guentzel has 36 goals in 71 games along with 68 points. Since the emergence of Jared McCann Guentzel has been on-fire, along with McCann himself. Since the February 1st acquisition of McCann, Guentzel has 12 goals in 21 games. The two paired up only a few games ago and since McCann has moved on the line of Guentzel and Crosby the three have propelled the Penguins to a top-three divisional spot and now definite playoff contenders.

Guentzel has not received the necessary praise due to McCann catching fire plus anytime you play with Crosby it is hard to stand out. Since February 19th Guentzel has 8 goals and 6 assists over 12-games. McCann has 5 goals and 4 assists in 12 games and Crosby has 8 goals and 12 assists in 12-games. The HBK line that helped surge the Penguins to their 2015-16 Stanley Cup could be in the making once again, this time with Guentzel-Crosby-McCann. They do not have a witty name like the HBK line but this trio could possibly be a huge deal breaker for the Penguins come playoff time.

Right now the Penguins are looking to be playing the Islanders. Their first round will not be an easy opponent no matter what but with the veteran ship of the Penguins and now their offense finally starting to pick up they could be a force to be wrecking with come April…

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Recap: Penguins move on, Predators shutout Colorado for the series win

Guentzel 4-goal game lifts Penguins past Philly for the series win

This game seemed to be an overtime type game, anything could happen. Tie game going into the third period, and just like that 30 seconds in the Penguins win the game and move onto face either the Capitals or Blue Jackets. Here is a little breakdown though. The game started with a Sean Couturier goal early in the first, immediately answered by Sidney Crosby and Carl Hagelin back to back to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Late in the first, Andrew MacDonald blows one by Matt Murray to tie the game at two heading into the first. Quick off-topic note, the Flyers Sean Couturier played the whole game with a torn MCL, which he suffered during practice after game two. He not only had the first goal of this game but he added two later in the game and ended the night with 5 points. On a torn MCL. Anyways, the second would start the same way a goal by Couturier off a beautiful breakaway goal to give the Flyers the lead and some hope. 12 minutes later Sean Laughton scored to make it 4-2 and what seemed like a Flyers win heading into the third. Patrick Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel added two late third period goals to tie the game four. Guentzel finished the night with 4 goals and 1 assist, first 5-point game for the playoff wonder. From the drop of the puck, the third was all Penguins as they scored three goals within 12 minutes to make it 7-4. The sixth goal came off a controversy trip call that led to a Penguins goal. But if you watch the playback, Couturier definitely embellished the play a little bit and jumped to make it seem way worse. Immediately fans started screaming “refs you suck” and after the game, I saw a tweet saying “refs miss blatant trip call, Pens go up 6-4.” Blatantly not a trip, sure, relax people it was not even close to a trip. Either way, they were losing this game. The Flyers would chip in one more to finish Couturiers hat trick late in the third but would not be able to sustain any more pressure. The Penguins close out the series with an 8-5 win and end it in six games for the series win. The Penguins 12th straight series win. Now they rest and wait for Columbus and Washington to kill each other.

Predators blank Colorado for the series win 

After an eventful game five and Andrew Hammond stealing the show in Nashville, the Avalanche forced a game six and headed back to Colorado for hopefully a game seven. Well, it was clear the Predators had other plans as they blanked the Avs 5-0 and shut all headlines for the day down. As Andrew Hammond looked a bit shaky and the Predators dominated from start to finish. The game started with a Mattias Ekholm snapshot from Colton Sissons pass 7 minutes in and 4 minutes later the Predators added another one off Auston Watson’s stick for his fourth of the playoffs and a Preds 2-0 lead. From there on it was all Predators as they scored two more in the second and one in the third. They outshot the Avs 37 to 22 and one thing we have not seen all playoffs was a team take no penalties in which the Predators did here and it worked out for them for sure. This game did start to get a little chippy after the whistles later in the third as Colorado was clearly frustrated and not happy with how the game was going. Well, now the match-up we have all been waiting for and a matchup that should probably be the Stanley Cup matchup but is impossible for that happen. Anyways, Winnipeg vs Nashville for the second round and only one team can move closer to their chances to hoist Lord Stanley.

Three-Peat…Nah…Well Maybe??

Finally, a team I enjoy writing a season preview for. Being a Penguins fan my whole life, the struggles of the early 2000’s have finally accumulated into happiness (talking to you Rags and Flyers fans). This past season has been a year for me to enjoy watching this team beginning to end. The only question moving forward is how can this team repeat…again? This off-season the Penguins figured out major decisions by resigning Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz, and Conor Sheary. To go along with that, and to solve the backup goaltending situation, they got a once quality starter in Antti Niemi for a dime on the dollar at $700K. With limited playing time behind 2-time Stanley cup champion, should have been rookie of the year (I may be a little biased) Matt Murray look for Niemi to be a top backup in the league. Looking at this roster, one spot sticks out like a sore thumb. The situation at 3rd line center. As of right now, their should be 4th line center, Carter Rowney is in that spot, while Greg McKegg is anchoring the 4th line. There has been plenty of talks between the Pens and Red Wings to bring 25-year-old Riley Sheahan over to the Steel City and maybe sending a player like Derrick Pouliot (23-years-old defenseman) could be sent Detroit’s way. This could sure up that third line vacancy left by Nick Bonino. This is a strong Penguins team that is not in an absolute cap crunch anymore. This, shall I say, be one more year of another deep postseason run for the Pens. From top to bottom, looking at all the analytics of each individual player, and goaltender, nothing makes it hard to say that the Pens can three-peat. Couple this with an angry Crosby on not winning the Hart trophy, watch out NHL.

New Additions:

Reeves Dab

Not too much to talk about here, yes, the Pens got Ryan Reeves (I stopped asking questions about this decision) and Matt Hunwick who is just a replacement for a lost Ron Hainsey.

The BIGGEST addition to the team this season is the newly found cap space from losing Kunitz in free agency and the Flower to Vegas. This pushes their cap space back to around 2.5 Million dollars which is enough to sure up that 3rd line center situation

Breakout Players:

Kris Letang: He is finally back and looking healthy like before. Expect Kris Letang to go back to Norris Trophy form and with the deadly power play the Penguins have, expect Letang to exceed over 60 points this next season

Jake Guentzel: After a historic, record-breaking post season, Guentzel can excel in his first full NHL season. Do not be surprised to see 25 goals and over 65 points playing with either Crosby or Malkin this is not a far reach whatsoever.

Sidney Crosby: Bold prediction, Crosby will come in 2nd in the Rocket Richard race (behind Laine), but he WILL win the Hart trophy this season. He does not like someone coming into the league and stealing his trophies away.

Prediction:

53-24-5

111 Points, First in Metro, First in Eastern Conference

Flower to Murray.jpeg