Tag: Pittsburgh Penguins news

Five Teams That Could Use Derick Brassard

Derick Brassard has been under performing a bit since coming to Pittsburgh, but his two years in Pittsburgh are not indicative of who Brassard is as a player nor what he can bring to a team. Brassard is center/left winger, not the fastest player but he holds his own in the quick nature of the game today. At 31-years-old Brassard has 90 playoff games and some Stanley Cup playoff experience.

Brassard started his career in Columbus where he played in 304 games with 169 points until he was shipped to the New York Rangers in 2012 where he made his name in the league. Brassard played 254 games with the Rangers collecting 174 points. Brassard had three seasons in a row with 45+ points until he was sent to Ottawa where he played 139 games with 77 points. Now he is in Pittsburgh bouncing back and forth between the third, second and fourth line. Brassard has spent 1.5 seasons with Pittsburgh 51 games and 22 points later and the Penguins are ready to move on from the aging forward.

Despite his struggles in Pittsburgh Brassard is still a potential 35-40 point player. The pressure in Pittsburgh has been a lot for the forward to handle and he is surrounded by so many great players that he may feel as if he is not getting his fair share. His confidence is surely low, he needs a shake up some new scenery to perhaps give his career one more shot until teams really start giving up on the tenured forward. At 31, 753 regular season games and 90 playoff games, these five teams could use Brassard.

  1. Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers are on a full-court press to make the playoffs. Brassard is not exactly what they are looking for but look at him as a piece to a puzzle, he will fit but they still need one more guy. The Oilers lack forward depth and scoring depth, plus anyone who plays with Connor McDavid is sure to revive their career. Brassard can still score, he has a good shot and is more of a grinding, defensive forward. Which he can come to Edmonton and probably score 25 points along side McDavid. Edmonton would also only need to give up Alex Petrovic, Matthew Benning or a Kyle Brodizak/Zach Kassian type player (one or two of these guys) The Penguins need defense and forward depth.
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are familiar with Brassard and so is John Tortorella. Not to mention the Blue Jackets could certainly use another left winger or center, they have a pretty deep line up but Brassard could slide in with Alex Wennberg/Anthony Duclair or Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. Columbus could send Anthony Duclair or Josh Anderson over.
  3. Boston Bruins: The Bruins dealt with some injury issues early in the year and could have used Brassard down the middle in November. Still the Bruins are so solid in their top-three but their next two lines are not consistently productive. They have to do a lot of line-swapping to make things work. But Brassard can slide in on the second or third line easily in Boston. Boston can send over one of their bottom six forwards and a pick, the issue is the Bruins are probably weary to get another veteran winger after Rick Nash last year plus they only have 3.8 million in cap space.
  4. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are a playoff team and a team on the cusp of a Stanley Cup run they need more depth and consistency on their line up. Plus a veteran like Brassard never hurts, his experience goes a long way in the locker room. Brassard can slide in on line three at center with Mathieu Perreault and Branden Tanev. The Jets have a slew of forwards to send, or maybe even Tyler Myers…
  5. Nashville Predators: Much like Winnipeg, Nashville’s is a Stanley Cup team. They are right there, and there time is fading away in my eyes. The Predators have very solid forwards, a good line one and amazing back end but from forward six to nine they could use some work. Brassard can fill in at line two to center Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith. Penguins could get Ryan Hartman or Colton Sissons in return as well.

 

 

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How one game changed Pittsburgh’s and Anaheim’s seasons in unexpected ways

It was Monday night, December the 17th and the Pittsburgh Penguins were hosting the Anaheim Ducks in PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The Ducks came back from a two-goal deficit to win the game 4-2. Nothing serious happened you would say, but this game turned out to be potentially season-changing.

Let’s take a look at what happened next. The Ducks lost seven straight games and the Penguins won eight in a row. And now that’s something. But it wasnt just a coincidence, not at all. Going into that game in mid-December, the Ducks were streaking hotter than any other team in the league and the Penguins were not.

Anaheim turned from red-hot to cold soup

Going into that game in Pittsburgh, the Ducks won ten of their last twelve games in the mean time. That comeback win over the Penguins meant their sixth straight win on the road, which tied their franchise record. And they won 11 out of 13 games played. The Ducks, however, didn’t play their best hockey that night and the Penguins players were trying to excuse their loss as they said it was just unfortunate.

Anaheim lost the very next game with giving up a shorthanded goal with just 40 seconds remaining in the third period in Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. The Ducks were miserable that game, still they scored first and were up by one ahead of a final 10-minute stretch of the road game. The Rangers tied it up and won the game while shorthanded with 40 seconds remaining on the clock in that third period.

Maybe the Ducks started to think that now as they are pretty hot and good, they will start to win with low efforts, but that turned out to be huge mistake. They are still in a play-off spot in the Western Conference today, which just documents how much that streak helped them. On the other side, that lost finally woke up the struggling Penguins.

Pittsburgh found blessing in tough loss

The Pens lost 14 out of 23 games going into that game on home ice against the Ducks. They blew a two-goal lead and lost the game, but didn’t feel like they were playing bad hockey. Since then, Pittsburgh won eight straight games and they gave up just nine goals in those eight straight wins, also getting a lot of help from heavily criticised goaltender Matt Murray.

That win by the Ducks in Pittsburgh was probably a lucky one. But no one ever thinks when they win in the NHL, you just need to be lucky sometimes. Luck is just relative and very temporary. If you are headed to the right direction and you still find a way to lose games, just stay with it and you will prevail at some point (i.e. Pittsburgh). Now it’s Anaheim who thinks that they are conceding unlucky losses as of late. But they keep coming.

Tonight, the Ducks host the struggling Oilers in Honda Center, Anaheim, unlike the Penguins face a mighty curse as of now. Pittsburgh faces off against Chicago, a  tea, they have not defeated for nine games in a row. The Penguins will be hoping to end that losing streak and earn their ninth straight win to go to the top of the Metropolitan division.

NHL Brain Dump; The Pittsburgh Penguins… St. Louis Blues struggles & Who wins the Atlantic?

This is going to need to be a weekly edition, or monthly. Just a brain dump of what the hell just went on and what is going on currently. Let’s get started. 

Penguins might be better of with an EZ Goal Backstop in net right now

The f*cking Pittsburgh Penguins and Matt Murray, what a terrible start. This Penguins start only thoroughly annoys me because I have Matt Murray on my fantasy team but still what is going on with this Penguins team. When you look at their numbers their power play is ranked 7th in the NHL (25.4), their penalty kill is ranked 15th (80.0), goals for they rank 7th (3.33), goals for total they rank 15th (60). Their offense is there, they are scoring goals but their big issue has been in between the pipes.

Matt Murray has been pulled three times in the last six starts. He has allowed 3 plus goals against in five of his seven starts. He has a 4.08 goals against and .877 save percentage. It looks like a totally different Murray. I would not be surprised with what his contract is at 3.75 million a year the Penguins may look to move him to a team that could use a rental goalie that maybe needs a change of scenery because right now Murray looks lost and it is hurting the Penguins greatly. They score 3 goals plus a game but Murray has to stop a puck once in a while. Casey DeSmith has been able to step in and aid the poor performance of Murray but too many times the damage is done and they are out of it when DeSmith gets in. The Penguins do also lack depth scoring this year as Daniel Sprong, Derek Brassard and Bryan Rust have not been great this year they do still luckily see the majority of their points come from Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. and guys like Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel. I don’t know what it is going to take for this team but you can’t make the playoffs in November but you can sure lose a spot early on. Ask the Oilers and Blackhawks about that they know it all too well from last season.

St. Louis Blues secondary scoring alive? Plus Jake Allen is a cone right now.

The team right infront Pittsburgh, the St. Louis Blues the 29th ranked St. Louis Blues. Who knew this was coming? No one probably. The Blues added Tyler Bozak, David Perron, Ryan O’Reilly, Patrick Maroon and are struggling? Well for the same reason the Penguins are goaltending has been terrible. The Blues rank 11th in goals for (3.11), 9th in power play (25.0), 21st in goals for (56), 12th in penalty kill(81.0) rank 11th in goals against total (57) and 14th in goals against per game (3.17). The Blues top guys like O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko have been off to a solid start but the fall of points from O’Reilly’ 23 points to Brayden Schenn’s 10 points is a big reason the Blues are struggling also. Once and if Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Alex Steen and Patrick Maroon can ramp it up the Blues should be fine. They still have to worry about an inconsistent Jake Allen who is 5-4-3 in 13 starts, 3.51 goals against, .890 save percentage on the year. Like I said you can’t make the playoffs in November but you can lose a spot. Look the Blues play in one of the toughest division in hockey, they do not go on a tear soon, they will be playing catch up all season. Playing catch up vs teams like Dallas, Colorado, Winnipeg, Nashville and Minnesota you might as well start tanking now and give up because the Blues are already 9 points behind Minnesota and 11 behind Nashville. There is still a chance, a small one but the Blues are not looking to hot. 

Who wins the Atlantic?

Well with the new emerged Buffalo Sabres and the Bruins battling major injuries with six defenseman out, the Lightning just being a relentless force and Leafs right behind them. This Atlantic will look very different then we imagined. There’s not a team in that Atlantic division that is below .500. The last place Panthers have three games on every other team too. This division will be very very interesting because (1) Andrei Vasilevskiy is out for 4-6 weeks no way the Lightning can score 4+ every night therefore they will drop. (2) Frederick Anderson is off to a Vezina start he will slow down a bit. (3) The Bruins have yet to play their best hockey. (4) The Sabres and Canadiens are hanging on and competing every night they are not cake walk anymore. This division will be not be determined until April probably, I really really do believe the Leafs win this division and win a playoff series finally. So go to your local site and bet the Leafs to win the Atlantic division.