Penguins Top Avalanche in Overtime

The Colorado Avalanche were 5-0-0 heading into Wednesday’s match up on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a smooth back-and-forth affair between these two teams.

Sixty minutes was not enough in this game and Brandon Tanev scored the game-winning short-handed goal with 1:03 remaining in overtime as Pittsburgh took down Colorado 3-2.

He was the last one to touch the puck as Gabriel Landeskog put the puck into his own net. Matt Calvert scored 3:16 into the game for the Avalanche.

Sidney Crosby tied the game at one on a back-handed goal for the Penguins with 3:38 remaining in the first-period.

Jake Guentzel scored for Pittsburgh with 4:30 remaining in the second-period.

Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado 2:56 into the third-period for Colorado.

He was injured in the first-period on a hit by Patric Hornqvist and some players on the Colorado Avalanche did not like that at all.

It will be interesting to see what kind of injury MacKinnon has because he was wincing in pain throughout the game after that hit to the lower-body.

Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves for Colorado.

Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

These two teams will play each other one more time this season and Pittsburgh will look to extend its winning streak to five games.

The Avalanche will continue their six-game road trip on Friday night against the Florida Panthers.

Pittsburgh will host the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

 

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Penguins Dominate Blue Jackets

The first-period did not feature any goals being scored between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Pittsburgh only scored one goal in the first four periods until they scored five in the second-period and it was one of the reasons why they took down Columbus for their first win of the season by a score of 7-2.

Patrick Hornqvist scored 1:45 into the second-period and Marcus Pettersson scored 2:29 later after Hornqvist’s goal for the Penguins.

Zach Werenski scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets in the second-period 2:31 after Pettersson’s goal.

Jared McCann scored the next two goals for Pittsburgh 8:45 into the second-period and with 4:37 remaining in the second-period.

Kris Letang scored on a power-play goal with 1.2 seconds remaining in the second-period.

Patric Hornqvist scored 9:50 into the third-period for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Teddy Blueger scored 2:08 later in the third-period.

Gustav Nyqvist scored for Columbus with 5:41 remaining in regulation.

This was a game that was dominated by Pittsburgh all night long. One of the most interesting things that happened in this game was that Pierre-Luc Dubois and Sidney Croisby dropped the gloves in the second-period.

Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad left the game with injuries for the Penguins and they did not return.

Elvis Merzlikins made his first career start in the NHL for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He did save 33 shots, but Merzlikins was peppered with 40 shots.

Matt Murray made 28 saves for Pittsburgh and he looked well again in his second start of the 2019-2020 NHL season.

Columbus’s next game will be against the Buffalo Sabres at home on Monday night. The Penguins next game will be against the Winnipeg Jets at home on Tuesday night.

 

 

Sabres Shutdown Penguins

In Ralph Krueger’s coaching debut for the Buffalo Sabres, he coached his team will and Conor Sheary scored two goals against his former team including the game-winner on the power-play with 5:57 remaining in the second-period to lift them to a 3-1 win on the road over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sheary scored 5:23 into the game for Buffalo.

Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal for Pittsburgh 5:50 into the second-period.

Later in the second-period, Rasmus Dahlin scored with 44 seconds left for the Sabres.

Buffalo’s special teams was much better in this game than what the Penguins provided. The Buffalo Sabres went 1-for-2 on the power play and Pittsburgh went 1-for-5 on the power play.

The Pittsburgh Penguins showed a lot of the same problems in this game like they did at the end of last season. Pittsburgh looks discombobulated on the power play and it appears as if they have a problem listening to assistant coach Mark Recchi. Jacques Martin has not been good at preparing the defenseman either.

Carter Hutton recorded 28 saves for Buffalo.

Matt Murray recorded 38 saves for the Penguins.

These two teams will play each other two more times this season. Buffalo’s next game will be at home on Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. Pittsburgh’s next game will be at home on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Capitals Spoil Blues Party in Overtime

The St. Louis Blues opened the NHL season on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals. St. Louis was raising the banner before the game and the crowd was ignited by it.

The Blues got off to a strong start in the first-period because of it. Sammy Blais scored 53 seconds into the game for St. Louis and Alex Pietrangelo scored a power-play goal 7:55 into the game to make it 2-0.

However, Washington finally settled down and found a way to send it into overtime with the game tied at two. Jakub Vrana scored the game-winning goal for the Capitals with 2:09 remaining in overtime to give Washington a 3-2 win to open up the season.

He was one of the best players on the ice in that game for the Washington Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington in the first-period with 4:23 remaining.

Dmitry Orlov scored a power-play goal in the second-period with 7:32 remaining for the Capitals.

These were the last two teams to win the Stanley Cup Title. Both of these teams are expected to make a deep playoff run.

Justin Faulk made his debut with the St. Louis Blues and he recorded an assist in the game.

Braden Hotlby made 20 saves for Washington.

Jordan Binnington made 31 saves for St. Louis.

The Washington Capitals next game will be against the New York Islanders on the road at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The St. Louis Blues next game will be against the Dallas Stars at home on Saturday night.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Will Be Fine in 2019-2020

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made it to the playoffs for the past 13 NHL season. Pittsburgh hopes to make it back to the postseason for a 14th straight season, but it won’t be easy.

Forward Phil Kessel was traded to the Arizona Coyotes and defenseman Olli Maatta was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.

General Manager Jim Rutherford is looking to free up more cap space before the 2019-2020 season begins whether that is trading defenseman Jack Johnson, forward Bryan Rust, forward Patric Hornqvist, or defenseman Justin Schultz.

Defenseman Marcus Pettersson and forward Zach Aston-Reese are both not signed yet for the 2019-2020 season.

The projected lines for the 2019-2020 season as of right now will be: Jared McCann-Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel, Alex Galhenyuk-Evgeni Malkin-Dominik Kahun, Dominik Simon-Nick Bjugstad-Patric Hornqvist, and Brandon Tanev-Teddy Blueger-Bryan Rust.

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang, Juuso Riikola-Justin Schultz, and Jack Johnson-Eric Gudbranson will be the defensive pairings. Once Pettersson is signed, he will go into Riikola’s spot. However, there is great chance that Juuso Riikola could be a starter this season.

Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith will be the goalies. Tristan Jarry is on a one-way deal this season and he is currently the third goalie on the roster. The Penguins will most likely not carry three goalies on the roster. They are probably going to trade Jarry to a team that needs a goalie.

Some of the teams that he could potentially be traded to is the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Minnesota Wild.

I expect the Pittsburgh Penguins to be a playoff team once again next season. They play in a tough Metropolitan Division, but Pittsburgh has the championship pedigree with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang.

What is also good is that Head Coach Mike Sullivan signed a four-year contract extension just last week.

General Manager Jim Rutherford will also be around for the next three years as well.

The biggest problem with this team heading into the regular season will be the assistant coaches. Mark Recchi wasn’t exactly very good with the power play. Current Arizona Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet was with this team for a couple of seasons and he was a terrific assistant head coach for Pittsburgh.

Jacques Martin is an okay assistant and it appeared as if he was going to take a head coaching job somewhere else, but Martin never did.

Mike Buckley doesn’t have the same influence as goalie coach like Mike Bales did. Bales was one of the reasons why the Carolina Hurricanes had a bunch of over achievers at goalie this past season. They were in the Eastern Conference Finals this past season.

As for the Pittsburgh Penguins, they were swept in the first-round against the New York Islanders.

I would not be surprised to see another epic Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby battle in the 2020 postseason. It didn’t have the same feel last season when these two players didn’t face off.

As of right now, the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins might be the best rivalry in the NHL right now.

Jack Hughes Signs Entry-Level Deal with the New Jersey Devils

Number one overall pick centerman Jack Hughes signed a three-year entry-level deal with the New Jersey Devils worth $925K per season. Hughes will more than likely crack the opening night roster for the 2019-2020 season. He has a lot of potential to be one of the best players in the NHL one day.

Jack Hughes is only 18 years old. For some reason, I thought he was going to get more than $925K per season, but Hughes is probably going to get a monster pay day in a few years from now.

In 24 games last season with the USNTDP Juniors (USHL), he scored 12 goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was 17.

In 50 games with the U.S. National U18 Team (USDP), Jack Hughes scored 34 goals and recorded 78 assists.

He also played for three other U.S.A, teams. They were the U18 team in the WJC-18, the U20 team in the WJC-20, and the USA team for WC.

In seven games with the U18 team, Hughes scored nine goals and recorded 11 assists. His plus/minus was 10.

In four games with the U20 team, he recorded four assists. His plus/minus was 2.

In seven games with the USA team, Jack Hughes recorded three assists. His plus/minus was 3.

He is a very fast skater and is a tremendous play maker. Hughes could also develop a potentially dangerous shot. Taylor Hall could potentially love playing with him and so will others on the New Jersey Devils roster.

They will have high expectations heading into the 2019-2020 season. New Jersey is looking to get back to the postseason for the second time in three seasons.

 

Mike Sullivan Gets Four-Year Contract Extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan took over as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins back in the middle of the 2015-2016 after Mike Johnston was fired. Sullivan won two Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

Pittsburgh was the first team in the Salary Cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. He has also made it to the playoffs the last two years as head coach. The Penguins have reached the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons. Mike Sullivan has signed a four-year contract extension with Pittsburgh.

His contract was set to expire after this season. Sullivan’s contract runs through the 2023-2024 season. His record up to this point with the Pittsburgh Penguins is 174-92-34. Mike Sullivan’s postseason record up to this point is 38-27.

This was a good job by General Manager Jim Rutherford and the rest of the front office locking up Sullivan for the immediate future. This signing means that he is most likely not heading anywhere any time soon.

The pressure heading into the 2019-2020 season will be on his assistants, including Mark Recchi, Jacques Martin, and Mike Buckley.

Tyson Barrie Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Blockbuster Trade

The Toronto Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons. General Manager Kyle Dubas felt like a massive shakeup was needed to the roster. He decided to trade forward Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen, and a 2020 third-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Alex Kerfoot, and a 2020 sixth-round pick.

Colorado will be retaining half of Barrie’s $6 million salary. He is 27 years old and he is also in the final year of his contract. Tyson Barrie played in 78 games last season and he scored 14 goals and recorded 45 assists. His plus/minus was -3.

Kerfoot  is 24 years old and in 78 games played last season, he scored 15 goals and recorded 27 assists. His plus/minus was -9. Alexander Kerfoot is technically a restricted free agent at the moment, but the odds are that the Toronto Maple Leafs will sign him to a contract.

Toronto was able to upgrade the defense and they were able to get a reliable role player down the middle to replace Nazem Kadri.

He has had a history of being dirty in various moments and because of it, Kadri has received suspensions. including being kicked out of a playoff series this past season in the first-round against the Boston Bruins.

Nazem Kadri is 28 years old. In 73 games played last season, he scored 16 goals and recorded 28 assists. His plus/minus was -2.

Kadri has three more years remaining on his contract and his cap hit will be $4.5 million each season.

Rosen is 25 years old. In four games played last season with Toronto, he scored one goal. His plus/minus was -3.

Calle Rosen played most of last season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. In 54 games, he scored seven goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was 8.

The Colorado Avalanche also improved their roster with this trade. One of the reasons why they decided to make this trade is because they felt like they didn’t want to lose Tyson Barrie for nothing and they feel as if their young defenseman are ready to blossom this upcoming season, including fourth overall pick, defenseman Bowen Byram.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes

The Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to make a massive shakeup with the roster before free agency begins. They have traded super star Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes along with minor league defenseman Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round pick for Alex Galchenyuk and 19-year-old prospect defenseman Pierre-Oliver Joseph.

In 82 games in the regular season last season, Kessel scored 27 goals and recorded 55 assists. His plus/minus was -19. In four postseason games last season, he scored one goal and recorded one assist. His plus/minus was -2.

Phil Kessel is 31 years old and he is under contract for the next three seasons. Kessel will have a cap hit of $6.8 million.

Birks was a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He played in one game last season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.

Dane Birks played in 65 games last season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. He scored one goal and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was 1. Birks is 23 years old.

Alex Galchenyuk played in 72 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes. He scored 19 goals and recorded 22 assists. His plus/minus was -19. Galchenyuk is only 25 years old. He has one year remaining on his contract. Alex Galchenyuk will be owed $4.9 million this season.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph played in 27 games in the QMJHL last season with the Charlottetown Islanders before he got traded to Drummondville Voltigeurs.

With Charlottetown, Joseph scored seven goals and recorded 18 assists. His plus/minus was 8.

In 35 games with Drummondville, he scored two goals and recorded 20 assists. His plus/minus was 28. In 16 postseason games with them, Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored two goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus was 10.

He will start next season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

There a lot of people that do not like this trade for the Pittsburgh Penguins. This trade was mind boggling none the less.

Pittsburgh did clear up some cap space in this trade but it will be interesting to see whether or not they sign somebody now in free agency.

Arizona could be a playoff team next season after this trade. For now, the Coyotes won this trade but it could payoff in the long term for the Penguins.

One of the main reasons why Phil Kessel wanted to get traded to the Arizona Coyotes is because he wanted to reunite with Rick Tocchet who is now the head coach of Arizona.

He was an assistant coach for a few years with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

 

Roberto Luongo Retires from the NHL

Over the last couple of seasons, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo has been dealing with some injury issues. He is 40 years old and Luongo has announced his retirement from the NHL.

He will most likely be a first ballot hall of famer in three years from now. It would be a surprise if Roberto Luongo was not in the hall of fame on the first try.

He played in 43 games in his final NHL season and Luongo played in the NHL for 19 years. His record this past season was 18-16-5 with a .899 save percentage and a 3.12 GAA, along with one shutout.

He played in 1,044 games in his career and the teams he has played for in his NHL career were the New York Islanders, the Florida Panthers, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Roberto Luongo was taken in the first-round with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders.

He played in the Stanley Cup Finals with Vancouver in 2011, but they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

His record in his NHL career was 489-392-33-91 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.52 GAA, along with 77 shutouts.

Robert Luongo also sent a letter to the fans and you can read it here: https://www.nhl.com/panthers/news/luongos-open-letter-to-the-fans/c-308071408

The only other goalies on the roster right now are James Reimer and Sam Montembeault.

Florida is looking to trade Reimer to another team. It is also very possible that they could sign unrestricted free agent Sergei Bobrovsky when free agency begins on July 1.