Penguins center Nick Bonino hasn’t exactly been an offensive dynamo this season, but he’s been featured in a big way on special teams for Pittsburgh and his loss will impact the penalty kill and power play during his absence.
“He’s going to be missed in a lot of areas,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told PittsburghPenguins.com’s Sam Kasan. “He’s a really smart player. He’s been a big part of the penalty kill. He’s a guy that you can lean on to take faceoffs in the defensive zone when you need him.”
Sullivan didn’t give a timeline on the specifics of Bonino’s injury and said he was “reluctant to put a timeframe on it.” Sullivan added, however, that Bonino’s injury wouldn’t be short-term, which was confirmed by GM Jim Rutherford. Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari that Bonino would be out “at least a month.” Read more
Kris Versteeg now has seven goals on the season, but it will be pretty hard for any future tallies to measure up to the one he scored against Pittsburgh last night. The Carolina Hurricanes right winger got several crazy bounces in what can only be described as a magic pinball goal:
There were a lot of people who were happy to see Alex Ovechkin score his 500th NHL goal on Sunday afternoon. His parents were two of them. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis seemed quite delighted. Ovechkin’s teammates and the 18,003 people in attendance at the Verizon Center seemed to be having a good time, too.
But one guy who probably cheering from a distance was Ovechkin’s once and former rival, Sidney Crosby. For no other reason than the fact that a lot of the same questions that are being asked about Crosby these days are the same ones that were being posed about Ovechkin three years ago. There is little doubt Crosby is at the nadir of his career, being passed over for the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. Crosby’s play has inspired more questions than answers, as in, “What’s wrong with Sidney Crosby?” or “Are we seeing the beginning of the demise of Sidney Crosby?”
By Shelly Anderson
With his flexible body, omnipresent smile and an infectious joie de vivre, Marc-Andre Fleury seems eternally young. Truth is, he turned 31 Nov. 28, and he’s had to make some adjustments. “I used to not stretch at all, and I could do the splits no problem,” he said. “Now I’ve got to work at it a little harder.”
Nowadays, his ritual before he takes the ice includes a stretching routine. He’s made some other tweaks in his preparation and his performance, many of them an outgrowth of his work with third-year goaltending coach Mike Bales.
Indications are that Fleury, though getting older, is still getting better. That raises some questions about what his legacy will be and where his place in history might be when he hangs up his skates, which seemingly won’t be for years to come.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been one of the bright spots through all the Penguins’ struggles this season, and Fleury nearly stole a victory for Pittsburgh Wednesday in the second half of a home-and-home with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In the contest, Fleury made a number of outstanding saves, including an early stop on defenseman Erik Gustafsson and a breakaway stop on Andrew Shaw. But the highlight of Fleury’s game came in the second period when he somehow turned aside a shot from Chicago blueliner Trevor van Riemsdyk.
After the Blackhawks had forced a turnover deep in Pittsburgh’s zone, Patrick Kane had a good look on goal that was stopped by Fleury and the puck ended up behind the Penguins’ net. Jonathan Toews swooped behind the goal and stripped Olli Maatta of the puck and patiently waited before putting the puck perfectly on the stick of van Riemsdyk. He let go a shot that was labelled for the back of the net, but Fleury struck out his blocker and stick to send the puck sailing into the netting behind the goal: Read more
The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to have found their offense.
Ranked 28th overall with 2.30 goals-for per game, the Penguins scored five through two periods on Saturday night against the New York Islanders.
The struggling Pittsburgh Penguins could be worth watching as the Feb. 29th trade deadline approaches. Currently sitting outside of playoff contention, management could attempt to swing a deal to bolster their chances.
Such a move, however, won’t improve their Stanley Cup aspirations. Indeed, their window of opportunity to win a championship with their current core of talent has closed. Sliding further out of playoff contention will increase calls for a roster rebuild, perhaps by shopping superstar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, however, doubts either guy will be moved. He points out the club is currently up for sale, and dealing away Crosby or Malkin could affect its value. Friedman also believes it’s up to ownership, not management, to make that decision. Read more
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has a history of head injuries and has missed games as recently as Sunday out of concern for his health, and he was forced to leave Wednesday’s game for a short time after taking a dangerous hit from behind from Maple Leafs winger Leo Komarov.
Letang was chasing a puck back into the Pittsburgh zone with less than five minutes remaining in the first period of Wednesday’s game after Toronto’s Nazem Kadri had shot wide of the net. As Letang went to play the puck, he stopped a few feet short of the boards behind the Pittsburgh net as Komarov approached from behind. As the puck reached Letang, he was shoved from behind and shoulder first into the boards by Komarov: Read more