The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed earlier today that defenseman Kris Letang is out of the hospital, but will be out indefinitely with a concussion after taking a hit from Coyotes winger Shane Doan on Saturday night.
Before any Pittsburgh fans go and get their jerseys in a jumble, just pause for a second, take a deep breath and think about it: if the Penguins fail to get back to the Stanley Cup final for the sixth straight season, what else is left for the franchise to do but blow up the core?
After an off-season of upheaval in which Pittsburgh brought in a new coach, a new GM and a new supporting cast for Sidney Crosby, there would be few options left but to raze the roster to the ground and begin anew. Sure, the Penguins could use Marc-Andre Fleury as a scapegoat and try using the same roster again next season with a different goalie, but that would only be putting off the inevitable. (Just ask the San Jose Sharks, who are years behind on the rebuilding schedule after sticking with their core despite perennial playoff failures, including their first-round faceplant last year.)
The best thing for the Penguins to do would be to try to trade Crosby for the next Crosby.
College hockey’s Frozen Four kicks off this week with 16 teams gunning for a spot in Boston, where the semifinal and final will be held in April. Regionals spread the squads across four cities and there is a lot of firepower at this year’s installment. But who are the players to watch for? Here’s a primer for every school, with an admitted bias towards NHL prospects.
Thursday night, Jaromir Jagr further solidified his Hall of Fame credentials by passing Phil Esposito for fifth all-time in career goals.
By scoring his 718th career goal, a beautiful snipe from the far circle, Jagr moved 13 goals behind Marcel Dionne as the fourth greatest goal scorer in NHL history. It’s not unthinkable that he could surpass Dionne if he plays at least one more year, and, if he were to get incredibly hot, 23 goals would tie him with Brett Hull for third all-time.
To the matter at hand, though: when you score 718 goals, there are bound to be more than a few beauties. Jagr’s list of career highlights is nearly endless and these are the 10 best goals of his career, almost all of which came in a Penguins uniform: Read more
Remember when Penguins star center Sidney Crosby was accused of selfishness for not appearing at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game? That was a bogus accusation at the time – anybody who’s had a glimpse at one of Crosby’s daily itineraries can tell you what he happily gives to the league and the game – but news that the Pens captain would spend a portion of his off-season this summer running his own hockey school in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., is another indication of his devotion to the sport and his Atlantic Canadian heritage. Read more
Petr Mrazek was all-world in net for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, turning aside 42 of 43 shots to help the Wings to a gutsy 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Red Wings rebounded from an embarrassing 7-4 loss in Philadelphia to hammer Pittsburgh, in large part thanks to the steely-eyed resolve of Petr Mrazek.
Crosby wore one of the Pens’ green St. Patrick’s Day tribute jerseys in warmup but pulled out of the game at the last minute for undisclosed reasons.
The Penguins managed to scratch out Crosby’s name and replace him with Craig Adams on the scoresheet just before the game started, so they still started the game with a full roster.
That didn’t last long.
Everyone likes to pretend they’re a little Irish around St. Patrick’s Day, but who expected the Pittsburgh Penguins to look more Irish than the Boston Bruins?
The Pens took to the ice at home on Saturday wearing green warmup jerseys to commemorate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. But where most teams would simply go green and leave it at that, the Penguins went to the next level by putting Gaelic names on their jersey nameplates.
Gaelic is the traditional language in Ireland, and if you’ve ever heard it, it sounds like someone speaking English in the thickest Irish accent you can imagine. That is, essentially, what the Pens’ jersey names sound like.