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Showing posts from January, 2021

NHL East Division Notebook: Penguins Injury Bug, K’Andre Miller, Trent Frederic

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Photo Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images All eight East division teams take the ice against each other tonight, with the Washington Capitals still in the lead with 11 points. They have yet to suffer a loss in regulation this year but they also have been defeated three times in overtime. They will face the New York Islanders , in which the Capitals won the previous contest in extra time. The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their two game set, with the former getting the better of the two last time out. The New Jersey Devils , led by second-year forward and last year’s first overall pick Jack Hughes , look to rebound against the Philadelphia Flyers . Finally the New York Rangers look to get back on track against the Buffalo Sabres . Next, some notes and observations from around the division. Penguins Injury Bug Continues To Strike The Penguins started the season with four left-handed defensemen - Brian Dumoulin , Mike Matheson , Marcus Pettersson , and Juuso Riikola . Now

Jim Rutherford Resigns: Remembering The GMJR Era With The Pittsburgh Penguins

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Photo Credit: NHL.com If there was any GM that was capable of shocking us in this way, it was going to be Jim Rutherford . After shocking the hockey world by resigning Wednesday morning as the GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins , it sent everyone in a frenzy trying to figure out what happened. Was it health related? Was it for the team’s performance, with him deciding to run onto his own sword as opposed to get the axe from the organization? Or was it something different that we don’t know about? All signs point to it not being health related, so that’s a positive, but still news that Rutherford resigning was a lot to digest. So now that it’s over, what to think of Rutherford’s tenure as the Penguins’ General Manager? Rutherford didn’t waste anytime coming to Pittsburgh, trading away James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in his first offseason before eventually making a bigger splash in getting Phil Kessel the following year. And he would spend the rest of his time here in

Pittsburgh Penguins: Goaltending Among Early Season Worries One Week In

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Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette We are now a week into the season, and while the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to dig themselves out of the 0-2 hole with back-to-back wins over the Washington Capitals , there is much work to be done. With the season being more on the sprinting side as opposed to a marathon, every game is magnified, and each point means that much more. Teams just don’t have the space to fall behind in the standings or they risk missing out on the playoffs.  So it would be easy to panic with the slow button start the Penguins have gone through. They were throughly embarrassed but he Philadelphia Flyers in the first two games, and had to fight and claw in the next set against the Capitals, climbing out of first period deficits to earn the victories in extra time (shootout in the first, overtime for the second). Embed from Getty Images It’d be even easier to hit the panic button when rewinding back and watching the games over again.  The players that the Penguins ha

Winnipeg Jets: Logan Stanley Makes Long Awaited NHL Debut In Loss To Maple Leafs

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Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder/USA Today Sports It’s been a long time coming for Logan Stanley , the second of two first round picks for the Winnipeg Jets back during the 2016 NHL Draft. When it comes to debuts, the unfortunate ongoing pandemic prevented it from being a perfect debut for Stanley. Growing up in Waterloo and playing his final junior year in Kitchener, this was more of a home game for Stanley than when he dresses for the first time in Winnipeg. So despite not being able to have the countless family and friends in the stands like he would have probably liked, Stanley made his long awaited NHL debut Monday night, playing just over 11 minutes in the Jets 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs . “Very happy with Logan’s debut. He was certainly not the weak link, his reads were good, his gap closure was good, it didn’t look like it was his first game, so very pleased with the progress that young man’s made in a year.” That was Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice on Stanley’s deb

Charlotte Hornets: Devonte Graham Still Adjusting To New Role On Team

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Photo Credit: Jason E Miczek/AP Photo The Charlotte Hornets saw enough in Devonte Graham to trade two second round draft picks to acquire him from the Atlanta Hawks before he had ever stepped onto a NBA court. After a rather quiet rookie season, Graham took a huge step forward in year two, leading the Hornets in scoring and assists - feats that helped the former Big 12 player of the year finish fifth in the Most Improved Player Award.  It was also a season good enough that it forced big time free agent acquisition Terry Rozier III to an off-ball role by the end of the season. Entering this season, the Hornets made a big splash in the draft, selecting LaMelo Ball  as well as signing Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract in free agency that was panned by many at the time. It created an interesting situation. Ball himself was touted as one of the better playmakers in the draft, and Hayward is no stranger to having the ball in his hand creating for not just him, but fo