Discuss: Pens overwhelm Isles, take 3-2 series lead


The Pittsburgh Penguins made enough changes in Game 5 against the New York Islanders that Thursday night ended up looking a lot like the opening game of this first-round series. The Penguins ended up winning 4-0.

Let’s get chatting.

  • In an odd twist, two Penguins goalies now have shutouts in this series. Marc-Andre Fleury produced a goose egg in Game 1 while Tomas Vokoun managed to do so tonight.
  • Another parallel: Evgeni Nabokov was chased from the game. This sequence didn’t exactly help the aging Russian netminder’s cause:
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  • So, should the Islanders actually consider giving Kevin Poulin a start or is it Nabokov or bust? The team’s hot run occasionally meant out-scoring their problems, as the veteran’s work has been hit-or-miss in 2013.
  • Before the game got out of hand, many observers noted that Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang haven’t looked quite right at times. The results argue otherwise, but how accurate could that be? Should Pittsburgh be worried if so?
  • Can the Islanders bounce back from this 3-2 series deficit?
  • Has your viewpoint of the Penguins’ status as a Stanley Cup contender changed? If so, how?
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Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.