Tag: Sidney Crosby

Corey Tropp, Rob Scuderi

WATCH LIVE: Blue Jackets at Penguins (7:00 p.m. ET)

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will probably end up missing the playoffs at this point, but they have the opportunity tonight to make matters worse for their 2014 playoff combatants, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh got off to a 26-6-4 start, but has shown significant cracks in its armor over the last couple months with its 10-10-5 run. At this point, the Penguins have slid to third place in the Metropolitan Division and are in danger of falling further.

Injuries have certainly been a factor in Pittsburgh, but Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, and Sidney Crosby have also been underperforming lately. The Penguins need them to play a leading role in putting the team back on the right path and a convincing win against a challenging opponent in Columbus would be a great start.

The contest will start at 7:00 p.m. ET and air on NBCSN, but you can also stream it on to NBC Sports Live Extra.


Here are some related links:

NHL on NBCSN: Penguins host Blue Jackets

Rutherford wants to add a goal-scorer, in case Crosby and Malkin ‘get shut down’

Penguins let emotions get the better of them in loss to Capitals

Kekalainen ‘worried’ about Murray’s development after three injury-plagued years

NHL on NBCSN: Penguins host Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as Pittsburgh Penguins host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Consol Energy Center at 7:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Boy, a lot has changed since the Columbus Blue Jackets made the Pittsburgh Penguins in their 2014 playoff series.

The Penguins changed up their front office and at least attempted to shift away from a top-heavy lineup to a more balanced attack. Columbus dealt with Ryan Johansen’s contract negotiations (and have since enjoyed phenomenal bang-for-the-buck from that rising star), mind-numbing injury issues and plenty of turbulence to the point that its playoff hopes are pegged at .1 percent.

In a more immediate view, both teams seem to come into this one licking their wounds a bit. The Penguins have lost two in a row and Sidney Crosby’s been struggling – by his high standards – while the Blue Jackets remain feisty but far from 100 percent.

Nick Foligno is the latest Columbus player bit by the injury bug, and it remains to be seen if he can play tonight. It’s a real shame, too, as NBCSN audiences would get a chance to see a player who continues to defy expectations by playing at an All-Star level.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $30,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

However, if you take a step back, it seems like the two teams have the potential to build a rivalry much like Ohio State and Penn State would logically butt heads in college football.

The Blue Jackets have had lousy luck this season, but they’re still frequently a tough out. They have enough animosity built up against the Penguins that they weren’t going to lie down anyway, yet it seems like that’s not really in this team’s nature in the first place.

Crosby’s scoring problems ape the Penguins’ lack of scoring punch overall. They’ve only scored a goal apiece in each of the last two games and their power play is currently 0-for-18 in February.

It all shapes up to be an interesting game with plenty of snarl. Tune into NBCSN to catch the action.

Rutherford wants to add a goal-scorer, in case Crosby and Malkin ‘get shut down’

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford would like to add a bottom-six goal-scorer to Pittsburgh’s forward group.

“If it’s a guy who’s capable of scoring a goal or a big goal, I would like to get that guy because if [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin] get shut down, we need to be able to win games with our third and fourth lines,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this morning.

“That’s what teams try to do to us. They try to shut those guys down. If they shut those guys down, and you don’t have enough balance on your third and fourth line where you can score periodically, then you can’t win.”

(See: the 2013 Eastern Conference Final versus Boston.)

The challenge for Rutherford is to find “that guy,” and to find him for a reasonable price.

Some have suggested the Penguins go out and get Jaromir Jagr. But according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that’s “highly, highly unlikely.”

Chris Stewart is another candidate, we suppose. (Is he a good candidate? That’s debatable.)

Maybe Antoine Vermette? He’s not likely to come cheap though.

Suffice to say, the pickings are rather slim.

Remember also the salary-cap uncertainty that may end up defining the 2015 trade deadline, with GMs hesitant to add players with term on their contracts, and Rutherford has his work cut out.