Saturday Night is Hockey Night in Canada and with it comes the juicy bombshells from the biggest reporters. According to Sportsnet reporter Elliott Friedman and commentator Nick Kypreos, Sidney Crosby isn’t happy with the lack of veteran leadership on the roster and General Manager Jim Rutherford made a final push for Matt Duchene.
“There’s a lot of concerns,” Kypreos said.
On the Sportsnet telecast, Kypreos specifically said Crosby is missing the veteran leadership of Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen. He also indirectly linked Crosby’s current scoring funk to the roster situation.
Crosby is goalless in the last 11 games.
Kypreos also reported that Rutherford is searching for an experienced backup goalie. The Penguins off-season signing of Antti Niemi was a spectacular flop and the Penguins waived the goalie after just three starts.
Current backup Tristan Jarry, who is a high-end goalie prospect, earned a point in each of his two starts this season, which were also the second of back-to-back games. Jarry’s performances have been stellar, though inexperience showed as Jarry made several ill-advised plays, Saturday, including racing to the wall for a loose puck. Jarry did not make the play and was forced to take a tripping penalty to avoid a would-be goal.
The Sportsnet report indicated Rutherford would prefer Jarry, 22, continue to develop in the AHL.
Elliotte Friedman reported on the big broadcast that Rutherford made a last-second pitch for Duchene. The three-way deal with Colorado, Ottawa and Nashville was first reported last Thursday but was reported by Daren Dreger of TSN as dead.
Friedman reports Rutherford tried to pounce but was unsuccessful. “I think Pittsburgh made a last-second offer to try and get Duchene,” Friedman said during the Headlines segment on HNIC.
See below for spot analysis. Watch the entire segment here:
The above dovetails with the analysis our Dan Kingerski has been providing since July. It would appear the Penguins understand their attempt to plug holes with players who “need a change of scenery” has not worked.
The coaching staff’s best efforts have not been able to create an offensive spark on the third or fourth line. Riley Sheahan has especially been offensively inept. Saturday night, head coach Mike Sullivan stacked Sheahan’s third line with Conor Sheary on the left, and Patric Hornqvist on the right.
Hornqvist is a shooter. Sheary is a shooter.
If they don’t get shots tonight, it will be a giant red flag. https://t.co/KfWYZ9PVT6
— Dan Kingerski (@Budmoonshine) November 12, 2017
The line had zero shots.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now will be chasing this story as it unfolds.
Later tonight, PHN will publish the second episode of It’s A Hockey Night with Brenton and Mike. Brenton is an Australian hockey writer and Penguins fan. We enjoy their takes and hope you will give it a click.
Later this week, our newly hired John Perrotto will look at a former Penguins Assistant-GM and how he is faring in his new office…
Stefan Rice will also publish PHN’s first fan column, Hockey Uncovered. Stefan loves to look at the less talked about, less covered stories in hockey. You’ll love it, we promise!