Sunday, February 1, 2009

The news is out - 2-1-09

Rumor has it there's a football game today.

We know who the Penguins will be rooting for.

Empty Netter Assists - Eastern Conference - 2-1-09


-Shelly Anderson's recap from last night. Mathieu Garon was not sharp.

-The Associated Press' recap. Luke Schenn was big.

-The Globe and Mail's recap. Toronto survived its first test without Tomas Kaberle.

-Tyler Kennedy versus Luke Schenn:

-The Leafs were pretty mad about Kennedy coming off the bench to start that brawl. Toronto overlord called the NHL about the matter and the league is investigating it.

-This just leaves us speechless:

-Cool story about the great Mike Zigomanis. He arranged for the entire Kingston Frontenac junior team Doug Gilmour coaches to attend the Penguins-Maple Leafs game last night. Zigomanis is a former member of the team.

(Kudos to The Pensblog for the find.)

-Sidney Crosby paid some respect to Gilmour.

-Remember Sergei Gonchar? He's expected to be back in three weeks.

-Don't get too attached to Alex Goligoski.

-How much will Consol Energy Center impact Uptown?

-As a courtesy to the Penguins, Devils announcer Mike Emrick kept a speech short during a ceremony in his honour Friday night.

-Tim Wallace had two goals and led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-1 win at Syracuse. Luca Caputi added a goal and an assist.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Aaron Boogaard had a pretty decisive win against Syracuse tough guy Jon "Nasty" Mirasty:

-Round 2 went a little bit more in Mirasty's favor:

(Kudos to Jonathan Bombulie of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice for the heads up.)

-Jordan Morrison had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers in a 4-3 home loss to the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Former Robert Morris forward Ryan Cruthers had a goal and an assist for Mississippi.

Atlantic Division

-Scoreboard watch for the Penguins: The Islanders helped the Penguins a bit as Mike Comrie had a goal and an assist and led New York to a 3-1 win against the Panthers. Yann Danis made 37 saves in the win. The loss keeps Florida in ninth place at 54 points, one point better than the Penguins.

-The Penguins helped Jamie Langenbrunner make history. With his overtime goal Friday, he became the first player in Devils history to score overtime winners in consecutive nights or consecutive games.

-Rangers defenseman Dmitri Kalinin is dealing with a back injury.

-Even if they wanted to, the Islanders won't have an easy time leaving the Island.

Northeast Division

-In his first NHL start in nearly 14 months, Tuukka Rask made 35 saves and led the Bruins to a 1-0 win against the Rangers.

-Saku Koivu had a goal and an assist and led the Canadiens to a 4-3 defeat of the Kings. Montreal ended a four-game losing streak. Dustin Brown and Jarrett Stoll each had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles.

-Check out this brutal cheap shot Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier delivered to Montreal blue liner Josh Gorges last night:

-We assume Gorges' girlfriend is fine so no further punishment will be levied against Gauthier.

-Scoreboard watch for the Penguins: Ryan Miller made 28 saves for the Sabres in a 2-0 shutout win at Phoenix. Buffalo is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points, four more than the Penguins.

-Check out this pretty interesting read about Maple Leafs forward and former Penguin Dominic Moore and his relationship with teammate Brad May and team boss Brian Burke. May and Burke were both members of the Canucks are were connected to Todd Bertuzzi's attack on Moore's brother, former Avalanche.

-Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn had it going on last night.

Southeast Division

-Alex Ovechkin (right, with teammate Nick Schultz) scored two goals and led the Capitals to a 4-2 win against the Red Wings. Teammates Mike Green and Viktor Kozlov each had a goal and and assist while Nicklas Backstrom added two assists. Detroit has lost five consecutive games.

-The Capitals have shown they belong with the big boys of the NHL.

-How special was Capitals forward Alexander Semin yesterday? He was dropped to the team's third line.

-Scoreboard watch for the Penguins: Cam Ward made a "whopping" 19 saves and led the Hurricanes to a 2-0 shutout of the Thrashers. Ward recorded his ninth career shutout. Is it us, or does it seem like Ward should have more than that? Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist. Carolina is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 55 points, two more than the Penguins.

-Atlanta may have hit the low point of its season last night.

-The Thrashers had some rare road support last night.

-Florida blew a big opportunity last night.

-There shouldn't be anything interim about Lightning coach and former Penguins forward Rick Tocchet.

(Photo: Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Empty Netter Assists - Western Conference - 2-1-09

Central Division

-Jonathan Toews had two goals and led the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win at San Jose.
Teammate Kris Versteeg added a goal and an assist. Joe Pavelski had two
assists for the Sharks which lost in regulation at home for only the
second time this season.

-Chris Mason made 35 saves and led the Blues to a 4-0 shutout of the Flyers. It was Mason's 15th career shutout. Brad Boyes and T.J. Oshie each had two assists for St. Louis.

-Blues forward Cam Janssen and and Flyers forward Arron Asham had a pretty spirited bout last night:

-Check out this goal Red Wings forward Ville Leino made in his NHL debut yesterday:

-Leino made quite an impression yesterday.

-There's a reason everyone wants to wear the Winged Wheel.

-Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason is dealing with mononucleosis.

-Stop us if this sounds familiar. A team that wears black and gold is having trouble replacing its offense after losing a few star players.

-Predators forward Jordin Tootoo is dealing with an "upper-body" injury he suffered after fighting Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi. Good thing no one gets hurt from fighting.

Northwest Division

-Marc-Andre Bergeron scored two goals, including one in overtime, and led the Wild to a 4-3 road win against the rival Canucks.
Bergeron also had an assist while teammate Pierre-Marc Bouchard added
three assists. Niklas Backstrom made 37 saves in the win. Ryan Kesler
had two goals for Vancouver which lost its ninth consecutive game. The
Canucks have one only one game since Mats Sundin debuted with the team
Jan. 7.

-Is Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck (right) a candidate for the Calder Trophy? If having a cool name was the only qualifier for the award...

Pacific Division

-Remember when the Stars' season was over? They moved into seventh
place in the Western Conference after James Neal had two goals and and
an assist in a 7-3 win at Columbus.
Teammate Loui Eriksson added a goal and an assist while former Penguins
defenseman Darryl Sydor added an assist and was a plus-4. Fire Ray
Shero. Kristian Huselius led Columbus with a goal and an assist. Dallas
has won four consecutive games.

-Neal stepped up big time last night.

-Ryan Getzlaf and Scott Niedermayer each had a goal and two assists for the Ducks in a 4-3 win at Colorado.
Teemu Selanne scored the winning goal and set a franchise record by
appearing in his 617th game for Anaheim. The Avalanche has lost four
consecutive games.

-Talk about immediate return. A few days after signing a contract
extension, Ducks forward and Washington, Pa. native George Parros
scored a goal last night:

-Ducks defenseman Bret Hedican suffered a broken nose after he took an elbow to the nose from Colorado's Chris Stewart.

-The Stars recalled forward Fabian Brunnstrom from Manitoba of the AHL.

-The Coyotes recalled Joel Perreault from San Antonio of the AHL.

-The shoulder injury to Phoenix forward Steven Reinprecht is only expected to sideline him 7-to-10 days instead of 4-to-8 weeks as initially feared.

-With defenseman Dan Boyle dealing with an apparent wrist injury, the Sharks recalled forward Ryan Vesce from Worcester of the AHL.

-Ducks forward Bobby Ryan isn't an answer to a trivia answer.

Patrick Division

-Is Russia the top obstacle for Canada's pursuit of the gold medal in next year's Winter Olympics?

(Photo: Jim Mone/Associated Press)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Red Wings, Zetterberg agree to 12-year, $72 million contract - 1-28-09

The Red Wings and forward Henrik Zetterberg (above) have agreed to a 12-year, $72 million contract extension. The deal will have a salary cap hit of $6 million per season. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Award last season as the MVP of the playoffs and led Detroit to the Stanley Cup.

EN Says: Wow. That's a huge deal. Especially given the current economic troubles in the world which the NHL is not immune from. Depending on league revenues, the salary cap can actually fall.

That said, getting an elite all-world talent like Zetterberg for "only" $6 million per season is a steal. He could easily command $10 based on the free agent mark this past off season.

While Zetterberg's probably a pretty happy camper today, you have to wonder what former Penguins forward Marian Hossa is thinking. He took a relatively small deal with Detroit with the hopes of winning a championship and had expressed a desire to sign a long-term deal with the Red Wings. Even at a fairly cap-friendly number, Zetterberg's deal doesn't exactly bode well for Hossa's hopes to stay in Motown. The same applies to Johan Franzen who is an unrestricted free agent after this season. You don't know of any teams which could use a scoring winger or two do you?

But if anyone could find a way to hang on to Hossa, it's Detroit general manager Ken Holland. He's found a way to "brainwash" players into taking lesser contracts in order to win in Detroit. In all seriousness, Holland and company have created a winning atmosphere which players from all around the league are willing to sacrifice a bit in order to be a part of. Zetterberg's deal is the perfect example of that.

(Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

About the Rangers - 1-28-09

A preview of the Rangers.

Record: 29-16-4, 62 points. The Rangers are in second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Leading Scorer: Nikolai Zherdev, 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 home win against the Hurricanes last night. Scott Gomez had a goal and an assist for New York.

Last Game against the Penguins: 3-0 road loss, Jan. 18. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the Penguins while Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist.

Rangers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Gomez, he has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last two games.

Ex-Penguins on the Rangers: Markus Naslund, LW; Michal Roszival (right), D; Glen Sather
general manager; Rick Kehoe, professional scout..

Ex-Rangers on the Penguins: Pascal Dupuis, RW; Petr Sykora, RW; Kevin Stevens, professional scout.

Useless Rangers Trivia: Rozsival, a fourth-round pick in 1996, is the only member of the Penguins' draft class that year to have played the equivalent of one full NHL season during his career. He has appeared in 523 games. Eric Meloche (74 games), Boyd Kane (28) and Pavel Skrbek (12) were the only others to have even appeared in a game. Craig Hiller, the team's first-round pick, Boris Protsenko, Peter Bergman and Timo Seikkula never set one skate on an NHL rink.

Best Rangers YouTube Video We Could Find: Mark Messier - As classy as they ever came:


-Marc-Andre Fleury (15-12-2, 2.81 GAA, .910 SV%) and Henrik Lundqvist (24-13-3, 2.53 GAA, .914 SV%) are expected to start in net.

-Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Rob Scuderi and Maxime Talbot are expected to return to the lineup tonight. Not so much for Brooks Orpik.

-Hopefully you didn't pull Matt Cooke in your office scoring poll.

-It's almost do or die from here on out for the Penguins.

-The Rangers put forward Dan Fritsche on waivers. Head coach Tom Renney would like to replace him with a seventh defenseman.

-Gomez and Naslund have stepped it up as of late.

-The Staals are, in fact, brothers.

(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Empty Netter Assists - 1-28-09


-Why exactly is Mike Yeo in charge of the power play?

-Bob Smizik examines Michel Therrien's future with the team.

-Former Penguins forward Mark Johnson, the son of former coach "Badger" Bob Johnson, will coach the 2010 United States Olympic women's hockey team. Mark Johnson was also a member of the 1980 United States men's hockey team.

-Random YouTube Find of the day: Former Penguins goon Andre Roy slugging it out with defenseman John Erskine, formerly of the Islanders:

Atlantic Division

-Jamie Langenbrunner scored two goals and led the Devils to a 4-1 win at Ottawa. Teammat Travis Zajac added two assists.

-The video is a little choppy, but check out this crazy assist by New Jersey's Zach Parise last night:

-Former Devils coach Pat Burns was rather frank in discussing his latest bout with cancer. "Right now, I’m just enjoying the time left. That’s what I’m trying to do."

-Islanders forward Mike Sillinger underwent hip surgery and will miss the rest of the regular season.

-Unlike Michel Therrien circa early 2006, Flyers coach John Stevens doesn't think his defense is "soff."

Northeast Division

-The game of the night was between the Eastern Conference's two best teams. David Krejci's goal off Shaone Morrisonn gave the Bruins a 3-2 win against the Capitals. Washington forward Alex Ovechkin had a scary collision into the boards during the second period and left the momentarily with a stinger. He eventually returned fortunately.

-A hat trick by Drew Stafford (right) led the visiting Sabres to a 10-2 rout of the Oilers. Tim Connolly had two goals and an assist while teammates Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each added a goal and two assists. The home loss was the worst in Edmonton's history.

-The Senators recalled forward Peter Regin from Binghamton of the AHL and demoted goaltender Martin Gerber.

-Is Toronto goaltender Curtis Joseph at the end of the line?

-Maple Leafs forward and former Penguin Dominic Moore isn't exactly a fan of Wild coach Jacques Lemaire.

Southeast Division

-If you were doing some scoreboard watching on behalf of the Penguins, you were rooting for the Flyers last night. Leave it to them to fail. Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists for the Panthers in a 3-2 win against the Flyers. The win pushed the Panthers into eighth place in the Eastern Conference and two points ahead of the Penguins. Teammate Keith Ballard added two assists.

-Florida defenseman is apparently not a fan of Flyers forward Scott Upshall and his attitudes on puppy drowning:

-Panthers coach Pete DeBoer has folks thinking about playoffs in Miami.

-When did the Lightning get good? Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay in a 5-3 win against the Canadiens. Teammate and former Penguin Ryan Malone added a goal. Fire Ray Shero. The Lightning have won six of its last eight games.

-Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk downplayed his role in brining peace between Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin.

-Carolina associate coach and former Penguins captain Ron Francis missed last night's game against the Rangers due to a back injury.

-Lightning defenseman and former Penguins prospect Jamie Heward is slowly recovering from a concussion.

(Photos: Stafford-Jimmy Jeong/Canadian Press; Cullimore-Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press)

Central Division

-Rick Nash had three goals including one in overtime and lifted the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win against the Red Wings. With teammates Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom "suspended" last night, Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood was seen adjusting his new tin foil helmet.

-Nash doing his thing last night:

-The Blue Jackets activated forward Jason Chimera from injured reserve.

Northwest Division

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and an assist for the Wild which blasted the Maple Leafs, 6-1. Teammate Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan each had a goal and an assist.

-The Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from injured reserve recalled defenseman Kyle Cuminskey from from Lake Erie of the AHL.

-Colorado forward David Jones suffered a shoulder injury last night.

-Oilers forward Sam Gagner suffered an ankle injury last night.

-Edmonton's goaltending stunk last night. Maybe the Penguins can trade Mathieu Garon back to the Oilers in exchange for say... oh... Ales Hemsky?

-Yes, that is very wishful thinking.

-The Oilers activated forward Zach Stortini from injured reserve.

-Flames forward and former Penguins goon Andre Roy avoided punishment for a throat slashing gesture. He apparently didn't make it towards anyone's girlfriend so the NHL was cool with it.

-Roy's teammate, defenseman Robyn Regehr also avoided a suspsension over a cross check to the head of Columbus forward Derek Dorsett. Dorsett didn't die so NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell didn't see a need to act on it.

-It's time for Canucks forward Mats Sundin to start doing something big.

Pacific Division

-Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves and led the Sharks to a 3-0 shutout win at Colorado. Milan Michalek led San Jose's offense with two goals.

-Marty Turco made 25 saves and recorded his 35th career shutout for the Stars in a 2-0 defeat of the Thrashers. Steve Ott had a goal and an assist.

-Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz each scored two goals and led the Ducks to a 7-3 win at Phoenix. Teammate Bobby Ryan (right) added a goal and an assist. Shane Doan led the Coyotes with two goals.

-Sharks forward Dan Boyle suffered an "upper-body" injury in the All-Star Lame Game. Colin Campbell is expected to suspend him for 32 games.

-With Boyle dinged up, San Jose recalled defenseman Derek Joslin and Mike Moore from Worcester of the AHL.

-The Stars activated forward Fabian Brunnstrom from injured reserve and demoted him to Manitoba of the AHL for conditioning purposes.

Adams Division

-The ratings for the All-Star Lame Game were good for the NHL, but bad in comparison to other sports leagues on real television networks.

(Photo: Paul Connors/Associated Press)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Because there's not enough second guessing going on - 1-9-09

Here's one of these scoring wingers we hear so much about. His name is Bobby Ryan. He plays for the Ducks. He had a hat trick last night against the rival Kings and one of his goals came off this ridiculous move:

The Penguins passed him up in the 2005 draft to pick some flop No. 1 overall. No wonder they fired Craig Patrick.



-Dave Molinari's recap from last night. The Predators had five goals total in their previous four games.

-The Nashville Tennessean's recap. Ryan Suter and the Predators had doubts.

-The Associated Press' recap. Sidney Crosby said his team didn't deserve to win.

-Imagine this. The Predators made some line switches... and won the game!

-Sanford Myers of the Tennessean has a solid photo gallery of the game.

-Here's "Walt Steiggers'" introduction to last night game:

-Ahh. Stereotypes.

-Jordan Staal got paid.

-Ron Cook likes the deal for a few reasons.

-Sidney Crosby needs to move out of Mario Lemieux's basement.

-No other Penguins were selected to the All-Star Lame Game. The complete rosters can be viewed here.

-Crosby will have a hockey facility in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia named after him.

Atlantic Division

-Scottie Upshall had a goal and an assist for the Flyers in a 3-1 defeat of the Wild. Martin Biron made 27 saves in the win.

-Today's "Rick DiPietro's injury" story is brought to you by Greg Logan of Newsday.

-Devils defenseman Colin White returned to the lineup after missing five games due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist finally made an All-Star Lame Game.

Northeast Division

-Marc Savard's 700th career game saw him collect a goal and two assists for the Bruins in a 6-4 defeat of the Senators.
Teammates Chuck Kobasew, David Krejci and Michael Ryder each had a goal
and an assist. Chris Kelly and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an
assist for Ottawa.

-Boston's Shawn Thornton had a pretty good tilt with Ottawa's Chris Neil last night:

-Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens in a 6-2 rout of the rival Maple Leafs.
Patrice Brisebois had three assists while teammates Maxim Lapierre and
former Penguin Alex Kovalev each added a goal and an assist. Fire Craig

-Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski had an absolute meltdown last night that resulted in him shoving an official:

-It's nice to see Toronto's new goon Brad May is already taking cheap shots at opponents:

-Bruins forward Phil Kessel's snub from the All-Star game means he'll be missing out on a $212,500 bonus.

-Boston recalled forward Martin Karsums from Providence of the AHL.

-Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle said he would waive his no-trade clause if he were asked to by management.

Southeast Division

-Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves and led the Thrashers to a 4-0 shutout win at New Jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist while former Penguin Colby Armstrong added a goal. Fire Ray Shero.

-David Booth had a goal and an assist and led the Panthers to a 4-2 win against the Hurricanes. Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves for Florida. Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason suffered a leg injury.

-The Capitals are mad about the All-Star Lame Game.

Central Division

-Niklas Kronwall had three assists while teammates Dan Cleary, Pavel
Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and former Penguin Marian Hossa each added a
goal and an assist for the Red Wings in a 6-1 rout of the Stars. Chris Osgood made 22 saves for Detroit.

-Check out this hit by Niklas Kronwall on Dallas' Mike Ribeiro:

-The Blue Jackets put goaltender Pascal Leclaire on injured reserve due to a bum ankle. Goaltender Dan LaCosta was recalled from Syracuse of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche which edged the Blackhawks, 2-1. Andrew Raycroft made a career-high 43 saves for Colorado.

-Is Raycroft Colorado's top goaltender?

-Daymond Langkow had a goal and two assists while teammates Rene
Bourque and Mike Cammalleri each added a goal and an assist for the
Flames in a 5-2 win against the Islanders. Adrian Aucoin recorded two assists against his former team while Miikka Kiprusoff made 24 saves in the win.

-The Flames recalled forward Mikael Backlund from Sweden's national junior team.

-Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo practiced for the first time since injuring his groin during a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh, Nov. 22.

-Vancouver recalled forward Jannik Hansen from Manitoba and demoted forward Alexandre Bolduc.

-Wild defenseman Martin Skoula is dealing with an illness.

Pacific Division

-Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht each had two assists for the Coyotes who edged the Lightning, 3-2. Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves in the win. Jeff Halpern lead Tampa Bay with a goal and an assist.

-Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist and led the Kings to a 4-3 win against the rival Ducks. An earthquake actually occured during the game but there was no damage.

-Kings forward Oscar Moller is dealing with a broken clavicle.

-The Kid Line came through for the Coyotes last night.

-Folks in Canada are still pretty bitter over the fact that Phoenix has a hockey team.

-Dallas' goaltending has been awful this season.