Friday, April 30, 2010

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

Fleury was sporting an all-white mask today at practice and I guess you could say that he's really getting into the Penguins home game "white-outs."

But here's the real story on the mask (from the Pens webpage):
On his new all-white mask:
The other one started to grow mold, so I wore that one just for practice.

On using the bad smell of his other mask to ward off his opponents:
It’s a good trick. I keep it for the games, though. I don’t want to waste it on practice.

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Montreal - GAME 1)

Kunitz confirmed to the media that he will be in tonight's lineup agains the Canadiens for Game 1

HC Bylsma confirmed that Kennedy will not be in tonight's lineup

LINE COMBINATIONS (from this morning's skate)

Jaroslav Spacek (D), illness - day-to-day; he skated the morning of Game 7 against Washington, but could not go come game time
(from the Montreal Canadiens homepage)
Round 2
Montreal Canadiens
In net tonight: Jaroslav Halak (projected)

Montreal Canadiens webpage
Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Pens #1 (04/30/2010)
GAME PREVIEW (04/30/2010)
Shock therapy (04/29/2010)
Out of the frying pan… (04/29/2010)

The Montreal Gazette
Fresh start for Canadiens (04/30/2010)

Hart Trophy Candidates Named

Yesterday, the NHL released the candidates of this season's league MVP in the running for the Hart Trophy.  Among them is none other than Sidney Crosby whom, I believe, is quite deserving of it each year, but especially so this year!!!

The other two candidates are Alex Ovechkin (of course) and Henrik Sedin. 

The winner is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in the 30 NHL cities and awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team" and will be announced at this year's NHL Awards on June 23rd in Las Vegas at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel with the ceremony being broadcast LIVE on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

The votes are taken prior to the beginning of playoffs, but I really think that round 1 perfectly illustrates the reason why Crosby deserves it over Ovechkin (and why I will ALWAYS BELIEVE that Crosby is better than Ovechkin ... that's another post for another time) ... his teammates have tons more reasons as well (READ THE ARTICLE)!!

"It didn't matter who we were playing, he was there for us. He scored those crucial goals for us and he does everything that a captain should do to lead a team." -- Sergei Gonchar (on Sidney Crosby).
SIDNEY CROSBY - PITTSBURGH PENGUINSCrosby the playmaker became Crosby the shooter in his fifth NHL season, taking a career-high 298 shots (fifth-most in the League) and scoring a career-best 51 goals, one of the few statistical highlights he had yet to achieve. Crosby earned a share of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the League's goal-scoring leader, splitting the honor with Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay.

Crosby led the Penguins and finished second in the NHL scoring race with 109 points, the fourth time in his five seasons he's hit the 100-point mark.

The litany of Crosby achievements in 2009-10 is impressive:

* In the second game of the season, Oct. 3, he became the sixth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 400 career points, reaching the mark with an assist against the Islanders in his 292nd game.

* On April 8, he earned his 500th career point, becoming the third-youngest player to reach the mark at 22 years, 244 days (Wayne Gretzky, 21 years, 52 days; Mario Lemieux, 22, years, 172 days).

* Crosby led the NHL with three hat tricks, becoming the first Penguin to accomplish the feat since Alexei Kovalev in 2001-02.

* He tied a single-game career high with 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) Jan. 19 against the Islanders, and he recorded a season-long nine-game point streak from Feb. 12-March 14, posting 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) during the span.

* Crosby led the League with 8 shootout goals and an 80-percent success rate

It wasn't all about scoring with Crosby. He ranked 11th in the League with a 55.9-percent faceoff winning percentage and led the NHL with 1,001 faceoff wins, 137 more than second-place Mikko Koivu of Minnesota (864).

This is Crosby's second Hart nomination, and he won the honor in 2006-07. Other Penguins to capture the Hart are Jaromir Jagr (1998-99) and Mario Lemieux (1987-88, 1992-93, 1995-96). Evgeni Malkin placed second in voting for the trophy in 2007-08.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Off-Day Notes - All Healthy

  • Today was Tyler Kennedy's first practice since being injured in Game 4 in the previous round with Ottawa
  • Kennedy, Kunitz and Leopold all took part in this morning's practice which looks good for the start of the second round!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's the Habs (SUCK IT, OVI!)!!!

The Penguins will be playing the Montreal Canadiens in the second round since the Caps lost to them tonight, 2-1.

The only thing sweeter than Ovi & Company losing (in the FIRST ROUND, no less!) is the Penguins winning the Cup again this year!!! 

So how long do you think it will take Ovechkin to realize that you can't win games (especially playoff games) by yourself and that it's a TEAM effort???!!!!!!  If he doesn't learn it now then he's never going to and it'll be a long time before he gets to raise Lord Stanley!!!

Here's an option, Caps fans ... join the Pens bandwagon ... at least your season will last longer!!!

ROUND 2 SCHEDULE (corrected)
Friday, April 30th @ 7:00 PM, Pittsburgh (Versus)
Sunday, May 2nd @ 2:00 PM, Pittsburgh (NBC)
Tuesday, May 4th @ 7:00 PM, Montreal (FSN Pittsburgh)
Thursday, May 6th @ 7:00 PM, Montreal (Versus)
Saturday, May 8th @ 7:00 PM, Pittsburgh (Versus)*
Monday, May 10th @ 7:00 PM, Montreal (FSN Pittsburgh)*
Wednesday, May 12th @TBD, Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh)*

* if necessary

Player Media Appearances

TODAY (Wednesday, April 28th)
3:10 PM - Marc-Andre Fleury (105.9 The X)
6:20 PM - Chris Conner (93.7 THE FAN)

Tomorrow (Thursday, April 29th)
8:45 AM - Jordan Staal (WDVE)

Leopold Returns

The Penguins have some good news of their own in respect to injuries ... Jordan Leopold took part in his first practice with the team since taking the hit from Andy Sutton in Game 2 against Ottawa.

This is the first time he's actually participated in a full-team practice since then (he's been on the the ice with strength and conditioning coach, Mike Kadar).

I'd say that's a good sign for his returning to the lineup in the next series.

Pens Recall Seven More from AHL

It was announced this morning that the Penguins recalled seven additional players from their AHL affiliate team:

Forwards Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, Mark Letestu, Eric Tangradi and Tim Wallace; defenseman Steve Wagner and goaltender John Curry

There are now a total of 11 AHL players that have been added to the Penguins roster since the beginning of the playoffs (including Chris Conner, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Brad Thiessen). 

Why?  Why not?!  During the playoffs, these players do not count against the cap, so the team is able to have as many players on their roster as they see fit (and it makes perfectly good sense especially with the playoffs being so physical).  And it's almost like a "reward" / added benefit for the players putting all the hard work into their season.  If you remember from last year, Pittsburgh did the same thing during the playoffs (the guys even got to celebrate the Stanley Cup win as well as take part in the parade).

Savard Cleared to Play in Round 2

Several reports have been made about Marc Savard's return to the Bruins lineup.  Official word came yesterday from Boston GM, Peter Chiarelli, that Savard has received the final medical clearance to play after meeting with an independent neurologist and with the opinion of the team medical staff.

Savard returned to the ice a few days ago, practicing with the team on Sunday and there was some talk of his returning for Game 6 after participating in the morning skate the day of the game, but that was not the case; however, he will definitely be on the ice for Game 1 of Round 2 whether it be with Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

From the Boston Herald:

“It’s like a trade deadline acquisition: We’re adding a very good player to our mix for the next series. He’s an elite player. I’ll leave it up to (coach) Claude (Julien) as far as putting the lines together, and who plays and doesn’t play, but Marc is ready to go. We’ll see how his conditioning goes, but I know from talking to him he’s very anxious to play.
This would definitely put an interesting twist on the next series if Pittsburgh ends up playing Boston!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[UPDATE] Off-Day Notes - Kunitz "Day-to-Day"

according to HC Bylsma (regarding Kunitz): "He's dealing with the effects of a physical series," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "He's day-to-day."

  • the Penguins returned to the ice for practice today a short break
  • the "big" news is that all guys were present except for Chris Kunitz, but nothing has been reported on his status (I'm thinking its an extra day to rest any bumps and bruises for him); if I read / hear any updates, they'll be posted here so check back!!
  • Fedotenko replaced Kunitz on the top line with Sid and Guerin during practice

Who Will It Be ... Boston or Montreal??

I'm thinking it really doesn't matter to the Penguins and whoever they play it will be a hard-fought battle!!  However, I'm pulling a little harder for the Habs only because that would mean that OV & Company are out of the running for the Stanley Cup and nothing would make me happier - mean, I know (little fact: did you know that since Mr. Boudreau has been coaching the Caps every playoff series they've been in has gone to game 7??  INTERESTING!!)!

PRO - we would get to see the Cryers Flyers and Craps Caps beat the shit out of each other and, perhaps, face the "winner" who is well past EXHAUSTED (I would guess a pretty entertaining round to watch!)

CON - there's been talk of Savard's return from the start of the playoffs and the likelihood would only get greater as time goes on (in the next round) which would only add fuel to the fire and make them that much more difficult to play seeing as how Cooke has been a target since Savard's injury

PRO - another year gone by that OV doesn't lift the Cup (SWEET!)!

CON - Halak (did you see him play in Game 6 last night?? Un-freakin-believeable!!  And his save on Ovi towards the beginning of the game - PRICELESS ... did you see the look on Ovi's face?!!)

The wait is almost over (and a return to Penguins hockey only days away)!!!  Bruins, Caps ... BRING IT ON!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28 @ 7:00 PM (est)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Off-Day Notes - Leopold and Kennedy Back at Work

The Penguins webpage reported this morning that both Jordan Leopold and Tyler Kennedy were back on the ice working with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

[UPDATE] Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Ottawa - Game 6) - Conner IN

HC Bylsma just announced that Conner will be in the lineup tonight (for TK; I'm assuming Fedotenko will be a health scratch)

yesterday the Penguins recalled forward Chris Conner from the Baby Pens; I'm assuming this means that TK won't be back in the lineup although Feds could take his spot like last time and during this time of the year during the playoffs, these extra players don't count against the cap so its a good choice to call-up and have more players than you need "just in case!"

nothing reported on the lines for Game 6 tonight and HC Bylsma said that it will be a game-time decision (just playoff strategy; they probably already know)

no changes in injured players out of the lineup
  • line combinations from this morning's skate:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pens - 3, Sens - 4 (3rd OT)
Pens lead series 3-2

Ottawa Senators webpage
RECAP (04/22/2010)

Ottawa Citizen
Wayne Scanlan: Senators stay alive with triple-overtime win (04/23/2010)
Game file: Sens vs. Pens (04/23/2010)
Sens survive Game 5 marathon (04/23/2010)
Sens look to next season and put Leclaire in goal (04/23/2010)
hockey capital blog
How Senators fans see Pascal Leclaire today (04/23/2010)

Metro Canada - OttawaCarkner scores in 3OT, Sens avoid elimination with 4-3 win over Pens in Game 5 (04/23/2010)

How Disappointing!!

Last night's loss was definitely a big disappointment (even though I FELL ASLEEP in the second OT and didn't catch Ottawa's GWG), but the good thing is that the Pens played their hearts out and had a really good effort throughout the game (from all the players) so there shouldn't be any concerns about that.  I'm thinking / hoping that they go to Ottawa and really wrap things up this time and, besides, Pens are the type of team that doesn't fair well when they have a "break!!"  As much as everyone was talking about winning yesterday's game for the chance at some rest, etc., the team never does quite as well as when they're on the move and don't have time to think, so this may actually be a good thing, so ...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Senators' Leclaire In Goal Tonight

After being evasive about who the "go-to" goalie will be tonight, the Senators have finally announced their choice is to start Pascal Leclaire.
“I’m excited,” Leclaire said. “It should be fun especially here. It’s a loud building. It’s a great challenge for our team and I’m definitely excited to be a part of it.”

“When you’re on the ice it’s the same game,” Leclaire said. “It’s just louder in the stands and people have towels and stuff. The intensity is there. You have to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on and be ready for anything. When the puck is around your goal you have to follow that little black thing. That’s all you can do. I’ll try to control what I can control and that’s it.”

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Ottawa - GAME 5)

Kennedy was not on the ice this morning with the rest of the team for practice; he is listed as "day-to-day" with a "lower body" injury and the Penguins webpage is reporting that it looks like Fedotenko will be filling in for him

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected; from this morning's skate)

no change
Pens lead series 3-1
In net tonight: Brian Elliott (projected)

Ottawa Senators webpage
PREVIEW (04/21/2010)
It's one game at a time for Sens now (04/21/2010)

Ottawa Citizen
Senators' season on thin ice (04/21/2010)
Senators need to take page from Avalanche playbook (04/21/2010)
Senators prediction panel: Game 5 (04/21/2010)
Clouston won’t name Senators’ Game 5 starter (04/21/2010)
hockey capital
Ottawa Senators playoff roundtable: Game 5 (04/21/2010)

Metro Canada - Ottawa
Penguins don't want to miss out on their first opportunity to close out Senators (04/21/2010)

Letang's New KICK-ASS Tattoo

This video has been making it's rounds, but I first saw it a few days ago on Facebook.  It's obviously of Letang having a casual conversation with a good friend (unfortunately in French), but it shows a very large tattoo on his arm which he got over the Olympic break.

FORTUNATELY, I also came across some translation of part of the conversation at PSAMP that explains the tattoo is a tribute to his grandmother and his best friend, Luc Bourdon, who you may remember passed away close to two years ago in a motorcycle accident.
Top portion of the tattoo is dedicated to his grandmother. Kris says that she always has been there for him.

Bottom portion of the tattoo and the guitar part is obviously dedicated to Letang’s best friend and former roommate Luc Bourdon who used to play for Vancouver Canucks and tragically died in a motorcycle accident on May 29, 2008. During the 2008 NHL Draft, the Canucks’ management wore guitar pins to remember Bourdon, because he was an avid guitarist.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jordan Staal Among 2010 Selke Finalists

The NHL announced the finalists for the 2009-10 Frank Selke Trophy today.  The three players are Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings), Ryan Keslar (Vancouver Canucks), and Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins).

The trophy is annually awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

Finalists were selected by the top three vote-getters of the ballots submitted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and the winner will be announced at the 2010 NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 23rd at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.  The ceremony will be broadcast live on VERSUS (in the US) and on CBC (in Canada).
Staal received plenty of ice time against the NHL's top centers in 2009-10, appearing in all 82 games and ranking third among Pittsburgh forwards in ice time per game (19:23), trailing only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He played more shorthanded minutes (274:08) than every NHL forward except St. Louis' Jay McClement (306:53). The 21-year-old also led the Penguins in plus-minus with a career-best +19 rating. Staal is a Selke finalist for the first time and will be making his second trip to the NHL Awards, having finished third in voting for the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 2007.

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Ottawa - GAME 4)

Penguins announced earlier this afternoon that they recalled Engelland; not much else regarding this call-up, but will post it here when / if I read any additional information on this (I'm thinking it has to do with the "pile-up" Orpik had with Alfredsson, but not too sure)

LINE COMBINATIONS (projected from morning skate)


Johnson could possibly return to back-up Fleury tonight

Alfredsson was not on the ice this morning for practice; however, HC Clouston "fully expects"  him to be in the lineup. Jonathan Cheechoo "will play" tonight in Ryan Shannon's spot.

Penguins Recall Another AHL Defenseman

The Penguins recently announced that they recalled AHL defenseman, Deryk Engelland.

I'm wondering if Brooksy isn't hurt after that scuffle with Alfredsson last Sunday evening ... let's hope it's just "precautionary!"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Penguins Recall Lovejoy

I think its pretty safe to say that Leopold is not likely to be in the lineup, at least not for tomorrow's game.

The Penguins recently announced that they recalled defenseman Ben Lovejoy from WB / S today.

This would've been up sooner, but I didn't realize that I posted it to the "wrong" blog!!

Sutton Heats Up Game 2 by Making Questionable Hit on Leopold (and a Pittsburgh Reporter)

There hasn't been any recent update on the status of Jordan Leopold today.  Last word came late last evening when HC Bylsma responded to the question at the post-game press conference, "he is being evaluated. Obviously he didn’t return to the game. He is suffering from the hit. He will be evaluated further tomorrow to see where he is at."  Although from the looks of it last night, I'd be willing to say he'll probably feel the effects of that hit for a little while and wouldn't be ready to get back on the ice anytime this series.

And no official word yet on whether or not Ottawa Senators towering D-man Andy Sutton will receive any repercussion from the league, but there's been PLENTY of debate about it!!  Even as close as my living room - my husband, John, believes it was a clean hit whereas I find it questionable which I believe illustrates the fact that the NHL and those who dish out the punishments remain and will forever be inconsistent unless hits like this are an automatic "suspension" or "no suspension."  Make a ruling REGARDLESS of the situation (intent, no intent, blind-side, not blind-side, elbow, no elbow, etc... you get the picture!) and just STICK TO IT!! 

But, just as Sutton was so eager to point out to a Pittsburgh reporter last night in a post-game interview, I'm no expert!  And regardless of what the final word is on this hit, it will continue to be debated, I'm sure.  One thing is certain, it gave the Penguins an extra 'jump' in their skates for the rest of the game even though they were already playing a pretty physical game to begin with.

Speaking of Sutton in his post-game interview with reporters last night, the heated battle continued off the ice as the Ottawa blueliner made it very clear that he wasn't in the mood to discuss the hit when one unfortunate soul decided to ask him about it (from yesterday's Toronto Sun):

“It was just a hit like any other hit I’ve been doing this year,” said the 6-foot-5 Sutton. “I saw the guy’s head down. I moved towards him and I think it was a clean hit.”
Asked if he’d seen a replay that “showed” Sutton got his elbow up, the blueliner got his back up.

“Are you asking me or are you telling me?,” Sutton shot back at the reporter.

“I’m asking you,” said the Pittsburgh-based writer. “It was on the replay.”

“So, you’re an expert,” replied Sutton. “So you say you saw it and you’re an expert? You’re not an expert.”

Sutton said he felt a hit by Sidney Crosby on Jarkko Ruutu in the third should have been penalized.

“I think the hit on Jarkko was way worse and I got suspended for hitting Pascal Dupuis earlier this year for the exact same hit. I don’t know why mine’s going to be hotly contested,” said Sutton.
For another "angle" on what went down from Ian Mendes, a reporter who actually was there to witness this, VISIT (who states that Sutton didn't come out to talk to the media already tense or on the defense).  And to see the interview for yourself, CLICK HERE!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pre-Game Notes (Pittsburgh VS Ottawa - GAME 2)

to further support the speculation that Fedotenko will be a healthy scratch, line combinations were switched around today with Rupp added to the 4th line while Dupuis was moved to the 2nd (Fedotenko being the "odd-man out")


In what was a Dan Bylsma staple from last season, the Penguins did not skate in their normal line routine at Friday's morning skate - a move intended to hide the Penguins lineup for tonight's Game 2 showdown with the Ottawa Senators at Mellon Arena.
  • as reported yesterday, the big news was MILAN MICHALEK (F) would be out for the remainder of the series due to a torn ACL (with surgery expected in the next two weeks)
  • Alexei Kovalev (F), knee - IR
  • Filip Kuba (D), back - IR
Ottawa leads series 1-0
In net tonight: Brian Elliott (projected)

Ottawa Senators webpage
PREVIEW (04/15/2010)

Sens move forward without Michalek (04/15/2010)

Ottawa Citizen
First Ben, now this (04/16/2010); Ottawa trying to throw the Pens (and their fans) off their game by making a mountain out of a mole hill!!
Senators prediction panel: Game 2 (04/16/2010)
Things about to get intense (04/16/2010)
Call in the reserves (04/16/2010)
Senators, Penguins rivalry beginning to heat up (04/15/2010)
Senators lose Michalek for season (04/15/2010)

Metro News - Ottawa
Early in Stanley Cup defence, Penguins are already facing crucial game (04/15/2010)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Senators' Michalek Out for the Remainder of Series

Senators GM Bryan Murray announced this afternoon that forward Milan Michalek will be out for the rest of the series with a torn ACL and that Ryan Shannon will take his place in the lineup.

Michalek is scheduled for knee surgery within the next two weeks.

From the Ottawa Citizen:
He returned with only two games left in the season after missing nine games with what was revealed on Thursday as a partially torn ACL.
He wanted to play in the playoffs, so after discussions, the Senators agreed.
Michalek hurt his knee in the second period of the first game of the series on Wednesday but he didn't leave the game.

[UPDATE] Off-Day Notes - Thiessen Recalled

Johnson didn't take part in practice today due to "flu-like symptoms" and AHL goalie Brad Thiessen was recalled today just in case

  • the Pens were scheduled for a 11 AM practice this morning and all players were in attendance except for back-up goalie, Brent Johnson ... no word yet as to his status (will update you when / if I read anything more!)
  • the Sens are scheduled for a 1 PM practice this afternoon, but a few of the coaches and management were in the stands watching
  • LINE COMBINATIONS (forwards):
Pens - 4, Sens - 5
Sens lead series 1-0

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Playoff "Push"

Players and the Penguins organization is getting out for "media appearances" during this exciting time of the season!!!

Below is a list of today's appearances (some of which have already taken place, but if there's a podcast, etc., that I could find I've included a link to them):

3:00 PM - Brent Johnson Dan Bylsma (93.7 The Fan)
3:10 PM - (105.9 The X); Pascal Dupuis and Jay Caufield (not actually announced on the Pens webpage, but came upon when I was searching for Bylsma)
4:40 PM - Mark Eaton (ESPN radio)
6:00 PM (within the hour) - Ray Shero (TEAM 1200 in Ottawa)

Penguins Extend Johnson's Contract by Two

The Penguins announced earlier this morning that they signed back-up goalie Brent Johnson to a two-year contract extension.
The new contract goes into effect at the start of the 2010-11 season and will run through 2011-12. Johnson will earn $600,000 in 2010-11 and $600,000 in 2011-12. With Johnson and Marc-Andre Fleury, who is signed through 2014-15, the Penguins have solidified their depth at the goaltending position.
Which actually makes me a little sad because I was looking forward to having John Curry come up sooner rather than later even though I think Johnson is a great back-up (and a better option right now than Curry) ... but I just see something in Curry and I suppose that two years isn't unrealistic for him to stay with the baby Pens and grow more as a goaltender (I'm just hoping that it doesn't end up with another team which is always a possibility).

NHL Draft Lottery Tonight

Tonight the order of selection for this year's upcoming NHL Entry Draft in June will be held tonight at 8:00 PM and will be televised on Versus and TSN, and streamed live on

The team with the best odds of being selected to draft first is the Edmonton Oilers finishing this season with the fewest points in the League.
Since teams can move up a maximum of five spots, the only teams with a chance at gaining the top choice are the Oilers, Boston Bruins (who have Toronto's pick), Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.
The Oilers go into Tuesday's drawing with a 25 percent chance of winning the Lottery. And if a team outside the bottom five in the standings wins the Lottery, the Oilers will get the top choice, improving their odds to 48.2 percent.
The team with the fewest points in the League has won the Draft Lottery the last two years. League rules also dictate that no team can move backward more than one spot, so the Oilers will have at least the first or second pick.
Among the more popular prospects are "NHL Central Scouting's two top-rated North American skaters," Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers (C) and Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spotfires (LW).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Penguins First Round Schedule Released Late Yesterday

We already knew they were facing the Ottawa Senators in Round 1 of the Playoffs, but we didn't know when until late yesterday.  Playoffs being on Wednesday for the Pens and all games will be televised on FSN - Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 14th at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM)
Friday, April 16th at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM)
Sunday, April 18th at Ottawa (6:30 PM)
Tuesday, April 20th at Ottawa (7:00 PM)
Thursday, April 22nd at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM)*
Saturday, April 24th at Ottawa (7:00 PM)*
Tuesday, April 27th at Pittsburgh (7:00 PM)*

* if necessary

Crosby and Stamkos Share the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy

Yesterday Crosby scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season tying him with Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL lead. Both Crosby and Stamkos will be co-winners since there is no tiebreaker for the trophy.

According to the Pens webpage, Crosby is the first Penguins player to win the Richard Trophy since the inception of the award in 1998-99.

That's pretty cool ... and to think that winning it over Ovechkin was a big accomplishment (how AWESOME is that?!)!!

And he was only 3 points short of tying / 4 points to surpass Henrik Sundin (which is pretty good considering he was 8 points behind him prior to yesterday's game!)!!

CONGRATULATIONS to Sid for a job well-done (impressive, as always!)!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Go-Time for Tangradi!!

The Penguins announced this morning that they recalled forward Eric Tangradi.

I can't wait to see this kid back on the ice with some of the big dogs!!  I'm guessing Cookey is out and Kunitz isn't well enough to be back yet.  It should be interesting ...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pittsburgh Loses Bid to Carolina for 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend

This past Thursday, the NHL along with the Carolina Hurricanes announced that Raleigh, NC will be the host city for next season's 58th NHL All-Star game and festivities (January 29 - 30).  The game is to be played on January 30th at the RBC Center.

Really?  Carolina?  Oh well, I guess the Pittsburgh market and new arena wasn't that impressive to Gary OR the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field is more likely for the city.  Who knows?  Who cares?!!  I think I would've rather had Pittsburgh host this event than the Winter Classic, but talk to me
January 2, 2011!!

READ MORE at the Carolina Hurricanes webpage (including ticket information which appear to already be "spoken for" by way of corporate sponsors, suite holders, and season ticket holders, so TOUGH LUCK if you're not from NC!!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Off-Day Notes

YES ... I am very late with this news, but I've been "under the weather," (not to mention I was at last night's final regular season home game at the Igloo) so take what you can get!!
  • FOND FAREWELL - Yes ... I was lucky enough to be at last night's game against the Isles for the final regular season home game for the Pens at the Igloo and it was just BREATHTAKING ... I have a few pictures that I still have to edit and post here, so stay tuned!!
  • BAD PONI!! Today, the NHL announced that Alexei Ponikarovsky will be suspended for the final two regular season Penguins games without pay for his hit on Josh Bailey last night in the third period against the NY Islanders. It wasn't a dirty hit ... I can attest to that (we were sitting at that end of the rink) and it wasn't something Poni had intended, but regardless, if the NHL is going to take on the boarding (and hits to the head) issue then I understand the suspension is necessary; however, if they can't get consistent with rulings then that's when I have a problem!!
    Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Ponikarovsky will forfeit $21,813.48. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
  • CROSBY'S 50th, TAKE TWO!! After off-ice officials reviewed what first appeared to be Crosby's 50th goal from last night's game, it was ultimately given to Billy Guerin and something Crosby knew immediately. 
    “I thought right away when I shot it that it hit Billy’s leg or pants or something,” Crosby said after the game. “I asked him right after and he said it went off his pants.”

    Right after the puck went into the goal, Crosby excitedly pointed toward Guerin. Crosby even shook his head “no” on the bench as the Mellon Arena PA announced the goal in his favor.

    “That is something that if it hits off him, you don’t want it,” Crosby said. “It’s not your goal. It would have been great to get it here but at the end of the day goals go to guys who deserve them. And he deserved that one.”

    "Sidney indicated that the goal that would have been his 50th went off of Billy Guerin and into the net," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "The goal is officially Billy’s and not Sid’s 50th."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sid's New Reebok Ad for ZigTech (the "Energy Drink for Your Feet")

According to NY Times "Media Decoder," the latest of Crosby's Reebok ads debuted on ESPN Monday night.  This time he's endorsing their latest "ZigTech" sneakers (with the catch phrase "the energy drink for your feet").

It's a pretty cool video (for pretty cool shoes!)!!  CHECK IT OUT BELOW: