Wednesday, April 26, 2006


There was some good news yesterday with Russian Hockey

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 26, 2006
The Penguins' prospects for getting highly regarded prospect Evgeni Malkin here for the 2006-07 season likely got a major boost yesterday, when Hall of Fame goalie Vladislav Tretiak was elected head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation. Tretiak is far more receptive to the idea of Russia participating in the transfer agreement between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation than his predecessor, Alexander Steblin. The transfer agreement sets the price NHL teams pay for European prospects; Russia is the only hockey-playing nation in Europe that has not signed off on the transfer agreement worked out last year.

While I have still yet to see anything that says this is done but is looking pretty good.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Penguins Pick Number 2...

I know this is pretty old news at this point but I read something interesting this morning from one of my favorite NHL writers and network personality in general, John Buccigross. My hope has always been that the Pens would find a way to get Kessel as soon as the season turned. With the Pens late surge and the loss of the lottery I was kind of glad to see Kessel slip a little bit so that he might be there for the Pens. After seeing Bucci's column this morning and reading more on the subject maybe they shouldn't be going after him at all.

ESPN April 25, 2006
Can Kessel play in the NHL next season? He has multiple red flags -- he lacks vision and his defensive hockey is well below par. Still, he has the speed and the shot. There have been whispers that he has "Lindros-like" family concerns behind the scenes. If he is there at No. 2, do you take him and put him on the wing with Malkin or Crosby?

He also goes on to say the Kessel could be a 40-50 goal scorer with Crosby but is that worth all the problems that he could bring with him and upset a pretty close team.

I am starting to have my doubts...


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Craig Patrick...

Patrick was told that he would not be back next year as the GM of the Penguins. I have been back and forth on if this is a good decision and I have pretty much decided that it is for the best. I think Patrick did a ton for the Penguins and would like him to stay with them somewhere else but this is a new NHL and one that seems that he doesn't understand yet. Granted a lot of these problems are not Patricks fault but maybe something new is needed.


Leafs 5, Pens 3

With everything that happened in the last game there really was not much to look forward to in this game. The Pens couldn't finish in last place and Crosby already had 100 points. The only thing Crosby could do is pass Dale Hawerchuk as the youngest as the top point getter as an 18 year-old.

Crosby made a valiant effort but was only able to pick up a goal and an assist. The goal was his 39th of the season leaving him one short of the 40 plateau.

The Pens ended the season with the same point total as the last season that they played.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pens 6, Islanders 1

This game was pretty much over early. The Islanders were only in it late in the 1st and early in the second until Satan was stopped on a Penalty Shot. Satan who in the last few games has done nothing but cherry pick by refusing to play any defense and just waiting for someone to pass it to him at the blueline. Oh yeah and it was the game that one of the Pens many rookies was able to get his 100 point.

Crosby was able to get his 100 point on the Power Play when Malone slashed a wicked slap shot from way out. The crowd preceded to wave the white Pittsburgh First T-Shirts that were given out to all the fans. The White out was very similar to the Terrible Towels of Heinz Field and the Baby Pens during the playoffs. Crosby was visibly happy and relieved as he waited for the shirts to be taken off the ice.

One lucky fan was able to get Crosby's jersey after the game, shake his hand, and get the jersey signed.


Missing News...

Sorry for missing the end of the Season for the Pens as a few major news events took place but I was in Boston on business. I was able to catch the Pens season finale in person before I left and will have more up as the day goes on.


Monday, April 17, 2006

More Malkin news...

There was a good article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Malkin and the Russian negotiation for a transfer agreement. It has some good news and some possible bad news but from the looks of it things are going in the right direction.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 17, 2006
The Russians balked at participating in the transfer agreement because they believe the fee is too low.

There had been reason to believe that would not be an issue with Malkin, because word began to circulate last summer that he had a handshake deal with the owner of his Russian Super League team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, that would allow him to join the Penguins this fall, even though he has two years remaining on his contract there.

I would like to think something is going to fall and Malkin will be here next year. It least there is still hope.


Sunday, April 16, 2006


I was wondering how the NHL standing would be different if the NHL didn't implement the Shootout so I decided to check it out. Now I am very Pro-Shootout for many reasons and this is not meant to argue one way or the other but as something interesting to see. Now of course this also assumes that teams would still play the game the same and not play for the Shootout (ie Dallas).

Eastern Conference


Ottawa 81 49 21 9 2 109
Carolina 81 44 21 8 8 104
Philadelphia 81 40 26 11 4 95
Buffalo 81 46 24 6 5 103
NY Rangers 81 38 25 12 6 94
Montreal 81 40 30 9 2 91
New Jersey 81 36 27 9 9 90
Tampa Bay 81 37 32 6 6 86
Toronto 81 37 33 8 3 85
Atlanta 80 36 32 7 5 84
Florida 81 32 34 11 4 79
Boston 82 28 37 16 1 73
NY Islanders 80 27 38 6 9 69
Washington 80 20 41 12 7 59
Pittsburgh 80 20 45 14 1 55

Western Conference


Detroit 80 52 15 8 4 118
Calgary 81 44 24 11 2 101
Dallas 80 41 22 5 12 99
Nashville 81 42 25 8 6 98
San Jose 81 41 26 11 1 98
Anaheim 81 39 27 12 3 93
Colorado 81 40 29 9 3 92
Vancouver 82 38 32 8 4 88
Edmonton 81 33 28 13 7 86
Los Angeles 81 35 35 5 6 81
Minnesota 82 33 36 8 5 79
Phoenix 81 33 39 5 4 75
Columbus 80 26 42 4 8 64
Chicago 80 23 43 13 1 60
St. Louis 80 17 45 14 4 52

Some interesting things of note:

-Ottawa would already have home ice throughout the Eastern Conf
-Philly would be in control of the 3rd seed
-New Jersey would be 7th instead of 3rd, 4th or 5th
-Tampa Bay would still have some work to do to get in

-Detroit would have a more commanding lead then they already do
-Dallas would be 3rd but barely
-Vancouver would in the playoffs as the 8th seed and Edmonton would be out

I hope to get it in table format soon...


Islanders 5, Pens 4 SO

I would like to find some other way to describe this game but it is the same script from all the other games this season. Also the extra act was added on since it was the Islanders, which means a Shootout loss. One thing that this Shootout loss did for them was move them into a tie with the Blues for the worst record in the NHL and cost them at least a No. 2 draft pick. Which might turn out not to be a bad thing since there is no real No. 1 like the last 2 drafts.

The Islanders jump out to a 3-1 lead on two by Blake and a cherry pick by Satan after Gonchar put the Pens up. LeClair scored twice with the Islander getting one in between on Colliton 1st NHL goal. Hilbert was able to knock a loose puck in with just under 2 to play which of course let to the shootout lose.

Crosby was held pointless and stuck on 97 points for the season. He looked to be pressing quite a bit and just a little bit tired at points in the game. He did have a good change for a goal but was unable to control it at the side of the net.

It is the Islanders again on Tue for the final home game of the year...


Friday, April 14, 2006

Pens 5, Rangers 3

Watching this game I really couldn't figure out if it was the Penguins playing really well or that the Rangers really didn't care. The Pens didn't back into this win as they really controlled the game from the middle of the first after Jagr scored until the midway through the 3rd. At that point in the game it was 4-1 in favor of the Penguins. So I think that the Pens won that game a lot more then the Rangers lost it as you would believe listening to them.

Ouellet, Crosby, and Conchar scored for the Penguins after Jagr got the Rangers up 1-0 on a goal reminiscent of his Penguins days. Armstrong was able to put the Pens up 4-1 on a Power Play goal early in the 3rd but the Rangers battled back from that point to make the score 4-3 on goals from Sykora and Hossa. However the game was put away on Armstrong's second of the game on a nice feed from Crosby. The Pens were still unable to get an Empty Net goal with Weeks pulled at the end of the game but it didn't matter.

Crosby had a big night, getting 1 goal and 3 assists to bring his total to 97 for the year. He only need 1 point in each of the last 3 game to make it as the youngest to do so. Most likely he is going to want to score that 100 point during the Pens home finale on Monday.

Next up the first of 2 with the Islanders on Sat...


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Flyers 4, Pens 3

Well this game was "Nationally" covered so of course I could not view it from here just outside of Pittsburgh (thanks OLN). You can check out a previous post about my love of the NHL on OLN.

The Pens stuck to there season long game plan, go down 3 - 0, rally with some inspired play to tie, and then give up the game winning goal on the PP and come up short. Not really a whole lot more to say about that without cursing out OLN in the process.

Crosby, while playing hurt, did get his required 2 point to keep himself on pace for 100. He had a goal and an assist for 93 on the season.

Next up the Rangers on Thurs...


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lightning 1, Pens 0

This was a great game if you like defense and good goaltending. The games only goal coming early in the second a spining backhander from Lecavalier. Fleury really had no shot at when it went high over the glove hand. Burke was able to stop the Pens on all 25 shots. The Pens had a few good scoring chances but were unable to put a goal on the board.

Crosby was injured in the 2nd period with what was deemed a very specific lower body injury. He was able to come back in the third and play on the Power Play and as the extra man with the goal pulled. He stayed put on 91 and now has 5 games to get the 9 points he needs.

Next up the Pens are in Philly on Tue...


Friday, April 07, 2006

Pens 5, Panthers 1

This was the Pens game from begining to end. The Pens were able to snap the 12 game losing streak to the Panthers and in doing so allowed the Panthers to join the Pens on the golf course at season end. They were also able to chase Luongo from the game after the 2nd period and break his own 12 game win streak against them.

The Pens started the game with their first of 2 shorthanded goals in the game from Koltsov, who redirected a nice feed from Gonchar. Whitney then scored on a Power Play of their own 1:17 later.

The Pens started the scoring in the 2nd period the way they did in the first on a shorthanded goal from Malone, his 5th this year. The play featured two nice passes to set up Malone for the empty net shot. The first was a head man pass from Crosby to Melichar who then faked a slap shot and hit Malone at the side of the net with the open cage. Crosby got his 36th just under 7 mins later to put the Pens up 4-0.

The Pens and Panthers traded goals in the 3rd by Bouwmeester and LeClair. The Bouwmeester goal ended Caron's bid for a 2nd shutout and his scoreless streak at 118 mins.

Crosby had a 4-point night and raised his season point total to 91 with 6 games left. He has to average just over a point a game to make that 100 point mark.

Pens travel to Tampa Bay tomorrow...


More Penguins relocation news...

The AP is reporting that another person has come forward with the hopes of moving the Penguins out of Pittsburgh. Even through he said he would like to buy the team even if it has to stay in Pittsburgh, I find it hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that the Penguins would be a better sell in Hartford then they would be in Pittsburgh even with a new arena.
ESPN April 7, 2006
A Massachusetts developer wants to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and either keep the hockey team in the city or move them to Hartford, Conn., where he is trying to get state officials to build a new arena, a newspaper reported Friday.

Lawrence Gottesdiener told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he owns a great deal of property in Hartford, so moving the team there makes sense for him.

I know these are going to multiply until this whole problem settles out but it is worth a word or two.


Maggie Dixon...

I know that this does not fall under the Penguins but I would like to give the Dixon Family my most heartfelt sympathy. It is such a tragedy for someone who still had so much to give and so many people to touch.

For more information on this, the following tell alot about her...

Dixon's special tenure recalled
Cruelest of fates
Katz: Jamie Dixon loses more than a sibling


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Devils 6, Pens 4

Well this game was the complete opposite of the game on Sunday. The only thing that was the same was that the Pens scored first but after that it was all Devils. Pens still kept pretty consistent in that they fought hard to the end. However their season long problem cost them this game, the Penalty Kill. The Devils were 3-7 on the Power Play including 1 with a 2-man advantage.

Crosby started the game off well by scoring :27 into the game off a nice feed from Armstrong. Crosby learned late in the game on Sunday not to go glove on Brodeur, so he promptly went blocker and scored. The Devils got the next two from Elias on redirections. The Pens then tied it on a nice wrister by Hilbert, who is looking more and more like he will be sticking around next year easily.

The Devils then used the second period to pull away by scoring 3 times before the Pens could get their third. Parise, Gomez, and Elias, again for his hat trick, scored before Hilbert got his second. Rafalski and Koltsov traded goal in the third to close out the scoring.

Fleury played so-so as a couple of the goals were defensive problems. However one thing was really noticeable was the Devils beating Fleury high to the glove side. This is going to be something Fleury is going to have to work on this summer because it is going to be the worst kept secret until he can stop it consistently.

Crosby had yet another 2 point game (1 G, 1 A) and is still on pace to go over 100 pts for his rookie year. He now has a well deserved 87 for No. 87.

The road trip continues Friday in Florida...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Post Gazette has some interesting comments from the Pens 1st Round pick from 2004 that looks as if he is looking forward to coming to Pittsburgh. The first two are quotes that makes it look like he is just counting down the days but the last spells trouble.

April 4, 2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Speaking English: "I'm starting to learn English because I understand that it's very important. I can't go to Pittsburgh without being able to communicate, but I have very little time to practice English. I'm trying, though."

Countryman Alexander Ovechkin's success in Washington: "I just hope that when I go to America myself, that I will be able to do just as well as him."

The Penguins' desire to have him here for 2006-07: "I'm also hoping for that. I have two years left on my contract with Metallurg [Magnitogorsk, his Russian Super League club], but I want to try my hand at the NHL."

For the sake of Russia and the NHL I hope they are able to agree to a transfer agreement because I don't see the NHL team and especially the Penguins paying big money to get the Russian prospects out of Russia. It will take just one flop of a big prospect where the team lost 3 million for nothing to stop that unless you are the Rangers.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Devils 3, Pens 2 OT

The Devils lucked out in this one and were able to get the 2 points they needed in their playoff race. They were down the entire game until :20 left in the game when Elias tipped a puck that when high in the air and came down behind Fleury. Then the Devils got a bounce off a Pens defenseman in OT and Gionta broke in 2 on 1 against Fleury. Gionta was able to beat Fleury under the glove to win the game.

The Penguins played pretty solidly throughout. They were able to take a 2-0 into the first intermission on a PP goal by Crosby and another one by Armstrong 1:29 later. However that was the last one they were able to get by Brodeur.

Crosby had another Goal and an Assist to give him 85 and still on pace for 100 points as a Rookie.

Pens have a chance for payback Wed in NJ...