Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2014 Goal: $450.00 - To Date: $450.00 (100.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Pittsburgh Sports > Pittsburgh Penguins


Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Steelers Fever Presents...

Steelers Panthers

GAMEDAY
Sunday, September 21, 8:30 PM
NBC
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-18-2007, 07:01 AM   #1041
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Penguins players not ready to sever ties that bind them
Sunday, February 18, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With a run of 28 points in their past 15 games and a roster of young players that includes NHL leading-scorer Sidney Crosby, prolific rookies Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal and improving goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins are grabbing a lot of attention around the hockey world.

They might also be sending a message to parties closer to home.

By winning and staging a strong march toward the playoffs, the Penguins hope they are making it more difficult for general manager Ray Shero to make changes through deals before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

That could be a nice fringe benefit for the players, who are having a blast and growing closer as the wins and points pile up.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess," defenseman Rob Scuderi said yesterday. "It's kind of a delicate process because you don't want to add or take away someone who has added to our chemistry throughout this year.

"It's up to management. They've made some good decisions so far this year and, obviously, that's paid off. I have no doubt that they'll make some good decisions, whether that be keeping everybody together or maybe trying to get a guy or two."

The Penguins have four games between now and the trade deadline, beginning today against Washington at Mellon Arena.

Shero has said he would look at trades that would improve the team in the long run and give the club a chance to become a solid Stanley Cup contender, not just moves that would help to ensure they get into the playoffs this season.

The Penguins seem to be taking care of the part about making the playoffs without any changes.

Although they are not a lock for the postseason, they are in a pretty good place -- fourth in the Eastern Conference and flirting with an Atlantic Division title.

And despite season-long concerns about adding a scoring winger or perhaps a defenseman with a right-handed shot, the Penguins have proven to be a multi-dimensional team, getting help from a full four lines and several defensemen.

"I think it eases the minds a lot more when everyone's able to contribute like they are," Crosby said. "When you're winning, it changes a lot, and everyone's happy. There's probably less thinking about trades and things like that when the team's doing well, so we hope we keep playing well."

The winning and the spreading of the wealth has not just convinced the players that they have a team that can win. They also just plain like each other.

"We're not GMs and [trades] are obviously not our jobs, but the players here are all in this together," winger Mark Recchi said. "We love playing together. We've all got each others' back. We're hoping nothing happens. We're hoping we just keep going as a team together.

"We definitely have the depth, and everybody's very comfortable with what we have here."

Although deals are Shero's realm, coach Michel Therrien is expected to have some, if not considerable, influence in trade decisions.

He's as mindful of the effects a trade might have on the players' psyches as they are.

"We like our players. We like the way things are going," Therrien said. "There's a reason why. There's a chemistry. So this is where you've got to be really careful.

"We've got meetings. We evaluate things with Ray and the coaching staff together. There's good communication there. We're going to make sure we make the best decision regarding the hockey team and not breaking up the chemistry that we've got on our team. It might [mean] not doing anything. We'll see what's going to happen."

Winger Ryan Malone is in just his third full season in the NHL, but he's a relative old-timer on the young squad as someone who predates the 2004-05 lockout season.

He has seen the team built and, like his teammates, appreciates the merits of a group that gets along and works well together. He also knows what it's like to see a lot of players come and go.

"You never know," said Malone, who has been the subject of trade rumors. "It's still a couple weeks away. Every general manager's looking to improve, looking at what's out there and seeing if it will fit.

"We have a great group of guys. No one wants to leave. But, if they can make the team better, that's the most important thing."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07049/763117-61.stm
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:02 AM   #1042
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Penguins Notebook: It's a day for kids at practice
Sunday, February 18, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


It's hard to imagine that one more little nose could have found a spot up against the glass to watch the Penguins practice yesterday at Southpointe.

The parking lot was overflowing. The stands and Jay's, a restaurant that overlooks the ice rink, were packed with what appeared to be several hundred fans, including many children.

They came to watch a 45-minute workout by a Penguins team that is 13-0-2 going into its home game today against Washington, its longest undefeated streak in regulation since a 17-game winning streak followed by a tie for an 18-game undefeated streak to close the 1992-93 regular season.

"It's pretty easy to see that the support is there, and people are excited," said center and NHL leading-scorer Sidney Crosby, who elicited a wave of high-pitched shrieks when he took the ice.

"As players, we're excited to be competing for a playoff spot at this point of the season and doing well, but to see the turnout [yesterday] and the sellouts we're getting, that motivates us all."

With the stands filling, a team of mites-aged tykes who had been on the ice before the NHL team got the thrill of having Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar and winger Ronald Petrovicky join them. Melichar's son, also named Josef, plays on the team.

"That's what every day is for us -- a lot of fun," the elder Melichar said.


Whose goal was it?


A couple of the Penguins have a slight beef.

Defenseman Rob Scuderi thinks the Penguins' second goal of their 5-4 win Friday at New Jersey should be credited to winger Ryan Malone, not him.

"I was just trying to get it on net and, hopefully, something good would happen," said Scuderi, whose shot came from the point to give him what was announced as the second goal of his career. "I thought it got tipped or hit something. Whether it was mine or Ryan's, we don't really care, as long as we had the lead. The team's not going to suffer if I don't score a goal this year."

Malone confirmed he got his stick on the puck.

"I thought it was obvious, but I guess New Jersey said it didn't know," he said.

Melichar and Crosby got the assists.


Backup goalies get their day


Penguins coach Michel Therrien, who said backup goaltender Jocelyn Thibault would play one game this weekend, named him the starter for today.

Thibault, 2-5-2 with a 3.29 goals-against average, will be making his ninth start and first since Jan. 27.

The Capitals also will be going with a backup, expected to be Brent Johnson, because starter Olaf Kolzig, the longest-tenured active athlete in Washington. D.C., is out at least two more weeks because of a knee injury he sustained at practice Monday.

Johnson is 0-2-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in four career appearances against the Penguins.


Olczyk backs Crosby

Along with the points and accolades for Crosby has come criticism -- he's a whiner, a diver who doesn't always get along with his teammates.

Add Eddie Olczyk, Crosby's first pro coach, to the list who thumb their noses at those who disparage Crosby.

"He's an incredible guy," said Olczyk, who coached the Penguins through Dec. 15, 2005, in Crosby's rookie season and who will be at Mellon Arena today as an NBC commentator after returning there Wednesday for the first time since his firing.

"There's a lot of unfair things that were said about him last year," Olczyk said. "He is a legit guy. To me, it was very unfair. There was a lot of envy and jealousy that came with the so-called rumors and speculation. But you know what? I'll go to bat for him forever as long as he continues to be the type of guy I know he is."

Olczyk wonders if those who criticize Crosby are paying attention to the maturity the 19-year-old has shown this season.

"You can't assume what it is to skate in his boots or to be Mario [Lemieux] or Wayne Gretzky, to be guys that are wanted and grabbed at all the time," Olczyk said. "I think watching from the outside now, he's just in much more control of his game. He's controlling what he can control."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07049/763126-61.stm
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:04 AM   #1043
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Dave Molinari on the Penguins: A weekly look inside the team, the issues, the questions
Sunday, February 18, 2007


A Calder-on of opinion boils down to one choice -- Geno


The poll was unscientific, premature and, for all practical purposes, irrelevant.

But the information it turned up was at least a little bit interesting.

It showed that, amazed as Jordan Staal's teammates are by how effective he has been as an 18-year-old in the NHL, they still believe center Evgeni Malkin, known in the locker room as "Geno," is the clear choice for NHL Rookie of the Year.

Nine players were selected at random after practice a few days ago and asked to identify which first-year NHL player they thought would be most worthy of receiving the Calder Trophy if it were awarded that afternoon. (Which, by the way, it wasn't.)

All respondents were granted anonymity, with the goal of encouraging candor by removing any danger of alienating a teammate who might feel slighted by an unvarnished opinion. Even then, not all of the players could settle on a favorite but of those who did, Malkin was the guy.

The individuals polled were asked to pick the league's top rookie (to that point of the season) and briefly explain their selection. The responses:

"I'd give it to Malkin, just because he leads rookies in goals and points, and it's not like he's a 23- or 24-year-old. He's 20. He might have a lot more ice time than [Staal], but at the same time, he's 12th in the league in scoring. And I'd be willing to bet money he's in the top nine or 10 by the end of the year."

"Probably Geno. He and Staal have had tremendous success [as linemates]. They work so well together, maybe Geno being the centerman and taking a little more responsibility defensively, I would have to go with Geno. But it's close."

"Can I say two? How many points does Geno have? It's between him and Jordan. Jordan has so many [short-handed] goals, most in the league, so that's pretty sick. And Geno has lots of points. I'll go with Geno, I think."

"It wouldn't be fair to say, because I haven't paid enough attention to all the other rookies around the league. I don't know what they've done. I know our two rookies, in particular, have been phenomenal, but I don't know enough about what the other rookies around the league have done."

"Can I say two guys? It would have to be Staal or Geno. They've both stepped up. The most improved from Day 1 of training camp until now has definitely been [Staal]. He's improved so fast, it's incredible. He just gets more confident every day. Geno obviously had a lot of hype and can change a game with one shift. That is a tough question. I don't know."

"I really only know of three. That [Anze] Kopitar from L.A., I haven't really seen him play because he's all the way out on the West Coast. So if I were to choose, I'd say Geno. He's still learning to play the North American game, but he's exciting to watch when he has the puck. Like [Sidney Crosby], he's just come into the league and drawn a buzz. People come to watch him and Sid play the game, and that's what makes our team exciting. ... I couldn't have imagined Jordan scoring 23 goals by this time. At the start of the year, I think that if he would have gotten 10 or 12 , that would have been a pretty good start. But Geno has scored some highlight-reel goals."

"I'd vote for Malkin. He's had a huge impact not only on our team, but overall. He's a game-breaker. He can make a difference. He's been, at times, close to our best player, for stretches, and has been pretty dominant."

"I think I'd vote for Geno. It's a close race with [Staal], though. A close race. I love the way [Staal] is playing, but for stats and everything, the number of goals [Malkin] has -- and big goals, too ..."

"It's tough between [Staal] and Geno. Kopitar from L.A. is doing pretty well, too, so I think there are probably three of them really in the running. But it's tough, because Geno has a lot of assists, and [Staal] has, like, six. It's up in the air between those two. That's too tough for me to make a decision. They're both having great years. [Staal] has really turned it on of late, but Geno had four points in the game when [Staal] had a hat trick, so it's going back and forth. We'll see how they both end up."


Trend-setters or rebels?


Erik Christensen scooped the puck up with his stick behind the net and, without breaking stride, curled out around the left post and whipped a shot under the crossbar.

It was flawless execution of a lacrosse-style goal.

Something Christensen, who has some of the best hands on this team, made look effortless when he was the first player on the ice before a recent practice.

But also something he insists he would never consider doing in a game, even though there is no rule against it.

"If you try it and you miss, you look stupid," he said. "I'm not established enough yet to be able to try doing stuff like that. Even if I play 12 years in this league, I would never try that."

Crosby did while playing junior hockey and, not surprisingly, got a goal. Then took a ferocious beating from people who claimed he was disrespecting the other team, if not the game itself. "He got a lot of criticism," Christensen said.

Crosby isn't intimidated by much, so if he decides it would benefit his team to break out the lacrosse move again, it's safe to assume he'll do it.

But whether he, or any other Penguin, will try a completely behind-the-back shot a few guys experimented with after being inspired by the American Hockey League skills competition is another matter.

"It actually looks ridiculous," Christensen said. "But interesting."


Trend-setters: Part II


In the NFL, when a coach is entering the final year of a contract, he's a lame duck. In the NHL, he's just one of the guys in the crowd.

Michel Therrien of the Penguins has the balance of this season and 2007-08 left on his contract and has not had any discussions about a new one. General manager Ray Shero, who said he will not publicly discuss contractual dealings with coaches, noted that many accomplished coaches complete their contracts before negotiating a new one, and Therrien said his contract status is a non-issue with him.

"It's not on my mind," he said. "My focus is on the team. My focus is on this season."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07049/763129-61.stm
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:06 AM   #1044
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Surging Penguins are the talk of the NHL

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 18, 2007


Saturday was yet another bitterly cold afternoon, with snow flurries whipping in the wind and piles of ice and snow lining the parking lot at the Iceoplex at Southpointe.

And everywhere you looked in that parking lot, there were cars.

Cars double-parking other cars. Cars in parking spaces where parking spaces weren't meant to be. Cars circling, almost running into one another, their occupants hoping beyond reason that one person would leave when so many others were trying to get in.

What was the fuss?

The Penguins were practicing inside, to a standing-room only crowd that lined the bleachers, the restaurant overlooking the ice and anywhere else they could fit their bodies to watch the hottest team in the NHL.

"It's kind of neat," veteran forward Mark Recchi said. "It's exciting for the town, and it's exciting for the players. Pittsburgh's always been great like that, though."

It isn't just in Pittsburgh that fans are getting caught up in the Penguins' improbable vault from second-to-last place in 2005-06 to fourth place in the Eastern Conference this season.

"There's a Penguins craze building like a big wave, and it's not only in Pittsburgh but everywhere else," national broadcaster Bill Clement said yesterday. "It's to the point where almost every person I speak to says they love to watch the Penguins more than any other team. You can tell there's something special when hockey people want to watch the Penguins all the time."

Even as the franchise's uncertain future hangs on whether ownership can reach an arena deal with the city, the Penguins (31-17-9) are on a 13-0-2 run entering today's nationally televised game on NBC against the Washington Capitals.

The last time the Penguins lost in regulation was Jan. 10 against the Florida Panthers, when they were in 13th place in the East.

As the second-youngest team in the NHL, they're led by the Sidney Crosby, 19, Evgeni Malkin, 20, and Jordan Staal, 18, to make them the fourth team in history to have three players age 20 and younger score 20 goals in a season.

If Staal scores today, they'll also be the first team in the NHL this season to have three 25-goal scorers.

Crosby leads the league in scoring with 90 points in 54 games, Sergei Gonchar is tied for the second-most points among NHL defensemen, Staal has the league's best shooting percentage and Malkin leads all rookies in points. With 29 wins, Marc-Andre Fleury is tied with Tom Barrasso for the third-most victories by a Penguins goaltender in a season.

Those aren't the only players contributing. The Penguins routinely roll four forward lines and three defensive pairings and lately are getting goals from their most defensive defensemen and their fourth-line guys.

If this keeps up over the final 25 games, Crosby could win the scoring title and league MVP, coach Michel Therrien could be coach of the year, Malkin and Staal could be the top two vote-getters for rookie of the year and Fleury might be in contention for top goaltender.

"The people that aren't jealous think it's an unbelievable story," said national broadcaster Pierre Maguire, who's also here for today's game. "It's must-see TV, it's a must-watch. They sell out every game they go to, and they had the largest crowd in the history of Air Canada Centre (in Toronto on Feb. 10). I was at the game in Montreal two Sundays ago, and it was crazy there. Everybody who's really honest about it and doesn't have a hidden agenda thinks this is the best story in the league."

Clement said the Penguins have a swagger about them that they didn't have before. Still, the question remains: Are they good enough to not only make the playoffs, but challenge for the Stanley Cup?

"Strange things happen in playoffs," Clement said. "I'll say this - if the Edmonton Oilers can do it (in 2006, when they went to the finals), there's no reason why the Penguins can't."

The Penguins players are ticking by their one-game-at-a-time credo, and Crosby said it's important for them to realize what it took to get to this point.

"We've been working hard, we've been working together, and everybody's contributing," Crosby said. "Hockey's a game where some nights it's just not going to go your way. You can play a great game and you might not end up with the two points. But, hopefully, we can ride this as far as we can."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493761.html
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:07 AM   #1045
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Coach Therrien getting credit as Pens surge

By The Associated Press
Sunday, February 18, 2007


The Pittsburgh Penguins have gone from a team with the worst record in the NHL's Eastern Conference a year ago to the team with the third-best record this season.

The players credit coach Michel Therrien, and say he should be considered for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.

"Any individual award, you look at it after the year, but I think up to this point he definitely has put himself in a great position," said center Sidney Crosby, who leads the league in scoring. "He's been great with us, especially with the young team we have. It seems like our learning curve has moved pretty fast, and we're not done learning yet."

The Penguins were among the NHL's worst teams when Therrien was promoted from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in December of last season.

The Penguins went 14-29-8 after he took over and finished with the second-worst record in the league. Pittsburgh earned roughly the same number of points per game under Therrien as under his fired predecessor, Eddie Olczyk, last season.

This season, the young Penguins were improved at 18-17-7 through Jan. 10, but have been the best team in hockey since. Pittsburgh's current 13-0-2 stretch has not only lifted moved the Penguins from outside playoff contention into fourth place in the conference, it is earning Therrien attention, too.

"Look at how he's developed these young guys," veteran winger Mark Recchi said. "And with the great attitudes and work ethic these young guys have, it makes it easy for Michel to keep teaching them and prodding them along and helping them."

Therrien has repeatedly said he isn't worried about winning any individual honors for the job he's done. He said after practice Saturday that he doesn't even allow himself to sit back and take pride in his own performance.

"I'm not (looking at) it that way at all," he said with a laugh. "It's crunch time. I want to make sure we're well-prepared for the next game. The players have got to respond. We've got no choice but to keep coaching, even when things are going well for us."

Therrien surely has benefited from Crosby, who is a year older and wiser, and from the addition of rookie of the year candidates Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, defenseman Mark Eaton and role players Jarkko Ruutu, Dominic Moore and Ronald Petrovicky.

The team has benefited as much from new general manager Ray Shero's roster-building as from coaching. But that hasn't diminished the contribution of Therrien.

"He's done a great job. He knows how to manage," defenseman Ryan Whitney said. "He has a feel for the way we as a group of guys has to play to win. It is tough to ignore the success we have had."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493775.html
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:08 AM   #1046
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Notebook: Crosby, Ovechkin rivalry featured in NHL ad

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 18, 2007


Sidney Crosby only had one line in the NHL's promotional ad that was filmed January during the NHL All-Star Game, but it was a good one.

The commercial, titled "Road Trip," opens with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin ordering room service for one in his hotel room -- lots and lots of room service.

As the clip moves to other NHLers acting up -- brothers Jordan and Eric Staal have a pillow fight in their room -- it always goes back to Ovechkin ordering more and more food. Finally, Ovechkin says, "My name? Sidney Crosby," and the commercial cuts immediately to Crosby opening his door to a huge delivery.

His one line -- snarling the name "Ovechkin" -- wasn't one he got down right off the bat, either.

"It took a lot (of takes), just because of the lighting or I didn't say it the right way," Crosby said. "They have to be so precise for a two-second clip."

As of yesterday, Crosby hadn't seen the commercial, available on YouTube.

"I haven't heard too much about it," he said. "But it was fun to do."

Ovechkin on a slide

Crosby ended an eight-game stretch without a goal when he scored Friday against the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin probably knows how Crosby felt. Although he owned or shared the league lead in goals for most of January, Ovechkin has scored only once in the last six games, and his total of 34 has him in a tie with Anaheim's Teemu Selanne for second in the league going into yesterday's games. They trailed league leader Vincent Lecavalier by five goals.

Thibault back in net

With back-to-back games today and Monday (at the New York Islanders), goaltender Jocelyn Thibault will get the start against the Capitals. It is his first game since Jan. 27, when he made 22 saves in a win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Quotable

"I'd like to say I was aiming for the corner. But I was just trying to get it to the net, hoping something good would happen. It did." Defenseman Rob Scuderi, on scoring his second NHL goal in 124 career games Friday against the New Jersey Devils.

Quotable, part two

"I like the chemistry of our team. That's the most important thing. I like the players. I like what our players are giving to us. I like their commitment, and that's my main focus." Coach Michel Therrien, when pressed on whether there might be pressure to make a trading deadline deal with the team playing so well.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493762.html
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 07:09 AM   #1047
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Scouting the Capitals

By The Tribune-Review
Sunday, February 18, 2007


Washington Capitals (23-26-9) at Penguins (31-17-9)

When and where: 3:30 p.m. today at Mellon Arena

TV/radio: NBC/105.9 FM

Probable goaltenders: Jocelyn Thibault (2-5-2, 3.29 GAA); Brent Johnson (4-7-4, 3.72 GAA)

Notable: The Capitals have lost 11 of their last 15 games and are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss Thursday to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They'll also be without starting goaltender Olaf Kolzig for at least three weeks after the perennial starter suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee during Monday's practice. ... Alexander Semin hit the 30-goal mark for the Capitals against the Lightning. ... The Penguins and Capitals last met in a surprising 2-0 defensive battle that the Penguins won Feb. 3. ... Five of the NHL's top six goal scorers age 22 and under will be on the ice today: Ovechkin (34), Semin (30), Evgeni Malkin (28), Sidney Crosby (26) and Jordan Staal (24). Carolina's Eric Staal is the sixth, with 24 going into yesterday's game.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493763.html
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 08:24 AM   #1048
X-Terminator
Mr. Wrong
Supporter
 
X-Terminator's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,881
Gender: Male
Member Number: 2550
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

On and off the ice, Armstrong vital roles for Pens
Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Senior Writer


Colby Armstrong no longer has a place on the same line as Sidney Crosby. Yet the rugged winger remains a big reason why Crosby is now running away with the League scoring title.

The 24-year-old Armstrong keeps the in-demand Crosby, the game?s biggest emerging superstar, grounded with a cutting jibe or a friendly smile.

Whatever it takes to get Crosby laughing a little and forgetting about the enormous responsibility he is asked to shoulder as the 19-year-old cornerstone of the franchise, says Armstrong.

Armstrong uses his quick smile and easy-going demeanor to keep things loose in the Pens? dressing room. As often as not, Crosby will be the target of Armstrong?s lighthearted attacks.

?That's just the way I am, my normal personality,? says Armstrong. ?You know, you get together and poke fun at each other. (Crosby)?s got a lot on his plate. Especially last year, you come in here and you see a media circle around him like I've never seen before and he's only 18-years-old. So if you can loosen him up or make light of a situation that is pretty serious and it doesn't have to be ... you know, it makes it a little easier, especially when you are so young.?

Perhaps that is why the two youngsters clicked so well last season when Armstrong was thrust onto the top line soon after Michel Therrien took over for the fired Eddie Olczyk. During the second half of the Pens? 2005-06 season, Armstrong averaged nearly a point per game -- finishing with 16 goals and 40 points in 47 games -- to announce his legitimate candidacy as a permanent linemate for ?Sid the Kid.?

Crosby certainly didn?t mind having Armstrong on his flank, which was how the two players started this season before Armstrong?s scoring woes and the emergence of other players broke up that tandem.

"It seems like I have always had somebody like (Armstrong) on my line," Crosby said earlier this season. "He plays the way I like to play. I like to work for the puck, so it means we are always 2-on-1-ing the puck. I think it?s important for us to force the issue. That's the way you cause turnovers and create chances. With him out there, a lot of things tend to happen."

Now, Armstrong is playing mostly third-line duty ? perhaps a more reasonable assignment given his skill set ? and can only help Crosby through his off-ice contributions.

?I don't know what it is like to be in his shoes, but I know if you are having a good time doing whatever you are doing, it's going to be easier,? says Armstrong. ?I don't know; I just try to loosen him up a little bit. He's a real serious guy around the rink and it pays off. He does a great job on the ice. But, he's different off the ice. He's easy to joke around with.?

An example involves Armstrong talking about the Memorial Cup he won in 2002 as a member of the Red Deer Rebels. Crosby lost a chance at the Memorial Cup when his Rimouski team was defeated by London in the 2005 championship game.

At the time, early in the season, Armstrong was talking about how the older players on the team are great with the team?s young core, humoring them when it comes to their ?crappy? junior stories.

Naturally, Armstrong was asked if winning the Memorial Cup ? junior hockey?s version of the Stanley Cup ? was one of those ?crappy? junior stories.

?No, that's a great junior story,? Armstrong said, adding a quick chuckle. ?I bring it up whenever I have to.?

Most often, it seems, it is brought up to get Crosby?s goat.

When asked about the story, Crosby just smiled and said go ask Armstrong about the World Junior Championships. Crosby starred for Team Canada while Armstrong was one of the final cuts for that same team during his eligibility.

Again, Armstrong just smiles at the counter from Crosby. That disappointment still stings, but is in the past. Today, Armstrong is in the NHL. No, he is no longer riding shotgun for the game?s most explosive offensive player, but third-line duty on one of the NHL?s hottest teams is still pretty good duty for any young player.

Armstrong knows that he has made it as far as a boy from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan can. After all, Armstrong is playing hockey ? a game he has loved since his earliest days ? at the highest level possible. Plus, he is part of the nucleus of a young team that most hockey experts believe is on its way to becoming a force ? sooner rather than later ? in the NHL.

Despite having to demote Armstrong from top-line duty because of the player?s lack of production ? Armstrong has just six goals this season ? Therrien still has the utmost faith in the grinding right wing.

?We want him to contribute offensively, like everyone,? Therrien told Pittsburgh reporters earlier this week. "But in the meantime, he's having a huge role on our team. Killing penalties, being a good checker, making sure he plays the system well, being a tough guy to play against. That's his bread and butter. As long as he does that, he's going to be fine.?

And, those are the things on which Armstrong has been concentrating.

He is Therrien?s first choice to kill penalties, averaging close to four minutes of kill time per game for a Penguin team that is still finding its way playing against man-advantage situations. Overall, he is seeing 17 minutes of ice time per game and is a plus-3 for the season. Armstrong also brings the sandpaper and jam his coaches ask for. His 48 hits rank a reasonable seventh on the team. His 51 penalty minutes also rank seventh and include a memorable opening-night fight against Nolan Baumgartner of Philadelphia that had the Mellon Arena crowd in a frenzy.

?I just play hard,? Armstrong says. ?I just work hard and I am an up-and-down guy, get a couple of big hits and do my part.?

That, right there, describes third-line duty to a tee. And, it is, for that reason, that Therrien is happy with Armstrong?s new role as a lower-line grinder.

?We always figured that Colby Armstrong would become a good checker in this League, a good third-line guy," Therrien told reporters. "That was the plan, and that's what he's doing right now.?

That, and helping Crosby navigate the often demanding off-ice existence as a bonafide NHL superstar.

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=...ticleid=289071
__________________
X-Terminator is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 08:25 AM   #1049
83-Steelers-43
Living Legend
 
83-Steelers-43's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,993
Gender: Male
Member Number: 1009
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Penguin tribute video:


Very nice beginning. Wish they put in the Petro fight.
__________________
83-Steelers-43 is offline  
Old 02-18-2007, 11:17 PM   #1050
X-Terminator
Mr. Wrong
Supporter
 
X-Terminator's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,881
Gender: Male
Member Number: 2550
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Red-hot Penguins extend streak to 14-0-2

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 18, 2007

Three weeks is a long time to go without playing a game in the NHL, especially for a goaltender.

There's the risk that the all-important sense of timing will erode with the lack of action, that game shape will be gone or that the mental sharpness required to win just won't be there when needed.

But Penguins backup Jocelyn Thibault exhibited none of those problems Sunday in his first game since Jan. 27, making 29 saves in a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals to keep the Penguins' streak alive at 14-0-2.

"I don't play a lot so I'm always happy when I get a chance," said Thibault, who's now 3-5-2 on the season. "It was nice to get a win here at home. It does a lot for my confidence. It's good to participate in the winning streak. It's nice to do your share."

Mark Recchi, Evgeni Malkin and Maxime Talbot scored to bring the Penguins' record to 32-17-9 and pull back within five points of the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils, who won the night before.

The afternoon game was decidedly down-tempo and reminiscent of the last time the two teams met at Mellon Arena earlier this month. But just as life seemed to be escaping sold-out Mellon Arena by the minute, Malkin brought it thundering back when he scored late in the second period to make it 2-1.

The Penguins had been battling against the Capitals' trap all game long, resulting in little more than a series of broken plays and passes. Their lone goal to that point was a power-play tally on a redirection by Recchi five minutes into the game, a goal that was answered a minute later by the Capitals' Jeff Schultz after his shot redirected off Richard Zednik to tie it, 1-1.

Then in the final two minutes of the second period, Michel Ouellet won a battle along the boards, got the puck to Malkin and he sent it back to Sergei Gonchar on the point. Malkin skated back down low, to the bottom of the circle to goaltender Brent Johnson's left.

Gonchar fed the puck back, and as Johnson dropped, Malkin's one-timer from a seemingly impossible angle rocketed up and under the crossbar. It was his team-leading 29th goal of the season.

Then just 1:10 into the third, Talbot scored his ninth of the year with a one-timer from the slot to give the Penguins breathing room.

Thibault admitted he got lucky in the third when 30-goal scorer Alexander Semin hit the crossbar on a penalty shot with six minutes left in the game to keep the score 3-1.

"I was nowhere near that puck," Thibault said. "He was coming on my glove side and usually I'm pretty good at poke-checking players when they try to come across. I totally missed him. I don't know if I surprised him by trying to poke him, but I was so happy it didn't go in."

Semin did go on to score with 44 seconds left in the game to make it 3-2, but Thibault held off the pressure after that for the win.

It was the Penguins' sixth win in a row, equaling a season-high set Jan. 20-Feb. 3. Only one overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 4 separates the two stretches. It also was their fifth one-goal game in a row.

"(The Capitals) came here and there was not a lot of space on the ice," coach Michel Therrien said. "It was a game with a lot of checking, and we fought through adversity. I really liked the way that we were able to compose ourselves."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493807.html
__________________
X-Terminator is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts