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Old 02-21-2007, 09:02 PM   #1111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityMan786 View Post
May not be bad for Fleury. Save him but also play him so that way he's ready for the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how he plays against the Panthers.
If it were one or two games with Fleury I could understand why some fans are asking "why?". But his play has been dropping the last four or five games. I believe Therrien has enough confidence in Thibault. On top of that, I feel he actually feels Fleury needs a 'longer' break.

It's strange though, the last time Fleury played the Panthers he shut them out. I do have to wonder if Therrien is better off playing Fleury against the Panthers and then playing Thibault against the Bolts? Who knows though? Much like with Shero's trading/player decisions, I really can't complain about Therrien "plugging" the players he has been dealt. I'll take his word for it. I'm not the GM or HC nor do I pretend to be so.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:08 PM   #1112
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If it were one or two games with Fleury I could understand why some fans are asking "why?". But his play has been dropping the last four or five games. I believe Therrien has enough confidence in Thibault. On top of that, I feel he actually feels Fleury needs a 'longer' break.

It's strange though, the last time Fleury played the Panthers he shut them out. I do have to wonder if Therrien is better off playing Fleury against the Panthers and then playing Thibault against the Bolts? Who knows though? Much like with Shero's trading/player decisions, I really can't complain about Therrien "plugging" the players he has been dealt. I'll take his word for it. I'm not the GM or HC nor do I pretend to be so.
I can tell.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:18 AM   #1113
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Pens' Thibault looking forward to start

By The Tribune-Review
Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jocelyn Thibault, who will start in goal tonight against the Florida Panthers, was 2-0 during the Penguins 14-0-2 run and made 29 saves in a 3-2 win Sunday over the Washington Capitals. Tonight will be the first time he's started twice in three games since mid-November. It's only his fourth start since the Penguins exited the holiday break Dec. 26.

"I'm always hoping to get starts," Thibault said. "But I'm looking forward to (today). It's been a while since I've played two games in a short period of time, and I look forward to the opportunity. I've been practicing hard recently knowing that I have a chance to help the team down the stretch, and here we are."

? Penguins coach Michel Therrien said center Chris Thorburn was sent to Wilkes-Barre on a conditioning assignment so he could get some playing time.

"He's a young player," Therrien said. "It's tough for him to crack the lineup right now because we're really satisfied with the way our players are playing. It's been almost 10 games."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_494349.html
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:27 AM   #1114
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Nothing more than business as usual here, though somehow I can't see a whole lot of people plunking down $200 deposits without knowing for sure that the team will be staying.

Penguins take deposits on 2007-2008 Mellon Arena tickets

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Penguins might not know where they're playing past June, but they've started taking $200 ticket deposits for another season at Mellon Arena.

That does not mean the team has firm plans to stay in Pittsburgh, Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan said Wednesday.

"It's not a sign of anything regarding the arena," McMillan said. "If there's no arena deal, and the team is not here, people can get their money refunded."

Fans who want an early shot at buying playoff tickets for this spring can put down a $200 deposit per seat for next season.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_494347.html
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:35 AM   #1115
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A more in-depth story on Thibault getting the start tonight. Good to hear that the rumor of Therrien blasting Fleury after the game has been quashed. Hopefully Fleury channels the criticism in a positive way and gets back to being the goalie we all know he can be.

Thibault will start against Panthers

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 22, 2007

If it were up to Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, he'd be playing tonight against the Florida Panthers.

But the call belongs to coach Michel Therrien. And he decided Wednesday that backup Jocelyn Thibault will get his second start in three games tonight against the Florida Panthers as the Penguins try to avoid losing two games in a row in regulation.

"We want (Fleury) to succeed, and we need him," Therrien said. "But we need him to be good. That's all I ask from players. You need to be good. Goalie, defense, forwards, we ask you to be good. There's going to be times when a performance from any player is exceptional. We don't ask them to be exceptional. In the meantime, we don't accept being fair. It's not good enough. ... When it's game in, game out, fair, fair, fair, it's got to stop."

Therrien was critical of Fleury's play Monday in a 6-5 loss to the New York Islanders that snapped the Penguins' 16-game point streak at 14-0-2. Saying Fleury had to be better, Therrien pointed to the goaltender's past four outings, in which he allowed 4 or 5 goals each game.

Fleury didn't seem to agree with the assessment that he wasn't on top of his game the past 10 days.

"I don't know; I don't remember all of the last four games," Fleury said. "But I thought we won those last three games (until Monday), and that's the main thing."

Fleury, 22, was 12-0-2 during the team's run that launched them from 13th place in the Eastern Conference to fourth. Heading into Montreal on Feb. 4, when he was 10-1-2 in his past 13 starts, he'd allowed four goals on 106 shots in the previous three games, including two shutouts.

Although his numbers haven't been as impressive lately, Fleury had found ways to win until Monday, when he allowed a soft goal in the final minute of regulation with the score tied. They Penguins had won six in a row heading into the game, and Fleury had been in net for five of those wins.

During games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks, Fleury allowed four goals in regulation, and both games went to shootouts. But Fleury didn't allow a goal in either shootout, and the Penguins walked away with wins each time.

"It's 82 games in a season, so it's not always going to be perfect," said Fleury, who confirmed that Therrien did not speak to him following the Islanders' loss despite reports that the coach berated him. "Hopefully, it's just going to be one game and everything will be fine the next one."

At practice yesterday, Fleury worked with goaltending coach Gilles Meloche, which Therrien said should give his goalie a chance to "get back to basics."

Meloche isn't with the team on a regular basis, but Therrien said his current stay was planned before Monday's loss.

Therrien said he didn't talk to Fleury about not getting the start in Florida.

"I always talk to the starting goalie," Therrien said.

Still, it was clear that Fleury hopes to be back in net Sunday when the team plays the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"It's always tough when you have a bad game and you have to live with it for so long," Fleury said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_494346.html
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:37 AM   #1116
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Scouting the Panthers

By The Tribune-Review
Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today's game

Penguins (32-18-9) at Florida Panthers (23-26-12)

When, where: 7:30 p.m. ? BankAtlantic Center (Sunrise, Fla.)

Probable goaltenders: Jocelyn Thibault (3-5-2, 3.18 GAA); Ed Belfour (16-13-7, 2.76 GAA)

TV/radio: FSNP/105.9 FM

Notable: The Panthers are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are 3-1-1 in their past five games and 4-3-2 in February. The Panthers are also 1-12 in games that go to overtime or a shootout. ... Todd Bertuzzi has been practicing with the team as he continues to recover from back surgery Nov. 2, but there is still no target for his return. ... The Panthers have the fifth-best power play in the league at home at 22.2 percent.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_494350.html
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:51 AM   #1117
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I'm still upset that Lange was canned by FSN. Paul Steigerwald sucks and it's to the point now where I watch all the games muted. I don't care what anyone says - Mike Lange has not lost a damn thing in his broadcasts. He's still among the best in the business. And if he decides to leave for another PBP position, I wouldn't blame him one bit.

On the air with Bob Smizik: Lange back, but will he remain here?

Thursday, February 22, 2007
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sometimes the printed word fails us. Consider the following, 17 seconds of radio play-by-play by Mike Lange in the final minute of the Penguins' loss Monday to the New York Islanders. The call opens with Sidney Crosby in control of the puck behind the Islanders' net.

"Look at Crosby dance with it. Around back the other side to the near wing. Crosby's putting on the Ritz. Open man ... Recchi ... good shot ... better save DiPietro.

"Loose puck. Crosby wants it. Can't get it.

"The Islanders have it. Here they come. Hilbert on the left wing to the Penguins' end. Drop pass to Sillinger. Wrister ... scores."

You had to be there to believe it.

Lange used short bursts of words, full of emotion, to convey the drama and the emotion of the closing seconds of what had been a tie game. Even though the goal meant defeat for the Penguins, Lange never let on the team that pays his salary had lost. He was there to call a hockey game, not root for the home team. It was radio play-by-play at its best, as good as it gets.

Suffice to say, Mike Lange is back.

Lange, in his 31st year as a Penguins broadcaster, won't say it, but he's determined to prove the people who fired him wrong. His career is not over. In fact, it's flourishing.

Lange was fired in June as the Penguins' television announcer by FSN Pittsburgh, which owns the rights to the games. He was replaced by Paul Steigerwald, his former color analyst who had been doing radio. Lange was humbled. A few weeks later, he agreed to do the radio, where the rights are owned by the Penguins.

He makes no attempt to hide his disappointment about losing his job nor the fact he remains unhappy with how it was handled.

"I won't lie to you," Lange said the other day. "There is more money in TV. I took a gigantic hit."

He won't be doing Penguins television any time soon. FSN is happy with Steigerwald and Lange remains unhappy with FSN.

"I don't think [the firing] was done in a professional manner. They called my agent [in late June] and said, 'As of tomorrow he's fired.' If they wanted me to change some things, at least they could have offered me that. They didn't."

Lange had signed a two-year contract with FSN before the 2005-06 season. But FSN had the option for the second year and exercised it. With the firing coming so close to the start of the hockey season, Lange had little choice but to accept the radio job, which was a one-year deal. He might be more discerning after this season.

"I'm committed to working with the team and finishing the season," he said. "We'll see what happens after that. I still enjoy broadcasting, and we'll just have to see what presents itself. I'm going to explore every option. If I find something that's comparable ...

"I do love Pittsburgh, but the scene has changed for me. There isn't any doubt about that. I've been turned aside from TV. I'm not their No. 1 guy any more. I have to do what's best for me. I have to consider my career."

Working against Lange is this: As good as he can be, the era of announcers approaching the importance of players, a status Lange once had, is over. It's not like 20 years ago when the vast majority of games were handled by a small number of hometown announcers. Today, games are everywhere; often we don't know the announcers' names.

They might not be interchangeable, but the public hears so many it almost approaches that level. Consequently, the value of play-by-play announcers, particularly on radio, has declined.

What also might hurt Lange, but what definitely should not, is he's not a homer. If you listen to his broadcasts, you know he's the Penguins' announcer, but he's not there to provide excuses and alibis. He calls a game much more down the middle than announcers for most teams. That's the right way to do it, but not all teams might look at it that way.

Once Lange was as big a story as the players. He took on iconic status when the Penguins weren't particularly good and chronicled the glorious Stanley Cup years. He's proving again he's as good as he ever was. That might make him too good to stay with the Penguins.

Elsewhere

Dennis Galloway, a Pittsburgh native, has been hired by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network to be director for Baltimore Orioles' telecasts. Galloway directed Pirates telecasts for 20 years before being fired after the 2005 season ... Richard Sutphen, long-time KDKA and FSN employee, is FSN's new producer for Pirates telecasts. ... The 1979 Steelers will be profiled tonight at 8 on "America's Game," on the NFL Network.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07053/764091-194.stm
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:34 AM   #1118
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Sounds like Shero is reluctant to trade for anything at this point in time.........

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/column...ott&id=2773945

In Pittsburgh, the Penguins appear locked into a playoff berth despite their youth. It has added another dynamic for rookie GM Ray Shero, who didn't expect to have to be dealing with the lure of making trade deadline acquisitions.

"I always say the same thing. I don't want our players or coaches expecting something. I like the team the way they are," Shero said.

With the asking price so high, it's easier for Shero to take that position than many of his colleagues.

"I know who we're not going to move -- prospects. I know my plan out two or three years from now. I have a pretty good idea of the young guys who should be on our hockey club. I don't want to be giving that up," Shero said. "The price certainly is high and some teams will pay it. That's been proven so far. But every team is different."
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:54 AM   #1119
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According to ESPN Insider......

Penguins rediscover happy feet

Feb 21 - A recent hot streak has Pittsburgh in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and for the first time in years, in position to be a buyer at the trading deadline.

But the Penguins won't part with high draft picks or their wealth of young talent and prospects, nor do they want to mess with team chemistry.

Besides the much-talked-about need for a bodyguard for Sidney Crosby, the Penguins could use another defenseman, a first-line winger and a faceoff specialist, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Odds are slim they can get all of those, but if the Pens can address any of those needs the Tribune-Review speculates that promising, but inconsistent F Ryan Malone (12 goals and 21 points in 41 games through Monday) will be the one to be sent packing.

Rangers, Blackhawks, and Canadiens are possible destinations.

If Malone is not traded, I'd be highly surprised.

Shopping for Smolinski

Feb 21 - Although Chicago coach Denis Savard has said he likes his team the way it is, it's GM Dale Tallon who makes the moves and two-way center Bryan Smolinski can help some playoff-bound team.
The 36-year-old has $633,000 remaining on his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Penguins are believed to be pursuing Smolinski, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Maple Leafs might be interested if the asking price drops to a third-round pick, according to the Globe and Mail.

The Red Wings, Rangers and Canadiens are also interested, according to the Province newspaper in Vancouver.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:44 PM   #1120
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Tied early, both teams are playing well defensively. It's a matter of busting the scoreboard.
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