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Old 02-26-2007, 11:13 PM   #1201
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Pens' Crosby poised to be fastest to reach 200 pts.

By The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sidney Crosby is just three points shy of 100 for the season and one point shy of 200 for his NHL career. With a point tonight against the New Jersey Devils, he'll be the youngest player in NHL history to reach 200 points, at 19 years, 204 days. Even if he doesn't get a point tonight, he'll still have plenty of time to reach the milestone and beat the record set by Wayne Gretzky, who reached 200 points at 19 years, 347 days.

"I'm not there yet," Crosby said Monday. "I'm just going to worry about playing the same way. I don't sit there and admire (my numbers) during the season, especially not now when things are so tight. Last year, I got (to 100 points) the second-to-last game, so when you're one game from finishing a season you can think about it a little more. But, really, my mind's on winning."

? Defenseman Ryan Whitney did not practice yesterday because of a sore wrist, but he is expected to play tonight. Left winger Nils Ekman has taken off the red no-contact jersey and is getting closer to returning to the lineup from a dislocated elbow suffered Dec. 29, but coach Michel Therrien said that he's not quite there yet.

? Quotable: "The great thing about it is we know when we play well and we know when we don't. We had a couple of games during that (14-0-2) streak where we weren't as good and the guys knew that. That's important, and that's a sign of maturity from young guys is they did understand when we were playing well and when we weren't."

- Mark Recchi, on the team handling a 1-2-0 stretch after going 14-0-2.

Digits

7 - Consecutive games in which both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have registered at least one point.

1 - Number of goals Crosby has in the past 13 games.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:18 PM   #1202
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Gary, please do us all a favor...GO TO TORONTO! This would go down as one of the worst moves the team has ever made if they trade Welch for this washed-up, injury-prone 40 year old. Hey Ray - get Guerin if you're really looking at a veteran! He has all the intangibles that you would possibly want at this time of year. Roberts is a horrible choice!

Penguins hoping to land Roberts

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Penguins want Gary Roberts. The feeling may not be mutual.

The veteran left winger was not quite sold on the Penguins as of Monday evening, but he was at least considering the option on the eve of the NHL trade deadline.

"The effort the Penguins have made has certainly been commendable because it's an option that Gary had not and would not have ever considered," Roberts' agent, Rick Curran, said last night. "The conversations we've had with club officials and guys on the team have certainly been very impressive for him."

Roberts, 40, has a no-trade clause with the Florida Panthers. It previously was reported that he'd waive the clause only to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Ottawa Senators. Roberts has a daughter in school in Toronto and plans to settle in southern Ontario when he retires.

But there has been a lot of interest in Roberts, and Curran indicated yesterday there are three or four teams Roberts would consider joining.

Curran also didn't expect Roberts to make a decision until today, the last day for NHL teams to make trades.

"I don't think it will be decided (Monday)," Curran said. "I think it will take some time. At some point, he will have to make a decision and the fact that the Penguins have been so good about it has made his decision even more difficult. That's a good thing. But at the same time, he has some good reasons for wanting to be in the southern Ontario area. Pittsburgh has come into the picture and is an impressive option, but it's a very difficult decision that's going to take some time."

Curran likened Roberts' situation to that of Mark Recchi, another of his clients, last season when Recchi waived a no-trade clause with the Penguins to go to the Carolina Hurricanes at the deadline. Recchi ended up winning a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes before re-signing with the Penguins.

"It's always hard to leave," Recchi said. "It's never an easy decision to make, and you have to put a lot of thought into it. You have to talk to your family and figure out what's best. I thought it was an opportunity to take one more crack at it and see what could happen, and it worked out. A lot of times things don't work out and that's what makes it harder."

The Palm Beach Post reported last week that Roberts would want a one-year extension before agreeing to any deal. But Roberts said yesterday that wasn't necessarily the case.

"I said it would be an ideal situation to go somewhere and only make one move," Roberts told reporters in Florida. "But it's never been a demand."

Roberts, who is in the last year of a two-year, $4.5 million contract, also acknowledged that meshing his family and career goals might not be possible.

"I'd like to be closer to my daughter, so that's one goal, and the other goal is to try to win the Stanley Cup," he said. "But to accomplish both those things may be difficult."

It wasn't clear what the Penguins were offering for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound forward, and neither Penguins general manager Ray Shero nor Panthers general manager Jacques Martin were commenting on the situation yesterday.

It is believed that Martin wants a young player in return for Roberts, who's been playing on the Panthers' top line with Olli Jokinen all season and has 13 goals and 16 assists in 50 games.

Several Penguins players admitted they were nervous about what today might bring.

"We don't really talk about it with each other," center Maxime Talbot said. "We all know it's (today) and we hear rumors, and for sure I think we're nervous. We realize that we might have played our last game as the team we are. But chemistry's good right now. We're just enjoying it."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_495129.html
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:20 PM   #1203
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Time for Therrien to stand by Fleury

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Marc-Andre Fleury gets another start in net for the Penguins tonight, eight days after his last one and fresh from a series of personal consultations with goaltending coach Gilles Meloche that revealed more of a problem between the ears than between the pipes.

"I attribute it to a little mental fatigue," Meloche said of Fleury's recent struggles.

It happens.

One of the challenges the Penguins face the rest of the way, starting tonight against New Jersey, is to prevent it from happening again, and to make certain Fleury understands he'll be granted a reasonable margin of error in the event it does.

He got a little wobbly late in the process of starting 49 of the Penguins' first 59 games. The last of those was a sloppy, 6-5 loss to the New York Islanders on Feb. 19 that snapped a 14-0-2 streak.

Coach Michel Therrien responded with repeated public scoldings of Fleury and by starting backup Jocelyn Thibault in consecutive games for the first time all season.

Meloche has since dissected Fleury's game and found no flaws in his mechanics or other holes opponents had suddenly begun to exploit.

"Just one of those stretches where things don't go your way," Meloche said Monday. "It's not physical because (Fleury's) in great shape, but after so many games you need to refresh, to start from square one again."

Meloche's recommendation?

"Don't think too much," he said. "Just react."

That may prove easier said than done given recent events and the history between Fleury and Therrien at AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Therrien benched Fleury in playoff series in consecutive seasons).

Suffice it to say Fleury's confidence has been higher than it was after that Islanders game.

"He was a little shaky, no use denying it," Meloche said. "You give up four, five goals, you start thinking too much. He's got to stop thinking and just react to the play."

Fleury gave up 17 goals in the four starts that preceded his leaky afternoon on Long Island.

But he's still the guy that was ranked fifth in the league in wins (with 29) as of yesterday morning, and still the one that will determine the Penguins' postseason fate more than any other.

Of course, the Pens have to get to the postseason first.

And Fleury has to get them there.

One of the problems is, Fleury sounds more like a guy who is merely trying to get through his next start and then go from there.

"I think Michel's mind-set is, if you play good, you're playing," Fleury said.

There's no question in Meloche's mind that Fleury remains "the guy."

"Oh, no doubt about it," Meloche said.

Therrien, too, insists he's committed to Fleury for the long haul.

"He's our guy," Therrien insisted. "I made the statement from day one that we believe in that kid. We want him to succeed."

Fleury hearing that directly from someone can't hurt. Nor would starting him again Thursday in New York, even if he gives up four or five tonight against New Jersey.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_495126.html
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:28 PM   #1204
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Penguins look to bounce back against Devils

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Marc-Andre Fleury is ready to start in goal tonight for the first time in more than a week when the Penguins play the New Jersey Devils.

He and his teammates are ready to not only put the disaster that was Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning behind them, but also end a stretch in which they've lost two out of their past three games.

"We're just looking forward to getting a chance to redeem ourselves," defenseman Rob Scuderi said Monday. "It's been a long time since we've been beat like that. A long time. We've lost games, but certainly not in that fashion and not with the effort that we had. We're looking forward to bouncing back against a good team."

The 5-1 loss to the Lightning was only the third time this season that the Penguins had lost by more than three goals. The other two times were losses to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, in the fourth game of the season, and 6-2 on Nov. 11.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_495122.html
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:29 PM   #1205
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Scouting the Devils

By The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Today's game

New Jersey Devils (39-18-6) at Penguins (33-19-9)


When, where: 7:30 p.m. -- Mellon Arena

TV/radio: FSNP/105.9 FM

Probable goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (29-13-7, 2.93 GAA); Martin Brodeur (38-17-5, 2.10 GAA)

Notable: The Devils are coming off a 3-2 win Sunday over the Washington Capitals. It was seldom-used backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen's first win in 11 months. Martin Brodeur recorded the team's first 38 wins, the most consecutive wins for a goalie to start a season in NHL history. ... Brian Gionta missed his sixth consecutive game against the Capitals with a groin injury. ... The Devils are 9-3 in February.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_495141.html
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:34 PM   #1206
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Penguins Notebook: Therrien gets players to refocus

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
By Shelly Anderson
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In a matter of 48 hours, the Penguins have the task of going from a somnambulant performance in Sunday's 5-1 loss at Tampa to a critical home game tonight against Atlantic Division leader New Jersey.

That transition apparently was one of the topics when the Penguins held a team meeting before their workout yesterday at Mellon Arena.

"The atmosphere is a little mellow," forward Erik Christensen said after practice. "It gives us time to think about the Tampa game. We were extremely frustrated and very disappointed in the way we came out. Like [coach Michel Therrien] said, we weren't ready to play. I don't know if it was the [warm Florida] weather or what, but we just weren't ready.

"But the attitude now, and sort of the way [Therrien] approached practice was, let's put it behind us."

Several of the players said they were grateful that the schedule has them playing a game relatively quickly so they don't have to linger on the Tampa debacle -- a game in which his players' lackluster play surprised Therrien.

"I didn't see it coming," Therrien said. "I thought we were well rested. Maybe too much."

Therrien is confident his team can rebound with a strong game against the Devils -- the team that leads the division with 84 points, nine ahead of the Penguins, whose 75 points have them just five points over the cutoff line in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs.

"There's nothing we can do about it," Therrien said of the Tampa game. "Just bounce back.

"I know that group, and their focus is going to be there [tonight]. We need a strong game, and we'll have a strong game by everyone."

Fleury to start

Saying this was the plan all along, Therrien named Marc-Andre Fleury the starting goaltender for tonight.

"We wanted to give him some time to work with [goaltending consultant] Gilles Meloche, to work on different things and look at video and to make sure that he's going to go back to his A game," Therrien said.

Therrien was critical of Fleury's recent play after a 6-5 road loss against the New York Islanders Feb. 19. He then started backup Jocelyn Thibault in the Penguins' games at Florida and Tampa Bay.

Fleury replaced Thibault Sunday in the loss at Tampa.

A different scenario

It was nearly a year ago -- March 9, 2006 -- when veteran winger Mark Recchi was shipped by the Penguins to Carolina for Niklas Nordgren, Krystofer Kolanos and a 2007 second-round draft pick.

As the trade deadline approached last year and with the Penguins deep in the standings, Recchi wanted to go to a team that was a Stanley Cup contender. He got his wish when he lifted the Cup with the Hurricanes.

"It was still hard to leave," he said. "It's never an easy decision to make. You have to talk to your family and figure out what's best. I just thought it was an opportunity to take one more crack at it. Obviously, things worked out. A lot of times, they don't work out."

Recchi re-signed with the Penguins in the summer, and the trade deadline is here again, coming at 3 p.m. today.

This time, he's eager to remain with the Penguins and see if they can become a contender before he decides to retire.

"We like what's here," Recchi said. "It's been great from day one at training camp."

A changeup

The Devils got their first win without goaltender Martin Brodeur in net with a 3-2 victory at Washington Sunday, when Scott Clemmensen made his first start since Dec. 14.

There is little likelihood that Devils coach Claude Julien will follow the formula Therrien used last week and stick with the hot hand and Clemmensen for the game today.

Brodeur had started the previous 32 games for New Jersey. He leads the NHL in wins (38) and shutouts (11) and is second in goals-against average (2.10) and save percentage (.925).

Starting from scratch

After he frequently became a regular scratch from the Penguins' lineup, forward Chris Thorburn had no problem with the team's decision to send him to its Wilkes-Barre/Scranton minor-league club for a week on a conditioning assignment.

What was more difficult was shaking off the rust.

"I had three games down there," said Thorburn, who had an assist and two penalty minutes before being recalled Sunday. "You can practice all you want, but you've got to get some games in once in a while.

"It was tough at first. That first game, the first period, until I got hit and threw a hit, my head was spinning. Then the next two periods and two games went really well."

Slap shots

Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney skipped practice because of a sore wrist, but he is expected to be available to play tonight. ... Winger Nils Ekman (elbow) no longer wears the no-contact jersey in practice but isn't quite ready to play. ... If center Sidney Crosby gets a goal or assist tonight, he will become the youngest player and second teenager to reach 200 career points in the NHL at 19 years, 204 days. Wayne Gretzky was 19 years, 347 days when he got his 200th point. ... Crosby, the league's leading scorer, also is three points away from reaching the 100-point level for the second time in as many pro seasons. ... Center Brad Richards' goal and three assists in Tampa Bay's 5-1 win against the Penguins helped him earn the league's third star for last week.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07058/765273-61.stm
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:37 PM   #1207
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Roberts, Penguins have mutual interest
Panthers winger might waive no-trade clause


Tuesday, February 27, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For weeks, Florida winger Gary Roberts told anyone who asked that there were only two teams that could tempt him to waive his no-trade clause.

And the Penguins weren't one of them.

Roberts, whose two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Panthers expires after this season, repeatedly said he was willing to be traded to Toronto or Ottawa because that would make it possible for him to be closer to his 17-year-old daughter, who attends school in Toronto.

But that didn't dissuade Penguins general manager Ray Shero from working out the terms of a trade for Roberts with the Panthers, and Roberts didn't automatically reject the idea of agreeing to join the Penguins, even though it doesn't make great geographical sense for him.

He began weighing its merits after Panthers GM Jacques Martin informed him of the potential deal yesterday and a member of the Roberts camp, speaking on condition of anonymity, said last evening that, "I don't see this being wrapped up until [today]."

That person acknowledged that playing in Pittsburgh "is a stretch" for someone whose stated preference is to work in Ontario, but said Roberts was willing to seriously consider joining the Penguins because "he's intrigued with the Pittsburgh situation."

It is not known if the Penguins and/or Panthers have set a deadline for Roberts to reach his decision, although both sides presumably would like to know well in advance of the 3 p.m. trade deadline so that they can move on to contingency plans if he rejects the trade.

Shero declined an interview request last evening, and what the Penguins have offered Florida for Roberts was not immediately known. The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, reported that the Penguins have agreed to part with defense prospect Noah Welch.

Roberts, 40, has 13 goals and 16 assists in 50 games this season. He did not accompany his teammates when they traveled to Washington yesterday afternoon.

Roberts once ranked among the NHL's premier power forwards and still plays with an edge. He thrives in battles along the boards and in the corners, and goes to the net with enthusiasm.

There is a physical price to be paid for his aggressive style -- Roberts missed 13 games in January and February because of a hip injury -- but his competitive approach can be contagious with teammates.

Roberts' intangibles, like experience and leadership, are at least as attractive as his talent, especially for a team such as the Penguins that relies heavily on younger players.

Roberts is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and apparently has no plans to retire. He has even said recently that he would like to get a one-year contract extension in return for waiving his no-trade clause, although that request is not believed to be a deal-killer.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07058/765247-61.stm
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:48 PM   #1208
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TSN is reporting that it's a done deal, and the Pens will in fact trade Noah Welch for Roberts. Ray, you have just disappointed me BIG TIME - giving up one of your top D prospects for a guy who's best years were behind him 3 years ago? Did you catch something from Craig Patrick's chair or what??? Terrible, horrible, ridiculous, senseless trade.

Panthers' Roberts waives no-trade clause

Bob McKenzie
2/27/2007 12:33:50 AM

Sources tell TSN that Florida Panthers' forward Gary Roberts has waived his no-trade clause, paving the way for the Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins to consummate a conditional deal that they agreed to on Monday.

The deal is not expected to be made official until Tuesday morning because Roberts must physically sign the no-trade waiver before the two teams can make it official.

If there are no issues, Pittsburgh will send defenceman Noah Welch to Florida and Roberts will join the Penguins for the stretch drive and playoffs. Roberts is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

The Panther forward was told by General Manager Jacques Martin on Monday morning after practice that the club had found a trade it deemed acceptable and all that was required to consummate the transaction was Roberts waiving his no-trade clause.

Roberts had made it abundantly clear that he would only waive his no-trade clause for a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs or Ottawa Senators.

The 40-year-old did not accompany the Panthers' on their Monday afternoon flight to Washington.

Sources say the Penguins are prepared to give up a young roster player with potential in exchange for Roberts, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Roberts battled a hip injury and missed 13 games from January to early February. He has played in 50 games for the Panthers this season and scored 13 goals with 16 assists.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=197768&hubname=
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:35 AM   #1209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
TSN is reporting that it's a done deal, and the Pens will in fact trade Noah Welch for Roberts. Ray, you have just disappointed me BIG TIME - giving up one of your top D prospects for a guy who's best years were behind him 3 years ago? Did you catch something from Craig Patrick's chair or what??? Terrible, horrible, ridiculous, senseless trade.

Panthers' Roberts waives no-trade clause

Bob McKenzie
2/27/2007 12:33:50 AM

Sources tell TSN that Florida Panthers' forward Gary Roberts has waived his no-trade clause, paving the way for the Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins to consummate a conditional deal that they agreed to on Monday.

The deal is not expected to be made official until Tuesday morning because Roberts must physically sign the no-trade waiver before the two teams can make it official.

If there are no issues, Pittsburgh will send defenceman Noah Welch to Florida and Roberts will join the Penguins for the stretch drive and playoffs. Roberts is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

The Panther forward was told by General Manager Jacques Martin on Monday morning after practice that the club had found a trade it deemed acceptable and all that was required to consummate the transaction was Roberts waiving his no-trade clause.

Roberts had made it abundantly clear that he would only waive his no-trade clause for a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs or Ottawa Senators.

The 40-year-old did not accompany the Panthers' on their Monday afternoon flight to Washington.

Sources say the Penguins are prepared to give up a young roster player with potential in exchange for Roberts, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Roberts battled a hip injury and missed 13 games from January to early February. He has played in 50 games for the Panthers this season and scored 13 goals with 16 assists.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=197768&hubname=
All I can say here is ughhhhhhh. What the hell is Shero thinking? The guy is 40 years old and is coming off a recent hip injury! This was the best deal he could come up with?
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:25 AM   #1210
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Unbelievable.....

Roberts agrees to join Penguins: Welch to Florida
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gary Roberts is joining the Penguins.

Or at least he will after formally signing away the no-trade clause in his contract this morning.

Roberts, a 40-year-old left winger with the Florida Panthers, previously had contended that he would accept a trade only to Toronto or Ottawa, but was persuaded to come to Pittsburgh.

Team officials learned early today that the deal will go through.

The trade has not been formally announced, but defense prospect Noah Welch will be sent to Florida.

Welch had been expected to contend for a regular on the Penguins' defense next season, while Roberts will be an unrestricted free agent free to sign with any team this summer. He previously had said he would like a one-year contract extension in return for agreeing to waive his no-trade clause, but it is not clear whether the Penguins have negotiated such an agreement with him.

Roberts is scheduled to fly here later in the day, but will not be in the lineup when the Penguins face New Jersey at 7:38 tonight at Mellon Arena.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07058/765336-100.stm
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