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Old 05-02-2008, 10:00 AM   #5441
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Not really surprised by last night. If you told me before the series that we'd win both at home and split at MSG, I'd have been extatic.

That said---though I really wish they would have won---perhaps the loss can help them get refocused. It also certainly gets rid of all this "undefeated in the playoffs" crap that was becoming a bit overwhelming and perhaps distracting.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:48 AM   #5442
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

hard hard loss last night, it sucks to lose our streak but its all good we still wil have the series.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:14 PM   #5443
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F it, we lost

LETS END THIS SERIES ON SUNDAY
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #5444
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Real nice read on Hal Gill. He has really stepped up his play since his first couple of games with the Pens and has become a solid force on our D! As a Pens fan, you just gotta love Big Hal!

(NOTE: This article was crafted on May 1st before Game #4 of the Pens/Rags series).

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=...ticleid=362115

Move to Pittsburgh a boon for Gill, Pens
Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer May 1, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT

Hal Gill's trade from the Maple Leafs to the Penguins gave him a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup this season.

Hal Gill was napping when news broke of his trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins on TSN. But his wife, Anne, was tuned in the way every wife of a Leafs player without the all-empowering no-trade clause likely was.

“My wife had to hear about it on TV, and I heard about it after a nap,” Gill told NHL.com. “She didn’t know what to think. She was kind of shocked. She’s not involved in it, but she’s directly involved in it because she’s the one that takes the brunt of it.”

Gill said he was “kind of shocked,” too. Having never been traded in his NHL career, being moved at the deadline for a pair of draft picks was all new to him. He didn’t know how to react even if he saw it coming.

“It was a surprise,” Gill said. “I guess it always is, right?”

We wouldn’t know, but either way this surprise has turned into an opportunity for the towering defenseman. Gill was dealt from a team loaded with questions and likely to miss the postseason to a team loaded with young talent and likely to make a bid for the Stanley Cup.

Yeah, that’s not so bad, at least for Hal. We can’t write on behalf on Anne.

“I feel comfortable here and I think I can help this team,” Gill said. “That’s what it’s all about, trying to contribute to a team that was already a really good team before I got here.”

The Penguins, though, are a much better team now that Gill has asserted himself and become a key cog on the back end. Through seven playoff games Gill is a plus-3 while averaging close to 18 minutes per game. The Penguins are 7-0.

“I don’t think many people realize how good he is defensively until you’re on his team. I know I didn’t,” Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney said. “He takes up so much room and it seems like you never see him get beat. Whether it’s a one-on-one or a two-on-two he’s got such a long reach that he can pinch guys off at the blue line.

“Just watching him against skilled players like (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) he’s still able to do a good job defensively. You realize how valuable he is after seeing that.”

Since Gill has become a fixture in the lineup, the Penguins penalty-kill has improved dramatically.

At the time of the trade the Penguins were a troubling 25th in the NHL in penalty-killing (80.4 percent). The Penguins’ PK got better over the last 18 regular-season games with Gill and finished tied for 22nd at 81 percent.

It has been a star in the playoffs. The Penguins entered Wednesday night ranked first in the NHL with a 92.6 percent success rate on penalty-killing in the postseason having allowed just two power-play goals in their 27 times shorthanded. They’ve limited the Rangers to one power play goal in 14 chances through three games.

“Gill does make a difference,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told NHL.com. “I want to say when we got him he was the top defensive guy in penalty-killing ice time. Like a power-play guy can be, he’s a specialist at that and certainly does a good job. He’s a lot of what we were looking for.”

The reasons are plenty, but No. 1 is Gill’s size. He’s 6-foot-7, weighs 250 pounds.

“He takes care of players in front of the net,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said.

“Look at him, he’s just a big, massive dude so no one is going to move him,” added Pens defenseman Rob Scuderi, who has been Gill’s partner in the second round against the Rangers. “If they can’t get to the net they can’t get to the rebounds, which is really what playoff hockey is all about, crashing the net and getting dirty goals. With him there and being a presence in front it really limits their second opportunities, and that’s huge for our goalie. He can just worry about making one save.”

After Shero traded the two draft picks – a second-rounder this June and a fifth-rounder in 2009 – he figured the deal would wind up flying under the radar only because it was a little later when he beat the buzzer with a trade for Marian Hossa.

The trade for Gill, though, has proven to be just as important, if not more. The Penguins were six defensemen deep at the time of the trade, but bringing in Gill gave them not only depth, but another strong, tall, stay-at-home guy they were lacking since Mark Eaton went out with a season-ending injury in January.

With Gill in the fray, veteran and two-time Cup winning defenseman Darryl Sydor has been a healthy scratch for every game in the playoffs.

“I think he has fit in really well with us and he has gained the coach’s trust,” Shero said. “He plays mean, and off the ice he’s a good guy.”

Shero said it helped that Tom Fitzgerald, one of Gill’s former teammates in Boston who is now the Penguins’ director of player development, sold management on Gill’s attributes.

“Fitzie knew what we were looking for and went to bat for him in terms of his personality,” Shero said. “I guess I want to give (Gill) credit. He hasn’t exceeded our expectations. We thought he was a good player and he would fit in well here.”
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #5445
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Not and IF, but a WHEN we win the series against the Rangers, our opponent will be the Flyers. They beat the Habs tonight 6-4. Home ice advantage is always a plus!
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:03 PM   #5446
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The Flyers are a very dangerous team - they have a very balanced offensive team, maybe even more so than the Penguins. Anyone on their top 3 lines can score; in fact, they had seven 20-goal scorers this season, the most in the NHL. But to me, it's Martin Biron's play that has gotten them this far. He's been great. It didn't hurt that R.J. Umberger scored 8 goals(!) in that series, either.

History would not be on our side - the Pens have never beaten the Flyers in a playoff series. That said, I still think the Pens beat them in 6 games. I'm not sold on Biron, and I just think the Pens have a bit more in terms of star power. Plus, Malkin torched them during the regular season and undoubtedly would be up to the task again. But first things first - let's take care of the Rangers tomorrow.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:25 PM   #5447
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A little under 35 minutes until game time!

LETS GO PENS and send Fagomir and his Rags off to play golf today!

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Old 05-04-2008, 03:09 PM   #5448
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ugh, that was a bad period. Pens taking too many dumb penalties and turning the puck over too much

we cant give the Rangers any life, END IT NOW!
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:11 PM   #5449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Stiller View Post
ugh, that was a bad period. Pens taking too many dumb penalties and turning the puck over too much

we cant give the Rangers any life, END IT NOW!
All in all, I didn't think it was that bad of a period, but you are right - the Pens have to be a bit more disciplined. If anyone goes near Fagomir, they're going to get smacked with a visit to the sin bin. Lundvquist is once again a brick wall in that net and the Pens are going to have to shoot over him - nothing is getting through those legs today.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #5450
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I agree. The Penguins need to bury the Rangers 6' under today. They can't afford to drag out the series any more due to the Flyers advancing.

I hate this 2 PM start time for a hockey game.
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