Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wes Crosby at NHL.com,
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be a game-time decision and may make his season debut against the Florida Panthers at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-F, NHL.TV).
Crosby participated in a full-contact practice Monday for the first time since sustaining a concussion during an Oct. 7 practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The concussion, Crosby's third in six years, forced him to miss Pittsburgh's first six games.
"[Crosby] had a strong practice this morning," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the morning skate Tuesday. "Everything is pointing in the right direction. If he's comfortable, he could play."
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed goalie Matt Murray to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal begins with the 2017-18 season and runs through the 2019-20 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $3.75 million.
Murray, 22, backstopped the Penguins to the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup championship in June, becoming just the fourth rookie goalie in NHL history to lead his team to a championship. Murray racked up 15 postseason wins along the way, equaling the NHL record for wins by a rookie netminder.
The 6-foot-4, 178-pound netminder broke into the NHL last December, making his NHL debut against Carolina on Dec. 19, 2015, then earning his first win two days later against Columbus.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
But this season’s Pittsburgh Penguins have a better shot of repeating than any team in the salary cap era, including the Kings or Blackhawks.
It’s not that they are a mightier team than the Kings or Blackhawks were during their championship run. It’s that these Penguins have a history of stepping up when faced with formidable challenges....
The perception of the Penguins is that they are a warp-speed skating offensive team, but their speed aids their defensive play more than it probably helps their offensive game. Defenseman Kris Letang is an example of that.
“His offense speaks for itself. … I don’t think (Letang) gets the credit he deserves for his defensive play,” Sullivan said. “He’s got a quick stick. He’s ultra-competitive. He can be physical when he needs to be. He defends hard. To me, that’s why he is one of the top defensemen in the league.”
Nothing seems to bother the Penguins. They lose Crosby, the world’s best player, to a concussion, and they came roaring out of the gate last week playing like they did in June when they won the Stanley Cup.
The Penguins lose players, they change lines and keep hurtling toward their destination. To the Penguins, it is one small step each day with the hope it becomes the giant leap toward becoming the first NHL team in two decades to be a repeat champion.
In all its glory.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Crosby’s latest concussion happened on Friday at practice. It wasn’t a big open-ice hit — those observers who were there noticed nothing — but of course we realize that it doesn’t have to be a Scott Stevens hit anymore. When two NHL players collide in a battle drill, or even during line rushes, the impact can be enough to bounce one’s brain off the inside of one’s skull.
So we are left to wonder: Did whatever happened to Crosby in that Friday practice have a worse effect because of his concussion history? And will the next one require incrementally less force, and less force, until contact sports are no longer an option for Sid?
Is it possible that Crosby and concussions become in 2016 what Bobby Orr and bad knees were in the 1970s? We surely hope not.
“They happen, in a lot of different sports,” Crosby said Tuesday, having skated alone and shot some pucks before the Penguins practiced as a team. “Guys have multiple concussions and they’re fine. You just have to treat them the right way, and make sure that they handle it right and that you’re honest.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
There are lots of other storylines — P.K. Subban in Nashville, Carey Price’s return, Taylor Hall in Newark — but nothing earthshaking. Indeed, the Subban for Shea Weber off-season deal was enormous, but now the flamboyant Subban will be tucked away in Nashville, rarely to be seen on national broadcasts in either country. Ditto for Hall.
Having all seven Canadian teams miss post-season play last spring delivered a punishing blow to NHL interest in the Great White North as illustrated by television ratings, and right now you’d be hard-pressed to guarantee a playoff berth for any of the seven this season. Certainly none go into the season appearing to be challengers for the Cup.
Six of the seven acquired a top young player in the entry draft last June, which bodes well for the future. Toronto got Auston Matthews, Winnipeg got Patrik Laine, Edmonton took Jesse Puljujarvi, Calgary landed Matthew Tkachuk and Montreal selected Russian blue-liner Mikhail Sergachev, who will start the season with the Habs.
But it will take time for these players to establish themselves and become fan favourites, and all the Canadian teams, to different degrees, are still paying the price for questionable management over the past decade. As an example, look at the Oilers, forced to dump former No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov to the Blues for 20 cents on the dollar last week just to be rid of him.
A healthy Crosby can’t be expected to compensate for all of this, of course. Indeed, last year he started the season in terrible fashion, making “What’s Wrong With Sidney?” a popular game to play at home with friends and loved ones, and the NHL didn’t all come tumbling down.
But the way the season finished re-established him, without a doubt, as the best player on the planet, as did the World Cup. He is in his absolute prime, able to drive attention to the league, not by force of personality but by sheer drive and ability.
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with a concussion, it was announced by Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Crosby sat out Saturday's preseason game vs. Columbus because he was not feeling well, and missed practice today to undergo concussion testing.
Crosby's status will be updated when more information is available. The Penguins open the regular season Thursday night against Washington at PPG Paints Arena.
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 4, 2016 – PPG today announced that it has reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins to immediately assume naming rights for Pittsburgh’s multipurpose arena. Previously known as “CONSOL Energy Center,” the facility now will be named “PPG PAINTS Arena.” PPG also becomes the official paint supplier of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Financial terms for the 20-year agreement were not disclosed.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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