Courtesy of The Chief’s busom buddies at The Pensblog;
The Ovechkin Counter-Offensive
In the coming month, Penguins fans and Caps fans from around the world will form the most unholy alliance to date. And we will be launching the largest internet battle in the history of the NHL.
NHL—Those letters should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore, like the fact the Pens own the Caps in the postseason.
We will be united in our common interest of jobbing Montreal Canadien fans and getting Alex Ovechkin into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Perhaps it’s fate that bitter rivals have decided to join forces, not to fight tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but to cause humiliation to smug Canadien fans. We are fighting for our right to see the best three players in the world play on the same line, to enjoy it.
Penguins at Devils, 7:00 PM ET, Prudential Center
Penguins, 15-8-4, 34 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference
Devils, 14-8-2, 30 pts, 7th in Eastern Conference
From the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have forwards Jeff Taffe and Tim Wallace from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL), it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Taffe, 27 began the season with the Pittsburgh Penguins appearing in one game, posting two penalty minutes. He ranks second on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) and a plus-8 rating in 24 games this season.
Wallace has seven points (four goals, three assists) along with 31 penalty minutes in 21 contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 24-year old, hard-hitting forward has played 127 games in the AHL for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, scoring 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) along with 152 penalty minutes.
From the Penguins:
“Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Hal Gill will miss two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero. Gill suffered the injury on December 6 at Ottawa during the third period.”
Another nagging injury for the Penguins. However, as I mentioned during last night’s recap of the Pens’ 4-3 loss to Buffalo, I thought Ben Lovejoy played quite admirably in Gill’s absence, looks like he’s going to get an extended look, although Ryan Whitney is close to returning.
Also, Janne Pesonen was reassigned back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Really frustrating watching him with the big boys. HCMT didn’t him crap for playing time, and the time he got was on the 4th line.
How long is this going to be allowed to continue ??
You gotta give Buffalo credit: They sure tried to give the Penguins this game.
The Penguins were given powerplay chance after powerplay chance after powerplay chance to blow this game wide open. Not only didn’t they put the game away, they blew yet another two goal lead and this time they didn’t even get a point out of it, losing to the Sabres 4-3.
The Penguins once-vaunted powerplay was woeful again tonight, going 1-for-8, including three separate 5-on-3 powerplays, the last of which was for the full two minutes.
From SI.com’s Darren Eliot:
Dynamic duos are a rarity to be treasured in the game of hockey. Gretzky to Kurri in Edmonton. Trottier to Bossy on Long Island. Lemieux to Jagr in Pittsburgh. Those tandems shared the centerman-to-winger dynamic that you usually associate with scoring combinations.
What makes the Sidney Crosby - Evgeni Malkin combo so intriguing is that both are centermen. Yet, they find themselves together atop the NHL scoring race due to the flexibility of their respective games. It is a luxury afforded coach Michel Therrien and a bonus he cashes routinely.
Sabres at Penguins, 7:30 PM ET, Mellon Arena
Sabres, 12-11-3, 27 pts, 9th in Eastern Conference
Penguins, 15-7-4, 34 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference
There was certainly a buzz in the Penguins’ air in July when they signed Finnish Elite League scoring champion Janne Pesonen to a contract. Would he be that elusive scoring winger for Sidney Crosby ?? Maybe another European winger for Evgeni Malkin ??
Well, eventually, that may very well still happen, but a couple months into Pesonen’s first season in North America, he’s ran into a couple of speed bumps.
The Penguins have recalled defenseman Ben Lovejoy from their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.
Lovejoy will replace Hal Gill, who banged up his right shoulder on a check during the Senators game on Saturday afternoon. It is unknown how long Gill will be out of the lineup, if he is out at all. Lovejoy has four goals and 10 assists in 24 games with the Baby Penguins.
From Pierre LeBrun on HNIC’s Hot Stove:
“The Penguins will start up contract extension negotiations with Jordan Staal at the start of the new year. Shorter term deal and a little less money than what has been talked about previously.”
Take it for what it’s worth. His recent surge has certainly quelled the trade speculation. Interesting, though, if it ends up being a short deal, say, 3 or 4 years. Might give an indication of how long he wants to be third fiddle, but that’s merely me speculating.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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