23 April 2007

Team Report Card Part 1

Hey pens fans,
As, promised here is the team report card. I'll start with a player by player break-down.

Sidney Crosby
Regular Season 120 points (36+84) Playoffs 5 points (3+2)
Sid played in 79 regular season games. He was +10. This season was truly a breakout season for number 87. He played marvelously and we couldn't have asked for more. Sid had goals that amazed and he out skated so many defenseman. He played a solid season and won the scoring title. I don't think we could ask for more. In the playoffs, he scored 3 goals and had 2 assists in 6 games. I think that is pretty good. Sid will lead this team to a cup in the future.
Grade: A+

Evgeni Malkin
He had 85 points this season and 4 playoff points. For a rookie, these are great numbers. He is a good player. He was rather streaky and inconsistant. In the playoffs, that really came out. I think the changes with coming to the NHL affected him some. He is good, but I am not yet surer if he is, as good as, the hype. Next year will tell...
Grade: B+

Mark Recchi
He put up 68 points this season and 4 in the playoffs. Recchi played a good solid season. He produced no matter which line you put him on. He played well with Crosby, Malkin and Staal, whenever he was with them. Recchi is still a great player. I just hope we can bring the cup back before he's gone.
Grade: A

Sergei Gonchar
He had 67 points and 4 playoff points. Gonchar was a bit streaky and made some stupid mistakes that led to crucial turnovers. He was horrible in some games and he dazzled in others. Unfortunetly, that is the way he has always played. When he's hot, he is arguably one of the best defenseman in the NHL, but when he is cold he is horrid. He is a good player, but the streakiness and inconsistency brings down his stock.
Grade: B-

Ryan Whitney
He put up 59 points this year and 2 in the playoffs. He did have a few small slumps, but he was fairly consistant. He played solidly and you can't ask for more than that. I think this is one of fhis better if not his best NHL season, thus far.
Grade: A

Michel Ouellet
He had 48 regular season points and 2 in the playoffs. He played fairly well. He obviously was involved in offense based on the numbers. As far as play goes, I don't recall him doing anything particularly stupid or spectacular. He was there, but his offensive numbers are good. I think he can give a little more in the future.
Grade: B-

Jordan Staal
He had 42 regular season points and 3 in the playoffs. Staal was just solid all year. Can anyone believe we almost sent him back for another year? That would have been stupid. He played consistently and was fairly solid in front of the net, just getting in the way. After Robert's arrival, you could see Stall picking up that part of his game. He has also been consistantly good on the penelty kill. This was a very good rookie season for him and I can't wait to see the player he will develop into.
Grade: A+

Gary Roberts
He had 42 points this season and 4 in the playoffs. After coming over at the trade deadline, Roberts made an impact. He played solidly and helped some of our younger players pick up their games. He was a pest to the opponents and played very well. I only hope he is still in Pittsburgh next season.
Grade: A

The next installment of the team report card will be coming soon...

21 April 2007

Sidney, Sidney, Sidney

Hey pens fans,
So, about a month ago Crosby broke his left foot blocking a shot. He has been playing through it, obviously. He just announced he will miss worlds to let it heal properly. And FYI, if you don't remember him breaking his foot, don't feel bad, neither do I and it was not on the injury reports, i already checked.

19 April 2007

Game 5: Sens 3 Pens 0

Hey pens fans,
Tonight, the Pens lost the series to the Senators. The score was 3-0. The game was not bad, overall. It is just hard to find the good, when the season is over. One thing to gain from this playoff experience is Experience. That is something that most of the team did not have and now they have playoff experience. This will do them a world of good in the future, when we make the playoffs again. It was a learning experience, at the very least. It also did one other thing. It gave the fans hope for the future. It made us all remember the days of the cups and made us dream those Stanley Cup Dreams again. In the coming week, I will have the end of season team report card with a break down of each player and an overall team grade, as I have each year. Also, I will have complete coverage of all offseason moves and the draft.

17 April 2007

Game 4: Senators - 2 Pens - 1

Hey pens fans,
Tonight, the Pens fell to the Sens in game 4 at the Mellon Arena. The Sens got their firsst goal on a flukey bounce off Jordan Staal's stick. It was just a bad bounce and neither Staal or Fleury can be faulted for it. In the second period, Staal tied the game and was assisted by Roberts and Ouellet. Ottawa went ahead 2-1 in the third. Fleury was in goal stopping 24 of 26 shots. The Pens seemed to play some of their best hockey in the second period. The first period was pretty good, as well. If they play like that, they may have a chance in game 5. One thing to remember is that this is a young team and they need to gain experience. They will be a force in years to come. If this is not the year, then it is not long off. Hopefully, we can get the win and keep the series going, though.

15 April 2007

Game 3: Sens 4 Pens 2

Hey pens fans,
Well, the game started off good with Pens scoring under a minute into the game. Roberts scored and was assisted by Crosby and Armstrong. The Senators came back and scored 4 goals. Late in the third Crosby scored and was assisted by Malkin and Recchi to make it 4-2. Fleury was in goal stopping 21 of 25 shots. Tonight, the Pens were just not with it. They played haplessly for most of the game. It looked like they couldn't ge things going after those first few minutes. The team, as a whole, was just not with it. Malkin played one of his worst games. He was horrible in every aspect. It was bad. The rest of the team wasn't stellar, by any means, but he was horrible. Fleury was shakey in goal at points, but also made a few big saves. Our defense looked like lost wonderers. No one was having much luck at breaking into the zone. Hopefully, the Pens will get it together and comeback and play hard in game 4. They need to do something or this series will be the end of their run.

14 April 2007

Game 2: Pens 4 Sens 3

Hey pens fans,
The Pens win game 2 and tie the series at one all. The Pens definetly shook their jitters from game one and played a solid game. Fleury was very solid in net. Crosby and Staal bothed played well and did not disappoint. Colby Armstrong was flying today. He was all over the ice and this is one of his strongest performances. Overall, the team played a very strong game. They did live op to their "cardiac kids" status, but still pulled out the win. It was an exciting game to watch. Here is the scoring break down: Period 1 - Whitney (PP) assisted by Gonchar and Crosby; Period 2 - Sens score twice; Period 3 - Roberts (PP) assisted by Gonchar and Malkin; Crosby assisted by Recchi and Malkin. Fleury stopped 34 of 37 shots. The Pens had 21 shots.

11 April 2007

Game 1 - Sens-6 Pens-3

Hey pens fans,
Well, the Pens dropped game one 6-3. The Pens started out the game, as if they were in total awe. By the second period, the Pens seemed to have the "monkey off their backs." Crosby's disallowed goal was a joke. Will someone tell me how that was ruled as an intentional kicking motion? Well, here is the goal breakdown: Staal assisted by Talbot and Whitney; Gonchar (PP) assisted by Malkin and Recchi; Crosby (PP) assisted by Gonchar and Recchi. Fleury started in goal stopping 30 of 36. Thibault relieved him stoppinh 1of 1. The Pens had 26 shots. Whitney and Orpik both took sticks to the face, which resulted in some bleeding. Game 2 is Saturday afternoon.

10 April 2007

Playoff Hockey and predictions

Hey pens fans,
Since, the Pens are finally back in the playoffs there is much reason for celebration. Before I get ahead of myself, here is the playoff schedule for Round 1 against Ottawa.
Game 1 - Wednesday, April 11 7:00 p.m. Pittsburgh at Ottawa FSN Pittsburgh
Game 2 - Saturday, April, 14 3:00 p.m. Pittsburgh at Ottawa NBC
Game 3 - Sunday, April, 15 6:00 p.m. Ottawa at Pittsburgh FSN Pittsburgh Game A
Game 4 - Tuesday, April, 17 7:00 p.m. Ottawa at Pittsburgh FSN Pittsburgh Game B
Game 5 - * Thursday, April 19 7:00 p.m. Pittsburgh at Ottawa FSN Pittsburgh
Game 6 - * Sunday, April 22 1:00 p.m. Ottawa at Pittsburgh NBC
Game 7 - * Tuesday, April 24 7:00 p.m. Pittsburgh at Ottawa FSN Pittsburgh
(*if needed)

It is great to be back in the post season. One thing to mention is that my traditional end of season report card will not be written until the Penguins finish their post season play. So, look forward to that, but hopefully not too soon. This season showed just how fast the evolution of the Penguins can occur.

Now, I am going out on a limb and offering my first round predictions. Here they are and hopefully I do not discredit myself too much, if I am completely wrong.

Eastern Conference
Sabre and Islanders- Sabres in 6
Devils and Lightning- Devils in 6
Thrashers and Rangers- Rangers in 5
Senators and Penguins- Pens in 5
Western Conference
Red Wings and Flames- Flames in 7
Ducks and Wild- Ducks in 6
Canucks and Stars- Canucks in 4
Predators and Sharks- Sharks in 5

There they are. Send me your predictions (pensfan17148@msn.com put "playoff predictions" in the subject line) and I will track them to see who will beat the blogger and who is best at predictions. Send me your round 1 predictions by 5 pm Wednesday the 11th. This is just a bit of fun and the winner gets bragging rights.

08 April 2007

Pens Win! Final Home Game of the Regular Season

Hey pens fans,
The final scopre was 2-1.
Goals: Roberts (PP) from Crosby and Gonchar; Recchi (PP) from Crosby and Christensen.
Fleury was in goal stopping 28 of 29 shots.

Sidney Crosby is the Youngest Player to win the Art Ross. The Aren Broke out in chants of MVP, but only time will tell he if he gets that honor, as well.

05 April 2007

Pens defeat Senators

Hey pens fans,
The Pens took on the Senators in their final road game of the regular season. The final score was 3-2. The Senators scored first to make it 1-0. The Ouellet scored on the power play from Orpik and Recchi to make it 1-1. Gary Roberts scored on the power play to make it 2-1 and was assisted by Melichar and Crosby. In the second perios the Senators tied it at 2. Then in the third period, Talbot netted the gae winner from Whitney and Armstrong to win. Fleury was in goal stopping 35 of 37 shots. He played a solid game. The Pens had 27 shots on the night.

04 April 2007

New President

Hey pens fans,
David Morehouse has been named President of the Penguins. He was originally hired to hammer out an arena deal.

03 April 2007

Pens Lose to Sabres

Hey pens fans,
The final score was 4-1. Recchi had the PEns lone goal and was assisted by Staal and Malone. Fleury was in goal stopping 22 of 26 shots. Seriouosly, we just got beat. I can't fault any particular thing. 2 games left in the regular season.

01 April 2007

Pens Lose to Leafs in OT

Hey pens fans,
The Pens took on thhe Leafs in Toronto. The final score was 5-4. The Pens goals were as follows: Roberts (PP) assistd by Gonchar and Malkin; Talbot assisted by Ouellet; Crosby assisted by Whitney and Malkin; Whitney assisted by Gonchar and Recchi. Thibault and Fleury both played tonight. Thibault stopped 16 of 20 and Fleury stopped 16 of 17. They each played just over 30 minutes.
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