Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Around the NHL- 11/30

Hello again Pens Nation! After not posting for awhile (not counting my pictures from the other day), I finally decided on a new format for my posts. I've also decided to change "NHL in a Nutshell" to the much less creative "Around the NHL". The new format will include a brief summary of games from the night before, a list of games taking place that day/night, injury and trade updates and any other hockey news I find important. I will also (for real this time!) be including player features once a week. But fear not loyal readers- the format may have changed but I will still have the same cutting-edge wit and hilarity you've become accustomed to!

Last Night's Games-

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers:
The Pens won their 7th straight game 3-1 over their Atlantic Division rivals. Max Talbot, Kris Letang and Chris Conner scored for the Penguins and Marian Gaborik added the Rangers' lone tally. (An unconfirmed rumor from MSG says that he pulled his groin celebrating and will be out for two weeks.) Sidney Crosby assisted on Letang's goal, keeping his scoring streak alive at 13 games. He now has 27 points in 13 games and leads the NHL in points with 41. He clearly sucks.
Crosby was also accused of slewfooting Ryan Callahan early in the first period (no penalty was called), leading Ranger center Brandon Dubinsky to complain that Crosby is a dirty player. If you haven't seen the play, visit Faceoff Factor to take a look and vote for yourself. Also, be sure to check out Crosby's postgame comments about the play. For the first and probably last time, he actually shows emotion in an interview.
Another fun fact- Chris Conner now has 3 goals in 5 shots against Henrik Lundqvist.

Dallas Stars vs. Carolina Hurricanes:
So much for my preseason prediction that the Stars would be one of the bottom dwellers in the NHL this year. They grabbed the lead in the Pacific Division last night with a 4-1 over the Hurricanes. James Neal had two goals and Jamie Benn and Steve Ott added the other two goals for Dallas. Eric Staal scored his third goal in four games for Carolina's only score.
It was only the second win in Raleigh in the history of the Stars franchise. Think about that for a second. Let it really sink in.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators:
If Martin Gerber was out for revenge against his former team last night, he got it. In only his second NHL game after being recalled from Oklahoma City in the AHL, Edmonton's goalie made 22 saves for the Oilers in their 4-1 come-from-behind win over the Senators. Nick Foligno put a backhand shot behind Gerber in the first period for the Senators first and only goal. The Oilers tied it late in the second, with a slapshot from Tom Gilbert, and third period goals from Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule put Edmonton on top for good. Taylor Hall got the empty netter, the sixth goal of his rookie season.

Calgary Flames vs. Minnesota Wild:
Mikka Kiprusoff looked anything but soff last night. (I'm sorry. I couldn't resist.) In fact, he shutout the Wild 3-0 last night, snapping the Wild's three-game winning streak in Calgary. Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, who had time to focus on something besides trying and failing to slow down Sidney Crosby, each had a goal for Calgary. Niklas Hagman rounded out the scoring on a late Flames power play.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
How much longer until we start hearing about "the Battle of California" when these two teams play each other? It's always a good game. Jonas Hiller got his first shutout of the year in a 2-0 victory over the suddenly-struggling Kings. Cam Fowler and Jason Blake both scored on wristshots for the Ducks. Even though the Kings lost the game, their official Twitter page was calling this game "the duck roast" throughout. I thought that was a clever touch. Please tell me I wasn't the only one.


Tonight's Games-

7:00 pm
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs

8:00 pm
Phoenix Coyotes @ Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues @ Chicago Blackhawks

10:00 pm
Atlanta Thrashers @ Colorado Avalanche

10:30 pm
Detroit Red Wings @ San Jose Sharks


Injury Report-

-Mike Modano of the Stars Red Wings had surgery on his wrist and is out indefinitely. Modano has both nerve damage and a sliced tendon in his right wrist, a result of getting cut by a skate blade against the Blue Jackets.

-Right wing Joffrey Lupul of the Ducks may be close to returning to the NHL. Lupul, who contacted an infection from back surgery last December, is finally back on the ice with Anaheim's AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. He could return to the Ducks lineup either this week or next, though there is no official timetable for his return.
-The Islanders' Bruno Gervais fractured his left cheek bone and did not practice on Monday. He did complete his normal workout yesterday and is scheduled to practice today. He is officially listed as day-to-day.

-Bad news for the Avalanche. Their top scorer, Chris Stewart, broke his left hand on Saturday against the Wild and is out indefinitely. He is the sixth player the Avs have had to place on IR this season.

-Marian Hossa is hurt- again- after colliding with teammate Nick Boynton in practice and had to be immediately helped off the ice. Boynton was unhurt. Hossa is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury. Even when he finally wins a Stanley Cup, this guy is still cursed. The Blackhawks called up forward Jeremy Morin to fill in for Hossa while he's out.

-Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin took part in practice for the first time since injuring his groin. Khabibulin said his groin is feeling fine and he expects to return to the lineup any day now.

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard will play for the Wild tomorrow night. It's been over a year since Bouchard has seen an NHL action. I think it was a result of post-concussion syndrome.

-Speaking of which, expect to see Marc Savard back with the Bruins any day now. And have fun watching the Bruins frantically try to clear up enough cap space to bring him back. Woohoo!

-Cody Franson of the Predators, who was day-to-day with an injury, is expected to play tonight.

Trades/Signings-

-The Avalanche and Bruins traded defenseman. Matt Hunwick is now with Colorado and Colby Cohen is with Boston.

-The Avalanche have been busy making trades of late (that's what happens when you have six guys on IR I guess). Just this afternoon, they traded veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to the Capitals in exchange for Tomas Fleischmann. Pierre LeBrun reported that the Avs and Caps have actually been working on this deal since August. So it wasn't that the Caps didn't try to upgrade their blueline over the summer, it just took them forever to pull the trigger!

Other News-

-Congrats to Patrick Elias and his wife Petra on the birth of their daughter Sophia on Sunday. Both mom and baby are reported to be doing well.

-Pat Burns' funeral was held yesterday in Montreal. Appropriately, Burns' ashes were placed in an urn shaped like a miniature Stanley Cup. I don't think he would've wanted it any other way. RIP, big guy.

-Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, who is looking to buy the Coyotes, had hoped to get a deal done by Christmas, but it looks like that isn't happening. The deal is progressing, however, so it looks like the Yotes will get to remain in the desert.

-Brace yourselves; Chris Chelios may be coming out of retirement. Darren Dreger of of TSN confirmed the report that Vityaz and another unnamed KHL team have reportedly contacted the 10,000 year old veteran about playing for their team. Safe to say that Chris Chelios is the NHL's version of Brett Favre. Or am I being too harsh?

Penguins are on a roll. MAF is back, Sid is an absolute freak right now, Letang has us all wondering why we were wanted Gonchar back, and the revamped defense is finally living up to expectations. Hopefully they can keep it up on Thursday when they play the Trashers, er, Thrashers, who surprisingly don't suck right now.

Go Pens.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Tis the Season

The Christmas season is upon us, the season of love, giving and sharing. In honor of this wonderful time of year, I decided that I would share the pictures my roommate Marianna and I took on our first visit to Consol Energy Center on Novemeber 12th against the Lightning.

Consol Energy Center in all its shining glory


The Mario Mosaic!!!!!

Giant scoreboard

The view from our seats. There is not a bad seat in the house at CEC

Marianna and I (it was her first ever Penguins game)

National Anthem

Flower




Geno chilling on the bench

Marianna wearing her brand new Malkin t-shirt (he's her favorite)

My new Brooks Orpik t-shirt

Iceburgh

An Oilers jersey at a Pens-Bolts game? Wtf?

You can't really tell from this picture, but her jersey actually said "Icebitch". I kid you not

Penguins win 5-1!

Victory

Announcing the three stars of the game

Max Talbot was the second star

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures. Consol is every bit as beautiful and amazing as advertised. It was a little strange at first, because CEC is very different from good ol' Mellon Arena. But it was absolutely incredible, as was the atmosphere. Flower had been struggling up until to that point (that seems so long ago doesn't it?) but the crowd had his back right from the start. At the beginning of the game, before the puck dropped, everyone was chanting "Fleury, Fleury, Fleury!" And that night he played what was his best game of the year up to that point. He made some incredible clutch saves. The only goal he let in was a Steven Stamkos shot that Patrick Roy himself couldn't have stopped. Stamkos has a nasty shot. Engelland also scored his first NHL goal in that game. I was thrilled that Marianna got to see such a dominant performance from Pittsburgh in her first ever Penguins game and she had the time of her life. We're already planning a return trip. I hope you all get a chance to attend a game at CEC sooner rather than later!

Everyone enjoy your holiday season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sorry I haven't written anything here in awhile. School has been taking up most of my time. I have a good article that I am currently working on that will be up soon.

Today is a day that we all celebrate what we are all thankful for. I'm pretty sure we can all agree on that there are many things in Penguins hockey that we are all thankful for as fans. Like a certain lottery ball falling our way in 2005 or our Canadian savior saving this franchise not once but twice.

I'm sure I speak for all of us here at Pens Nation when I say Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers. We would never be able to do this without all of you. The readers are what truly make a blog great. We are all thankful for you.

 Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Eat, drink, and enjoy this wonderful holiday and the upcoming holiday season.

Tomorrow it's back to business. Go Pens!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Career Year For Crosby?

Sidney Crosby has already accomplished many things in his short career.  Currently in his sixth season in the NHL, Crosby has won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. In addition, he has won an Art Ross Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award, the Mark Messier Leadership Award, the Hart Memorial Trophy, and the Rocket Richard Trophy. He has appeared in three All-Star games.
Crosby will never be satisfied with everything in his career. He always thinks he can do better. Each summer, he works on aspects of the game that he feels he can improve in. Last season, Crosby improved his faceoff ability by winning 55.9% of his draws compared to 45.5% in 2005-06. He also had his highest goal total last season with 51 goals, which tied Steven Stamkos for the league lead. Many people have questioned what Crosby will improve this season.
Through 22 games this season, Crosby has scored 15 goals and recorded 20 assists for a total of 35 points. He and Stamkos are tied for the league lead in points. The scary thing is that Crosby is on pace for his best season in the NHL. He has scored at least a point in each of his past nine games, which is a career best. With that said, Crosby is on pace to score around 55 goals and around 130 points. That would also be a career best. If the Penguins can win a Stanley Cup with Crosby recording 109 points in 2008-09, imagine what they could do if he records 130 and continues his playoff success.  The Penguins will be getting Jordan Staal back possibly in the next month, which will provide a huge boost for Pittsburgh, who is already second in the division without having Staal a single game.
While Crosby has impressed many hockey fans already, we may have not seen the best of him yet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

RIP Pat Burns

Sad news for the NHL yesterday. Former NHL head coach and Stanley Cup champion Pat Burns died after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 58 years old.

Burns coached the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Devils during his 14 year coaching career. He guided the Bruins to two playoff appearances, led the Maple Leafs to the conference finals in 1992 and 1993, made it to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Canadiens, and finally won the Stanley Cup in his first season with the Devils in 2003, defeating Anaheim in seven games.

Known by NHL fans for his blue-collar toughness, Burns is the only coach in NHL history to win the Jack Adams award three times, and with three different teams no less. (Montreal in 1989, Toronto in 1993 and Boston in 1998.) Burns finished his career with a record of 501-353-165 (.573) in 1,019 games including 11 playoff appearances.

Burns was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004 and liver cancer in 2005, forcing him to retire. He thought he'd made a complete recovery, only to have the cancer spread to his lungs in 2009. The cancer was deemed incurable and he decided to forgo any further treatment.

Burns himself stated in April of this year that he was not expecting to live much longer. We all knew the odds were that he would not live out this year, but it does not make his death any less sad. A hockey arena at Stanstead College in Quebec is being built in his honor. It should be completed in 2011. Thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Line, his son Jason, his daughter Maureen and the rest of his family and friends

RIP Pat Burns. Best of luck in that giant hockey rink in the sky. You're Hall of Fame in our books.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Down on the Farm... Note Book 11.18.10

Going into the season, goalie depth was one of the much talked about issues. The Pens system has been stocked over the summer, leaving much discussion about who would get playing time. Thus far in Wilkes-Barre, both John Curry and Brad Thiessen have played very well with Thiessen playing lights out hockey.

Thiessen is 8-0 with a 1.74 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Curry has also been phenomenal but to a slightly lesser degree with a record of 4-2 with a 2.64 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

Goaltending has been a strong suit of the Nailers this season thus far as well. Patrick Killeen started his professional career of with a bang going 6-0. Although Mattais Modig has not been great, he has not been horrible either, but one could tell that he’s still getting use to the North American style of play. He also hasn’t received a ton of offensive help when he has been in net.

With Chris Conner up with Pittsburgh and both Nick Johnson and Brett Sterling hurt, the AHL Pens are relying on guys like Keven Veilleux, Chris Collins, Geoff Walker and Bryan Lerg to put in more ice time.

With the injuries happening in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Nailers’ forward Joey Haddad has been recalled to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pens. Haddad registered 10 points (4G, 6A) in 12 games played for Wheeling thus far this season. Haddad also played 29 games with the WBS Pens last season.

After starting the year as-hot-as can be, the Wheeling Nailers have found themselves losers of the last 3 out of 4 games and now sit 7th overall in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference 7-6-0 through 13 games.

Andrew Lord has been named the Nailers’ team Captain, while Kris Vernarsky, Andrew Orpik, and David Urquhart have all been selected to don the “A.” Lord was Wheeling’s Capitan last season so it should come as no huge surprise.

Nailer forward, Nick Peterson has been tearing up the ECHL since being sent down in late October. Peterson has notched 7 goals in 8 games.

This Week In Pens Nation - Ice Ice Guerin



Hellooooooo Nation, it's been awhile but im back and here's what's happening in Pens Nation.

- Opening Faceoff
I'll start this one off with on ice news. Time to give my little rant about the play of the defense (excluding last night's game). Here's my question to all of you in the Nation. Why can't the players buckle down and fill the void that Staal leaves behind, like they did whenever Sid/Geno were out with their injuries? I don't have an answer to that, so if you do please comment below. As far as the recent Mike Comrie/Chris Conner situation, well, it's simple, Bylsma is giving another fringe player a chance at success as he did with Letestu. HCDB is playing the fringe players, because that's the type of player he was. Sure, Comrie has been a bust, but hell, he's still gotta play, even if it's only on the 4th line.

- Annnndddd Nooooowwww Fannnnnssss
Now to ice issues, yes, actual ice issues. The complaints are about the ice surface at CEC are flooding into the media and to the Penguins front office more then Hurricane Katrina about this. Just relax, new buildings always have problems with the ice in the beginning, keep in mind that the operations staff at CEC also worked in the Mellon, a 50+ year old building, so I don't expect greatness just yet. Just. Relax.

- Shootout
Breaking news into the Nation today was that Bill Guerin is expected to announce his retirement from the NHL after Thanksgiving, but wait there's more, he is also expected to become a member of the Penguins staff sometime in 2011. From all of us in Pens Nation Congrats Billy G on a great NHL career and enjoy your retirement.


That is all for this week (and probally until after Thanksgiving) so until next time remember 3 Ass=1 Goal

Happy Turkey Day. Go Pens.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pens Nation Invades The Pensblog

Friday night following the Pens/Lightning, I was on the Pensblog Podcast and I brought Pens Nation with me...Audio is a trainwreck


Pensblog Podcast - 11.13 (Feat. Pens Nation)


Go Pens

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All-Stars and Kovalchokes

The biggest news in hockey this week is, of course, the adjustments to the All-Star game starting in 2011. The short and short of it is that fantasy hockey will become a reality. Instead of the East vs. the West, the two captains (selected by the players) of the All-Star game will get to choose the rosters. They will pick from a pool of players selected by a combination of fans and the NHL Hockey Operations Department. Following the Fantasy Draft (yes, it's actually being called that), teams will pick 12 rookies picked by the NHL Hockey Operations Department for the SuperSkills competition. Important dates for the 2011 All-Star Game:

Fan balloting- November 15th-January 3rd

2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft- January 28th

SuperSkills Competition- January 29th

2011 NHL All-Star Game- January 30th

Whether or not this new format will actually improve the game remains to be seen but it is a creative concept and not a bad idea to take advantage of the popularity of fantasy sports. Give credit to the NHL/NHLPA for working hard to make these changes. Also, for those of you who have Twitter, be sure to take a look at @BizNasty2point0's selections for the All-Star fantasy lineup. Even if he chose Ron Hextall as one of the goalies (ick).

A quick injury update:

-T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues is out 3 months. He broke his left ankle in the third period of the Blues' game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. St. Louis has been one of the early surprising teams this year, currently second overall in the Western Conference. Losing one of their signature offensive stars in Oshie will be a chance for St. Louis to prove they're the real deal.

But with Jaroslav Halak as the second coming of Patrick Roy/Ken Dryden, anything is possible, right? I still have no idea what the Habs were thinking when they traded him.

-Vincent Lecavalier was hurt in last night's game against the Washington Capitals. He left the ice early in the first period with a broken right hand. Apparently the break is close to the knuckle of his right index finger. Lecavalier returned to the game in the second period and played the rest of the night. Head coach Guy Boucher has since stated that he does not know if the injury will require surgery or not. Lecavalier is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, so we won't be seeing him when the Lightning come to CEC tonight.

-As I tweeted yesterday, Pens fans have another reason to be grateful we're not Devils fans (besides the obvious). Click here to see Kovalchuk's epic fail in the shootout against Buffalo. I almost choked myself (pun totally intended) from laughing so hard when I saw this video for the first time. It wouldn't have been half as embarrassing if Kovalchuk wasn't being paid so much money. If you're getting paid $100 million, you better AT LEAST get that shot off.

(I also find it hilarious that Jhonas Enroth didn't seem to realize that the game was over after Kovy's gaffe.)

Once again, I feel the need to remind everyone that I'll be at tonight's game!!!! (And I'll likely post some pictures.) Hopefully the Penguins can get it together so Marianna can see a win at her first game! Go Pens!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Catching Up

Hello Pens Nation! I apologize for my lacks of posts this week. It's been hectic here in NY. I will try and be more on top of things from now on.

This most exciting news of the week is... I AM FINALLY GOING TO MY FIRST GAME AT CONSOL ENERGY CENTER THIS FRIDAY! I know you're all thrilled to hear it and life as you know it will never be the same. But can you blame me for being excited? It's also a momentous occasion for another reason. One of my roommates is also a Penguins fan (courtesy of yours truly) and Friday will be her first ever Penguins game! What, no one care but me? Fine then.

Here is the real news you all came to read:

On-Ice-

-Latest injury updates from around the NHL:

Anaheim Ducks: Joffrey Lupul (back surgery/infection), Dan Sexton (broken nose/surgery) and Matt Beleskey (concussion) are participating in on-ice workouts again. It's unknown when any of them will actually be able to play although head coach Randy Carlyle said Lupul could see action around Thanksgiving. Possibly.

Boston Bruins: First-line center David Krejci will miss at least a week with a mild concussion. The Bruins top players just can't catch a break, can they? (Except Chara, but that's because he's 6'9" and no one wants to/can reach high enough to hurt him. Unless you're T.J. Oshie.) Good news for Boston is that Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) and Marco Sturm could see ice time in the near future, though the team will not give a timetable for either player's return.

Buffalo Sabres: Goalie Ryan Miller (sore leg muscle) is back in practice. He will definitely miss Wednesday's game against New Jersey (as if they needed him) and likely miss Thursday against the Rangers but could be back Saturday against the Capitals (then they might need him).

Carolina Hurricanes: Defenseman Joni Pitkanen (upper body) is still day-to-day. He took part in practice today wearing a no-contact jersey. His status for tomorrow night's game against Edmonton is unknown.

Colorado Avalanche: Goalie Craig Anderson (knee) could be back in 1-2 weeks. (Colorado fans: "ONLY 1-2 MORE WEEKS OF PETER BUDAJ! THERE IS A GOD AFTER ALL!")

Detroit Red Wings: Brian Rafalski (knee surgery) will be back in the lineup for Detroit tonight.

New Jersey Devils: There's good news and bad news for the Devils. Good news: Martin Brodeur (elbow) should be back against Buffalo on Wednesday night, despite missing Sunday's practice. And they're within one point of the Islanders in the Atlantic Division. Bad news: Zach Parise is still out for 3 months. And they're still terrible.

New York Rangers: Marian Gaborik ( groin shoulder) is skating again and could be back as early as this weekend. But no one's noticed because they're all too stunned that, thanks in large part to Brandon Dubinsky, the Rangers are actually scoring goals without him in the lineup.

Phoenix Coyotes: Captain Shane Doan out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, has been ruled out for Phoenix's mini road trip to Detroit and Chicago and will not travel with the team. Officially listed as "day to day".

Toronto Maple Leafs: Captain Dion Phaneuf's leg laceration surgery was a success and he's going to miss 4-6 weeks. How will the Leafs be able to go on without him?

-Joe Thornton was suspended for two games for his hit to the head on David Perron of St. Louis. He will have to sit out one more game (tomorrow night against the Ducks) and be back Thursday against the Islanders.

-The Flyers extended Claude Giroux's tenure in Philly for another 3 years at a cost of $11.25 million.

Off-Ice-

-It's been confirmed via Puck Daddy that ESPN is serious about going after the NHL's TV rights. I can't wait to see how this bidding war plays out.

-This year's Hockey Hall of Fame inductees received their Hall of Fame rings today, leading to many people (myself included, I admit) to restart complaining/debating about why Ciccarelli was inducted this year but guys like Pat Burns and Adam Oates were snubbed.

I'll likely be putting up some pictures from the game Friday and look to start working on player features starting this week. For real this time. I promise!

Go Pens.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pens Nation Twitter Contest - Coyotes

Taking a page from our friends at The Pensblog, we will be having a twitter contest for tonight's game.

If you don't have a twitter account, get one first.
Then tweet a message saying when the first penalty of the game will be taken (i.e. 11:21, 2nd Per)

Winner will get a chance to visit the Mellon Arena and try and hold back tears with me, and a few other Pens fans*


*Providing we get in, if not, request what you would like as a prize


Go Pens

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day (Updated)

-I know around this time of year there are a lot of germs getting passed around and everyone gets a cold, snuffles, the flu, etc, but it looks like the injury bug is the one making its way around the NHL during the past few days. Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Zach Parise, Jacob Josefson and Milan Jurcina have all been bitten.

As mentioned in the last post, Jordan Staal has a broken hand and will be out six more weeks, just as he was looking strong in practice and ready to return. He underwent surgery for it this morning. I feel partly to blame for this cruel irony. Not only did I post last week that he might've been able to return last Friday but I'm going to the Penguins-Lightning game a week from Friday with one of my roommates (a Pens fan who has never been to a game) and the day before he broke his hand, I very excitedly told her that Staal would be back in time for us to see him play. Whoops.

But not all the news is bad, Pens fans. Coach Bylsma said that he believes Malkin (knee), Letang (upper body) and Goligoski (undisclosed), who are all listed as day-to-day, will be able to play against Dallas on Wednesday night. We should also expect to see defenseman Zbynek Michalek in the lineup against the Stars.

-One thing I know I'll be (even more) thankful for this Thanksgiving is that I'm not a New Jersey Devils fan. The current Atlantic Division bottom dwellers are on pace for 44 points this season- 18 less than the Oilers had last year. Ouch. The team is already injury-riddled: Anssi Salmela (torn ACL), Bryce Salvador (concussion) and Matthew Corrente. Add Zach Parise and Jacob Josefson to that list. Parise, the one player the Devils really couldn't afford to lose, has to undergo exploratory arthroscopic knee surgery after being injured Saturday against the Kings and is out indefinitely. To add injury to injury to injury, rookie Jacob Josefson underwent surgery to repair a detached ligament in his hand and is out 6-8 weeks.
UPDATE: It was just announced that after his arthroscopic knee surgery, Zach Parise is going to miss 3 months. Horrible news for the Devils, who are already having trouble scoring goals (and don't have their usual defensive prowess to lean on). It's up to you, Kovy!

-According to PensUniverse, Matt Cooke has replaced Pascal Dupuis as mustache boy this month.

-Danny Briere has been suspended three games for cross checking Frans Nielson of the Islanders. Briere was apparently "shocked" at the suspensions and that it "clearly wasn't a cross check". Whatever you say, Danny.

Although if I were Rick Dipietro I wouldn't have been so eager to get into the scrum, what with the injury bug ready to strike at any moment. A guy who's so injury-prone that he could break a jaw biting into one of the Islanders' new cupcakes shouldn't push his luck. Especially if Chris Pronger gets involved.

-Speaking of the Islanders and the injury bug, Milan Jurcina is out 2-4 weeks with an injured hamstring.

-Brian Campbell returned to the lineup last night for the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. Too bad they still gave up 3 goals to the Gaborik-less Rangers.

-Those of you who are 18 and older, don't forget to vote today! In the spirit of election day, our friends over at The Pensblog created a survey for their readers. Click here to take the survey. Also, everyone be sure to read their Wilkes-Barre blog. The AHL matters too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Penguins Banged Up

-The Penguins have been dealing with injuries since the beginning of the season and it is not getting much better. Jordan Staal, who has not played in any games this season because of a foot infection, has been practicing the last few days in an effort to make his season debut in the game against Dallas Wednesday night. At practice today, a puck hit Staal's hand and he instantly knew something was wrong. It turns out that Staal now has a fractured right hand and will undergo surgery tomorrow. This is a big blow to the Penguins as the Selke finalist last season may be out until after Thanksgiving. Evgeni Malkin, who did not play in the 3-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night, is listed as day-to-day. He did not practice today. Kris Letang is also listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. Letang was absent from practice as well. Alex Goligoski, who is having a good season so far, left practice after fifteen minutes and he is also listed as day-to-day. The only good injury news for the Penguins is that Zybnek Michalek is expected to return Wednesday night after missing about ten games with a shoulder injury. Arron Asham has played in the last three games after missing the first nine with a shoulder injury. The Penguins are showing their depth with a 6-5-1 record while dealing with so many injuries. Mark Letestu, Goligoski, and Letang all have exceeded expectations thus far and the Penguins hope that keeps up to go along with Malkin and Sidney Crosby.