Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Woah, We're Halfway There....


With the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hitting the halfway point of their season this past week, let’s reflect on the first half of the season.

At 32-9-0 WBS’s record speaks for itself. The Penguins jumped out of the gate swinging to start the season and they have hardly cooled off since. Thus the Penguins overall record has been nothing short of staggering. Their 64 points are tops in the East Division, Eastern Conference, and the American Hockey League. The next closest team, Manchester, has 57 points.

Offensively

Forward Dustin Jeffrey leads the team with 41 points on the season, which is good for seventh in the AHL. Jeffrey has a jaw dropping five shorthanded goals midway through the season.

Nick Johnson (14G, 14A) and Brett Sterling 13G, 15A) are tied for second on the team with 28 points.

Eric Tangradi is third on the team with 25 points and has come on strong as-of-late after a sub-par start to his AHL season. Tangradi is currently the team’s leading goal scorer despite the slow start with 16 goals, while only playing in 35 out of the 41 games.

The Pens have scored 135 goals thus far, which ranks them fourth in the East Division, seventh in the Eastern Conference, and ninth overall.

Defensively
The Penguins have been nothing short of fantastic on defense, allowing the fewest goals in the AHL with 94 goals against this year.

Steve Wagner and off season pick-up Corey Potter lead the Baby Pens defensemen in scoring with 18 points each.

Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait have played well in their second year with the team and rookie Carl Sneep has also played smart hockey this year and is a +11.

Andrew Hutchinson has only played in 17 games but figures to be an important piece of the puzzle offensively as a defensemen hasn’t played a game since December 1st, but he looks close to being able to return.

Goaltending
This may very well be the Penguins strong point of the year. Both Brad Thiessen and John Curry have been phenomenal. The Penguins have split time between the pipes and both men have earned their respective playing time.

Thiessen is 18-4-3 with three shutouts and boasts a 2.12 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Curry has bounced back from a below average 2009-2010 season and has put together a 14-5 record, a 2.31 GAA, and .913 save percentage. Curry also has a shutout on the season.

Both keepers are in the top 10 in the AHL in wins. Thiessen is ranked first and Curry is ranked fifth.

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