It is official. The Pittsburgh Penguins have found a new gear under head coach Mike Johnston.
Nothing is a greater proof of this than their last four games, of which, they have won by a combined score of 19-3. They shut out the Predators, Kings, and Sabres; while scoring 8 goals against the Devils in the process.
It took just one month but the Pittsburgh Penguins are the most dominant team in the league.
They have a plus 19 goal differential on the season, leading the league in goals for with 4.10 goals per game. Their power play has a success rate of 41.9% with 18 goals on 43 chances.
Defensively the Penguins are again one of the best in the league. Their 2.20 goa...
Claude Giroux didn't even know how the puck went into the net.
He'll be watching replays of it for sure. Not only because it was the game-winning goal, but because it was the 100th goal he's scored in his career.
It came just under three minutes after his 99th career goal tied the game up. His two tallies earned the Flyers a 5-4 comeback win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night.
“To be honest I haven’t seen the replay or anything so I don’t know what happened," Giroux said. "I was just trying to get it on net, and it was at the end of the shift so I was a little tired, so I was just trying to get it on net.”
(Photo: Columbus' R.J. Umberger and David Savard skate away as the Flyers celebrate Claude Giroux's game-winning goal in the third period. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
When Garth Snow took over as general manager of the New York Islanders, he eventually set out on a mission to turn a lowly franchise into a contending hockey team by building through the NHL draft and developing talent from within (Photo Credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).
He took over in 2006, but did not start his rebuilding campaign until 2007-2008. Players such as Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim and Frans Nielsen began to slowly earn full-time roster spots with the organization.
The following year saw some other fresh faces like Jack Hillen, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau in orange and blue gear for the majority of the season. Since then, John Tavares has taken over this team while management weeded out a few bad apples and traded away some young talent that was not prospering on the island.
Many were immediately calling for the removal of head coach Jack Capuano at the start of the season once the New York Islanders' record began to slip from 3-1 to way below .500. However, there were some, like myself, who argued that it was premature to blame the coaching staff for the poor start due to the fact that the roster from last season hadn't changed much and for the other simple fact - the season was still young. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)
Since then, the Islanders have managed to be a consistent below .500 team for the year. They have come close on a few occasions from jumping over the hurdle but would then find a way to take two steps back after taking one step forward. This past week has been the most disheartening of the year for Isles fans in relation to how the team has continued to perform. Not only have they lost games, but they have done it with such depression that even the U.S. economy cringed.
Three of the last eight games saw the Islanders either blow a three-goal lead or lose the game in the final few minutes of the third period. It started when the Islanders went into the second period against the Washington Capitals with a 2-0 lead on February 28th. The Caps would score two goals in the final three minutes of the game and then go on to have Alexander Ovechkin score the early game winning goal in the extra frame. The Islanders also had a 1-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils just this past Saturday, only to see their opponent score two goals just 14 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the hockey game. And most recently, the Islanders blew a 4-1 lead last night against the Caps to lose 5-4 in the shootout.
When you ask someone 'who is your favorite player?' you may get responses of such Sidney Crosby, Marian Gaborik, Evgeni Malkin, or even John Tavares on the Islanders front. If you ask my lovely wife the same question....
It truly boggles my mind how someone that has a great mind for the game and knows her hockey would find such a admiration for a 4th line player that doesn’t exactly do things that chicks dig.. like hit home-runs or score 40 goals.
For reasons unknown, she has a true affinity towards him, so much in fact that she made up a shirt that stated simply 'Bring Konopka Back!' and subsequently wore the shirt on Monday to his first game back on the Island as an Ottawa Senator.
The most anxious time of the year for me and many hockey fans is waiting for the season to start. Like a child waiting for Santa or a back-seat-brat asking every two minutes “Are we there yet?”, I cant wait. The late June NHL draft and notes from team camps and mini camps does little to satisfy my hunger for hockey.
In late August 2009, with the next season just a flip of the calendar away, I was as anxious as ever. The previous season was a good one for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. A tiebreaker away from being division champions, their 49-23-3-5 record for 106 points was not enough after a disappointing first round ouster in the playoffs.