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In The Rear View: The Sharks' First Month in Review

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It was almost exactly a month ago when the Sharks kicked off their 2011-12 season with an opening night win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank. San Jose dominated that game by a score of 6-3, which doesn't really do it justice, considering just how much better the Sharks actually were. This was the first time fans and coaches alike had a chance to see just what this new, and hopefully improved, Sharks team would look like, and it looked good.

 

But then there were the dark times. A three game stretch where the Sharks played Anaheim, St. Louis, and Anahe...

One Month Review

There are a few things that fans want to see from their hockey team.  That is winning and a winning effort. 

In Pittsburgh, we have been very fortunate to see both of that lately.  I’m not going to discuss the lack of Crosby or Malkin, because by now we know this team can win without them, but they have won this season without a few others.

So far Kris Letang served a two game suspension, Brooks Orpik missed the first eight games after recovering from hernia surgery, and Tyler Kennedy sustained a concussion and has missed quite a few games thus far.  These were crucial contributors at the end of last season that have already missed time, but despite t...

Fleury Of Zeros - Pens 3 Islanders 0

Marc-Andre Fluery loves playing against the New York Islanders.

 

Fleury had 33 saves for his 20th career shutout and led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-0 triumph over the lifeless New York Islanders Tuesday Night.

 

The teams meet again in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Injury Depleted Penguins defeat the Habs

All the injuries accumulated by Pittsburgh - no Crosby, no Malkin, no Letang, no Kennedy, etc - proved to be no problem last night, as the Penguins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1.

The game featured two players who hit milestones in their careers. Arron Asham was playing in his 700th career game, and Hal Gill was playing in his 1000th. When Hal's milestone was announced to the crowd, he received a nice ovation from the Pittsburgh fans, which was nice to see. 

The game itself was a lackluster affair for the Habs. They got Cammalleri back from his injury, and after playing an up-tempo game against the Sabres on Tuesday, the feeling was that the Habs would carry that...

The Art of the Penalty Kill

What has this league become?  Over the past two decades we have seen a drastic drop in offense, goal scorers struggling to get to fifty, and only three players have broken the 120 point mark since the new millennium.  Offense have taken a dive, and part of the reason is the adjustments that have been made to the penalty kill.

Currently, six team in the league have managed to kill off everyone of their opponents' powerplays. They are Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Florida, Montreal, Colorado, and Tampa Bay. These teams have had some strong competition so far, so this is not anything to scoff at.  Of these, none are more impressive than the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Are You Ready For Some Hockey?

...Too bad the sharks aren't playing any today. We still have to wait until Friday to watch another Shark's game. But maybe, just maybe, what seems like a punishment might actually be a blessing in disguise. You see, a myriad of Sharks are out right now with various injuries and would not have been ready to go on an earlier date. Havlat is still recuperating from a shoulder injury. Niemi is recovering from minor surgery that removed a cyst from his knee. And Marleau has missed every practice this week with the flu. Two of these three players, sans Marleau, also missed the opening game of the season. Which is a real testament to how stacked this Sharks team is with depth at all position...

It's a Great Day For Hockey

Last night’s home opener started off with an eerily similar look to last season and finished with a great sense of promise for the year to come. Both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin suited up for the game in, well, suits… a sight those at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh and millions more with keesters on couches at home were hoping to avoid after last season’s multitude of injuries at center. Like the Penguins or hate them, this league needs those two guys on the ice doing the amazing things this game and their talent allow them to.

But there was no dread, no forlorn stares, no sense of panic in the pregame darkness. This...

Shift Work: What we learned from the first glimpse of the Penguins

Well, then… that was quick.

Penguins fans walked away in May after a stunning series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning wondering what had happened to their team. One power play goal. No Sidney Crosby. No Evgeni Malkin. And no single explanation for how they let a 3-1 lead slip away.

The 2010-11 season was defined by everything the Penguins overcame – notably significant, long-term injuries to their three top centers, the Sid-Geno-Jordan (Crosby-Malkin-Staal) triumvirate that was the backbone of the team’s championship hopes – and in the end it was Pittsburgh that yielded when they should’ve stood strong. The firs...

What To Make Of The Cuts So Far

In their second round of cuts, the Pittsburgh Penguins have sent seven players packing. These include forwards Nick Johnson, Colin McDonald, Ryan Craig, and Eric Tangradi. Defensemen Scott Harrington and goaltenders Brad Theisen and Scott Munroe were also reassigned.  Harrington was sent back to his junior club in London after a fantastic showing at camp.  His game was everything the Pens have expected and more. 

The surprising move was that Eric Tangradi did not make it through camp, unlike last season.  It appears that the Pens would like him to spend as much time as possible fine tuning his game in the AHL.  After his games last season, we saw Tangradi ex...

Camp Confidential

In what was a slow moving offseason for the Pittsburgh Penguins, camp is sure bringing on some serious excitement.  In the very first practice, Sidney Crosby was given a standing ovation before he even hit the ice.

The Penguins had placed a camera in the runway leading to the bench.   As soon as Crosby came into view, the arena erupted.  In his typical style, Sid did not want to be singled out from the team. Instead of wearing a typical red jersey for no contact, Sid decided to wear a white helmet while everyone wore a black one.  Sid was therefore able to skate at full speed and practice the entire time.  His skill set was exactly where everyone expect...