Here's the scene: It’s game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have frustrated the Flyers for two and a half games now, stifling the high flying attack that dismissed the favored Penguins in six games.
New Jersey leads this seven game series two games to one.
Naturally gifted, fluid skater, exceptional puck handling, and devastatingly accurate shooting are some of the greatest aspects of top NHL players.
Conversely, lazy, unmotivated, self centered, and poor locker room presence are the worst possible aspects of an NHL player.
With a light load of free agent talent, it is no shock that a player who encompasses all of the descriptions above still remains unsigned. Alexander Semin is easily the most intriguing free agent of the entire 2012 free agent class. In 469 regular season games Semin has acquired 408 total points (197 goals and 211 assists). In comparison Zach Parise, now of the Minnesota Wild, has 410 points in 502 reg...
Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson confirmed that the Pittsburgh Penguins had extended an official contract offer to free agent forward Shane Doan, though the terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed.
With almost $10 million in available cap space and a nicely-defined hole on their top-line wing, the Penguins have space both on the books and on the roster to acquire the 35-year-old winger's services.
A veteran of 1198 NHL games, Doan's 788 career points and 1071 PIM would be a welcome addition to the top line. Having lost Steve Sullivan to free agency and after the Jordan Staal trade, the Penguins' top-six forwards group becom...
Sidney Crosby’s contract extension seems to have gotten lost in the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter free agency hoopla. Not to mention the loss of center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes overshadowing the gargantuan deal.
Twelve years. $104.4 million. $8.7 million per year.
The kid didn’t even get a raise. Oh, the superstitions of the magical number 87.
The contract’s cap hit, really, was the main reason the Pens could be all in on the Parise sweepstakes. It hurt missing out on him – almost as much as it hurt being spurned by Marian Hossa in 2008…almost – but there’s a bigger picture, here.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sidney Crosby to a sweetheart extension this June, but after missing out on Zach Parise, it appears he'll begin the 2012-13 without the scoring winger Pittsburgh has long coveted.
Whether they get that player this summer or not, the franchise center will spend the next 12 years in Pittsburgh at just $8.7 million per season, shaving off roughly a third of what he could have earned in a spend-happy free agent market.
With the cap space he left on the table, the expectation has become that the Penguins will reward his loyalty with his own version of James Neal.
Given Crosby's (relative) sacrifice, they should. When the time is right, t...
On free agency day one, the Pittsburgh Penguins attempted to woo a few key additions, but as they decided to make everyone wait, Pittsburgh made a few strong depth moves.
Already acquiring strong two way forward Brandon Sutter via trade, Pittsburgh wanted to boost its toughness level. After being beaten in all facets of the game in their opening round playoff series, the Penguins wanted to make sure that they were no longer going to be push over’s. Enter in Tanner Glass.
The UFA forward Glass spent last season with the Winnipeg Jets. The 28 year old winger posted 246 hits and 51 blocked shots last season while averaging 1:46 shorthanded. His physical pr...
With the recent huge contracts signed by Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Quick, some pundits have started to speculate. They wonder whether or not this is good for any player, even if that player helped his team to a Stanley Cup and has a room full of hardware.
Most fans would like to think that their favorite team's coach, general manager, and owner are thinking long term and looking for consistency throughout the organization.
On the surface, these contracts show a couple of things. First and most obviously, it shows the club is looking to lock up one of their most valuable assets.
Secondly, it shows the player is committed to staying with the organization and become on...
The object of a hockey game is simple. Score more goals than your opponent. I know earth shattering, right? Anyways, if your team manages to score more goals than it has scored against it, it hopefully will have a chance to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup in the playoffs. I say hopefully because the teams that outscore the most over the course of a season don’t always end up making the playoffs based on which division they play in, blowouts inflating differentials, or other chance factors. Below in the chart you can see the results from 2006-2012 with each dot representing a team’s goal differential vs. how many points it collected over 82 games. As seen by the high R2 va...
As hockey fans gear up for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, a few common themes among the remaining teams resonates: trap style play, tight checking, and a reliance on elite goaltending. Every year after the Stanley Cup is lifted, the champs are analyzed as to why they won, and other teams then spend time scouting youngsters and spend cap space on UFAs that resemble the Cup winning roster. The NHL is definitely a copy cat league. For the past five years, teams have been trying to mimic the style of play of the Red Wings, Penguins, and Blackhawks. After all, why wouldn't want you to copy what wins? But take a look at the puck possession-like teams that are eliminated: Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver, Pittsburgh. Both Conference Finals will send shock waves through the NHL, and the Red Wings better be paying attention.
After Mike Babcock's puck possession team lost to the Oilers in '06, their style of play didn't change at the root, however; they were told me be more physical and work harder in the dirty areas. That paid off the next three years by making to the Conference Finals in '07, Winning it all in '08, and coming within 1 goal at a chance to win it all again in '09. Now, it sure seems Red Wing hockey needs to be re-evaluated. Ken Holland and Mike Babcock should be watching every game of the playoffs from here on out. The Western Finals have been settled, and it will feature the Phoenix Coyotes and the LA Kings. These two teams skate hard, trap, are defensively responsible, and heavily rely on their goaltenders to steal games. (By the way, is it not a coincidence that the year Phoenix lets Bryzgalov go they make it this far? He's never been a proven playoff goalie, and probably never will be.) The same goes in the East; The Devils (who are the definition of the trap) are waiting to face either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have consistently been a defensively disciplined team with a couple of decent scoring lines, but overall block tons of shots and make things easy for their world class goalie Henrik Lundquist. The Capitals on the other hand, were born a puck possession team when they inherited forwards Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin. Since Dale Hunter took over as head coach, he has somehow got them to play a style of hockey whereby no all-stars are praised, but an entire team can reap rewards from teamwork. Players like Jay Beagle, Matt Hendricks, and Joel Ward are laying their bodies on the line for their coach, and Ovechkin is learning a valuable lesson.
The playful metaphor that was used by The Checking Line at the beginning of the season is the only thing playful about the NHL Discipline Office these days. It has become once again the mainstay of controversy in the NHL playoffs. Fining coaches unnecessary amounts for comments made, yet allowing player safety issues to be countered by useless fines. The NHL has lost its hold on itself and there is only one thing to truly blame, its own media.
The most perfect example of this, recent comments made by New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. Why is this, the perfect example? Well that can be answered by just checking the NHL web site. Coach Torts&rsq...