Steve Downie

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Pittsburgh Takes The Next Step Towards Being Great

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...

The All Inclusive Pittsburgh Penguins Preview; The Two Week Late Edition

It is rather rare to see a team that has made the playoffs eight season’s straight fire their head coach. It is even rarer to see a team fire their General Manager after such success.

A new coach, a new system, some fresh new faces, and a different approach to free agency are just some of the major changes that have Pittsburgh fans once again clamoring for hockey.

The coach, the system, and the plausible results

Keep the puck on your stick for the majority of the game and there is a good chance you will win. Tough concept to grasp is it not?

No. For some reason it was for the former regime. Their outdated dump and chase method, plus stretch passing, led to a ...

Isles Start Strong, Fail To Finish In Pittsburgh

The Penguins beat the Islanders 3-1 behind strong special teams play. Patric Hornqvist had 2 goals including an empty netter, and added an assist. Penguins star Evgeni Malkin had the other Pittsburgh goal and also had a helper on Hornqvist’s first of the game.

The Islanders, who lost for the first time all season, started the game strong. New York jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Thomas Hickey in the first.

Wayne Train Up And Running For Flyers

Five games ago, Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds scored just five goals along with ten assists.

Not bad totals by any stretch, but not spectacular for a productive winger known for hard work, physical play, and most importantly, timely scoring.

Since going goalless for 10 straight games dating from Nov. 27 until Dec. 17, Simmonds has scored five goals and two assists, doubling his goal total, and giving a team that looked hopeless in terms of secondary scoring months ago a chance to be lethal in that department.

It was not as if "Wayne Train" wasn't capable. He scored 28 goals two seasons ago, and if a lockout-shortened 2013 season spanned 82 games, Simmonds could have replicated that goal total again, scoring 15 goals in 45 games.

(Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line; October 24, 2013)

Steve Downie Out 7-10 Days; Vincent Lecavalier Returns

The Flyers got a bit of good news and bad news today.

The bad came earlier in the day when the Flyers found out winger Steve Downie would miss seven to 10 days with an upper-body injury. Surely it was going to impact the lineup for tonight's matchup against Columbus.

Blackhawks Pummel Flyers

The Blackhawks errupted for five goals in the second period en route to a 7-2 beating of the Flyers on Wednesday.

Three former Flyers - Michal Handzus, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg - scored a goal apiece and combined for seven points in the win. Goalie Ray Emery was pulled after allowing six goals.

13 Hawks earn points in dominant victory over Flyers

Philadelphia came to Chicago tonight looking for a game against one of the league’s top teams to use as a measuring stick for their own success.  After an embarrassing 7-2 thumping by the Hawks, they may want to reconsider that statement.  13 Blackhawk players would finish the game with at least a point, and Antti Raanta finished with a .933 SV%, proving yet again that he is a very capable goaltender.  Ray Emery, who started against his former team, would allow six goals on 18 shots.

The game got off to a rough start right away, when Sheldon Brookbank and Wayne Simmonds dropped the glove a...

Four-Goal Third Period Helps Flyers Get Rare Win in Detroit

Ranked towards the bottom of the league in scoring, the Flyers were able to utilize a rare offensive outburst Wednesday night in Detroit en route to a 6-3 win.

Coming into Wednesday's game against the Red Wings, the Flyers averaged just 2.07 goals per game, which places them second to last in the league, just ahead of the Buffalo Sabres at 1.61.

Behind a career night from Sean Couturier and a strong four-goal third period, the Flyers were able to almost triple their average.

In fact, it was Couturier’s first career four-point night (at least in the regular season), as he finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has five goals and five assists in nine games since breaking his scoring drought on Nov. 19 against Ottawa.

(Photo: The Flyers celebrate a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Couturier, Mason Shine in Comeback Shootout Win Over Predators

If there was a game to define what Steve Mason has been doing for the Flyers this season, Saturday night in the Music City was the night.

Mason stopped 34 shots, including two great saves in the shootout as the Flyers came back to beat the Nashville Predators, 3-2. The win started the Flyers' six-game road trip out on the right foot.

It was Mason's best effort of the season.

Mason's effort was coupled with Sean Couturier's late game-tying goal that forced overtime. His tally with 6 minutes, 54 seconds remaining gave Mason the chance to steal a second point from the Predators.

(Photo: Steve Mason covers the puck as Gabriel Bourque contends with Luke Schenn. Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Early 2nd Period Offense Sparks Flyers

It's safe to say the Flyers are officially hot.

The Flyers won again, this time a convincing 5-2 win over the Islanders. It's their third straight win and sixth in the last seven games in which they earned 13 out of 14 points.

Standing at 10-10-2 comes to a big shock after the team looked loss in its 1-7 record to start the season.