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Old 03-03-2008, 02:35 PM   #626
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Malkin named NHL's No. 1 star for February
Monday, March 03, 2008
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was named the NHL's No. 1 star for February, when he put up a league-high 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 14 games.

Dallas goalie Marty Turco was selected the No. 2 star, while Buffalo left winger Thomas Vanek was chosen No. 3.

Malkin recorded points in 10 consecutive games between Feb. 2-21, and has a league-high 88 points going into tonight's games.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:55 PM   #627
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Crosby to return to Penguins lineup tonight in Tampa
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

TAMPA, Fla. -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said this morning he expects to return to the lineup and play tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Crosby has missed 21 games because of a right high ankle sprain.

"It's been a while, so I'm looking forward to it," Crosby said after participating in the Penguins' morning skate at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Crosby was leading the NHL in scoring with 63 points when he was injured Jan. 18 as his foot bent awkwardly as he slid into the boards during a game with tonight's opponent, Tampa Bay.

The Penguins have gone 11-6-4 without Crosby and remain in strong contention for the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference titles.

Crosby said his ankle began to feel noticeably better last week when he skated in Pittsburgh while the team was on the road. He approached coach Michel Therrien yesterday about possibly playing tonight after skating in Pittsburgh and flying here with the team, then sealed his return when he felt good during today's morning skate.

"I feel pretty strong right now," he said. "That's what I based my decision on -- how much strength I had and whether I was able to do things out there that I normally could do. I think I've made sure of that."

Crosby, 20, won the NHL scoring title and MVP award last season.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:01 PM   #628
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Let the diving begin
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:40 PM   #629
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he could have been killed!
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:48 PM   #630
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he could have been killed!
i didnt know you spoke french
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:50 PM   #631
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i didnt know you spoke french
ya, it's how i met your mother! D'oh!

*kidding.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:37 PM   #632
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ya, it's how i met your mother! D'oh!

*kidding.
no need to add the kidding part dood, its all good

besides i know my mom hates the french as much as i do
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:45 PM   #633
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no need to add the kidding part dood, its all good

besides i know my mom hates the french as much as i do

Nah, i can understand more spanish than i can speak. When i was in pueblo, we learned allot of spanish/english side by side.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:32 PM   #634
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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08065...d=penguins.xml

Q: What are the possibilities of the Penguins being able to re-sign Marian Hossa and give Evgeni Malkin his new contract? A lot of people are saying it's a foregone conclusion that Hossa is just a rental. Will the new arena help the Penguins to get both signed?

Tim Miller, Philadelphia

MOLINARI: A few relevant facts that should be understood right up front:

1) Hossa is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, at which time he will be able to sign with any team that makes him an offer, even if the Penguins are willing to give him more money. If Hossa doesn't want to stay, for whatever reason, there's no way they can make him do so.

2) Even if Malkin signs a new contract July 1, the first day the Penguins are allowed to open negotiations on one, it won't take effect until the 2009-10 season (just as the one Sidney Crosby agreed to last July doesn't kick in until next season). That means Malkin's next salary won't have an immediate impact on the Penguins' payroll or salary-cap considerations. The same is true if they work out a new deal with Jordan Staal this summer.

While a lot of variables (like the salary-cap ceiling, in a given season) will determine precisely which of their players the Penguins will be able to retain, the big-picture view at this point is that they will do everything possible to keep players they deem to be part of their core group, while the supporting cast will undergo frequent changes as the front office brings in lower-priced role players to replace those who have priced themselves out of town.

General manager Ray Shero has been doing projections and evaluations of the Penguins' financial and salary-cap situations since shortly after he took the job nearly two years ago, and most meaningful personnel moves he's made have been with at least one eye on preserving resources and salary-cap space for the time when the Penguins really need it, which seems to be just about here.

He also can't be surprised that he had to bring in a goal-scorer like Hossa in a trade, since the Penguins didn't have anyone to fill that niche in their organization. Consequently, Shero had to realize that whoever he acquired would command a huge salary, even if he didn't -- and probably still doesn't -- know exactly just how large it will be.

Assuming Hossa is interested in staying, the Penguins will have to decide after watching him for a few months if he's the fit they were seeking and, if so, how much they'll be willing to spend to keep him. If they like what they've seen -- and if Hossa is happy with the niche he fills here -- there's reason to believe they'll be able to work out an agreement to keep him for an extended period.

Hossa won't come cheap, even if he's so content here that he accepts a bit less money than he might receive elsewhere, but the Penguins should have the cap space to accommodate him. (As well as Malkin, Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury, for that matter.)

One thing that won't be an issue in any of the negotiations is having the actual resources to pay those guys, and for that the Penguins can thank the city's new multi-purpose arena. They won't actually start to benefit from the enhanced revenue streams that building will provide for a couple more years, but with a deep-pockets co-owner like Ron Burkle and the lines of credit they have in place, they can spend more money than they take in for the next two seasons without it causing a major problem because they know there will be more coming their way in a few years.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:55 PM   #635
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they can spend more money than they take in for the next two seasons without it causing a major problem because they know there will be more coming their way in a few years.
what no mention of how they have spent more money then they take in for the last 20 years ? i mean you dont go bankrupt 3 times by being well of financially.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:53 PM   #636
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Nice win vs the caps today
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:59 PM   #637
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Nice win vs the caps today
That was a pretty exciting game. Flower raped. That was funny seeing Backstrom put it in his own net to win it for us.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:18 PM   #638
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It had a playoff feel to it..
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:33 PM   #639
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That was a pretty exciting game. Flower raped. That was funny seeing Backstrom put it in his own net to win it for us.
Flower got me back to playoff contention, sitting at the 6th seed in fantasy hockey. Everyone thought I was nuts for keeping his ass around when he was injured. Playoffs start next week so hopefully MAF keeps rolling so I can laugh all the way to the finals. muahahahaha.
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:57 PM   #640
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That was a pretty exciting game. Flower raped. That was funny seeing Backstrom put it in his own net to win it for us.
so your goalie raped the other team yet you needed them to score on themselves for you guys to win, hmmmmmm gotcha
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:38 PM   #641
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Pitt was all over the caps in the 3rd 13-5 heck heut faced 32 shots in the first two periods alone.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:18 AM   #642
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Pitt was playing soccer against tampa. Kicking the puck around made the top 10 on ESPN highlights...


Still Tampa lost which isn't good. Kings need to lock up last place...
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:01 PM   #643
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PIT 7 NJ 1

Geno and Marian Hossa with 3 points apiece.

Geno was flat out SICK in this game.

Pens tops in the Atlantic and just a hair back of MTL for 1st in the East.

Sid returns tomorrow...we will finally see what he can do with Hossa.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:31 PM   #644
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I'm excited.....

Fluery's been playing decent as well....
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:01 AM   #645
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Huge win tonight!
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:02 AM   #646
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hell yeah!
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:07 PM   #647
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Looks like the pens have found a groove i love watching malkin play.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:52 PM   #648
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PIT 3 NYR 1

Sid with 2 assists...Geno and Hossa with a goal each. Pittsburgh is, for now, atop the east... barely.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:54 PM   #649
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Potential playoff matchups for the pens..

* Montreal - The Habs are #1 on my list of teams I’d rather not face. They’ve got a level of chemistry, albeit without a high level of offensive firepower outside of Alex Kovalev, that makes them very dangerous. They’ve had a couple of significant injuries lately to Mike Komisarek and Saku Koivu, but it appears that those players would return before any potential matchup with the Penguins. They’ve got a simply outstanding powerplay, very fluid, quick passing and accurate shooters. And don’t forget about playing in Montreal. There’s just something about playing up there with that rabid crowd that makes the Habs take their play up a notch. So if the Pens and Habs meet up, most likely it’ll be in the Eastern Conference finals, and that would be an outstanding series.
* Carolina - Even though the Pens have a better record by ten points, the Carolina Hurricanes are one team that seemingly has the Pens’ number, especially in Raleigh. The Penguins are 4-7-1 against the Canes overall in the last three seasons, including 1-4-1 in Raleigh. The Canes had a major ACL injury to captain Rod Brind’Amor to knock him out for the year, but it hasn’t slowed them down much. They’ve gotten a career revival from waiver pickup Sergei Samsonov and swung a major deal to acquire offensive D-man Joe Corvo and forward Patrick Eaves, although Eaves is out with shoulder surgery. Their special teams rankings aren’t too much different than the Penguins, being ranked 9th in their powerplay and 28th in penalty killing. I believe the Penguins’ improvement defensively has balanced out the one-sided nature of this series recently, so I’m not as fearful about a potential Pens/Canes series that I may have been in the past.
* New Jersey - It’s all about Marty, Marty and more Marty. Even if the pundits say that Martin Brodeur is having a down year, I’ll take a 43-26-6 record any day of the week. Is he as dominant as he has been in the past ?? No, I think that’s a fair assessment. But he’s still in the top three goalies in the NHL, in my view. Besides being #2 in the NHL with 43 wins, his 2.16 GAA is ranked 4th and his .920 save percentage is ranked 6th. In fact, if you consider that three of the goalies above him in save pct. have played in approximately half of the games that Brodeur has played (Ellis, Conklin, Fleury), he realistically should be about 3rd in save percentage. Anyway, the Devils with new coach Brent Sutter have opened it up a little compared to the past, oh, 30 years or so. So they’re not quite the extremely boring (but quite effective) team they used to be, but they’ve still got the main pieces to be a force in the playoffs. Besides the mainstay of Brodeur, John Madden has to be the most underrated two-way forward in the league, he’s simply outstanding. They’ve still got sufficient firepower in Zach Parise, Brian Gionta and Travis Zajac as well as good defensemen such as Johnny Oduya and Colin White. So the Devils are not quite the machine they used to be, but they can still be quite dangerous to the Penguins.
* N.Y. Rangers - Mark this potential series under the “bloodbath” category. The Penguins went 3-3-2 against the Rangers this year. Most of the times the Penguins lost to the Rangers this year from what I recall it was simply that they didn’t come to play, didn’t match the Rangers’ intensity and got smoked. Now if the Penguins and Rangers were to meet in the playoffs, and thus I would have to assume that the Pens would be checking just as much as the Rangers, so in that regard I would think the Penguins would hold their own in this series. Henrik Lundqvist is a major factor in discussing the Rangers’ playoffs hopes. Lundqvist had 37 wins himself this year, so he’s no slouch by any means. His 2.23 GAA is ranked 6th, his .912 save percentage is ranked 18th and he leads the NHL with 10 shutouts. They’ve certainly got the firepower in Chris Drury, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Gomez and Marty Straka. Sean Avery may be the best agitator in the business, although the Pens’ own Jarkko Ruutu may not agree with that. What usually breaks down first for the Rangers is their defense, although that unit has had it’s good games as well. Nevertheless, a Penguins/Rangers series would no doubt be amongst the best of the playoff year.
* Ottawa - The Ottawa Senators have to be the biggest question mark leading into the playoffs. With a wealth of offensive talent led by the big three of Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley, not to mention some excellent defensemen led by Volchenkov and Phillips, they’ve got more than enough to get back to the Stanley Cup finals. But there are some key issues for the Sens. First and foremost, they’re not officially in the playoffs yet, still needing one point. Both Alfredsson and Mike Fisher suffered knee injuries last game, and the Sens are not sure how long they’re gonna be out. However, it’s the inconsistency between the pipes that may be the deciding factor in terms of how far the Sens go in the playoffs, if they get in, that is. Martin Gerber is now the Sens’ #1 goalie, but his 2.73 GAA is only 31st in the league and his 9.10 save pct. is only 19th. Ray Emery, who the Sens rode to the finals last year, is near the bottom of the NHL in both GAA and save pct. So part of me would like the Pens to get some revenge for last year’s ousting at the hands of the Sens, but at the same time, it won’t take much for the Sens to right back on a roll again.
* Boston - Another team, despite the lesser record, that has matched up well against the Penguins this year. Both teams finished 2-2 in the head-to-head matchup, but the last two games were real stinkers for the Penguins. They’ve implemented an excellent neutral zone trap against the Pens that has really stymied them. Tim Thomas is yet another goalie that has had flashes of brilliance this year for the Bruins. He’s about middle of the pack in GAA but his .921 save pct. is 4th in the NHL. Thomas has definitely been a goalie that has stolen games this year for them. Offensively, they don’t nearly match up with the Pens, with the biggest contributors being Sturm, Kobasew, Murray and Kessel, although they also recently had injuries to both Kobasew and Marc Savard. The imposing figure of Zdeno Chara on the blueline makes Penguins’ forechecking a little more difficult. But overall I think if the Penguins were to face the Bruins in the playoffs and the Pens were smart in their puck dumps rather than trying to stickhandle through the Bruins’ trap, I believe the Pens would eventually win this series.
* Washington - It’s just about the same in every sport, fear the team that’s the hottest going into the playoffs. Well, the Caps haven’t made the playoffs yet, they still need some help, but if they get in, they’ll be on one helluva roll. And if they end up facing the Penguins, that will make for an ideal made-for-TV matchup that the NHL would absolutely love. All the hoopla aside, a Penguins/Capitals matchup would be pretty nasty as well. Maybe not as nasty as a series against the Rangers or Flyers, but they wouldn’t be giving each other Magic/Isiah smooches at center ice, that’s for sure. Of course, the Caps start, and finish for the that matter, with Alex Ovechkin. The Pens have done pretty well against Ovie since his arrival a few years ago. The trade of Cristobal Huet at the deadline was a great addition for the Caps, as well as playoff veteran Sergei Federov. However, I believe in the end that the Penguins would simply have too much firepower that the mediocre Capitals’ defense wouldn’t be able to completely stop that would prevail.
* Philadelphia - Last, and certainly least, are the Flyers. As of right now, the Flyers are out of the playoffs, but they are a game in hand over the Caps, so they control their own destiny. Unfortunately, they have two difficult tasks to get them into the playoffs. First, they’ll have to beat Brodeur and the Devils, then they’ll have to defeat the Penguins on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether the Penguins will still have the conference title to play for or not. The Flyers certainly have skilled players at both forward and defense, with players such as Daniel Briere, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Richards, Darien Hatcher and Jason Smith. They’ve also got a decent goalie in Martin Biron. But this is another case, similar to the Caps, where the Flyers defense, although very physical, matches up very well against the Pens’ skilled forwards, and eventually would defeat the Flyers in a series.

So as you can see, there really aren’t any clear cut “easy” matchups anywhere within the possible Eastern Conference playoff teams. Some are easier than others for the Penguins, in my opinion, such as Washington, Philadelphia or perhaps Boston. But none of them are cut and dry blowout scenarios.

On the flipside, it’d be interesting to see what those teams’ opinions would be about facing the Penguins in the playoffs. I think the Penguins have shown, particularly in the past three weeks or so, that they can play whatever style you throw at them. Want to go coast-to-coast and see who’ll finish on top ?? I think that’d be the most foolish approach to face the Pens, they’d love to play that way. But if you want to play rough, the Pens are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with you as well. Let’s not forget that they’ll have a playoff warrior in Gary Roberts hopefully returning to the lineup on Sunday in Philly.

It’s going to be yet another great playoff season, hopefully a long one for the Penguins. We’ll see after Sunday who plays who in the first round.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:44 PM   #650
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Pittsburgh finishes with the No. 2 seed in the conference and will play No. 7 Ottawa who will be without Alfie for the series.

I like the Penguins in six.
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