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Old 04-14-2006, 11:24 PM   #2201
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Crosby is making a big push for NHL rookie of year honors
Saturday, April 15, 2006

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


It was around December that it started to look as if Washington's Alex Ovechkin would pull away from the Penguins' Sidney Crosby and win the Calder Trophy.

Considering Crosby's late-season flourish, assuming that Ovechkin will win could be a rookie mistake.

Crosby, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, is close on the heels of Ovechkin in terms of statistics. He has 97 points. Ovechkin, the first overall selection in 2004, has 102. Each has played in 78 games with three to go.

"For me and him, it's a healthy competition," said Crosby, who, predictably, is taking a low-key approach to the rookie of the year competition. "I think it's good we're both having healthy starts in our first year in the NHL, but our job is to play and it's for everyone else to talk about it."

It's easy to talk about Crosby's first pro season. He leads the Penguins in goals, assists, points and a few other categories, and he has had a monster stretch drive for a team that doesn't have the motivation of fighting for a playoff berth.

He has 10 points in his past four games and 17 in his past seven. His four-point game Thursday in a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers made him the youngest player in NHL history -- 18 years, 351 days -- to reach 97 points.

If he can get another three points over the Penguins' final three games, he will be the youngest to reach 100.

"I heard people before the season predicting that if he had 60 points, it would be a good year, so he went beyond everyone's expectations," Penguins center Ryan Malone said.

But has he gone beyond everyone's evaluation of Ovechkin?

One difference that could affect the Calder Trophy vote is age. Ovechkin is 20, two years older than Crosby.

It would be difficult to imagine a team asking more of an 18-year-old than the Penguins have gotten from Crosby.








Too close to call
How the Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby match up in their rookie seasons.

Ovechkin Stat Crosby
78 GP 78
50 Goals 38
52 Assists 59
102 Points 97
52 PIM 104
+2 +/- -3
3 SH 0
21 PP 16
5 GW 5










"I don't think so," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "I know he's not making a big deal out of it, but a hundred points on a team where he's had different linemates all year and he's been consistent the whole year -- that's a hard thing to do in this league. He's definitely having a strong finish."

Hall of Fame center Mario Lemieux is the only Penguin who has won the Calder Trophy. He did it in 1984-85 after he reached 100 points in the season finale on a team that did not make the playoffs. He was 19.

The problem this season is deciding on the criteria to measure the top rookies.

Ovechkin has reached the lofty plateaus of 50 goals and 100 points, but there are other ways to compare the two.

Ovechkin is third overall in scoring, Crosby eighth. Each has five game-winning goals. Ovechkin logs slightly more ice time and takes more shots. Crosby takes faceoffs regularly and wins 45.4 percent of them. Crosby has three overtime goals to Ovechkin's two. Ovechkin has three game-deciding shootout goals to Crosby's one.

There also are some intangibles to compare. Crosby has developed a reputation for sniping at the referees, which partly accounts for him having 104 penalty minutes, double Ovechkin's number. Ovechkin, a winger, has developed a reputation for being a showman who score highlight-reel goals but does not play both ends as well as Crosby, a center.

"Both of them are obviously going to be great players in the league for a long time," Malone said. "It's something to see. There's so many different ways you can twist things around, so I think everything's up in the air. You almost wish they could share the award, but you just have to wait and see what happens."

Crosby suggested that other rookies stand out in what seems to be a bumper crop. That group would include Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"There's a lot of other good rookies out there," Crosby said. "Those two guys stick out. They've made good impressions with their team."

In other years, perhaps Phaneuf and Lundqvist would be top contenders for the Calder Trophy, but Crosby and Ovechkin likely are the front-runners.

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar is as biased as anyone with the Penguins, but his loyalties go in both directions.

"It's hard for me to judge because on one side, Sidney is my teammate and I want to see him do well, but then [Ovechkin] is my countryman," said Gonchar, who played against Ovechkin in the Russian Super League last season during the NHL lockout.

"It's kind of too bad that you have the two of them the same year. They both deserve it. It's a close race. I really can't predict who's going to win."

The Calder Trophy, decided by a vote of hockey writers, will be announced at the league's annual awards night June 22 in Vancouver.

Then the argument over the top rookie can be settled.

Or not.

http://www.pittsburghpost-gazette.co.../682438-61.stm
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:40 AM   #2202
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Crosby's had a great year and his late push for 100 points is turning a lot of heads, but I think that Ovechkin getting 50 & 100 pretty much salted away the Calder.

How sick is it that we've got a pair of rookies putting up these eye popping numbers?
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:59 AM   #2203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
Crosby's had a great year and his late push for 100 points is turning a lot of heads, but I think that Ovechkin getting 50 & 100 pretty much salted away the Calder.

How sick is it that we've got a pair of rookies putting up these eye popping numbers?
Do you think that really is odd? Both of them have the attributes and skills the changes in the game is meant to enhance. Neither had adjustments to make or old habits to break.

Let's hope they always get to play zipping through the neutral zone, catching perfect two line passes.
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #2204
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Default Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks

GAME: Colorado Avalanche (43-29-8) at Vancouver Canucks (41-32-8).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT.

The Colorado Avalanche, who will open on the road in the Western Conference quarterfinals, try to build some momentum for the postseason as they head to General Motors Place to take on the Vancouver Canucks.

Colorado has lost eight of its last 14 games and has not posted consecutive victories since a three-game winning streak from March 7-12.

The Avalanche lost 2-0 on Thursday to the Calgary Flames, who clinched the Northwest Division title with the win. Colorado took 23 shots, including nine in the third, but was unable to beat Miikka Kiprusoff. Defenseman Rob Blake had an excellent opportunity from just outside the crease early in the third, but Kiprusoff denied him with a glove save.

"That was a real good save. I tried to shoot to the off side up high and he didn't even make it look hard," said Blake, who did not have a point for the fifth straight game. "He just put his glove out and snagged it. He was tremendous tonight."

The loss leaves the Avalanche in sixth place in the West, two points behind the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and one ahead of the Edmonton Oilers. Colorado closes its season Monday at Edmonton.

"It doesn't matter who you play against really, everybody's so evenly matched," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said after Thursday's loss.

Vancouver has lost three in a row and was eliminated from the playoffs Thursday in a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists for Vancouver, which squandered three leads and allowed three third-period goals despite outshooting San Jose 11-9.

"We had leads the last two nights, but I don't know why we can't put any teams away," Canucks left wing Markus Naslund said. "We were in a must-win situation, and we couldn't get it done. It's a very disappointing end to a very disappointing season for us. We gave a good effort, but I don't know if we gave it our all."

Defenseman Ed Jovanovski and Brendan Morrison had the other goals for Vancouver, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Morrison's 18 goals are his lowest total since he had 16 in the 2000-01 season. The center will play all 82 games for the sixth straight season.

STANDINGS: Avalanche - 94 points, 2nd place, 8 PB, Northwest Division. Canucks - 90 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Sakic, 31 goals, 54 assists and 85 points; Ian Laperriere, 114 PIM. Canucks - Anson Carter, 32 goals; Henrik Sedin, 56 assists; Naslund, 78 points; Jarkko Ruutu, 142 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Avalanche - Power play: 19.2 percent (89 for 464), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (367 for 436), 6th (tied). Canucks - Power play: 18.5 percent (96 for 518), 10th (tied). Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (412 for 505), 18th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - Jose Theodore (18-15-5, 0 SO, 3.47 GAA); Peter Budaj (14-11-6, 2, 2.86). Canucks - Alex Auld (33-25-6, 0, 2.92); Mika Noronen (1-3-0, 0, 4.15).

SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 4-2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 28; Canucks, 4-3 (SO). At Denver, Ruutu scored the only goal of the shootout as the Canucks won for the first time in four games at Colorado this season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 18-19-2 on the road; Canucks - 24-10-6 at home.
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:45 PM   #2205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tredici
Do you think that really is odd? Both of them have the attributes and skills the changes in the game is meant to enhance. Neither had adjustments to make or old habits to break.

Let's hope they always get to play zipping through the neutral zone, catching perfect two line passes.
You've got a point there. Chalk one up for the "new NHL."

By the way, Joe Thornton has two assists thus far in the Sharks/Ducks game and Jonathon Cheechoo has a pair of goals. That means that Thornton is currently the NHL scoring leader and Cheechoo is the NHL goal leader.

In short, Thornton = MVP.
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:00 PM   #2206
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C'mon CO where is your spirit of East Coast bias?

Tsk Tsk
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:10 PM   #2207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tredici
C'mon CO where is your spirit of East Coast bias?

Tsk Tsk
I know, I know. The media has made it very clear how important it is for the league that the NY market be kept happy.
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:19 PM   #2208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
You've got a point there. Chalk one up for the "new NHL."

By the way, Joe Thornton has two assists thus far in the Sharks/Ducks game and Jonathon Cheechoo has a pair of goals. That means that Thornton is currently the NHL scoring leader and Cheechoo is the NHL goal leader.

In short, Thornton = MVP.

WORST TRADE IN BOSTONS HISTORY...NHL HISTORY MAYBE.
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:08 PM   #2209
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San Jose wins 6-3; clinches the fifth seed. With a win tonight, the Avs can tie the Ducks in points, but would be the sixth seed due to having more wins.

Cheechoo now has 56 goals, two more then Jagr.
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:15 PM   #2210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronx33
WORST TRADE IN BOSTONS HISTORY...NHL HISTORY MAYBE.
I think it'll rank up there with the worst in Boston history, but I don't think anything will top this one......

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Old 04-15-2006, 05:19 PM   #2211
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Thank god. Anybody but Jagr. Someone shut Jagr out today but I can't think of which team it was.
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:20 PM   #2212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange
I think it'll rank up there with the worst in Boston history, but I don't think anything will top this one......


Someone here might brong up the Lindros for 15 million and a handful of players like Mike Ricci, Chris Simon and a guy named Forsberg or somthing. However, you hit the ultimate bozo trade of all time CO.
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:38 PM   #2213
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Quote:
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Thank god. Anybody but Jagr. Someone shut Jagr out today but I can't think of which team it was.

Why I oughta....
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:55 PM   #2214
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Ovechkin scores his 51st in the 2nd period against Florida.
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:55 PM   #2215
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I just asked the coach why breezblah keeps getting major ice time when he stinks (let's see if he answers)

askthecoach@altitude.tv
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:10 PM   #2216
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Tampa Bay's overtime win eliminates the Toronto Maple Leafs from playoff contention.
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:36 PM   #2217
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2-1 nucks......avs playing like garbage.



Carry on!
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:30 PM   #2218
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Avs get a point which means that they now can finish no worse than 7th.

Whew.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:43 PM   #2219
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Quote:
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Avs get a point which means that they now can finish no worse than 7th.

Whew.

We suck.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:49 PM   #2220
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Quote:
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We suck.
Perhaps, but we won't be seeing Detroit in round one and that's a very good thing.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:51 PM   #2221
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I certainly don't like that the Avs have basically been a .500 team since the trade deadline. I'm happy they avoided Detroit as I think the Red Wings would have embarassed them badly. However, I can't see them getting by Dallas or Calgary; not with this defense.

It doesn't matter if Svatos and Konowalchuk are healthy and if Theodore is finally comfortable, this team wont win next year unless they make some changes on the blue line.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:04 PM   #2222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jori
It doesn't matter if Svatos and Konowalchuk are healthy and if Theodore is finally comfortable, this team wont win next year unless they make some changes on the blue line.
With the amount of quality forward prospects in the system, I would think that bulk of the Avs free agent dollars will be earmarked for an upgrade or two on defense.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:08 PM   #2223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jori
It doesn't matter if Svatos and Konowalchuk are healthy and if Theodore is finally comfortable, this team wont win next year unless they make some changes on the blue line.
That's pretty clear. Lacroix's going to have to address that. He needs to be aggressive and go after Chara or Redden. They may not have enough cap space, but that didn't stop Philly from signing Forsberg. They got their guy and figured out how to clear salary later.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:19 PM   #2224
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Quote:
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Perhaps, but we won't be seeing Detroit in round one and that's a very good thing.
I really don't think it matters who we face, this team at it's current level is going nowhere in the playoffs pending a gift from god himself.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:49 PM   #2225
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Cool...

http://www.therocketmovie.com/site.html
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