TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Penguins coaches have liked what Taylor Chorney has brought to the table so much that they favor him over Christian Ehrhoff, sources say. It’s been a very small sampling but Chorney has been a favorite of Johnston’s from day 1.
2. The first night of NHL playoff action proved one thing. The need for fourth line players to impact a game. In Montreal it was Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell who each scored. Flynn had three points in Montreal’s win. For the Islanders in their impressive 4-1 win over the Capitals, Matt Martin was a major factor with 8 hits and New York’s superior fourth line gave Washington fits.
3. The game 1 loss for the Capitals was concerning for them. The Islanders came in looking like the team from earlier in the season where their forward depth overwhelmed the opposition and they could play any type of game. Washington was never able to dictate the pace for long stretches, let alone for even short stretches. New York’s 26th ranked penalty kill caused Washington fits due to a new wrinkle in pressuring the Capitals on the outside at every chance. Jack Capuano coached a great Game 1. The Capitals response in Game 2 will be telling on where this series is going.
4. Ray Shero and Don Sweeney have been listed as 2/1 favorites to become the Boston Bruins next General Manager. Shero is expected to among the shortlist of top candidates. He was Jeremy Jacobs top choice in 2006 and currently spends most of his time in the Boston area now. Sweeney is also a natural choice. The interesting name is Tom Fitzgerald who is listed with 5/1 odds. Fitzgerald has Boston area ties and he is very well respected around the league for his eye to evaluate personnel. Many executives believe he’s the top potential GM candidate from the Penguins group of executives and has surpassed Jason Botterill as cap guys are losing steam.
If the Penguins were to fire Jim Rutherford, Fitzgerald would be favored over Botterill when it comes to in-house candidates.
5. The Pirates sit with a 3-6 record at the nine game mark. They’ve been involved in what’d you call eight winnable games. That’s the positive to take out of the 3-6 start, compared to the Brewers for example who are a bad 2-7 team. The Pirates squandered strong starting pitching in the Tigers series as Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano combined to give up just three runs in 18 2/3 innings. Your starters held the best offense in baseball to just three runs and the Pirates only came away with one win as the Pirates have been lifeless at the plate.
Most concerning for the Pirates:
They’ve gone 40 innings without drawing a walk.