Photo Courtesy of South Central
The most glaring thing of the Penguins 3-2 shootout loss against the Islanders Monday afternoon is playing in front of their new coach for the first time they couldn‚Äôt come up with enough of a adrenaline rush to beat the worst team in the league. Personnel wise this team is flawed. There is no way around it.
I am all about the Penguins moving to a more up-tempo system but all Dan Bylsma will be is a fresh face. Until the roster is upgraded where the Penguins can be effective playing a up-tempo system, were not going to see much improvement.
Sidney Crosby is clearly frustrated and he is just doesn‚Äôt seem like himself lately. The losing seems to be getting to him and it appears he is frustrated with the lack of help on his wings. Shero has to bring in somebody to elevate Crosby‚Äôs game. Playing with Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, and Ruslan Fedotenko night in and night out is affecting his play.
Regarding Crosby and Therrien, they did have a good working relationship. Therrien takes pride in Crosby becoming one of the games top players and winning the M.V.P award in his second season. Fleury and Sykora are among the players who are probably thrilled a coaching change was made.
A coaching change for the Ottawa Senators has worked recently with the Senators 5-1-1 in their last seven games. E.J. Hradek of ESPN has his doubts that it will work in Pittsburgh
Bob Gainey made a awful trade for Mathieu Schneider yesterday who has really struggled this season. Desperate move by the Habs but hey atleast the Habs are making some moves.
The Thrashers moving Schneider and shopping other veterans is a sign the Thrashers will be calling up some of their young players from the American Hockey League.
A source tells me a former teammate of mine in the amateur ranks, Defenseman Grant Lewis (6-3, 200lbs) an Upper St. Clair product and 2nd round pick of the Thrashers in 2004, will likely get called up in the next 2-3 weeks.
Lewis, 23, has 19 points in 45 games and is a +18 for the Thrashers AHL Affiliate the Chicago Wolves. Lewis is regarded as a defensive-defenseman who uses his size well and is¬†very good in his own as evident by his plus minus rating. He‚Äôs not going to score a lot of goals but has good anticipation and vision on breaking the puck out which will be benefical when he makes the jump to the NHL.
Thrashers GM¬†Don Waddell¬†will be one of the most active GM’s at this summers NHL draft. Waddell’s primary goal remains finding an elite player to team with star forward Ilya Kovalchuk before shopping Kovalchuk. The Thrashers will make a strong play for Marian Gaborik in free agency and recently have shown an interest in Flyers center Daniel Briere.
Detroit Free Press reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland has maintained contract talks with the agents for Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen. Negotiations with Franzen are said to be progressing steadily according to the report. When the Wings came to town on the 8th, it was speculated that the Wings and Franzen were discussing a 7 year deal worth $28-$30 million.
The Philadelphia Flyers are one of the most active teams in trade talks right now. They remain in hot pursuit of Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Pronger, and Tomas Kaberle. They are beleived to be shopping Joffrey Lupul, Randy Jones,¬†Scottie Upshall¬†and Daniel Briere. It’s believed the Blackhawks, Panthers and Thrashers could make a play for Briere in the summer.
Tribune Review Penguins writer Rob Rossi speculated on Monday speaking to WDVE and WXDX that a major deal involving the Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs recently fell through prior to the Penguins firing head coach Michel Therrien. The rumors have been every where with the Penguins trading Jordan Staal for Nik Antropov, high draft to Ryan Whitney ending up in Toronto. The Staal – Antropov rumor is competely false according to sources. There may be something to the Whitney talk. There’s been speculation the past 24 hours that the Leafs and Penguins discussed a deal that would have sent Whitney to Toronto¬†in exchanged for LW Alexei Ponikarovsky and a prominent defenseman who was going to packaged with Jordan Staal to land an elite player.
Jim Gintonio reports Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris hopes to remain with the club after this season. According to the report, Morris’ agent is in contract talks with the Coyotes but the sticking point thus far is the length of a new deal.
Boston Herald reports, rumors persist the Bruins could acquire winger Erik Cole from the Edmonton Oilers, with an NHL source claiming Cole has told friends he expects to be a Bruin soon. Vladimir Sobotka and Matt Lashoff are reportedly part of the return to the Oilers for Cole. The Bruins also remain active in adding a defenseman prior to the trade deadline.
Talked to Andy Strickland the other day via email and Strickland told me Keith Tkachuk has been a great teammate this season in St. Louis. Rumors have followed Tkachuk for some time dating back to his younger days about being a problem in the locker room. The Penguins have not made a play for Tkachuk to this point and Strickland tells me it is too early to tell what the Blues asking price is going to be.