Brodeur, Jokinen, and Crosby named ‘Three Stars’
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was named first star of the week as Brodeur tied Patrick Roy as the NHL’s all-time victories leader and posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. Flames forward Olli Jokinen was named the NHL second star of the week. Jokinen has (six goals – two assists) in his last three games.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby brought home this week’s #3 star. Crosby notched eight points (two goals – six assists) in four games last week, helping the Penguins earn points in four consecutive games (2-0-2) and improve to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings
***The Latest Buzz***
Source: Concern over Scuderi’s ability to move the puck in the Penguins new system
I spoke to a source close to the team over the weekend who says there is some concern from the coaching staff in Rob Scuderi’s ability to move the puck lately in the Penguins new system. There is some speculation that the team wants to add another puck-moving defenseman to the lineup during the playoffs. Philippe Boucher and Alex Goligoski will be top candidates for playing time. Defenseman Mark Eaton has adjusted to the Penguins uptempo-style and while Hal Gill usually gets mentioned as the defensemen who could be taking out of the lineup if the Penguins decide to go with Goligoski or Boucher at some time in the playoffs, some people tell me Rob Scuderi’s spot in the lineup is not as safe as it was under Michel Therrien. Still, I don’t expect any changes to be coming.
Malkin misses practice with a cold
NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin took the day off from practice today as he is feeling the effects of a cold that is going around. Malkin will play tomorrow night against Atlanta.
Colby Armstrong is a Restricted Free Agent at seasons end
There has been a lot of discussion about whether Colby Armstrong is a UFA or a RFA at the end of the season. A source has informed me Colby Armstrong (26 years old) will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season as he will miss the age deadline by a month or so. A player must be 27 years old or have seven years of service in the NHL to be an unrestricted free agent on the open market.
Power Play set up in practice
With Evgeni Malkin absent the Penguins went with a unit of Crosby – Guerin – Kunit down low with Letang and Gonchar working the points.
The Penguins worked on a lot of deflections in front of the net today.
I was told today that Craig Adams will return to the lineup tomorrow after being a healthy scratch for the past two games.
Penguins may make some changes to their second line if production doesn’t pick up
The vibe around the league is that it is a foregone conclusion that Jaromir Jagr will return to the NHL next season. J.P. Barry one of Jagr’s representatives has been negotiating with OMSK of the KHL. Jagr may have to pay some money back to get out of his contract though.
The KHL will come calling but I’m hearing Alexei Kovalev has all intentions on playing in the NHL next season. Kovalev will not be returning to the Canadiens. Both sides are ready to move on. Kovalev does prefer to play in the Eastern Conference most notably close to Manhattan. Washington, Philadelphia inquired about Kovalev at the deadline so look for those two teams to make a play for Kovalev. Mixed opinions from Penguins management regarding Kovalev being a good fit in Pittsburgh. I still expect the Penguins to explore the possibility.
The Minnesota Wild were never close to moving Wild forward Marian Gaborik. Pittsburgh did not have any discussions about Gaborik.
The Tampa Bay¬†Lightning are expected to shop¬†Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone at the draft.
Martin Havlat has turned down a 3 year deal from the Blackhawks worth $4.25 million per season. The two sides are still talking and remain hopeful to get a deal done before the playoffs.