SUNDAY’S OLYMPIC BUZZ Team USA rolled to a 5-1 win over Slovenia, clinching first place in Group A and earning eight out of a possible nine points in the preliminary round. The Americans have earned a bye. Phil Kessel led the way with a hat trick, producing the first hat trick by a U.S. player since John LeClair in the 2002 Olympics. Kessel leads the tournament with 7 points and is one of the hottest players in all of hockey right now. Including NHL and Olympic play, Kessel has 15 goals and 34 points in his last 18 games. Ryan McDonagh and David Backes also scored in the win for Team USA. Joe Pavelski added 3 assists. Ryan Miller got his first start of the tournament, making 17 saves in the win. Brooks Orpik had an assist and was a +1. Orpik played 17:04. Paul Martin was a +1 inRead More »
FLYERS VIEWED IN LEAGUE CIRCLES AS POTENTIAL SLEEPER Phil Kessel was an untouchable with Brian Burke at the helm but that’s no longer the case under GM Dave Nonis. Darren Dreger reported yesterday on TSN that NHL clubs are expressing interest in Leafs winger Phil Kessel and that Nonis is listening, but no deal is in the works. Despite Kessel’s slow start, there are doubts in league circles that the Leafs will move him this season. The Penguins in the market for a top-6 winger have had scouts in Toronto twice this year as top professional scout Don Waddell has been a frequent visitor to the Air Canada Center.
*The Bruins are playing the spin game after trading Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two first round picks and a 2nd rounder. There’s talk coming out of the Bruins organization that Kessel didn’t play hard enough, didn’t see eye-to-eye with Claude Julien and his teammates. Whether there’s some truth to that is up for debate but there are some players in the Bruins locker room who are not happy about the team trading away a 21 yard forward who netted 36 goals last season and has 40+ goal potential. What it comes down to is that the Bruins didn’t see Kessel as a “Bruins type of player” Even after the trade, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has the Bruins in position to be a serious contender in the Eastern Conference but he can be at fault for not making a young core player in Kessel a priority. ChiarelliRead More »
Sidney Crosby has felt the effects of a left knee injury he suffered in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final all summer but Crosby will be able to begin his full training regiment next month. Rest has been the best cure for the injury and he is near 100% health. Rangers head coach John Tortorella is pushing hard for the Rangers to sign puck-moving defenseman Sergei Zubov. Zubov has been in talks with a number of teams including the Blue Jackets, Blues, Devils and Red Wings. Columbus and St. Louis have significant interest in Zubov but both teams are near their cap ceilings. On the trade front, the Blue Jackets have approached the Sharks, Panthers, Penguins to gauge interest in
The NHLPA held it’s annual meetings this morning in Las Vegas. It is being speculated that the NHLPA has decided to exercise their 5% inflator on the salary cap, which will keep the cap around the level it was this season. Another hot topic between the players association, are the Phoenix Coyotes. The growing concensus is that the players believe relocating to a market where the franchise won’t be in the red year after year is the best option. A few Friday afternoon rumors Marian Hossa is currently on vacation and will return sometime next week. Ritch Winter the agent for Hossa has been in talks with Wings GM Ken Holland and word is Hossa will make a decision on whether to test free agency by draft day. Martin Havlat has made concessions in talks with the Hawks and the only hold up on a deal is the term ofRead More »
Down 3-1 the Penguins played like a desperate team in the third period but it wasn‚Äôt enough as the Boston Bruins won their 10th straight game beating the Penguins 4-2 Thursday night at Banknorth arena. The Bruins may not be the most talented team in the league but they have bought into Claude Julien’s system and they know how to win games. They win games by driving to net, winning battles in the corners and clearing the front of the net. All things the Penguins are struggling at and maybe the Penguins don‚Äôt have the personnel to improve in those areas. The Bruins 29-5-4 lead the NHL in points and also lead the NHL in goals with 141. While the Penguins have been struck with injuries this season, the Bruins have had their fair share of top contributors being sidelined. Among them currently injured are forwards Patrice Bergeron, Marco SturmRead More »
The 27-5-4 Boston Bruins were in town today as they prepare for a home and home series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins practiced at SouthPointe this afternoon and I had a chance to see about an hour of their 75 minute practice. The Bruins winners of a eight straight went through a pretty hard workout. A lot of skating and it was a very intense practice. Head coach Claude Julien has not been happy with the Bruins play the past couple¬†games but just like good teams do, they have found ways to win. The Penguins will likely see this lineup from the Bruins tomorrow night. P.J. Axelsson – Marc Savard – Phil Kessel Blake Wheeler – David Krejci – Michael Ryder Milan Lucic – Stephane Yelle – Chuck Kobasew Vladimir Sobotka – Martin St. Pierre – Shawn Thornton Zdeno Chara – Aaron Ward Matt Hunwick – Dennis Wideman MarkRead More »
Phil Kessel was aggressively shopped this summer as the Bruins tried to acquire a puck-moving defenseman. In the past he has been at odds with head coach Claude Julien and was also nearly traded for Marian Hossa last winter. This season Kessel is silencing those critics and a move to wing has turned him into the sniper that many scouts thought he would be when he dubbed the American Crosby. Mike McMahon writes The Bruins need to worry about resigning Kessel, not trading him. Source: Eagle-Tribune
Pittsburgh 2 – Boston 1 The Penguins spoiled the Bruins home opener behind a strong performance from Dany Sabourin who made 35 saves. Bruins forward Phil Kessel netted his 5th goal of the season and is developing into a top 6 winger. Would the Penguins have been better off drafting Phil Kessel or Jonathan Toews over Jordan Staal? Read more for the latest inside buzz on how close the Penguins were to selecting Kessel or Toews; plus a update on the Penguins plans for Janne Pesonen.