NHL: Source: Granato on the Thrashers radar

 

Sunday’s NHL Rumor Mill The growing consensus last summer is that the Los Angeles Kings over-paid for defenseman Rob Scuderi who signed a 4 year deal worth $3.4 million per season. Nearly a year later, good luck finding a member of the Kings organization who believes that now.  Scuderi has drawn rave reviews from the Kings organization and they believe he has been worth every penny as others now do. The Kings enter the off-season just a move or two away from making the jump among the elite teams in the West. Kevin Allen of the USA Today wrote weeks ago that “there is an expectation that the Kings will make a big splash in the free-agent marketplace.” The two big names being mentioned from the likes of Allen and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Marleau. There are doubts that the Kings will meet Kovalchuk’s demandsRead More »

Role players fueling Penguins 22-10-1 start

 

There are many reasons the Penguins have jumped out to a 22-10-1 start through 33 games. Marc Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby to name a few but what has really fueled the Penguins hot start is the play of their role players. A stunning stat is projected 3rd and 4th liners Michael Rupp and Pascal Dupuis are tied for second on the team with 9 goals each. In fact, Rupp and Dupuis have combined for more goals than top-6 forwards Ruslan Fedotenko (5), Bill Guerin (7) and Chris Kunitz (3) have combined for. In evaluating this team through 30+ games, Pittsburgh has a much stronger core of secondary wingers (Cooke, Dupuis, Kennedy, Rupp, Talbot) than actual top line wingers. Pittsburgh has found ways to keep winning with a subpar power play after ranking 20th in 2008-2009 and currently 29th. They will continue to do so, at least until the playoffs. However,Read More »

Hiring of Tony Granato makes sense; Penguins still looking to add?

 

The Penguins’ hiring of Tony Granato as their new assistant coach makes sense: He’s young (45), dynamic and within the framework of what the Penguins have been doing since appointing Dan Bylsma as the team’s coach. Granato is a former NHL head coach who doubtless wants to be the boss again. It’s gutsy for Bylsma to bring a potential successor on board. But Bylsma has a pretty long leash after winning the Stanley Cup as a rookie. Anyway, if a coach isn’t winning, his team will find his replacement somewhere. Granato’s appointment is odd from one standpoint: The Penguins are a high-powered, fast-skating, north-south team. Last season under Granato, the Avalanche scored just 199 goals, the worst total in the league and the lowest since the lockout year. The Avs played a clichéd dump, chase and cycle style en route to a mark of 32-45-5, last in the West. ButRead More »