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Tag:Pittsburgh Penguins
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:48 pm
 

24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 1

By: Adam Gretz

HBO's 24/7 kicked off on Wednesday night, following the two participants in this year's Winter Classic (the Flyers and Rangers) as they prepare for their Jan. 2 showdown in Philadelphia.

Unlike last year's matchup between Pittsburgh and Washington, where one team (Pittsburgh) was playing on top of its game and the other (Washington) was struggling, there was little contrast this time around as both teams came into this year's documentary near the top of the NHL, giving most of the episode an "all is well, everything is cool" sort of feel.

It was difficult to find any real adversity for either team until the end of the episode when Claude Giroux's concussion was featured. It was obvious right from the start that it was't going to be good, and while we didn't get to see anything involving Giroux's time in the quiet room after the collision, we did get a brief glimpse of the Flyers trainer telling coach Peter Laviolette that Giroux simply wasn't feeling like himself.

A few quick takes on Episode one...

Episode one MVP: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov

He wasn't featured all that much, but wow did Ilya Bryzgalov make a first impression. His only two appearances were a brief stretch early in the episode that was nothing but him spending a minute talking about the size of the universe and space, and how it makes everything that happens on Earth, as well as our solar system, seem so insignificant. "Just be happy," he said.



Later, he was presented with a rare bottle of Russian liquor that featured a picture of a Tiger on the bottle, and he then went into a discussion about how there are so few tiger species left in the world and how it is illegal to hunt them.
 


An entire episode that simply follows him around for a day would be pure insanity.

Four moments that stood out

1) The mini-brawl that was sparked by the shooting gesture of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week had a big part in the episode, including him pleading his case to the officials in the penalty box, why he did it, and the sight of him apologizing to his teammates in the locker room for putting his team at a disadvantage. When asked where he learned it, Anisimov sighted an unnamed player he played with in Russia that used to do it after big goals and how it always fired the crowd up. He said he always promised himself that he would do it if he scored a big goal in the NHL. Apparently that goal was big enough.

When asked if he was "shooting at the goalie," he simply smiled and said "Just reloaded my weapon."

2) The New York Rangers pay for dinner on the road by putting all of their credit cards in a hat and then pulling them out, one at a time, until there is only one card remaining. And that's the person that gets stuck with the bill.

3) The Philadelphia Flyers post-game victory celebration in their locker room? Dancing to the song "Knock Knock" by Mac Miller. Very bizarre.

4) Perhaps the best, nicest moment of episode one: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan giving his grandmother a kiss after scoring a goal in his hometown of Buffalo and bringing a tear to her eye.

The unnofficial F-bomb count

If you had Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the first person to drop an F-Bomb, you win the prize, as he let loose with four of them in an eight-second span in the shows opening minutes.

The unofficial final tally (by my count): 44
John Tortorella F-bomb count (again, by my count): 11

Biggest complaint of the night

Needs more Bryzgalov.

More 2012 Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Top NHL scorer, Claude Giroux out with concussion

By Brian Stubits

Already without their captain Chris Pronger because of a concussion, the Flyers are going to sans not only their top scorer, but the NHL's leader in points, Claude Giroux, indefinitely with a concussion.

Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren made the announcement on Tuesday.

"Claude reported not feeling very good today," Holmgren said in a statement. "Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.

This was the fear after the Flyers' win over the Lightning this weekend. It was in that game that Giroux was hit in the back of his head by teammate Wayne Simmonds' knee in a flukey accident. Simmonds did his best to avoid Giroux, who fell to the ice on a checking attempt, but his knee smacked Giroux square in the back of the head when he tried to leap his teammate.

The Flyers have been able to hang tough through all of the injury issues they've been dealt, but this one will test them like no other. Giroux is atop everybody's list of early season Hart candidates, posting 39 points in just 29 games for Philadelphia this season, helping the Flyers to the top of the Eastern Conference. The next closest player in the scoring department for the Flyers is Scott Hartnell with 26 points.

"When he goes out we look for the veteran players like Danny [Briere] to step in," coach Peter Laviolette said, "and we also look at the young players like Matt Read or Sean Couturier to pick up the slack."

"Obviously he's a guy you can't replace," James van Riemsdyk added. "It's going to take a lot of people to step it up and fill the role that he plays. He does everything for us: penalty kill, power play, scores big goals, makes big hits, blocks shots, does it all. So we're going to have to kind of step up our game here. Just let him rest and not have to rush him back."

So that means in the past two days Pennsylvania's two best players (Sidney Crosby the other) announced they are out indefinitely, Crosby for more concussion-like symptoms.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Brad Marchand fined for slew foot



By: Adam Gretz


A full week after it happened, the NHL announced on Monday afternoon that Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been fined $2,500 for a slew footing incident that took place during Boston's 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last week.

The play, which you can see in the above video, took place as the two players chased the puck behind the Pittsburgh net early in the second period with Marchand kicking Niskanen's legs out from under him. As the play started to go back the other direction, the two players exchanged words for a few seconds before dropping the gloves and taking part in a lengthy fight.

As always needs to be pointed out when a fine is issued, the $2,500 number is the largest fine that the NHL is allowed to hand out.

Marchand was issued a two-minute minor for tripping on the play, as well as the five-minute major for fighting.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Crosby still out, has 'no timetable' for return

By Brian Stubits

Just like that, Sidney Crosby watch is back on.

The Penguins announced last week they were going to withhold their superstar for two games as a precaution after Crosby said he wasn't feeling 100 percent following a loss to the Boston Bruins. We then shared that there were rumblings he could be out for longer than those two games.

That's definitely the case now. Caution will continue to be the word of the week as Crosby is going to remain on the sidelines for the time being.

"Not [feeling] bad," Crosby said. "I'm not happy about watching. But I have to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and making sure I'm 100 percent before coming back. No timetable."

"It's frustrating for Sid," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Sid knows his body better than anyone else. He's not feeling 100 percent. He'll return when he is 100."

If you're a Crosby and/or Penguins fan, you have to be worried about more post-concussion symptoms for the Kid.

"I did my ImPACT test and it went pretty good. That was a good sign. It's much different than previously going through that stuff. That was encouraging. I skated following day after with exertion. I just didn't feel right. After talking with everyone I figured it was better to be cautious and not take any chances. That's where I'm at right now.

"The ImPACT isn't everything. You have to listen to your body on these things too. That was encouraging. My ImPACT was much, much worse after I did it in January. This is something I have to be careful with."

If people weren't holding their breath before, they should be now.

"Yes [I've had symptoms the last couple days]. If I didn't I wouldn't be practicing.

"I've been doing light exertion stuff and seeing how that goes. It's that whole (recovery) routine again, but hopefully not as long. When I wasn't doing something for 6, 7 months that process was a little longer. Hopefully, that's not the case here."

When Crosby came back, the concerns people had didn't revolved around how he'd be as a player, but how he'd respond when he took another hit. The culprit in this case appears to be an inadvertent elbow to the head from David Krejci a week ago. While the tests didn't reveal a concussion, if he is feeling the symptoms again, it might as well be.

To scare Penguins fans even more, Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that a lot of players have passed the ImPACT test only to be diagnosed with a concussion later.

So that's one of many questions at this point. Did Crosby actually suffer another concussion or did he have a setback? Crosby doesn't know how a doctor would call it, but he knows how he labels it.

"I don't even think frustrating begins to describe it," Crosby said.

Could we be looking at another long absence before he's 100 percent and able to return?

"I have a pretty good idea of these things now and I know this is not where I was before, so that is encouraging," Crosby said.

It certainly is, but the question is how much further along is he? He said he's better than he was in August, but remember that he didn't come back until mid-November. So that means Crosby Watch is back on.

Unfortunately, this is likely how Crosby's career will go from now on. He'll never get over the concussions that kept him out for almost a year. He might one day physically, but the questions will forever persist any time that Crosby takes a hit.

Here is video of the full interview.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 10, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Travis Hamonic was ejected for this play

By: Adam Gretz

With the Islanders leading, 3-2, midway through the secod period one of their top defenseman, Travis Hamonic, was assessed a five-minute major for elbowing as well as a game misconduct for a hit on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. The call resulted in a two-man advantage for the Penguins that included the game-tying goal from James Neal, his second goal of the game.

After watching the replay, it's difficult to see why Hamonic was penalized, let alone ejected.

You can check out the play by clicking right here.

Orpik did leave the ice and head to the locker room, later returning with a noticable cut on the top part of his nose. But based on that look it appears to be the result of his own stick hitting him in the face rather than Hamonic's Elbow, which doesn't appear to make any contact with Orpik's head.

Bad call that shouldn't result in any additional punishment (or even a look) from the NHL.

Pittsburgh went on to win the game, 6-3.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 9, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Could Sidney Crosby miss more than two games?

By Brian Stubits

Pittsburgh is back to holding its collective breath. That's because the Penguins' superstar, Sidney Crosby, is sitting out for two games as a precaution.

Now there are some whispers the absence could be longer.

It was originally thought that it was a collision with teammate Chris Kunitz that seemed to be the problem. The two ran into each other at center ice and Crosby came up limping, but nothing involving his head.

After the game Crosby was sporting a nice red mark on his cheek that was so bright it could have led Santa's sleigh. Where did that come from? Mike Colligan at The Hockey Writers found another hit during the game that could be the issue, and it's a lot more concerning considering Crosby's nearly year-long battle with post-concussion symptoms. Have a look.

Here's what Penguins GM Ray Shero had to say when the initial announcement was made that Crosby would miss two games for precautionary reasons.

“Sidney took a hard hit during our game against Boston Monday night and wasn’t feeling 100 percent. He saw Dr. Micky Collins of UPMC today and took an ImPACT test, which showed no problems. However, we all think it’s best that he sits out the next two games as a precaution.”

This is still likely precautionary. When you have a player as valuable as Crosby, you afford for extra caution. But in no way is it comforting for Penguins fans to hear he could be out longer than originally anticipated.

"It's been a long road back," Crosby said on Thursday, "and we want to err on the side of caution."

I do not want to say that Crosby is in the same boat, but I can't help but to think back to the preseason when the New York Rangers said they were withholding Marc Staal from the preseason games as a precaution. He still hasn't played this season for New York.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Pronger, Schenn out with concussion symptoms

By: Adam Gretz

At this point, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is pretty much a one-man M*A*S*H unit.

Currently sidelined for the next few weeks after having surgery on his knee, which came after he missed a couple of weeks after taking a stick in the eye, and was then out with what the Flyers called a "virus," it was reported on Friday that the veteran defenseman is also suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
More Chris Pronger Injuries

It's entirely possible, if not likely, that the "virus" had something to do with the concussion symptoms he's currently experiencing.

"While Chris' knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms," said general manager Paul Holmgren in a team statement. "Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinetly."

Dr. Mickey Collins, of course, is the same doctor that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby has been seeing over the past year.

Pronger isn't the only player on the Flyers currently dealing with concussion symptoms, as Holmgren also announced that forward Brayden Schenn will also be out indefinitely with a mild concussion. Said Holmgren in the same statement, "Brayden reported 'not feeling himself' on December 5th. Our doctors believe he has a mild concussion."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Penguins to face old friends without Crosby

jagrsmile

By: Adam Gretz


One of the most anticipated matchups of the regular season finally takes place on Thursday night as cross-state rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia face off at the Wells Fargo Center. These games are always a highlight of both team's schedules, and usually involve some level of on-ice chaos.

This time around, it's the first meeting between the two teams since the Flyers' dip into the free agency pool over the summer that included their signings of former Penguins Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot.

Talbot was a playoff hero for the Penguins in recent years, scoring two goals in their Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, helping the team claim its third Stanley Cup title. There was also his famous silencing of the crowd in Philadelphia earlier that postseason following his fight with Daniel Carcillo in a Game 6 series clinching win.

And the there's the Jagr angle. He is still the second greatest player in franchise history, and a large part of the first two championships the team won in the early 90s, and all of that is going to get overshadowed for the foreseaable future, or at least as long as he wears the Flyers orange and black, because of what happened over the summer.

By now, you're probably already familiar with how it all went down, but if you're not, a quick refresher: After spending three years playing in the KHL, Jagr was ready to make a return to the NHL and the Penguins were one of the teams interested. What followed was a highly publicized free agency courtship between them and the Detroit Red Wings, before both teams ultimately backed out of the bidding with Jagr signing a one-year pact with Pittsburgh's fiercest rival, essentially burning every bridge that wasn't already burned when he asked for a trade out of Pittsburgh 10 years ago.

And with that, the stage is set for Thursday night, even if it seems to mean more to the fans of the two teams (especially the Penguins fans) than it does for the players on the ice.

Three talking points heading into Thursday's game:

1) Matchup with Jagr more for Penguins fans than Penguins players: Regarding the Penguins' first meeting with Jagr since his signing with Philadelphia, defenseman Brooks Orpik said, via Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, "I think this whole thing is more for the fans. I've been here the longest of anyone, and I've never played with him. Had one training camp with him — that was it."

And that's probably accurate. When Jagr last suited up for the Penguins, players like Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and James Neal were all under the age of 14. Defenseman Simon Despres would have been 10 years old, and none of the players on the roster played a single game with him in the NHL.

After they missed out on Jagr, the Penguins ended up signing veteran forward Steve Sullivan who has spent most of this season playing on a line with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin. He hasn't been Jagr, but he's been solid with 12 points in 28 games.
More On Penguins-Flyers

2) With Jagr, the Flyers can still score ... a lot: Two months into the season and Jagr has proven he can still play at a high level, even at the age of 39, averaging a point-per-game with nine goals and 13 assists in his first 22 games this season, playing mostly on a line with the NHL's current leading scorer, Claude Giroux. The additions of Jagr and Talbot were part of a summer-long re-tooling by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, and while it seemed that goaltending would finally become a strength (or at least, no longer be a glaring weakness) with the addition of Ilya Bryzgalov from the Phoenix Coyotes, it's the offense that's continued to carry the Flyers, even in the absence of defenseman Chris Pronger.

The Flyers, at this point, have silenced any doubt as to whether or not they have enough offense following the losses of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino to compete for a top spot in the East, currently putting the highest-scoring team in the NHL out on the ice. Giroux has been everything the Flyers could have hoped that he would be at their top-scoring option, while rookies Matt Read and Sean Couturier have played large roles.

3) Sidney Crosby Isn't Playing And Nobody Knows Why: When the Penguins announced on Wednesday that Sidney Crosby will miss the next two games (including Thursday's game in Philadelphia) it was assumed that it was a result of his center ice collision with teammate Chris Kunitz. And while that wouldn't have been good news, it would have been better than worrying about whether or not it was a head injury. But that may not be the case. As Mike Colligan of the Hockey Writers pointed out on Thursday, Crosby took several hits during what was an extremely physical game with the Boston Bruins on Monday, including an elbow from David Krejci (poor video quality by clicking here). Because the Penguins were so vague with their description, saying only that he "took a hard hit," and because NHL teams guard injury information like it's gold in Fort Knox, we're left to guess as to which play has him sidelined "as a precaution."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com