Tag:Jason Williams
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 12:54 am
 

Winners & Losers: Big night for Kings offense

KingsAdam Gretz

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Winners

Los Angeles Kings: Entering Tuesday's game in Nashville it had been nearly three full months since the Los Angeles Kings scored five goals in a single game, and they managed to do it for the first time since January 9 in a 5-4 win against the Predators thanks in part to a pair of first period goals from Justin Williams.

The Kings offense, which has been the worst in the league for much of the season, is finally starting to show some signs of life in recent weeks and they have now scored 16 goals over their past five games.

Regression to the mean works both ways, and perhaps it was only a matter of time until things started to improve. A team with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty never should be one of the worst offensive teams in recent NHL history, as the Kings have been this season.

[Related Kings 5, Predators 4]

Boston Bruins: It wasn't necessarily pretty, but after losing back-to-back games over the weekend the Bruins were able to get back in the win column on Tuesday night with a 5-4 win in Toronto. The Bruins were led offensively by Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron, each scoring a pair of goals, and the win allows them to maintain their three-point lead over the Ottawa Senators, 7-3 winners in Tampa Bay, in the Northeast Division race.

The next step for the Bruins is trying to figure out how to do something they haven't done in almost two months … win consecutive games.

They have another chance on Thursday night against Buffalo.

[Related: Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 4]

Ilya Bryzgalov and the Flyers: For the second straight game Ilya Bryzgalov came up big for the Flyers, stopping 37 of the 39 shots he faced in a 3-2 win over the Red Wings. Max Talbot continued his career year for the Flyers scoring his 18th goal of the season. The only downside of the night for the Flyers was the hit forward Jakub Voracek received from Niklas Kronwall.

[Related: Flyers 3, Red Wings 2 -- Voracek crushed by Kronwall -- Grossmann's name change]

Dallas Stars: The Stars took over sole possession of first place on Tuesday night with an impressive 5-2 win in Vancouver, and in the process completed a perfect three-game road trip through western Canada, a road trip that saw them outscore the Flames, Oilers and Canucks by a 10-5 margin. Thanks to the Coyotes loss in Columbus (more on that below) the Stars now have a two-point lead over Phoenix in the Pacific Division race.

Mike Ribeiro had a three-point night (two goals, assist) in the win and also won over 50 percent of his faceoffs, while Richard Bachman 29 of 31 shots.

Losers

Phoenix Coyotes: After putting together an 11-0-1 run in February some regression had to be expected for the Coyotes at some point. They weren't going to keep winning forever, and even though they entered Tuesday's game riding a three-game losing streak, they showed some signs of busting out of their mini-slump on Monday night.

But that was all erased on Tuesday in Columbus where they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Blue Jackets, losing to the 30th ranked team in the NHL for the second time in less than a week. Those are points you can not let slip away, and the last thing the Coyotes can afford right now is to have this turn into a five or six game losing streak.

[Related: Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 2 -- For Coyotes, playoffs have already started]

Toronto Maple Leafs: What started as a positive day with the re-signing of forward Mikhail Grabovski ended with not only a loss on the scoreboard to the Bruins, their fifth in a row this season, but also included injuries to forwards Joffrey Lupul and Colby Armstrong, neither of which is expected to play Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Not good.

[Related: Leafs re-sign Grabovski]

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Can Jason Williams find a role with Penguins?

WilliamsBy: Adam Gretz

The Penguins signed Jason Williams to a one-year, two-way contract on Tuesday afternoon worth $600,000 if he makes the NHL roster. It's not exactly a move that's going to send shockwaves through the NHL, but it could prove to be a good fit for the 10-year veteran as well as the Penguins.

Throughout his career -- which he's spent bouncing between Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus and Dallas -- Williams has been a solid power play specialist that can chip in some points on the man-advantage. Of the 93 goals he's scored in his career, 32 have come on the power play, while nearly 40 percent of his total points over the past six seasons have come while playing playing with the man-advantage.

And that has to make him at least somewhat attractive to the Penguins, assuming he can earn a spot on the NHL roster.

Despite an impressive talent level, and what should be a strong power play unit on paper, the Penguins have been a below average team on the power play for about three years now. Going back to the 2008-09 season their power play has finished 20th ('08-09), 19th ('09-10) and 25th ('10-11) in the NHL, and is coming off of a disastrous performance in last season's opening round playoff loss to Tampa Bay, where the Penguins converted on just one of their 35 power play opportunities.

Because the Penguins have so much invested in their core players, particularly their top-three centers Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, they don't have the luxury of adding high-profile wingers in free agency or through trades. Instead, they're forced to search for veterans that can come at a bargain price to fill in around their big three. Perhaps Williams can be one of those players that gives them the potential for a small boost in one area -- like the power play -- even if his game has other flaws.

Earlier this offseason the Penguins signed Steve Sullivan to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. He's also been a productive player on the power play during his career, even though he's been limited by injuries in recent years.

Photo: Getty Images

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


 
 
 
 
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