Good morning everyone,
We start off with another excellent article by Mike Colligan called Fact, Figures, and Outside Perspectives on the Penguins. He's done a lot of work to review all the relevant sources of hockey wisdom (Dobber Hockey, NHL SuperSchedule, Hockey Prospectus, Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract) and analyze what all the data and information therein mean for the Penguins. Which month will be worst opponent- and travel-wise? After the first 3 games, what are we in for a bit later? Just a great read throughout.
Game of the night on Wednesday was definitely the first meeting of Central Division rivals Blues and Blackhawks. A great back-and-forth game and a great finish, with Alex Steen converting a 3-on-1 with 25 seconds left. Blues take the game 3-2. With Detroit moving East, this is going to be the new love-fest to watch.
An interesting rule situation happened on Tuesday night. In the Flyers-Panthers game Jay Rosehill took two coincidental minor penalties in the third period. I always thought that would automatically amount to 4 minutes of 5-on-4, but actually rule 19, example 7 allows the captain of the team going on the PK to choose whether to play 5-on-4 for 4 minutes or 5-on-3 for 2 minutes. Giroux (who said after the game he was caught off-guard, as well as Berube) chose to go 4 minutes 5-on-4 and they killed it off. Question of the day: if you knew you could get it over with in 2 minutes, would you (and in what situation) choose the 2 minutes of 5-on-3 over 4 minutes of 5-on-4?
The Washington Capitals will host the Winter Classic 2015. The opponent and the venue are yet to be decided. If Caps owner Ted Leonsis has his way, it will be at Nationals Park. Ultimately it will be the league's decision, but one he can influence.
Dave Bolland had a terrific end to the 2013 lockout-shortened season, scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Blackhawks. When the Hawks opted not to bring him back, he headed home to Toronto and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Dennis Seidenberg agrees to a contract extension with the Boston Bruins to the tune of 4 years, $16M. A good deal for both sides. Sharks' Brad Stuart was suspended 3 games for an elbow to the head of Rick Nash.
From our sister SBN blog covering the Phoenix Coyotes, a story about Yotes fans putting their money where their mouth is. The home opener was a sellout and the fans didn't blink at the added parking cost, which used to be free. Many fans feel that the extra $10-15 per game is a small price to pay for the team staying in town.
A great topic for a top 10 list. Grantland lists top 10 players who spent their entire career with one team. I don't know that I would pick the exact 10 players or put them in the same order, but it's a really well thought-out selection and obviously can't argue with the guy at #1.
Can't end without a little Buccos tribute from across the state. About a year and a half ago, in mid-March 2012, I was at the Pens-Flyers game in WFC and seated immediately behind me were a father and his 17-year-old daughter from Pittsburgh. We had a really nice conversation about sports teams in the two cities, and he wistfully said how his daughter had never seen a Pirates winning season in her entire life. Well, this year she did, and what a season it was. The Buccos made baseball fun again and they have so much to be proud of. This is the dawn of a new, winning, era of Pirates baseball.