Crosby struggling without Malkin


Malkin.jpgFor those that argue that Sidney Crosby is the most complete player
in the NHL, and at a higher level than some others around the league, he
has some serious issues when Evgeni Malkin is not playing. According
to Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review:

Although Malkin’s numbers this season are down from the lofty
standards he has set, his value is becoming increasingly clear. The
Penguins are 3-7 in the games he has missed.

Perhaps more alarmingly, Crosby, who is tied with Alex Ovechkin for
the NHL goal lead with 45, has produced zero goals and only three
assists in the 10 games Malkin has missed.

Crosby had just three shots on net last night, and was frustrated all
game by the Red Wings. That will happen when you’re
facing Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski all night long
, but it’s
tough to deny that Crosby has issues creating his own space and scoring
chances when Malkin isn’t playing next to him.

This certainly
isn’t a case of anyone claiming that Crosby is just a product of
Malkin’s genius (although that is an interesting research project for
the future), and the Penguins are having more issues than just trying to
get by while he is out due to injury.

Any team will struggle when
you take away of their top-two players, and it’s up to the coach and
the general manager to build a team that doesn’t completely fall apart
when one player is lost. The Washington Capitals seem to get by just
fine without Ovechkin — with him, they are that much better but without
him they are still a dangerous team.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: