In an effort to help get fans in Pittsburgh excited about the upcoming season and opening of their new CONSOL Energy Center, the Penguins have announced the Penguins All-Time team. As you might expect, the team is loaded with players from their back-to-back Stanley Cup teams of the early 1990s.
Nine of those 15 players were all members of at least one of the Penguins Stanley Cup teams of the 90s. Success can help fill out memories of the past pretty clearly. While this team is likely to add a few members in about 20 years time, this group as it is pretty amazing to see when you reflect back on those championship teams.
Lemieux, Francis and Jagr all speak for themselves. Kevin Stevens was the power forward hired gun that worked along side Lemieux adding extra muscle down low to allow Lemieux the extra room to maneuver on the ice. What Coffey and Murphy did on defense is incredible considering Coffey was coming over from Edmonton where he’d already won three Cups. Winning one more with Pittsburgh helped cement his legacy. Larry Murphy was part of both Penguins Cup winners, meanwhile Ulf Samuelsson cemented his own legacy as one of the most vicious defensemen in the league.Tom Barrasso was the ornery goaltender who backstopped both of those championship teams and Joe Mullen was the unsung American winger that provided extra goal-scoring punch working alongside Ron Francis.
It’s a solid list and while there’s no doubt that we’ll see the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Gonchar on such a list in years to come, you’ve got to wonder who would coach this team based on the Penguins past. Would it be “Badger” Bob Johnson who coached the 1991 team? How about Scotty Bowman who coached the 1992? Do you give it to Dan Bylsma just because he’s the new guy on the scene? Perhaps just giving it to Rick Kehoe since he made it as a player on this list would be most fun. You don’t see player-coaches anymore so why not do it for a fun list instead.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.