Isles score on Fleury

Crosby says Pens have confidence in Fleury


We can hear the rebuttals already — Well, what else is he supposed to say? That Marc-Andre Fleury is terrible and Tomas Vokoun should definitely start Game 5?

And while that particularly rebuttal may, in fact, have merit, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby still came out in support of his team’s embattled starting goalie the day after Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Islanders.

“Our confidence (in him) is there,” said Crosby, per WDVE’s Mike Prisuta. “He’s won a Stanley Cup. He’s shown numerous times he can bounce back.”

But will Fleury be given the opportunity in Game 5 to show he can bounce back? The 28-year-old has given up 14 goals — a number of them questionable — in the last three games, and the Pens have a capable backup in veteran Tomas Vokoun.

Fleury also struggled badly in last year’s first-round loss to the Flyers.

Related: Columnist says Pens must start Vokoun in Game 5

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.