The Chicago Blackhawks were the better team on Saturday, in a snowy Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field. And Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma knew it.
He was blunt in his remarks of his team’s play in a 5-1 loss to the host Blackhawks, not using the wintery conditions as an excuse – even if the constant snowfall made it next to impossible for the skilled players to handle the puck.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if we played this game inside or outside or if there was snow or no snow. They were better and
more prepared to play, whatever the conditions were. And the first half of the game was a large indication of that,” Bylsma told reporters after the game.
“They played to their advantage of being in the offensive zone, they executed better getting there, and they were that team, and we were not.”
The lone Pittsburgh goal was credited to James Neal, although it was Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook who one-timed the puck into his own wide open net in the third period. For the Penguins, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, two of Pittsburgh’s most dangerous offensive players, were held off the score sheet.
“Our team wasn’t at the level we needed to be, and they were. And you saw that. You saw that pretty much right from the get-go in this game,” said Bylsma.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.