Heatley to open with Getzlaf and Perry?

13 Comments

From NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke:

There’s two ways of looking at this.

One, in a positive light — Heatley’s a left-handed shot that would (theoretically) play LW with Perry on the right and Getzlaf down the middle. In that sense, it’s a natural fit. Two, Heatley’s frame (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) and skating ability (or lack thereof) is more suited to the puck-possession, big-bodied style that the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Getzlaf and 6-foot-3, 212-pound Perry play.

But there’s also the negative way to view this.

What often seems like a good fit doesn’t always work. Last year, the Ducks signed Dustin Penner in the hopes of recreating some of the magic he had with Getzlaf and Perry during the 2006-07 campaign, but it never panned out. Penner’s game simply tailed off too much; after a good start to the season (he had 16 points in 15 games in November), he scored just four times in 27 games prior to getting dealt to Washington for a fourth-round pick… which didn’t sound like the most pleasant departure.

From the OC Register:

Penner said the interaction with [Ducks GM Bob] Murray was short and quick.

“He just said, ‘You’ve been traded to Washington,’” Penner said. “I said, ‘Why?’ And then he said, ‘Cap room.’ And then I left.”

Just like that, Penner’s second stint with the Ducks didn’t last eight months. The big winger who won a Stanley Cup with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in 2007 was brought back on a one-year, $2-million deal to reignite the chemistry they had as a trio.

Penner arrived in training camp out of shape but worked his way back on to the top line and had his best run after an October concussion with seven goals and 12 assists in 18 games. His production tailed off but had picked up right before the trade.

Heatley, much like Penner, has been criticized for a lack of fitness and conditioning during his NHL career.

That said, Heatley — a two-time 50-goalscorer that popped 24 during the ’11-12 season — appears to be already focused on playing with Perry and Getzlaf, which may spur him on to arrive at Anaheim’s camp in the best shape imaginable:

Video: Senators make Penguins pay for penalties with 1-1 goal

3 Comments

The Ottawa Senators have defied odds during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they’ve done so with what’s often been an ice-cold power play.

They finally struck gold on the man advantage on Tuesday, and at a key moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins were dominating much of the game and pressing for an even bigger edge after Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0.

Maybe the Penguins got overzealous, or maybe officials … finally started making some calls. Either way, the Senators ended up with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute-and-a-half. With that opportunity, Bobby Ryan scored a huge goal for Ottawa on a shot that was both oddly and perfectly placed.

Moments later, Kyle Turris narrowly missed a golden opportunity, so the contest remained tied 1-1.

Despite a late push by the Penguins to finish the second, Game 6 will enter the third period with a 1-1 score.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6

Another big goal from Malkin; another confusing goalie interference review

7 Comments

The Ottawa Senators are ready for a fight in Game 6, which seemingly means that the Pittsburgh Penguins must grind for space and chances. So far, the Penguins are willing to do just that.

Being that this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it also means that you need to shrug off setbacks … and the Penguins are doing well in that area, too.

After a 0-0 first period, it seemed like Trevor Daley scored a “greasy” 1-0 goal, but after a review, it was dismissed because of goalie interference. The crowd’s silent, confused response mirrored many on social media who genuinely don’t know what is or is not interference any longer.

The Penguins could have sulked after that near-goal. Instead, they just kept chipping away. Evgeni Malkin finally broke the ice – for real – with a gritty 1-0 tally. You can watch that ugly-pretty effort in the video above this post’s headline.

This marks Malkin’s seventh goal and 24th point of the postseason. No one else has reached 20 yet.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6

Colin White makes Senators playoff debut, Penguins lineup the same

Getty
Leave a comment

The Stanley Cup Playoffs often feel like a battle of attrition, which only makes the introduction of fresh faces that much more compelling.

Try this on for size: with their playoff lives on the line, the Ottawa Senators will see the playoff debut of 2015 first-rounder* Colin White against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. It’s also just his third game at the NHL level, overall.

After rolling with seven defensemen in Game 5, Guy Boucher is opting for a traditional alignment of 12 forwards and six defensemen.

White has that high-level pedigree and possibly fresh legs – even just relatively speaking – so it’s not out of the question for the 20-year-old center to make an impact.

Check out the full roster report here (note: Pittsburgh’s going with the same group as Game 5). Scott Wilson is good to go for the Penguins.

* – 21st overall.

Boucher on Senators’ resiliency: ‘We’ve always chosen to fight’

3 Comments

It’s almost always intriguing to see how a team responds to a tough playoff loss, but that fascination spikes even more if said team fell by an especially lopsided score.

We’ve seen the Pittsburgh Penguins respond to some blowouts with big wins, but now the shoe is on the other foot; how will the Ottawa Senators rebound from the 7-0 shellacking they suffered in Game 5?

Well, if you ask Guy Boucher, they’ve developed a track record that shows they’re willing to fight with their backs against the wall.

Great stuff, right? It’s honestly too bad that Boucher’s defensive system isn’t always as entertaining as his quotes.

Speaking of how Game 5 feeds into tonight’s Game 6, the video above this post’s headline discusses how Ottawa’s goaltenders might be feeling heading into Tuesday.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6