Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday Morning Roundup

Various thoughts and tidbits this morning...

  • The Flyers lost both other Game 1's they've had this year too. First it was Alex Ovechkin picking Lasse Kukkonen's pocket and scoring the winner in the dying moments. The next series it was Alexei Kovalev scoring with just :29 seconds to go in regulation for the tie the game, and former Penguin Tom Kostopolous winning it in OT just 48 seconds into that stanza. So don't say Philly doesn't know how to bounce back from deflating losses, they won Game 2 and 3 in both of those series.
  • The Penguins have now won all six of their home playoff games and have a 14 game home winning streak dating back to the regular season.
  • In the other Pittsburgh/Philly series, the Wilkes-Scranton Penguins have defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms 4 games to 1, including four straight wins. The Baby Pens are being paced by Tim Brent (9 goals, 8 assists in 10 games) and rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski (3 goals, 11 assists). Brent and Goligoski are 1/2 in scoring for the AHL playoffs.
  • It's hard to imagine Goligoski not on the NHL roster at the beginning of next season if he keeps playing like this. He's the prototypical "post-lockout" puckmoving defenseman. Kris Letang has slid into the lineup almost seamlessly. Goligoski's development has taken a little longer (three years of NCAA play and this one in the AHL) but could he finally be the one to break the curse of Greg Malone?
  • While on young players, ATO's Luca Caputi (2 goals, 2 assists in 7 games) and Dustin Jeffrey (2 goals and 1 assist in 5 games) are stepping right into the AHL playoffs and playing well. As you know, we've had these guys on the radar since early in the year with their impressive statistical performances in the OHL, but doing it at the professional level is another matter. While Caputi and Jeffrey haven't dominated like Jeff Carter [23 points in 21 games] and Mike Richards [14 points in 15] did for the Phantoms in the 2005 AHL playoffs, they've still made contributions.
  • The Baby Pens will play Portland (Anaheim's minor league team) in the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Finals. The other remaining teams in the West (with the NHL affiliation in parenthesis) are Syracuse (Columbus) and Toronto Marlies (Toronto) with that winner to meet the winner of the Chicago Wolves (Atlanta) and Rockford (Chicago).
  • So Pittsburgh has the only NHL and AHL team in the conference finals at both levels. Not a sure sign of superiority or anything, but a tribute to how stocked the organ-eye-zation is right now.
  • Quote of the day may be from Mr. Gary Roberts in the Toronto Sun talking about Geno..."He is taking it to a whole new level, both goals tonight came late in shifts. By then, most of us are dead tired. He's on the ice a minute, a minute and a half into his shift and he finds the strength. I don't think he's human like the rest of us. And then he makes these plays ... I've never seen anything like him before."
  • Over in the West, Detroit's got a seven game winning streak going...Even though we picked against them, we still said a Pittsburgh/Detroit matchup has looked inevitable for a while, and it's continuing to look that way one game into the conference finals. One game, of course, is not a series, but unless Philadelphia/Dallas can recover and drastically make some changes it won't be long until the Cup finals start.

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