Posts Tagged ‘Marc-Andre Fleury’

2014 NHL Playoffs: Penguins rally to edge Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 3

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Lee Stempniak's first-ever playoff goal helped the Pens retake the series lead. (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Lee Stempniak’s first-ever playoff goal helped the Penguins take a 2-1 series lead. (Jay LaPrete/AP)

By Sarah Kwak

No two-goal lead is safe in these playoffs, people, particularly in the first-round series between the Penguins and the Blue Jackets. For the third straight game, the team that built an early two-goal advantage saw their lead slip away late. On Monday night in Game 3, it was Columbus, which hoped to follow up its first postseason win with its first playoff win at home.

Two goals in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game were a promising start. But in final two seconds of the second period, Pittsburgh broke through when backliner Brooks Orpik scored.  A Jackets tally by Cam Atkinson iless than two minutes into the third period kept hope alive for the home crowd, but a wacky stretch midway through the period made sure the jinx of the two-goal lead lived on. On three consecutive shots in two minutes and 13 seconds the Penguins rattled Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, scoring three unanswered goals to come back and win 4-3.

Some more thoughts and observations from Monday night’s game:
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  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Top Line: Sidney Crosby dives again; Is shotblocking worth it? More links

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    Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    Diver down: Only this time, Sidney Crosby committed no crime in the Penguins’ playoff opener. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • There goes Sidney Crosby diving again.

    • After watching the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf take a biscuit in the mush, Jason Kay asks the obvious question: Does shot blocking do more harm than good?

    • It’s not always easy to predict which teams will get great goaltending or have their stars go on hot streaks in a series, but James Mirtle says controlling possession is one trait that defines a long playoff run.

    • It’s been a dozen years since the Blues and the Blackhawks last met in the postseason. Jeremy Rutherford says built-up hostilities should make their first-rounder a nasty affair.

    • But Bernie Miklasz thinks that puck possession, not punishment is St. Louis’ key to victory against Chicago.

    Sochi snubs may have dinged some egos in San Jose, but the downtime they provided may be the key to the Sharks’ Stanley Cup aspirations.

    Marian Gaborik produced a 61.4 percent Corsi rating over the regular season’s final seven games. Ian McLaren says that stat suggests that the veteran winger could be a difference maker for the Kings against San Jose.

    • Steve Mason is out for the Flyers’ opener against the Rangers, and that suits an old buddy just fine.

    • Philly won’t have much of a home ice advantage when the series shifts to the City of Brotherly Love.

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • NHL Playoffs: Penguins storm back for victory over Blue Jackets in Game 1

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    Marc-Andre Fleury (right) and the Penguins had to battle for a comeback win over Columbus. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and the Penguins had to battle for a comeback win over Columbus. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    By Mike Majeski

    On paper, the Penguins are heavy favorites over the Blue Jackets. Not only did Pittsburgh sweep Columbus in five regular-season games, but the Penguins are also an experienced playoff team with two of the biggest offensive weapons in the NHL. The Blue Jackets, who are making only the second playoff appearance in franchise history, have a young lineup and are without experienced veterans Nick Foligno, Nathan Horton and R.J. Umberger. But Game 1 of this series on Wednesday night showed that things aren’t always as they seem.

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • NHL players with something to prove: mission accomplished?

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    By Allan Muir

    Prior to the season, the SI.com staff identified 19 players who had something on the line in 2013-14. These players faced pressures that went beyond what others had to deal with — from living up to either their hype or their fat paychecks (or both), to getting back to the qualities that made them noteworthy in the first place.

    Today, with the season in the home stretch, we went back to that original list to examine those expectations and see which players met them … and which fell short, sometimes miserably so.

    Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks

    Bryan Bickell of the Chicago Blackhawks

    Playoff hero Bryan Bickell (29) has had an up and down season for the defending champs. (Elise Amendola/AP)

    What we said then: Bickell emerged as a game-breaking power forward (nine goals, 17 points in 23 postseason games) during Chicago’s run to the Stanley Cup last year, exactly the sort of player that several teams were seeking in free agency. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman recognized how hot a commodity Bickell had become and signed him at full value (four years, $16 million), though he had to trade Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik to create cap space. Even at 27, Bickell remains a work in progress. Stretches of inconsistency are inevitable, but he needs to translate that playoff magic into 25-plus regular season goals. We think he will.

    The verdict now: After getting off to a solid start with four goals in October, Bickell’s season has been defined by extended periods of ineffective play. He’s been limited by injuries — a lower-body ailment cost him 15 games in November and December, and he’s currently out with an upper-body issue — but it’s the inconsistency of his physical play that’s more troubling than his weak numbers (10 goals, two assists). Coach Joel Quenneville has cut Bickell’s minutes and has even benched him, but he hasn’t been able to ignite the passion or the offensive touch that was expected from the big winger. Anything short of another magical postseason for him and his new contract will veer towards bust.

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  • Published On Mar 27, 2014
  • Penguins’ Fleury honors Pittsburgh Steelers with Stadium Series mask

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    Marc-Andre Fleury will don this Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks.

    Marc-Andre Fleury will don a Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series game. (Photo courtesy Stephane Bergeron)

    By Allan Muir

    Marc-Andre Fleury sure knows how to play up to Pittsburgh sports fans. The Penguins netminder drove them crazy by donning a Steelers helmet for some post-game shenanigans during that team’s most recent Super Bowl run. But now he’s prepared to take his support for the club to a whole new level.

    When the Penguins visit Soldier Field this Saturday for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks, Fleury will debut a one-off mask designed to mimic a Steelers helmet.

    The mask was painted by Fleury’s long-time collaborator, Stephane Bergeron of Griff Airbrush.

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  • Published On Feb 25, 2014
  • Top Line: Fleury’s miraculous save; Stamkos sets return date; more links

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    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • “Unfortunately, I’m going to be on the highlights for quite a time with that one,” said Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson on Monday night after being victimized by the highlight-reel save above. Save of the year? Maybe. What do you think of Marc-Andre Fleury’s larcenous glove grab?

    • Sidelined by an unidentified illness, Kris Letang sat out his third consecutive game for the Penguins. Team doctors are running tests on the All-Star defender, but haven’t come up with any answers for what might be ailing him, or how long he’ll be out of the lineup.

    • Steven Stamkos is aiming for a return to action on Saturday night, but skating against the Red Wings doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be ready to join Team Canada.

    • The TSN panel talks NHL trade rumors, including the latest on Ryan Callahan (he wants how much?), David Legwand and Thomas Vanek, who reportedly is willing to leave money on the table to sign with the team he wants. Wonder who that could be …?

    • Whenever the Islanders get around to moving Vanek, they’d better address this area of immediate need with the return.

    • This won’t make Sabres fans crazy at all: Tyler Seguin almost came to Buffalo last summer. Watching what he’s done to accelerate the Stars’ rebuild, that thought is gonna hurt for a long time …

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  • Published On Feb 04, 2014
  • Top Line: Ray Emery vs. Braden Holtby fight sparks rules talk; more links

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    Ray Emery fights Braden Holtby

    Ray Emery’s beatdown of Braden Holtby was one of the more lopsided goalie bouts of recent years. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Gary Bettman danced around a question about Ray Emery’s beating of Braden Holtby of Friday night, but not before suggesting that it was something the league’s general managers would look at. Could a rule change be on the horizon?

    • Mike Russo says that the Wild could definitely use more scoring, but adds that with a promising group of kids on the roster, and in the pipeline, they may have more pressing needs than Islanders’ winger Thomas Vanek next summer. Maybe Russo is just throwing a little cold water on a rumor . . . or maybe Minnesota is hoping to send out a message that it’s not sitting around waiting for Vanek with bags of money.

    • Sabres enforcer Patrick Kaleta cleared waivers on Sunday. Now what?

    • Nazem Kadri has always wanted to be the go-to guy for the Maple Leafs. With forwards Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland out indefinitely, Kadri finally has his chance.

    • Toronto GM Dave Nonis admits that the Maple Leafs are fortunate to be 10-5-0, and also discusses what lies ahead for the team in this interview with Mike Zeisberger.

    • Great goaltending and a star player channeling his inner Jonathan Toews have made the Lightning the surprise team in the East.

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  • Published On Nov 04, 2013
  • Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 3

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    By Allan Muir

    Each week, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date. (All stats current as of Wed. Oct. 23)

    Team USA

    1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

    His up-and-down season continued with a soft third period against the Flames on Monday, but at least he has his shootout mojo going for him. After shutting down Nashville on Thursday, he’s 3-0 in the skills competition, and hasn’t allowed a goal on the eight shots he’s faced. (Last week: 1)

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  • Published On Oct 23, 2013
  • Top Line: Florida Panthers trade rumors; another goofy goal; more links

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    Marc-Andre Fleury is now under the gun with Tomas Vokoun out three to six months

    Marc-Andre Fleury allowed a soft goal from center ice on Saturday night. (Hans Pennink/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Bruce Garrioch speculates about an impending fire sale in Florida, trade options for the Oilers and the possible availability of Rangers prospect Chris Kreider in this week’s Sunday column.

    • Another night, another entry into the brutal goal-allowed club. This time, it was Marc-Andre Fleury revisiting his playoff form by allowing one from center ice. Forget how nicely he’s rebounded from last spring’s playoff debacle. That softie is exactly why there’s almost no chance Team Canada officials consider him for Sochi.

    • Cory Schneider’s first exposure to the Devils/Rangers rivalry went pretty well. He earned his 10th career shutout and helped the team snap a franchise record seven-game losing streak as New Jersey won its first game of the season.

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  • Published On Oct 20, 2013
  • Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 2

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    Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings

    Jonathan Quick’s skill ( Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Each Monday, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date.

    Team USA

    1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings: No surprise to see Quick make three stops in the shootout and preserve a win over the Hurricanes on Friday. He has a 70 percent save percentage in the skills competition, sixth-best among active goalies. That skill might come in handy in Sochi. (Last week: 4)

    2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres: He returned from a minor injury just in time to have his defense desert him in a 4-1 loss to Columbus, but was exceptional in a 2-1 defeat by the Blackhawks that was played entirely in Buffalo’s zone. (Last week: 1)

    3. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings: He looked great in a tough win over the Flyers, keeping the Wings in the game early when Philly was pressing, and late when they were clinging to a one-goal lead. That’s Howard at his best. (Last week: 3)

    4. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators: Tough to blame the keeper when the team in front of him abandons all pretense of playing defense, but he looked a little shellshocked when he was pulled just four minutes into Sunday night’s game against the Ducks. (Last week: 2)

    5. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils: He’s winless with the Devils, but he gives them a chance to grab two points every night. He was sensational during a third period New Jersey power play (not a typo) on Sunday night against the Jets, stopping two breakaways and keeping the score close. (Last week: NR)

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  • Published On Oct 14, 2013


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