Around the rankings world, and thoughts on Crosby-Bylsma.

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Well, dear readers, it’s been too long. This past road trip was an off one for me, and my intention to blog this morning from practice didn’t play out because of a fender bender on my way to Southpointe. Actually, make it a roof crusher, but enough about me…

Can’t imagine I was a popular guy in the dressing room, given this story: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_708391.html. Stories like that aren’t especially pleasant to write for a beat reporter because the writer knows next-day response will be rough. (This is the reason I regret missing practice because of the accident; it is important to show your face on a day when the room is against you.) Still, there isn’t a lot that needs to be read into that story. It’s pretty cut and dry based of the quotes.

I will be watching closely for the response from the Penguins as a collective group. I cannot forget the reaction to a story I wrote during the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, a story that featured C EVGENI MALKINtelling me he was uncomfortable with his left-point responsibilities on the power play. The Penguins’ response the next day include complete denouncement of my story, accusations that I had misquoted Malkin — those coming from coaches and players alike. It wasn’t until the next training camp that Malkin and leftover players confided they were told to denounce my story. A few of the most vocal critics of me the day that story was published also apologized, with RW PETR SYKORA and D SERGEI GONCHARacknowledging that Malkin told them every quote he provided me was correctly interpreted.

 I remember thinking then that the Penguins would have been better served listening to Malkin rather than trying for next-day spin control, as clearly his discomfort on the power play had affected the power play, which underperformed in that Final series loss.

Anyway, now onto some notes from practice that were passed along to me by PittsburghPenguins.com:

= Malkin and G BRENT JOHNSONreturned to practice. Malkin had left Monday’s session early, and Johnson was sick for that practice.

= C MIKE COMRIE didn’t practice.

Time to hit the rankings circuit, kids:

= The Penguins are down a spot in ESPN.com’s view: http://espn.go.com/nhl/powerrankings

= A big fall for the Penguins at TSN.ca: http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/rankings/nhl/

= It’s No. 14 for the Penguins at USAtoday.com: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2010-11-08-power-rankings-jaroslav-halak_N.htm

And, in the interest of full disclosure, my USAtoday.com ballots is below the sign off.

 

Cheers,

Rossi 

TEAMS

1 – Los Angeles

2 – St. Louis

3 – Boston

4 – Washington

5 – Detroit

6 – Vancouver

7 – Philadelphia

8 – Dallas

9 – San Jose

10 – Montreal

11 – Minnesota

12 – Tampa Bay

13 – Chicago

14 – Columbus

15 – Nashville

16 – Colorado

17 – Pittsburgh

18 – NY Rangers

19 – Ottawa

20 – Carolina

21 – Atlanta

22 – Toronto

23 – Phoenix

24 – Anaheim

25 – Calgary

26 – Florida

27 – Edmonton

28 – NY Islanders

29 – Buffalo

30 – New Jersey

MVP

1 – Steven Stamkos, TBL

2 – Jaroslav Halak, STL

3 – Pavel Datsyuk, DET

4 – Brad Richards, DAL

5 – Alex Ovechkin, WSH

GOALIES

1 – Jaroslav Halak, STL

2 – Tim Thomas, BOS

3 – Jonathan Quick, LAK

4 – Brent Johnson, PIT

5 – Sergei Bobrovsky, PHI

DEFENSEMEN

1 – Nicklas Lidstrom, DET

2 – Kris Letang, PIT

3 – John-Michael Liles, COL

4 – Dan Boyle, SJS

5 – Mike Green, WSH

ROOKIES

1 – Jeff Skinner, CAR

2 – John Carlson, WSH

3 – Mark Letestu, PIT

4 – Tyler Ennis, BUF

5 – Logan Couture, SJS

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