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On location: Islanders 5, Penguins 3

.

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game: Penguins (47-22-6) vs. New York Islanders (31-33-11)

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, 105.9 The X

Here is the official live summary.

Updates are on our Penguins page. Josh Yohe has been signed to a 97-year contract by Garth Snow.

Comments

  1. Tyler says:

    In light of the playoff race in which the Pens are now embarked, I wanted to through out an idea for a new Playoff Format. I think we can all agree that the current format is flawed (where the 6th spot is often the most desirable, particularly more desirable than 4th or 5th, and sometimes more than 1st where you might catch a hot team that fought to make it). Often the 16 best teams don’t make the playoffs (Dallas was left out last year despite having 2 more points than the Rangers). And in the West, top seeds like Detroit often have to travel across the country in a first round series against West Coast teams (a real disadvantage vs. teams in other series/in the East).

    The New Alignment (4 Conferences of 7 or 8 teams) was rejected by the NHLPA partly due to concern over the playoff format proposed (inter-conference 1st 2 rounds, then a “final four”). I can’t blame them; think about the “Atlantic” this year (NYR v. NJ, PIT v. PHI, Washington doesn’t even make it)…it would be a bloodbath and despite those teams possibly being the very best in the league, they most likely would do too much damage to each other for anyone to get to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    So here is my proposal: Realign the teams as planned (4 Conferences) but instead of inter-conference playoffs, the Top-16 teams based on points make the playoffs. Conference winners get the top-4 “seeds” and then the next 4 highest scoring teams get the next 4 “seeds.”

    The Twist: These top 8 teams get to CHOOSE their opponent. Teams would certainly weigh different things (travel/timezone, match ups, injuries, how “hot” a team is, etc.) such that it is no guarantee that the 1st place team automatically would choose the team with the lowest points. For example, this year the 1st place Blues may choose to play Dallas rather than Los Angeles, even though LA has fewer points.

    Then in the second round, the best teams remaining (Conference Winner first, then each subsequent team with the most points) get to choose from the lower teams remaining, etc.

    Things I like about this format:
    -Ensures the top 16 teams make it to the dance.
    -Rewards the best teams by letting them pick who they play.
    -You could have ANY two teams in the Stanley Cup final.
    -It makes the regular season meaningful all the way through in that more teams are in the hunt since top 16 make it no matter what conference AND the higher you get in the standings, the more choice you have in the playoffs.
    (One ‘con’ here is that the Trade Deadline would suck even more. More teams in contention means less big trades…but maybe you move the deadline back a bit and that creates some action)
    -It’s something no other professional sport does.
    -The first round selection could be made into an event with representatives from each team (GMs, Coaches, Captains, etc.) attending and announcing the selections. You could have instant analysis of each series by commentators/analysts/etc.
    In subsequent rounds, the selections wouldn’t have to be a big event, but could be something that is streamed on NHL.com or something, with each team teleconferencing their selection.
    -The series themselves would be even more intense because the team ‘chosen’ would instantly be able to play the disrespect card and the ‘choosing’ team would have to prove themselves right.

    Thoughts?

  2. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens seem to be sleep walking through this period, odd for a home game and against the lowly Islanders. Isles lead 1-0 and now on the PP

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    I should note, team will look a little out of sync with Niskanen, Lovejoy, and Letang missing from the lineup due to injury. Despres and Strait are nice additions to be able to recall during situations like this but they are nowhere ready to take up the quality ice time taken up by Niskanen and Letang, so Martin, Michalek, and Orpik really have to step it up this evening.

  4. Eric Bowser says:

    with 3.8 seconds to go after Pens power-play pressured the Islanders, Grabner flies up the ice and sends a long range wrister off Fleury’s glove and New York heads to the intermission up 2-0.

  5. Eric Bowser says:

    Kennedy scores early in second period to cut the Isles lead to 2-1

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    and just like that, Pens tie it at 2 after long shift for Malkin line is capped off with Neal one-timer goal. Too many shots and scoring chances for the Pens to have been kept off the board in first period.

  7. Eric Bowser says:

    I guess I spoke too soon about the lowly Isles on this night 4-2 Isles, whacky bounces and chances going their way with Okposo goal and PP goal by Ullstrom.

  8. Flower needed the rest after all those games of the winning streak, but since then, he has been average. He has been giving up some cheap goal very late in periods and games. I can’t see the game tonight, but it seems he is not on tonight. Pens are outshooting the Ilses, but they have 4 goals now. It will be amazing if the offense can come back again. It doesn’t hurt that the defense has been hit with some injuries.

  9. Man, I should really proofread this stuff before I post. I meant “goals” instead of “goal,” and “doesn’t help” instead of “doesn’t hurt.”

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens really need Martin, Michalek and Orpik to lead the defense with sound positional defense and they’re getting nothing close to it. They really miss the steady play of Niskanen and Letang covering up for everyone’s miscues.

    Little worried about the head shot on Fleury by Martin after he had taken a shot off the goalie mask on the shift prior. Pens cannot afford to lose Fleury, he’s their most important player from a team perspective.

  11. Milo Hamilton says:

    That is as hard as Paul Martin has ever hit anyone.

  12. scapper says:

    Eeeeasyyyy everybody. Long season with a lot of ups and downs. Before Saturday this team was the 78 Canadiens. Two bad losses in three games and they’re the 75 Caps with multiple glaring weaknesses.

    You’re going to get it handed to you in this league from time to time, and this is just the sixth loss since mid-January. No time to lose all perspective.

    [However, if they do this again Thursday and Friday, save a seat on the panic wagon for me, ha ha.]

  13. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is Paul Martin’s middle name Behind ? ‘Cause when I’m listening to games, Mike Lange often says, “Behind Martin, in on goal …”. Just wonderin’.

    DK: Someone’s on a roll.

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