Winning in the Division and Steve Downie - Around the Metro Division 2/19/2015 - 2/26/2015


This is the headline on the NHL.com trade deadline blog:  Penguins wouldn't mind adding a forward.  Really?!?!?  That's some first rate journalism right there.  Especially because that really isn't what the story is.  Furthermore. what contender would not want to add another scoring forward?  What the story actually says is that the Penguins are more likely to add a forward than a defenseman at the deadline.  Not that it will help since the Penguins cannot seem to win a game against a division rival at home... oh...look... the Penguins play the Blue Jackets at home tonight.

Metro Games to Watch This Week
Thursday, February 19 - Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Friday, February 20 - New York Rangers @ Buffalo Sabres (not much happening tonight)
Saturday, February 21 -  Pittsburgh Penguis @ St. Louis Blues
Sunday, February 22 - Florida Panthers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Monday, February 23 - Arizona Coyotes @ New Jersey Devils (only Metro game)
Tuesday, February 24 - Phildelphia Flyers @ Carolina Hurricanes
Wednesday, February 25 - Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals

Current Patrick Metro Division Standings

New York Islanders
Last Week3-1-0
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - vs. Nashville Predators
     Saturday, February 21 -  @ Washington Capitals
     Sunday, February 22 - vs. Vancouver Canucks
     Tuesday, February 24 - vs. Arizona Coyotes
Transactions:
     Thursday, February 12 - Harry Zolnierczyk sent down to AHL Bridgeport
     Sunday, February 15 - Matt Carkner waived
     Monday, February 16 - Matt Carkner sent down to AHL Bridgeport
Injuries:
     Casey Cizikas - Lower Body

Anders Lee has picked up the scoring that the Isles lost when Okposo went down.  Although they lost in a battle against the Rangers, the Isles won four in a row before that game.  It looks like the division is going to one of the teams from New York.

Last Week:  3-0-0
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - vs. Vancouver Canucks
     Friday, February 20 - @ Buffalo Sabres
     Sunday, February 22 - vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
     Tuesday, February 24 - vs. Calgary Flames
Transactions:  None
Injuries:  None

Henrik who?  Last week the Rangers looked like they would just need to tread water until Lundqvist got healthy.  After winning 4 games in a row, including one against the Isles, the Rangers are in a position to take the division lead with 3 games in hand on their rivals from Long Island.

Last Week:  1-1-1
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
     Saturday, February 21 - @ St. Louis Blues
     Sunday, February 22 - vs. Florida Panthers
     Wednesday, February 25 - @ Washington Capitals
Transactions:  None
Injuries:  
     Christian-Ehrhoff - Concussion

Yikes.  After appearing to cruise to victory against the Senators, the Penguins did their absolute best to give that game away.  Now the Penguins are on a two game losing streak, including another loss against a Metro division opponent.  Time is running out for the Penguins to figure something, anything out.

Last Week:  2-1-0
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - vs. Winnipeg Jets
     Saturday, February 21 - vs. New York Islanders
     Sunday, February 22 - @ Philadelphia Flyers
     Wednesday, February 25 - vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (woot)
Transactions:  
     Wednesday, February 18 - Steve Olesky sent down to AHL Hershey
Injuries:  None

I really cannot stand Alex Ovechkin.  Not much more to say,

Last Week:  1-1-1
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - vs. Buffalo Sabres
     Saturday, February 21 - vs. Nashville Predators
     Sunday, February 22 - vs. Washington Capitals
     Tuesday, February 24 - @ Carolina Hurricanes
Transactions:  
     Sunday, February 15 - Scott Laughton sent down to AHL Lehigh Valley
     Monday, February 16 - Rob Zepp called up from AHL Lehigh Valley
     Monday, February 16 - Anthony Stolarz sent down to AHL Lehigh Valley
     Monday, February 16 - Zac Rinaldo suspension over
     Wednesday, February 18 - Nick Schultz contract extended, 2 years extension
Injuries:  None

Somehow the Flyers are still in the discussion for the playoffs as the Bruins are faltering and the Flyers have points in 9 of their last 10.  Kimmo Timonen might be making a comeback which would only help the Flyers make a push.

Last Week:  2-1-0
Upcoming Games:
     Thursday, February 19 - @ Pittsburgh Penguins (woot)
     Saturday, February 21 - @ Montreal Canadiens
     Sunday, February 22 - @ New York Rangers
     Tuesday, February 24 - vs. Buffalo Sabres
Transactions:  
     Monday, February 16 - Marko Dano called up from AHL Springfield
     Tuesday, February 17 - Brian Gibbons sent down to AHL Springfield
Injuries:  
     Dalton Prout - Upper Body
     Nick Foligno - Lower Body

Looking forward to the draft, this might be a dangerous team next year.  They still have a good core of players and will get a high draft pick to add to it.  Been such a weird year for this team.

Last Week:  1-2-0
Upcoming Games:
     Friday, February 20 - vs, Vancouver Canucks
     Saturday, February 21 - vs. Carolina Hurricanes
     Monday, February 23 - vs, Arizona Coyotes
     Wednesday, February 25 - vs, Calgary Flames
Transactions:  None
Injuries:  None

Somehow the most boring team in hockey has gotten even more boring as they have forgotten how to score goals.  Time to start trading.

Last Week:  1-3-0
Upcoming Games:
     Friday, February 20 - vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
     Saturday, February 21 - @ New Jersey Devils
     Tuesday, February 24 - vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Transactions:
     Friday, February 13 - Michal Jordan (not that one) called up from AHL Charlotte
Injuries:  None

Playing .500 hockey over their last 10 doesn't bode well for their entry in the McDavid sweepstakes- not that anyone is going to catch Buffalo in that department.

Malakai's Musing for the Week


What to do with Steve Downie?  He has some offensive skill and with a cap hit of only (relatively) 1 million dollars provides value.  He was brought in to be a protector for the star players... but if he is constantly off of the ice serving 2 minutes then he can't really do that job.  Pittsburgh has "earned" 822 penalty minutes in 57 games... dead last (or first depending on perspective) in the league.  Downie has accrued 187 of these penalty minutes (23% of team total), again last (or first) in the league.  Penalties are called less often in the playoffs, unless you have a target on your back like Downie does.  Instead of preventing opposing players from taking liberties with the stars of the Penguins, players will instead be keying on Downie to do anything to draw a penalty.  With the Penguins lack of depth at forward, Downie will need to play in the playoffs.  Over the last 25 games, the Penguins need to figure out how to reign in Downie and use him for offense rather than as an instigator or he will be a big liability come playoff time.
Share on Google Plus

About Ken Clawson

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 comments:

Post a Comment