Empty Netter Assists - Eastern Conference - 12-29-08

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Ryan Whitney lousy at telling the future.

-Should Ray Shero be given a deadline to win the Stanley Cup?

-It didn't take Shero long to put the Penguins in a position to compete for the Cup.

-We probably should pust this under the Southeast Division but this is too good to bury. The Washington Post has a pretty frank Q&A translated from Russian with Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. The Penguins-related nuggets include:

  • His disdain for comparisons to Sidney Crosby and now Evgeni Malkin (right).
  • Saying Malkin "was wrong in acting like he did." What Malkin was wrong about isn't exactly clear.
  • Admitting he got into a fight with Malkin's agent.
  • Shrugging off a "who would win a fight" scenario with Malkin and himself.
  • Calling Senators forward and former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu a "rat."

(Kudos to EN co-worker Anya Sostek for the heads up.)

-Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier explained his non-fight with Matt Cooke last week.

-Larry Brooks of the New York Post thinks the NHL is making a mistake marketing Sidney Crosby more than Alex Ovechkin.

-The Hockey News apparently doesn't subscribe to the New York Post and ranked Crosby the most influential person in hockey.

-The Pensblog examines a few things, including a comparison of the first 38 games of the Penguins' current season to the first 38 games of 2007-08.

-Penguins Experience compares "The Next One," Sidney Crosby, to the next "Next One," John Tavares.

-Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau beat out Sidney Crosby for the Lionel Conacher Award which goes to Canada's athlete of the year. Fire Ray Shero.

-The Penguins are good people:

-Mark Letestu had a goal and three assists for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 6-3 defeat of the Binghamton Senators. Ryan Stone and Bill Thomas each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins.

-If Letestu, Thomas and others can keep it up, the AHL Penguins could be really dangerous.

-It was Letestu's turn to step up yesterday.

-Semi-random YouTube Find of the Day: Tux, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins mascot getting jiggy with it:

-Kudos to Going Five Hole for the find.

-Despite dressing a lineup with only 15 players (including goaltenders), Andrew Lord's shootout goal gave the Wheeling Nailers a 3-2 win at Dayton. Curtis Darling made 52 saves in the win.

Atlantic Division

-The Flyers demoted defenseman Ryan Parent to their puppy-drowning AHL affiliate. Parent has not played a game this season due to a shoulder injury.

-Don't look now, but the Devils are closing in on first place in the division.

-Larry Brooks is also lobbying to bring back Sean Avery to the Rangers. Because it's not like they're in first place or anything.

-Brendan Witt's mouth has led to an improvement in the Islanders' defense.

Northeast Division

-Boston just keeps rolling along. Manny Fernandez made 32 saves for the Bruins who claimed their eighth consecutive victory in a 2-1 win at Atlanta.

-Soccer balls hate the eyes of Maple Leafs forward Matt Stajan.

-Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau is frustrated with injured forward and former Penguins goon Georges Laraque.

-The Canadiens' top line of Andrei Kostitsyn, Alex Kovalev and Thomas Plekanec came to life against the Penguins.

-The Sabres demoted forward Tim Kennedy to Portland of the AHL.

Southeast Division

-Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin each had two goals and two assists for the Capitals in a 4-1 defeat of the Maple Leafs. Teammates Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green each added two assists.

-The Capitals honored former forward Mike Gartner with possibly the first jersey retirement involving an image of a porn 'stache (right) .

-Washington demoted defenseman Tyler Sloan to Hershey of the AHL.

-Thrashers prospect and former Penguins draft pick Angelo Esposito has grown up. Fire Ray Shero.

-Panthers forward Kamil Kreps is dealing with a shoulder injury.

-Stop us if this sounds familiar; The Lightning is having issues on the power play.

-Tampa Bay forward Evgeny Artyukhin is starting to show some promise.

(Photos: Crosby and Malkin-David Duprey/Associated Press; Gartner-Nick Wass/Associated Press)


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