Empty Netter Assists - 04-10-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Flyers

-"I think I've always appreciated playing in the playoffs, but I'm sure I'll appreciate it a little more." - Sidney Crosby (above).

-Welcome back James Neal, Steve Sullivan AND Ben Lovejoy?

-But what about Matt Niskanen? (PG+)

-Penguins goaltending coach Gilles Meloche breaks down the differences between Tom Barrasso and Marc-Andre Fleury. (PG+)

-Steve MacIntyre was demoted to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (PG+)

-"His feet are great. His stick-on-puck is arguably one of the best in the league. When it comes time for him to play physical, he's got a great center of gravity down low. He can win battles down low against bigger, power forwards, and that's something that goes unnoticed." - Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden on Kris Letang (right).

-“Everyone says it the first day of training camp, ‘Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup’. But there’s only a few teams that can honestly believe that and we’re one of those teams. That’s why I came here.” - Steve Sullivan

-The big screen is back and without any blackouts.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Sullivan speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Lovejoy speaks:

-The great Joe Vitale speaks:

-Cubs pitcher and former Pirate Paul Maholm is still a Penguins fan.

-Flyers forwards Daniel Briere (back) and defenseman Nicklas Grossman (knee) each resumed practicing.

-The Flyers' lines and defensive pairings in practice yesterday were:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Bradyen Schenn - Daniel Briere - Jakub Voracek
Eric Wellwood - Matt Read - Wayne Simmonds
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Zac Rinaldo

Nicklas Grossmann - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Kimmon Timonen
Marc-Andre Bourdon - Andreas Lilja

-"I'm not afraid of anything [except] the bear in the forest." - Flyers forward Ilya Brzygalov... being... well... Ilya Bryzgalov.

Rangers - Senators

-"The slate’s wiped clean for me, it’s all zeros so, right now, I’m tied for first in the NHL in scoring." - Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky (right) on having a sub par regular season in which he scored a career-low 10 goals.

-Senators goaltender Craig Anderson said a February accident in which he accidentally cut his hand and forced him to miss four weeks gave him a chance to rest up before the postseason.

Bruins - Capitals

-Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk is expected to be ready for Thursday's Game 1 after missing the final two games of the season due to a knee injury suffered following a collision with Arron Asham, April 3.

-Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas cut off his media availability yesterday after someone brought up the "W" and "H" words.

-“It’s a great battle between me and him. I think he’s top D in the league. I love playing against him, especially when it’s going to be playoffs. It’s going to be fun.” - Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin on facing Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

-The Capitals recalled former Penguins' goaltender Dany Sabourin from Hershey of the AHL.

Panthers - Devils

-Out of 2,354 shifts this season, Panthers defenseman Brian Cambpell (right) was penalized on just three of them.

-“It’s going to be a big, emotional series for him and for us as well because he’s our leader. We want to do well, especially against his former team.” - Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk on head coach Peter DeBoer facing the Panthers. DeBoer was fired as Panthers head coach last season.

-Devils forward Patrik Elias says DeBoer should be considered for the Jack Adams Award.

Canucks - Kings

-Canucks forward Daniel Sedin resumed practicing for the first time since suffering a concussion March 21.

-Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin proclaimed his brother "100 percent."

-Kings forward Jeff Carter resumed practicing for the first time since suffering an ankle injury March 28.

Blues - Sharks

-Who do the Blues go with in goal? Brian Elliott (right) or Jaroslav Halak?

-"From now on, unless someone is dead, they're day-to-day." - Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

-"Upper or lower body." - Sharks forward Torey Mitchell's reaction when asked about the nature of a recent injury.

Coyotes - Blackhawks

-"We definitely feel confident going in. At the same time, it doesn't get us an extra win. It doesn't get us anything." - Coyotes captain Shane Doan on having won the regular season series against the Blackhawks, 3-1.

-Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews resumed practicing on the team's top line between wingers Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane. He has not played since suffering a concussion Feb. 19.

-Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is loading up his first power play unit with HossaKane, Toews, forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Brent Seabrook.

Predators - Red Wings

-With backup goaltender Anders Lindback dealing with an "upper-body" injury, the Predators recalled goaltender Jeremy Smith from Milwaukee of the AHL.

-In 57 career games against the Predators, Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk (right) has 59 points.

-Red Wings forward Darren Helm (knee) is being wishy-washy about his availability for Game 1 Wednesday.

Non-Playoff Stuff

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins forward Dan Trebil. Acquired at the 2000 trade deadline in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Ducks, Trebil spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1999-2000 by appearing in three games for the Penguins and scoring one goal. In the 2000 offseason, Trebil joined the Islanders as a free agent but was traded back to the Penguins in November of 2000-01 in exchange for a draft pick. He played in 16 games for the penguins that season before he was once against traded to the Blues in December in a deal which brought Marc Bergevin to the Penguins. In 19 games with the Penguins, Trebil scored one goal.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward Rob Brown (right). A fourth-round pick in 1986, Brown spent parts of seven seasons with the Penguins. He debuted with the club in 1987-88 and responded by scoring 44 points in 51 games. His best season was 1988-89. He appeared in 68 games and recorded a career-high 115 points while being selected to the only All-Star Game of his career. In 11 postseason games that spring, "Downtown" scored eight points. He followed that up in 1989-90 by seeing action in 80 games and scoring 80 points. After 25 games and 10 points in 1990-91, Brown was traded to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Scott Young. After bouncing around with the Whalers, Blackhawks, Stars and Kings, Brown returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1997 offseason. During 1997-98, Brown played in all 82 game and contributed 40 points. He saw action in six postseason games that spring and scored one goal. Brown followed that up in 1998-99 by appearing in 58 games and scoring 24 points. During that season's playoffs, Brown played in 13 games and netted seven points. Brown's final NHL season was 1998-99. He scored 23 points in 50 games. In the postseason that spring, he played in 11 games and scored three points. He was released in the 2000 offseason. In 414 regular season games with the Penguins, Brown, famous for his "windmill" celebration, scored 342 points, 18th-most in franchise history. In 41 postseason games, he scored 19 points.

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Northeast Division

-The Maple Leafs demoted goaltender Ben Scrivens, defenseman Jake Gardiner and forward Matt Frattin to Toronto of the AHL.

-The Maple Leafs took full-page ads out in several local papers apologizing to fans for missing the postseason.

-"We have big memories. Buffalo is a big part of our life. During the summer when we're home [in Germany], the kids are always asking, 'When are we going to our real home?'" - Sabres forward Jochen Hecht on becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.

-“The lack of winning was a little surprising, yeah." - Canadiens forward Erik Cole on his first season in Montreal.

Southeast Division

-Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (right) is dealing with a wonky left shoulder which could prevent him from participating in the IIHF World Championships.

-The Lightning demoted defenseman Keith Aulie to Norfolk of the AHL.

-"It's been amazing. I'm really happy I could be part of it. It's been fun to play in front of those fans." - Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on the franchise's first season in Winnipeg.

-The Jets demoted forwards Spencer Machacek and Patrice Cormier to St. John’s of the AHL.

Central Division

-Columbus signed forward Cody Bass to a one-year two-way contract extension.

-The Blue Jackets demoted defenseman Dalton Prout and forward Ryan Russell to Springfield of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-“In Pittsburgh, when I was there, the kids kept improving and the veterans started to play well and that rounded out the team. Same thing can happen here.” - Oilers defenseman and former Penguin Ryan Whitney (right) comparing his current team's situation to the Penguins roughly half a decade ago.

-“Do I know what next year’s going to hold? No. I really don’t." - Flames captain Jarome Iginla on his future with the franchise.

Pacific Division

-Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin will undergo offseason shoulder surgery.

IIHF World Championships

-Ducks forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Islanders forward John Tavares, Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward will play for Canada in the World Championships next month.

-Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk and forward Patrick Dwyer will play for the United States while forward Jussi Jokinen will play for Finland.

Smythe Division

-The NHL's central scouting bureau released its final rankings for prospects.

(Photo: Crosby, Dubinsky and Stamkos-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Letang-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Campbell-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Elliott-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Datsyuk-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Brown-Penguins Hockey Cards; Whitney-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

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