Penguins - Sharks
-“Sid’s not doing anything their guys aren’t doing. Quite honestly, it really isn’t worthy of a response.” - Mike Sullivan on accusations by Sharks center Logan Couture that captain/center Sidney Crosby (right) cheats on faceoffs.
-“He’s a threat every time he’s on the ice. He’s playing the game the right way. He plays a complete game, the full sheet. He wins faceoffs. He’s great on the puck battles. He can defend.” -Sullivan on Crosby.
-It hasn't taken long for defenseman Trevor Daley to make an impact off the ice.
-“We’re willing to block shots, we’re getting into shot lanes. We’re boxing out and trying to get sticks in front to make Matt’s job as easy as possible, as far as his sight lines and his movement. It’s been an impressive effort from our team so far, we’re going to need more of it.” - Sullivan on his defense.
-"It’s just basically a second chance for me. A fresh start, you know. I’m not looking to the past anymore.” - Defenseman Justin Schultz on his time with the Penguins.
-“I’m a huge fan of Sid, man. I was starstruck. “Sidney Crosby, this guy’s lost teeth, battled concussions, and he just always seems to overcome." - Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown on Crosby.
-"We’ve got to find a way to score some 5-on-5 goals. We’ve only got one in each game." - Sharks coach Peter DeBoer.
-The Sharks use rest as a weapon.
-Sharks defenseman Brent Burns might be peculiar off the ice but he's all business on the ice.
-Pittsburg ... California has temporarily renamed itself Teal City.
-Happy 33rd birthday to former Penguins right winger Chris Thorburn. Claimed off waivers from the Sabres prior to the 2006-07 season, Thorburn appeared in 39 games and recorded five points and 69 penalty minutes for the Penguins that campaign. In the 2007 offseason, Thorburn was traded to the Thrashers in exchange for a draft pick. He is currently with the Jets.
-Happy 57th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Nick Ricci. A fifth-round pick in 1979, Ricci spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. Never appearing in more than nine games in a season with the team, "Tricky Nicky's" NHL career amounted to 19 games with the Penguins and a 7-12-0 record. In the 1983 offseason, he was traded to the Maple Leafs along with left winger Pat Graham in exchange for goaltender Vincent Tremblay and center Rocky Saganiuk.
-Happy 62nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Wally Weir. Claimed off waivers from the Whalers late in the 1984-85 season, Weir ended his six-year NHL career by appearing in 14 games and recordeding three assists for the Penguins that campaign. He was released in the 1985 offseason.
-Happy 26th birthday to former Penguins left winger Sergei Plotnikov. A free agent signing in the 2015 offseason, Plotnikov played in 32 games and recorded two assists for the Penguins before being traded to the Coyotes at the trade deadline.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division
-The Islanders signed forward Casey Cizikas (right), a pending restricted free agent, to a five-year contract worth a total of $16.75 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1 million, Cizikas' new deal will have a cap hit of $3.35 million. Cizikas, 25, appeared in 80 games this season and scored 30 points.
-EN Says: Cizikas might be the NHL's best fourth-line center but he's still a fourth-line center. Sinking this much of a commitment into a player who has a limited impact on the team just doesn't seem like a wise decision. Cizikas set a career high in points this season and is a great penalty killer. Even acknowledging that, signing him for a half decade as he approaches 30 is a move not many teams would make.
-The Canadiens hired former Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller as an associate coach.
-The Panthers unveiled their new logo and jerseys:
-EN Says: We like this quite a bit. The Panthers' old logo was a little too busy and the jerseys were always just a tad bland. This new look is fairly simple and basic yet strong.
-Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen was named winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for hockey broadcasting while Blackhawks historian Bob Verdi, a former Chicago Tribune writer, was named winner Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism.
(Photos: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images and Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)