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Penguins claim Arcobello off waivers from Predators - 01-14-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins have claimed right winger Mark Arcobello (right) off waivers from the Predators.

In 40 games this season, Arcobello, has scored 13 points (eight goals, five assists). The Predators placed him on waivers yesterday after former Penguins right winger James Neal was activated from injured reserve.

Nashville acquired Arcobello (5-foot-8, 172 pounds) from the Oilers Dec. 29 in a trade which sent center Derek Roy to the Oilers.

According to NHLNumbers.com, Arcobello is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. He has a salary cap hit of $600,000.

In Edmonton, Arcobello played extensively with current Penguins right winger David Perron. According to Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, they played together in five-on-five play this season for 248:06. No one else has played with Perron more this season.

Capable of playing either wing position or center, Arcobello has taken 529 faceoffs this season and has won 254 of them (48.0 percent).

Undrafted out of Yale, Arcobello joined the Oilers as a free agent in 2011 and has spent parts of five seasons in the NHL.

A few highlights:

-EN Says: Acrobello is a waterbug of a playmaker. He has a world of skill but it hasn't really translated into consistent production beyond the AHL level. Adding him to this roster - as presently constructed - improves the team's depth and gives Mike Johnston another option to work with in terms of someone who could fill in on a temporary top-six role while players such as Patric Hornqvist and Blake Comeau on on the mend.

At his small stature, he doesn't have the physical ability to be a true fourth-liner but he can potentially be an upgrade over Bryan Rust on the third line.

(Photo: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

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Empty Netter Assists - 01-14-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. Steve Downie left in the second period after being struck in the head by Wild defenseman Ryan Suter.

-The (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) Star Tribune's recap. Suter will have a disciplinary hearing with NHL over the hit.

-The (St. Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press' recap. "We're so easy to play against. We lose battles, we don't bump off draws, the details of our game are terrible. We don't even make it hard on the other team. They tic-tac-toe right around us." - Wild forward Zach Parise.

-The Associated Press' recap. "As soon as I stepped in here I could feel the (confidence) in this group. We started feeding off of that pretty quick and it was a good night for everyone." - David Perron.

-Highlights:

-Suter's hit on Downie:

-A good look at Perron's first goal:

-Kris Letang looked pretty determined:

-It was that kind of night for the Wild:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Perron speaks:

-Why was Derrick Pouliot flip-flopped for Taylor Chorney?

-“With [Mike Yeo], I know being a head coach, it’s added responsibility, but when you go through times like this, he’s a pretty strong-willed guy. That fire, that passion, there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s why we liked him so much." - Sidney Crosby on the Wild's struggles under head coach Mike Yeo, a former Penguins assistant.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Josh Archibald's first professional season has not gone smoothly.

-Happy 28th birthday to Penguins forward Nick Drazenovic. A free agent signing in 2013, Drazenovic played one game with no points for the Penguins in 2013-14. He is currently assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-After the Jump: The Islanders take over first place in the Eastern Conference.

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Wild at Penguins - 01-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

i

-Generally speaking, quite a few things can happen in a nine-goal game. That is certainly the case with the Penguins' 7-2 rout of the Wild tonight at Consol Energy Center. Sadly, injuries will be what dominate the storyline of this offensive outburst.

-First, Steve Downie. He left early in the second period after being struck in the head by the right elbow of Ryan Suter. Coach Mike Johnston did not have an update on his status. According to a league source, the NHL's Department of Player Safety, which oversees supplemental discipline, will review the hit.

-If you didn't see the hit, here you go:

-Suter gave an... interesting explanation as to what happened:

 

What happened on the play with you and Downie?

“Yeah, that was … I reached for the puck and then I kind poked it. I went to put my hand... he like ran into... I hope he's all right. Obviously, you never … that's never the type of player I am. It was kind of a fluky thing. He kind of brushed my arm, my elbow as he went by.”

Did you even see Downie coming?

“Well I poked for it [the puck] then I went to get my stick. As he... like I said, I just hope he's all right. That's not the type of player I am. I hope … I personally never want to see anyone get hurt whether its out team or any other team. That's not the part the game that makes it exciting.”

You were talking to Sidney Crosby at the end of the first period.Was it about Downie?

“Yeah, I just told him, I said, 'Sid, you know what kind of guy I am.' He was like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' So I just asked him to say sorry and hopefully he's all right.”

Do you anticipate the NHL taking a closer look or some sort of action on the hit?

“No. I'm skating backwards. No. It was unintentional.”

-As far as we can tell with the power of a quick Google search, Suter has never been suspended or fined in his career.

-Regardless, even if that wasn't intentional - a dubious claim to be sure - that was at the very least reckless. It more than merits supplemental discipline.

-The truly scary part of that hit is Downie's history of head injuries throughout his career. If he has suffered another one, that's really, really dangerous.

-Additionally, the team officially announced  - at 8:56 p.m. following the game no less - that Olli Maatta would miss the rest of the season due to shoulder surgery.

-As far as the rest of the game went, the score wasn't indicative of how lopsided this thing truly was. The Penguins ran over the Wild.

-Things were fairly even in the first period. The Wild generated some chances off some sloppy puck management by the Penguins but Marc-Andre Fleury stood tall and bailed his teammates out a few times.

-The start of the Penguins' offensive onslaught came from an unlikely source; the Fourth line. Marcel Goc was able to clean up a rebound and put the Penguins up 1-0. The assists came from Zach Sill and Craig Adams. It was Sill's first career point in 48 NHL games.

-Up until tonight, Sill had played the second most games in NHL history without getting a point:

 

Player, position Team Games
Gord Strate, D Detroit Red Wings 61
Zach Sill, C Pittsburgh Penguins 47
Frank Peters, D New York Rangers 43
Billy Cameron, RW Montreal Canadiens/New York Americans 39
Patsy Callighen, D New York Rangers 36

-Wow.

-Every one seemed to find a way to contribute to this buttkicking tonight. All fourt lines got a goal and the power play even managed to score the game-winning goal. 

-David Perron scored two pretty slick goals. He picked up the Penguins' second score by making a lightning-quick collection of a rebound off a Christian Ehrhoff shot and tucked it in by poor Niklas Backstrom for a goal. On the Penguins' seventh goal, Chris Kunitz stole a puck and fed a pass to Perron who buried a one-time behind John Curry. Perron finished with two goals and an assist.

-Kunitz had an excellent game. He buried a rebound off a deflection from Evgeni Malkin for the game-winning goal on the power play. And the steal he made to set up Perron's second goal was vintage Kunitz. The Penguins needed a game like this from Kunitz.

-Crosby had a ho-hum three-assist game.

-Brandon Sutter really put the game out of reach in the third period when he picked up a rebound off a block by Paul Martin, blew by Suter and ripped one of his classic far-side wristers from the right circle behind Backstrom.

-A few readers on Twitter have asked about the Penguins not trying to avenge Suter. Beyond seeing Adams give Suter a few shoves later in the period, we didn't really see much of a physical confrontation with him. And that's a good thing. When the hit occurred, the Penguins were up 2-0. If they had jumped Suter at that point, they could have potentially given the Wild a power play and a chance to get back into the game. There really was no need to give the Wild anything to work with.

-There are times for team toughness and there are times for discipline. And oftentimes, discipline is a form of toughness.

-Ultimately, smacking the wild by a five-goal differential was the ultimate revent.

-Fleury was really good. As lopsided as this game got, he had to steal quite a few goals tonight. He earned this win in more ways than one.

-The Wild looked like a team which gave up midway through the third period. The body language of its players was just lifeless.

-Minnesota's players held a players' only meeting for approximately 20 to 25 minutes after the game.

-Mike Yeo was remarkably composed after the game for someone who could very well be fired in the morning.

-The Penguins led in shots on net, 37-32.

-The Penguins had a 61-60 edge in attempted shots.

-Zach Parise led the game with six shots.

-Kunitz and Perron each led the Penguins with four shots.

-Suter led the game with 29:55 of ice time.

-Kris Letang led the Penguins with 23:26 of ice time.

-The Penguins had a 32-30 edge in faceoffs (52 percent).

-Crosby was 10 for 20 (50 percent).

-Mikko Koivu was 16 for 32 (48 percent).

-Martin and Jonas Brodin each led the game with five blocked shots.

-Fleury got his first career win against the Wild.

-The Wild remains the only team the Penguins have never shut out.

-Perron's three points are a career best.

 

-Some sites. The ice:

-Fans entering the barn:

-It was a kind of lousy night for jerseys. Darius Kasparaitis:

-They always rare Rob Scuderi/Patric Hornqvist duo:

-A rare Aleksey Morozov appearance:

-There are more than a few Wild fans on hand. Nino Niederreiter:

-Zach Parise:

-Jerseys of the Night: Matt Cooke is still popular here in Minnesota form:

-And Pittsburgh form:

-Jeff Jimerson handles business:

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

-Highlights:

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NHL to review Suter hit on Downie - 01-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins right winger Steve Downie left tonight's home game against the Wild at 4:27 of the second period when he was struck in the face by the right elbow of Wild defenseman Ryan Suter.

Downie laid on the ice for several moments after the hit before he was able to recover to his skates and walk under his own power down the runway leading to his team's dressing room.

The Penguins did not provide an immediate explanation for Downie's departure. Suter was not penalized for the hit.

According to a source with the NHL, the league's Department of Player Safety, which oversees supplemental discipline, will review the hit.

Including tonight, Downie has played in 37 games this season and has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) as well as 131 penalty minutes.

---

UPDATE: Penguins coach Mike Johnston did not have an update on Downie following the game.

---

Suter held court with the media after the game and addressed the hit. Here's the transcript:

 

What happened on the play with you and Downie?

“Yeah, that was … I reached for the puck and then I kind poked it. I went to put my hand... he like ran into... I hope he's all right. Obviously, you never … that's never the type of player I am. It was kind of a fluky thing. He kind of brushed my arm, my elbow as he went by.”

Did you even see Downie coming?

“Well I poked for it [the puck] then I went to get my stick. As he... like I said, I just hope he's all right. That's not the type of player I am. I hope … I personally never want to see anyone get hurt whether its out team or any other team. That's not the part the game that makes it exciting.”

You were talking to Sidney Crosby at the end of the first period.Was it about Downie?

“Yeah, I just told him, I said, 'Sid, you know what kind of guy I am.' He was like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' So I just asked him to say sorry and hopefully he's all right.”

Do you anticipate the NHL taking a closer look or some sort of action on the hit?

“No. I'm skating backwards. No. It was unintentional.”

---

SECOND UPDATE: Suter will have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL today:

 

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Jim Ferry previews return trip to St. Louis

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

Duquesne coach Jim Ferry took a few minutes Tuesday afternoon before he boarded a plane for Missouri to preview the Dukes' (6-8, 1-2 Atlantic 10) matchup tomorrow night against Saint Louis (8-8, 0-3), the back-to-back Atlantic 10 regular-season champs. The Billikens have fallen on hard times early this season after losing all five starters to graduation in the spring.

Well, last time you were in St. Louis you had quite the memorable win, huh?

Ferry: "Yeah it was! We played well, and we won."


What sticks out in your memory about that win and its effect?

"I just thought we played really hard. It was toward the end of the year, and we had started really clicking as a team. We got better toward the end of the year and executed really well. We really beat them on rebounding and 50/50 plays. What people didn't remember is last year we matched up with those guys pretty well. We had a really close game with them at our place, too. I feel like our guys played a great game as a team, went in there and got an upset. It was great."

A difficult loss to swallow against Rhode Island Saturday; what can you take away from it?

"Obviously, we were disappointed we didn't win the basketball game. In the second half of the second half, they hurt us on the glass and with some 50/50 balls. DC had a great shot at the end of the game to win it, and he's done that for us several times. Everybody in the gym thought it was going in, and it didn't. Atlantic 10 play, you've got to pick yourself up and move on to the next game, whether you win them or lose them. We're disappointed. We could be sitting here at 2-1 in league play and getting ready to play Saint Louis, but we're not. We've got to continue to focus on the things that are important, and that's just getting better every day."

Do you think this young team is up to the challenge of going back on the road in the A-10?

"We're going to have to be. That's what league play is. It doesn't matter where we play these games. We could play them in the schoolyard. We still have to play the right way. We've got to focus on what we're doing. We've been getting better defensively every single game since we switched to playing the 2-3 zone. Our pieces started coming together a little better. The older guys are leading a little better, playing a little more. We've got to continue to do that. We've got to keep plugging away and focusing on getting better. Everybody just has to keep focusing on doing what they're responsible for doing and not trying to do other things."

You only played nine guys against Rhode Island; are you finding a smaller corps of players you're more comfortable with?

"Yeah. I think we're starting to stick with the older guys a little more. In the preseason we tried to get as much experience as we could for everybody and tried to figure out which pieces fit together the best. Right now, we feel like we're headed in the right direction. I still think it's something that could chance, depending on who is playing well and who is making plays and who is not. We've got to continue to get better defensively, which we are, and we've got to continue to try to limit the droughts we have scoring-wise. Those are the things that hurt us, those scoring droughts. We'll try to keep guys fresh and keep the right combinations together."

This Saint Louis team is a much different team than what you saw last year, isn't it?

"They're a different team, obviously. When you graduate five seniors that dominated in Atlantic 10 play for the last three years, there's going to be some change. The one thing that's not changing is the philosophy and the consistency of coaching. Jim Crews, the A-10 coach of the year two years in a row, has a great foundation, a great defensive-minded team. They're really big. They're really long. And they really defend you. We have to come out and play the right way. We have to play to our strengths and put some pressure on some of their weaknesses."

How do you, as a team, ensure one loss like the one Saturday doesn't turn into a two- or three-game skid?

"That's maturity. When you lose you have to move on again quickly. We had a tough loss at Dayton and we learned from our mistakes and moved on quickly. We had a good win against Saint Joe's, we looked at the positives and negatives and moved on quickly to Rhode Island. It's the same thing we've got to do here, learn from it and move on to the next game quickly."

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