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Member Since 26 Apr 2006
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Crosby Slowing Down?

11 June 2009 - 12:40 PM

Not sure how much faith to put in this (really just a rumor) but Jason Kay of the Hockey News is speculating that something was ailing Crosby near the end of game 6. He played vary few mins (after the 1st period) and was with his dad and agent away from the team sitting down following the game. I hope he is not injured, I want our boys to win against a healthy Penguins team, not against a broken team. Then again we have had a few guys missing for some of these games so the Pens do not get to beat us with our regular players.

The question that niggles and nags me as we approach what we all hope is an epic Game 7 is: What’s up with Sidney Crosby?

I’m not talking about the anaemic production – one goal and three points through six games. He has played well through much of the series and hasn’t had much puck luck.

But in Game 6, ‘The Kid’ was most noticeable by his absence on the ice. The game sheet showed he had his lowest ice-time total of the series (not to mention just one shot on goal). Here’s the time-on-ice breakdown:

Game 1: 22:35
Game 2: 19:36
Game 3: 22:19
Game 4: 19:34
Game 5: 18:33
Game 6: 17:54

In Games 1-5 he ranked either first or second, behind Evgeni Malkin, among Pens forwards in minutes.

Drill down deeper in the Game 6 stats page and you find not only did he slip to fourth, behind Malkin, Maxime Talbot and Jordan Staal, but he was fifth in even strength minutes among his team’s forwards. Malkin, Staal, Ruslan Fedotenko and Talbot all saw more action 5-on-5. And this after Crosby played more than any of them in the first period – nearly eight minutes, meaning he logged about 10 the rest of the way.

Granted, Crosby did get 10 shifts in the final period (none longer than 49 seconds and several far shorter) and he was there taking critical faceoffs in the final moments, but his lack of truly “being there” – at least to the level at which we expect him to be – raised our curiosity.

It was further piqued at the conclusion of Game 6 when, about an hour after the contest ended, Crosby was sitting on a chair outside the club’s dressing room, far away from attention, huddled with his dad, Troy, and agent, Pat Brisson. Why the chairs for the little gathering, someone asked, when everyone else was standing and milling about? Is he overly fatigued from the intense attention night after night? Maybe injured?

Are we looking way too deeply into this?

We’ll find out late Friday night or early Saturday morning, when the teams reveal, in detail, what kind of pain and suffering players fought through.

Or we could find out earlier in the evening, if Crosby puts any speculation to rest by playing a ton of minutes and making the type of impact he did through the first three rounds of this year’s post-season.

Jason Kay is the editor in chief of The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears every Friday.

Has anyone else heard anything?

One more reason to love Osgood

25 May 2009 - 11:23 AM

I have been a fan of Osgood's for a long time. I still remember his tears in the locker room after the Wings lost out of the playoff's (mid 90's) and how hard that was on him. He was able to learn and grow from that experience and I am biased enough to say that his career should put him in the Hall of fame, retire his number in Detroit and any other accolades that can be bestowed upon him.

He gets no credit and that is exactly how Detroit and Osgood like it. If he was getting all the credit then the Wings would be relying upon him too much, and the stress/pressure would be out of control. As fans we are stressed enough this time of the year, imagine having to rely on one man as our defensive weapon. Teams that rely on their goalie as their primary defensive weapon crack sooner or later (Statue of Liberty). Wings fans are hard on their goalies, take the magnifying glass away and point it elsewhere seems to work wonders. (Although we always remember and point fingers but we do that with everyone)

So I thought I would run the statistics to see how our goalie is performing in these playoffs. Since no statistic seems to provide any exact analysis of a goalie's capabilities I thought I would defy the norm and create my own. I looked at the amount of minutes in net for the final 4 goalies between goals, and thus the number of goals scored per min. Ward, Fleury, and even Khabibulin are getting all the praise so they should do well in this statistic.

Player Mins in net per goal Goals Scored per Min Salary (million)
Cam Ward: 22min/goal 0.044goals/min $2.667
Marc-Andre Fleury: 22min/goal 0.045goals/min $5.00
Nikolai Khabibulin: 20min/goal 0.049goals/min $6.75
Chris Osgood: 28min/goal 0.036goals/min $1.417

As shown above Ward and Fleury are playing at about the same level so far. However Ward makes a much more reasonable salary and has winning experience.

Khabibulin and Fleury are significantly overpaid (more so for Nikolai) and both should be ashamed of their performances so far.

Osgood is not only the lowest paid (clearly took a Hockeytown discount) but he is also the best goalie remaining in the playoffs. If you only give up one goal every 28 mins in the playoffs, the other team is on average only scoring 2 goals per game. That gives the high flying Wings offense a legitimate shot at winning every game.

Knowing these statistics, which of the remaining goalies would you say has been elite in these playoffs? Which one would you want to have as the last line of defense?

Joel Quenneville

14 May 2009 - 11:46 PM

Well last year Joel is coaching Colorado and we win in 4 games, few years back the same thing happened when he cached St. Louis. I think we have his number. Unless Scotty has shown him the tricks to beat us we may have history strongly on our side.

Hockey Hall of Fame Opens Doors

31 March 2009 - 03:55 PM

I just saw this linked off Kuklas Korner and thought it was a great topic for a thread.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has added two entries each year reserved for Women to enter the Hockey Hall of fame. This is great news since there are a lot of great women hockey players who not only do not make the money of the male counterparts, but they also do not receive near the same honors.

Which women hockey players past and present would you nominate for the Hockey Hall of Fame?

I would take Cassie Campbell and Hayley Wickenheiser right off the bat, but those are the easy selections. Who else is deserving?


(Edited to add source article)