Lemieux speaking at his statue unveiling, via @Kevin_McGran

Well-deserved: The Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled a statue of Mario Lemieux today in front of Consol Energy Center.

From NHL.com:

“”Arguably, no one in sports is more closely associated with a team or a city  than Mario Lemieux is with the Pittsburgh Penguins,” team president David  Morehouse said, adding that Lemieux declined five times to have a statue built  for him before owner Ron Burkle did it on his own.”

Not exactly pumped about the idea of a statue that also depicts two defenders getting poster-ized (statue-ized?) for all eternity, or the fact that the one defender is choking down with his top hand a ridiculous amount, but hey – it’s a Lemieux statue, so I guess I can be down with that.

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Tough call: Nicklas Kronwall escaped without punishment (unlike Jakub Voracek, who took plenty) after this hit on the Flyers forward.

Yipes, that’s one monster hit. I argued with Pizzo that Shanahan was right in not suspending Kronwall for the hit. I’m not completely convinced one way or another (a suspension wouldn’t have blown my doors off), but I think in the end the right decision was made.

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 Wait, what?: The St. Louis Blues are in first place in the Western Conference after lumping up Chicago 5-1 last night. They’re on the Rangers’ heels for the President’s Trophy too. Everything is officially happening.

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Wait, what? Part two: The Maple Leafs’ Tim Connolly seems to have a bee in his bonnet these days – he had his first career fight (in his seventh NHL season) on March 3rd versus PK Subban, then went ahead and had his second three days later with Brad Marchand.

Zero punches landed – check that, zero punches thrown, but we’ll still give him the decision for the great take-down.

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Did not see that coming:  Bobby Ryan gave an interesting answer to Eric Stephens of the OC Register regarding what the next step for him in his career is (via ProHockeyTalk):

“My next step ultimately would be to break away from Getz [Ryan Getzlaf] and Pears [Corey Perry],” Ryan said. “I think we’ve had chemistry. But at some point,  you’re going to have to prepare for life after Teemu [Selanne]. I’d like to fill into that role and have that second line be built. I think I can step into Teemu’s role. I think I can put up 35 to 40 goals year in and year out.

“Personally on the ice, I’d like to be able to break games open a little more. Sometimes when I play with Getz and Pears, I get the feeling like I’ve got to be a secondary guy.”

His point is just that when they lose Koivu and Selanne they’re going to need a second line, but still – usually when a guy gets a cherry roster spot like he’s got they do everything in their power not to relinquish it. He’s thinking team first.

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Groundhog Day: A few of this week’s five best goals look eerily similar, don’t they?

Ouch: It’s bad enough that the Leafs playoff hopes were already fractured and possibly broken, but then a few of their players went ahead and had a tough go last night. Colby Armstrong got his face repeatedly punchisized for free by Dennis Seidenberg (he left badly bleeding from his nose, and won’t play for the Leafs tonight), this happened to Joffrey Lupul..

…meaning he’ll miss the next 3-4 weeks, and this happened to Tim Connolly after the Marchand fight…

…but it looks like he’ll play tonight. Ouches all over.

And lastly…

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Career highlight reel closer: Chris Thorburn has four goals this year. This is one of them.

Maybe mis-judged his speed a touch there, Regehr? Just maybe though.

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