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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Comments (7)

  1. #1 in the Western Conference #1 in your hearts #PeskyBlues

    Please don’t give them more press, because I’m sick of reading un-informed fans see Ken Hitchcock as their coach, and call it trap hockey, and boring hockey..

    Analyze that defensive system

    • People call it trap hockey because they are playing trap hockey. Very little forecheck from them.

      • Very little forecheck?? Have you watched a St Louis Blues game? Not one of their first 13 games of the season under Bourney’s favorite coach, but one of the last 30-40??

        How do they have so much offensive zone time, if they’re not forechecking hard? Winning the one on one battles in the corner’s, making the opposing teams defense point their skates towards their own goalies due to pressure..

        Or does Duncan Keith, Seabrook, Suter, Weber, Boyle, Byfuglien always have that much trouble getting the puck out of their own zone?

        Also watch for Alex Pietrangelo, or Kevin Shattenkirk to make great stick plays once an opposing forward comes across the Blue line, if for some reason a TJ Oshie, or Andy McDonald hasn’t stripped the puck on a back check yet, the Blues d-man will corral the puck, and make 3 quick strides out with the puck, to produce one heck of a transition game… (great move by Army trading Nikitin for Russell, the Blues needed a 3rd pairing quick transition guy)

        I guess I don’t see the lack of forechecking…

  2. honestly…who picks the top 5 goals? There’s a reason they all look eerily similar. It’s because they are, and it’s a trend that blows. Why does every top 5 goal have to be a breakaway of some sort. There are gorgeous tic-tac-toe passes every day that get ignored. These aren’t even great breakaways goals. Most involve virtually zero move around a defender…just guys building up speed and then lowering their shoulder going around the D before switching to the backhand. Thorburns was legit for his dangle on Miller, and at least Ericson made the nice move between the D man’s legs. The other three can be seen in rec league hockey every day of the week.

  3. Aha! More evidence that Chara is, in fact, a dirty player (if that’s not an intentional hit from behind I don’t know what is). But will he ever get his first suspension? Seems doubtful at this point.

  4. Kind of sad seeing the Civic Arena just being demolished right behind Mario.

  5. Not to take anything away from those top 5 (first 2 were gems), but how is Eberle’s goal last night not better than a few of those backhand shelfs. He flips the puck on his backhand to himself and then bats it top corner out of mid-air! Yeah I’m an oil fan but c’monnnnn mannn

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