Ben Lovejoy has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a 5th round pick in next year’s draft. In a lot of ways this is just a good hockey move. Lovejoy was never going to get the opportunity to be a full-time starter in Pittsburgh, he will have that opportunity in Anaheim. The Pens pick up a depth draft pick, and as we’ve pointed out before, look at Tomas Vokoun if you don’t think that later round draft picks are useful. Further, this does thin out the Penguins’ defensive log-jam a little bit more, clearing a path for someone like Joe Morrow to possibly join the team at a later point.
Almost feel bad because literally in our recap earlier today we said that Simon Despres’ play yesterday had essentially ended Lovejoy’s career (at least in Pittsburgh). Sure enough it really did.
Dylan Reese, who actually makes slightly more than Lovejoy, has been called up in his place. Reese, a Pittsburgh native, played for the Islanders last year and should slot in beautifully as the Pens 7th defenseman. Reese is a big, yet agile defender, exactly the kind of player that works so well in the Pens’ system.
Godspeed Rev, you will be missed.
We created this award to recognize the best player for the Penguins in the past week. This doesn’t have to be the leading scorer or anything like that, this is the guy who contributes the most to victory–it could go to a guy who was dominant in the faceoff circle, who drew a bunch of penalties that resulted in goals, or laid some game changing hits. In the first weekend of the season we gave the award to Paul Martin for shocking us with his smart play and smooth skating.
Definitely a different feel to this piece this week with the Pens going an uninspired 1-2-0 and looking like a different team this week.
If we weren’t interested in convincing people that we didn’t invent this award just to honor Paul Martin we would give it to him again this week. His 30:26 of ice time in yesterday’s crucial win is epic. The most we’ve seen from a Penguin in the regular season in a long time. Further, even in the Pens losses earlier in the week, he and Brooks Orpik continued to earn the moniker of “shutdown pair ” by simply not allowing goals while they’re on the ice.
But we’re making it an unofficial rule that you can’t win for more than one week consecutively. Look at the contestants after the jump.
t’s finally here, we are actually previewing the actual guys who will be donning the Pittsburgh Penguins sweater this year. Yesterday we previewed the goalies, today we move onto defense, and yet to come are wingers, and then the centers, before finally making our BOLD predictions for the year. We’ve attempted to look at each player from a point/counterpoint perspective–that’s not to say that we are going to totally disagree on each player, far from it, we want to examine both the statistical expectations for each guy AND express our “feel” or read of the player. We hope you enjoy and we would love for you to get back to us with your thoughts and feelings. If you haven’t read them yet, please check out our series on Advanced Hockey Statistics: Goals Versus Threshold, Points per 60 Minutes, and Player Usage Charts (including Corsi numbers). Get the business after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »