Scott Cullen takes a look at the stories from November 1st through November 7th in the NHL, including a new deal for Marc-Andre

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Scott Cullen takes a look at the stories from November 1st through November 7th in the NHL, including a new deal for Marc-Andre Fleury, an emerging star in St. Michael Irvin Jersey . Louis, trouble in Washington and Colorado and more. FLEURY OF ACTIVITY The Pittsburgh Penguins handed out a four-year, $23-million contract extension to Marc-Andre Fleury this week, which wasn’t a run-of-the-mill contract extension. He’s off to a good start this season, with a .930 save percentage through 10 games, but that’s small sample stuff. There’s no need to give out contract extensions to goaltenders based on small samples of performance. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, Fleury has posted a .914 save percentage in the regular season, but he’s been somewhere closer to disastrous in the postseason, with an .897 save percentage in 68 playoff games. That track record doesn’t inspire a great deal of belief for those outside Pittsburgh, particularly when Fleury is about to turn 30-years-old in three weeks. It’s not as though goaltenders can’t perform at a high level after they turn 30 – the sharpest decline still comes later – but the standard performance is already declining at that point and, as we’ve covered, Fleury’s current level of play is, at best, average. There’s nothing wrong with having an average starting goaltender, particularly on a team that has results driven by some of the most skilled players of this generation, but the question is whether it’s worth investing in average goaltending talent. He’s familiar and the Penguins know that they have won a Cup with him in the past, and being a Cup-winning goaltender has engendered team loyalty in many other places, not just Pittsburgh. The question is: what do the Penguins do if Fleury has another poor postseason performance before that four-year extension kicks in? TARASENK-SHOW Third-year Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko has been on a slow build, scoring 62 points in 102 games through his first two seasons, but he has taken his game up a level, or two, this season. Not only has Tarasenko scored in spectacular fashion, but he’s also tallied eight goals and 11 points in the past six games, giving him 16 points in 13 games for the season. It’s early and percentage-fueled hot streaks tend to die out, but that’s part of the reason to be optimistic about Tarasenko: he’s generating shots. His 4.2 shots per game ranks sixth in the league and is nearly double his rate (2.13) last season, so while percentages have been favourable, they aren’t outrageous and Tarasenko’s underlying numbers indicate a player that can be a premier offensive performer. DEFENSIVE PRESENCE One of the surprise teams in the league, this early in the year, has been the Calgary Flames and while goaltending has played a part in that start, the driving force for the Flames has been their top defensive pair of Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie. Giordano and Brodie are 1-2 in scoring for the Flames, with 15 and 14 points, respectively and they are still better than any other Flames at driving play. Now, that comes as qualified praise, because Giordano has had a positive even-strength shot differential just once in the past 11 games, and while Giordano and Brodie hover between 46% and 47% possession, that is still the best among Calgary defencemen. There aren’t many defencemen in the league that are starting more shifts in the defensive zone, facing the opposition’s best forwards and still putting up positive relative possession numbers, and that backs up the scoring totals to indicate how much Giordano and Brodie mean to the Flames. ROOKIE LEADER Nashville Predators left winger Filip Forsberg has scored four goals and six points during a four-game point streak and has taken the lead in the rookie scoring race, with 13 points, ahead of L.A.’s Tanner Pearson and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, who both have nine. Forsberg has been skating Nashville’s top line, with centre Mike Ribeiro and right winger James Neal, and the 20-year-old has more than held his own. He leads the Predators in scoring, ranks second in shots on goal and has been a strong possession (55.3%) player. CAPITAL PAINS Forsberg’s former team, the Washington Capitals, started the season well, going 4-1-2, but they’ve since dropped five straight and frustration is building. Part of the trouble has been goaltending. Braden Holtby and Justin Peters have stopped 115 of 136 shots (.846 SV%) in that time, undermining otherwise reasonable play from the Capitals, but when a team is losing, they don’t much want to hear about strong underlying numbers, they want wins. CARTER CAUGHT Maybe Toronto Maple Leafs winger Carter Ashton made an innocent mistake, as he said, ingesting a banned substance through an inhaler after an asthma attack. It’s possible that the circumstances weren’t on the up-and-up, because there are obvious tangible benefits to a fringe NHLer taking something that might improve his performance, namely moving off the fringe and into a regular NHL job, but that’s mere speculation. As it is, Ashton’s absence is barely going to cause a ripple in the Maple Leafs’ lineup – he’s played a little over 18 minutes for the Maple Leafs this year and has three points in 50 career NHL games. COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN A shootout win at home against Toronto Thursday night shouldn’t do a whole lot to ease the collective minds of the Colorado Avalanche. It’s better than losing, naturally, but this is a team that has been regressing hard since last season, to the point that the market has over-corrected. The Avalanche were probably due for some luck when it comes to overtime and shootout results and they can probably score more efficiently than their current 8.4% shooting percentage, which ranks 21st in the league. But, when teams are losing, frustration sets in and Avalanche head coach didn’t hide his displeasure with veteran winger Jarome Iginla following a loss to Anaheim Sunday. Roy’s frustration stemmed from Iginla’s missed assignment in defensive zone coverage, but it might also be easier to cut Iginla some slack if he had more than two goals in 15 games. Trouble for the Avalanche is that they defied the odds last season and that raised expectations. Now that their possession stats are even worse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain any kind of success. CALCULATED DECISION AHL goaltender David Leggio, playing for Bridgeport, used some quick thinking when faced with the prospect of a 2-on-0 coming from centre ice – he turned and, unabashedly, knocked the net off the moorings, a must-see video. (Incidentally, it did kind of look like the 2-on-0 was going awry, as the first pass skipped over Lukas Sedlak’s stick). Sure, Leggio had to face a penalty shot, which he stopped, but the decision was a great risk-reward calculation in the moment. Generally, penalty shots are successful about one-third of the time. If Leggio felt that a 2-on-0 was more likely than a one-in-three chance to score, knocking the net off was the smart play. Of course, once someone takes obvious advantage of a loophole in the rules, there can be no surprise if the rules get changed. A LOT OF MONEY TO NOT PLAY The Carolina Hurricanes endured a tough start to the season, but are starting to snap out of their early-season doldrums. At least part of the reason for their improvement is that they got some players back from injury and with a relatively healthy roster, the Hurricanes decided that they could make right winger Alexander Semin a healthy scratch in back-to-back games. Semin has no goals and two assists in nine games, and while he’s hung with a minus-7 rating, does still have positive puck possession (52.4%) stats. The lack of production is certainly an issue, but reaching the point at which Semin is told to sit in the press box is a major problem since Semin has three more years, at a total of $21-million, left on his contract, after this season! The numbers will get better – this is hardly the first slump of Semin’s career – but that contract was risky enough when Semin was playing on Carolina’s top line, let alone when the coaching staff deems they are better off without him in the lineup. TAKE A SEAT The early-season lull in suspensions is in the rearview mirror now, as a steady stream of vacations gets handed out for hits that cross the line. Andrew Ference, Alex Burrows, Anton Volchenkov, Jordan Nolan and Jack Johnson have all been told to take a break by the Department of Player Safety. That’s just about enough, guys. Geoff Swaim Jersey . - Mathew Barzal scored 3:47 into overtime as the Seattle Thunderbirds downed the visiting Everett Silvertips 4-3 on Tuesday in Western Hockey League playoff action. Emmitt Smith Jersey .C. -- Duke sophomore Rodney Hood is entering the NBA draft. http://www.thecowboysfansmall.com/c-78-cowboys-nolan-carroll-jersey.aspx . There are practical ideas, like this Chewbaca inspired Star Wars jerseys. Star Wars themed jerseys for the Toledo Mud Hens.OAKLAND, Calif. -- Having discovered his power stroke at the Oakland Coliseum, Athletics catcher John Jaso was more impressed by the ball he hit that didnt leave the park than he was by his second home run in as many days. That might be because it came in the 10th inning and gave Oakland its third walk-off win of the season. Jaso doubled in pinch-runner Nick Punto with two outs in the 10th inning to lift the As to a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night. Jaso, who had not hit a home run in Oakland until his solo shot in Fridays 8-0 win, also homered in the third before delivering the fourth game-ending hit of his career. "Its funny because I thought that last ball I hit I hit harder than the other two and it hung up for some reason," Jaso said. "I dont know if the wind shifted, but I thought I hit it harder than the other two." After being limited to two hits over the first eight innings, the As scored twice in the ninth off Nationals closer Rafael Soriano to force extras and storm back for their third walk-off win this season. Alberto Callaspo singled off reliever Drew Storen (2-1) to lead off the 10th before Punto replaced him at first. Storen retired Eric Sogard and Derek Norris before Jaso hit a towering fly ball that ricocheted off the scoreboard in right field as Punto rounded the bases and scored. "Sometimes certain guys come up key in games when you dont get many hits," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "(Jaso) did most of the damage. When you get down to those situations, it just becomes a grind." The Nationals were three outs from winning and had their rock-solid closer on the mound before Oakland greeted Soriano with three consecutive hits to open the ninth. Jaso singled and scored on Jed Lowries double. Josh Donaldson followed with a line drive single to drive in Jaso with the tying run. "Going into the ninth with a two-run lead and a guy that hasnt given up a run in 25 innings and it doesnt happen for you, its disappointing," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "Thats baseball." It was Sorianos first blown save since Aug. 17, 2013, and ended his career-high streak of 25 consecutive scoreless innings. Chaz Green Jersey. . That spoiled a stellar outing by Washington starter Tanner Roark. Coming off the worst start of his season, Roark was masterful while shutting down the As offence. He allowed two hits over 7 2-3 innings, struck out five and didnt walk a batter. He gave up Jasos two-out home run in the third before retiring the next 13. The Nationals backed him with just enough offence until the bullpen broke down. Danny Espinosa hit a towering home run off Oakland starter Sonny Gray with one out in the third to give the Nats an early lead. Zach Walters and Denard Span followed with singles before Kevin Frandsen lined a two-run double to the gap in left-centre to make it 3-0. Jasos two-out home run off Roark in the bottom of the third trimmed Washingtons lead to 3-1. "Its strange how a pitcher can get on a roll like (Roark) did and everything we put in play was caught," Jaso said. "Those kind of days, thats when you want to get into the bullpen and change the momentum." Roark left with two outs in the eighth after a throwing error by Espinosa allowed Reddick to take third. Roark fielded Eric Sogards grounder cleanly, but his throw to first hit Reddick in the back of the helmet and ricocheted near the Nationals dugout. Tyler Clippard replaced Roark and retired pinch-hitter Derek Norris before the As rallied for the tying runs off Soriano. Sean Doolittle (1-2) pitched one inning for the win to help Oakland overcome an uneven outing by Gray. Gray, the AL pitcher of the month in April, struck out three and walked two. He allowed six hits over seven innings and gave up all of Washingtons runs in the third NOTES: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (quad strain) is headed for the disabled list after aggravating the injury on Friday. ... Injured slugger Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb fracture) has not yet resumed hitting and is scheduled to have another X-ray on Sunday. ... Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir (4-1) pitches the series finale after taking the loss in his previous outing. ... Former As starter Gio Gonzalez (3-2) goes for Washington. Gonzalez won 15 and 16 games for Oakland in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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