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Sports Then and Now



1st Quarter Report: Penguins, Capitals Leading the NHL Eastern Conference 5

Posted on November 29, 2009 by Scott Weldon
Montreal Canadiens v Pittsburgh Penquins

The defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a hot start as they look to defend their title.

It’s almost impossible to win a football game in the first quarter. There’s too much time to come back, adjust to the other team, get lucky. A team can lose a game in the first quarter though. They can put themselves in such a deep physical and psychological hole that they won’t be able to climb.

The NHL season is a little like that. Everyone has played at least 21 games out of a total of eighty two. The early favourites have been established who is the best team? That title is still up for grabs. Who is likely to make the playoffs? Well in the new NHL where there’s a point given out every time a team completes their pre-game warm-up that’s still undecided yet. Who has played themselves out of the play-offs and are likely to be lottery pick drafters, well that I can tell you. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes and their five wins respectively are out of the playoffs, in November. It’s a neat trick.

How have the teams in the NHL done this first quarter? Lets’ take a look at teams in the Eastern Conference in the order they’re in now.

1/ Pittsburgh Penguins
GP: 25   W: 17   L: 8     OT: 0      PTS: 34      WPCT: .680     GF: 77    GA: 69

Pittsburgh has started slowly the last couple of years. This year they had the third fastest start in the league. They’ve tightened up their game giving up only 27.1 shots per game.

Fleury hasn’t benefitted from this decrease in chances. Last years .912 save percentage has declined to .904. Malkin has missed seven games so far this year and the team suffered with him out.

After the playmaker Sidney Crosby with 12 goals there’s a group of Penguins with six. Youngster Alex Goligoski has almost equaled last years offensive totals in less then half the games. Along with Letang and the veteran Skoula there seems plenty of offensive potential on the back end on the soon to be retired Gonchar.

The return of Maxime Talbot should help Pittsburgh as well. They still could use top end snipers to play with Malkin and Crosby. This team looks to get stronger as the season progresses.
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Are You Ready For Hockey Season? Eastern Conference Previews 7

Posted on September 24, 2009 by Scott Weldon
Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh won the 2009 Stanley Cup.

Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh won the 2009 Stanley Cup.

The start of the NHL season is a couple of weeks away and this is my attempt to evaluate what’s happened in the off-season and what it means for the new hockey year.

This is my look at the Eastern Conference. I’ve taken a look at each team in the order they finished last year and postulated how they’ll finish this year.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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