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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey Devils’

Mike Johnston Fired

December 12, 2015 | by Scott Maran | Comments (1)
Mike Johnston has been fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Johnston’s tenure as Coach of the Pens is over. (Bryan Heim/Portland Winterhawks/Canadian Press)

On Saturday morning, Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Johnston was relieved of his duties along with assistant coach Gary Agnew. Johnston, hired in June 2014, was unable to take this team filled with stars back to the top of the league, so the axe fell.

The Pens are kind of stuck in the middle of the Metropolitan Division, and were recently passed in the standings by the Devils, which likely prompted the move (although it’s been building for some time). Overall, Pittsburgh was 58-37-15 under Johnston.

General Manager Jim Rutherford revealed that Mike Sullivan will be taking over the head coaching job. Sullivan was previously working behind the bench as the Head Coach for the Penguins’ AHL affiliate team, compiling an 18-5 record. He has NHL coaching experience, having been the Head Coach for the Boston Bruins from 2003 to 2006 and was also an assistant coach for eight years.

There are at least some Penguins fans that will miss Johnston (see video below).

This move by Rutherford seemed inevitable since the Penguins have significantly underperformed for Johnston. Pittsburgh is currently fifth in their division and ninth in the conference after managing to barely squeak into the playoffs last season with 98 points. Since Johnston took over, the Penguins have seen a notable dip in their offensive production.

Season Head Coach Goals per Game Rank
2012-2013 Dan Bylsma 3.44 1st
2013-2014 Dan Bylsma 3.04 6th
2014-2015 Mike Johnston 2.70 19th
2015-2016 Mike Johnston 2.40 27th

With so much firepower up front, it’s almost unbelievable that the Penguins have had such a problem scoring. A team that boasts talents like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang shouldn’t be 27th in the league in scoring and averaging a mere 2.4 goals per game. Johnston’s firing was clearly just a matter of time, especially after Rutherford voiced his disagreement with Johnston over how he was using Daniel Sprong.

This move should benefit the Fantasy owners of underperforming Penguins such as Crosby, Kessel and Patric Hornqvist. With Johnston gone, there’s a good chance Pittsburgh starts scoring more goals and its players start picking up more points. This season, Crosby has only managed 19 points in 28 games and Kessel has just 17 points in 28 games. Now with a new coach behind the bench, this high-powered pair might be able to start scoring more. It would behoove a shrewd Fantasy owner to make a low-ball offer to the owners of these players.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you think of this move by the Penguins.

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The Wire Troll: One Hit Hockey Wonders?

February 10, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
Can anyone believe this? Greene has always been a pretty good defenceman. He does his job more or less, chips in a few points and does solid work against the other team’s top six when he is on the ice. Greene has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last five games, but generally shots on goal are not his strong suit — being “ahead of the play” is. The fact that the points are coming is a bit of a surprise but he has definitely worked hard during the lockout. The power play points are a very nice bonus for Fantasy owners. With the schedule getting tougher, and Greene getting more and more ice time, it may be time for him to see top line power play time which will be beneficial to future production.
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Ice Chips: Groin Adhesions and Trade Deadlines Edition

March 6, 2009 | by Mike Chen | Comments (0)
Daniel Briere is getting over his groin adhesions; for this guy, the problems are just starting. Oh, the life of Daniel “Danny” Briere – it’s just one injury after another these days, isn’t it? If you’re a fantasy manager, you were stoked to see Briere finally back, then pissed to see him get hurt yet again. [...]
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Ice Chips: The Rosters They Are A-Changing

February 27, 2009 | by Steven Ovadia | Comments (2)
With the trade deadline looming, no team wants to get burned the way the Oilers did when they overpaid for 19 games of Sergei Samsonov’s service in 2006. The trade deadline (it’s Wednesday, so mark your calendar) can be great for fantasy teams, since sometimes a player just needs a change of scenery or a different [...]
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Ice Chips: Free Money Edition

February 13, 2009 | by Steven Ovadia | Comments (2)
Former first rounder Eric Fehr (right) is suddenly looking like a dangerous scorer for the Caps. (UPI Photo/ Mark Goldman) In the NHL, players will suddenly go very hot. In the fantasy world, the big question is always, how long will they stay hot? Take Eric Fehr from the Washington Capitals. He’s got seven goals on the [...]
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