Monday, January 21, 2008

Cinderella man?

1) The person we're alluding to is Pittsburgh goalie, Tyler Conklin. Many a hockey fan/analyst are asking themselves where did Ty Conklin come from? The 31 year old Alaskan native has almost single handedly carried the Pittsburgh Penguins the past month+. Putting up very gaudy numbers, even for an All-Star, let alone a journeymen goalie. Through 13 games he is 10-1-1 with a GAA of 1.83, and an incredible save % of .946! Not coincidentally his team, the Penguins have quickly moved up the standings to a literal tie for first in the Atlantic, and a second seed in the Eastern Conference.

2) Before this season Conklin was a castoff from Edmonton where his last (and only) decent NHL season was 4 years ago when he started 38 games with respectable stats. Following Gary Bettman's second lockout he never quite caught back on with the Oil. Last season he was dealt to Columbus for a brief uninspiring stint, then to Buffalo as insurance for them down the stretch, never getting much playing time. This past off season he was signed by the Penguins as a possible candidate to back up #1 goalie M-A Fleury, but having lost out to Danny Sabourin in camp, Conklin was relegated to the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and played well for the pens farm team.

3) Conklin got his big break when M-A Fleury went down in early December with a 'high ankle sprain'. An injury that coincidentally his team mate Sid Cosby recently suffered. Upon his recall Ty backed up Sabourin for a few games, but Dany didn't play consistently well, losing 4 of 5 and coach Michel Therrien then gave Conklin the nod to start, and he hasn't looked back since, starting nearly every game since.

4) The next question has to be: How long until Cinderella comes back looking for her glass slippers? Certainly it can't be expected that Conklin will continue to play like the second coming of Jacques_Plante. He has to come back to earth at some point, right? Well, he will probably be tested in the upcoming weeks when, as alluded to earlier the Penguins are forced to play with out reigning league MVP, Crosby for the next month or more. They may need Ty's heroics to stay on top the very competitive Atlantic.


Ron said...

Tyler has played great for us. You're right that the Sid injury is gonna hurt but I think we have enough depth up front to compensate. It might even help in the long run. make guys step up. Also Sabouring played and got a shut out Saturday in the first game without Crosby. I'd be very happy to have 2 guys playing well in net, cause as you said eventually Conklins gonna have to have a bad game or two

The Good Staal said...

We could use a Conklin down this way. Ward has looked like crap and we have played musical chairs with our backups and they haven't done anything either.
Faux do you think maybe we could make a trade for someone? Have you heard anything?


1) Ron: You are correct, Sabourin played Saturday and played well. It will be a tough decison for the pens to make once M-A-F returns next month or sooner.
2) Staal: We hear the Canes are recalling Grahame from the AHL today. He has to clear wavers, else he's gonna be your back up, again. The Michael Leighton experiment didn't work.(Anyone surprised?)
3) As for rumors; We're told FR2 is working on what they are hearing around the league. Look for it probably tomorrow or Wednesday


I never thought much of Conklin before this year. I would be very surprised if this streak continues much longer. The guys like 32 or something. He may have earned himself another year in the NHL, but a team would have to be crazy to offer him anything more than a tad over the league minimum to be their back up next season. In other words Pens fans, he's not going to be your saviour

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