The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are finally getting their well-deserved attention by a larger group of Pittsburgh Penguins fans! Check out this article in order to get to know the Penguins team which might be able to win the first Cup for the Pittsburgh Penguins Organization since 6 years!
Yes, the Pittsburgh Penguins suffered another early playoff exit. But that’s no reason for any Penguins fan to already have any kind of off-season hangover, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins keep the flag flying – in a stunning way!
The WBS Penguins made it to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the thirteenth consecutive season (the longest current active streak in the American Hockey League), despite another season which has – yet again – been influenced by a lot of players being called-up to the injury-prone Pittsburgh Penguins. During their 16 AHL seasons, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins only missed the post-season twice, in 2000 and 2002 & have gone to the Calder Cup Finals three times in their sixteen-year existence. But even though they have lost all three finals, there is no doubt that the farmteam of the Pittsburgh Penguins has done a terrific job over the entire course of those 16 seasons.
And the 2014-15 AHL season might become the season where they achieve their biggest success, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have a legit chance to finally win the Calder Cup!
Their start into the playoffs has already been more than promising, since the Wilkes-Barrre/Scranton Penguins have been able to achieve a sweep of the best-of-five Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Syracuse Crunch (the farmteam of the Tampa Bay Lightning) with a 5-2 victory over the Crunch in Game 3 on Wednesday at Onondaga Country War Memorial Arena.
If their second round opponent will either be the Manchester Monarch or the Hartford Wolf Pack, has yet to be determined.
“If Manchester wins, the Penguins play the Monarchs and the Wolf Pack play the Bears in Round 2. If Portland wins, the Penguins play the Wolf Pack and the Bears play Portland.” – Chirps from Center Ice (http://chirpsfromcenterice.com/2015/05/01/penbearwolf/)
Neither team, Manchester or Hartford, will be easy, but winning the Calder Cup wouldn’t be such a great success, if it would be easy …
Get to know the team which wants to win the first Cup for the Pittsburgh Penguins Organization since 6 years!
2014-15 AHL Season:
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have been able to finish second within their Divison, despite another season which has been influenced by a lot of players being called-up to the injury-prone Pittsburgh Penguins – especially defensemen. Even more impressive that they have still allowed the fewest Goals Against (163 GA) compared to every other team of the American Hockey League. No doubt that WBS Penguins’ rookie goalie Matt Murray, who arguably played the most outstanding season a rookie goalie has ever played in the AHL’s 79-year history, has been a HUGE reason therefor. However, you also have to point out, that the defense has played great hockey in front of Murray all season long. It’s always a collaboration/cooperation!
1 Regular Season Title/Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (2010-11), 3 Division Championships (2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11), 3 Conference Championships (2000-01, 2003-04, 2007-08)
Head Coach: John Hynes
“John Hynes is in his fifth season as head coach of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Hynes continues to build on an impressive resume that has seen him lead WBS to an 186-102-7-13 overall record, four Calder Cup playoff berths and the 2011 AHL regular-season championship, while also being named the 2011 AHL coach of the year. In his four years as head coach of the Penguins, Hynes has totaled the most wins in the AHL; most road wins and three times led the league in defense (2010-11, 2012-13 & 2013-14).” – Source: http://wbspenguins.com/team/hockey-operations#
Assistant Coach: Alain Nasreddine
“Alain Nasreddine is in his fifth season as assistant coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Nasreddine, who played 15 years of professional hockey as a defenseman, which includes five seasons with the Penguins organization, helped lead the team to a 58-21-0-1 record and the franchise’s first-ever Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as AHL regular-season champions in 2010-11. Nasreddine coached defensive groups that allowed the fewest goals in the AHL during the 2010-11 (183), 2012-13 (178) and 2013-14 (185) seasons. Nasreddine, 38, played for the Penguins organization from 2003-04 through the 2007-08 season. During that time he suited up in 56 games for Pittsburgh, notching five points (1G-4A). Nasreddine played in 249 contests for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, totaling 55 points on 13 goals and 42 assists. He added seven points (3G-4A) in 57 postseason games, and helped the team earn two berths in the Calder Cup Final in 2003 and 2007.” – – Source: http://wbspenguins.com/team/hockey-operations#
AHL Awards/WBS Penguins Team Awards:
- Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (AHL’s most outstanding rookie): Matt Murray
- Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (AHL’s best goaltender): Matt Murray
- Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award: Matt Murray & Jeff Zatkoff
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins MVP: Matt Murray
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Rookie of the Year: Matt Murray
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Star of the Year: Matt Murray
- Most Valuable Defenseman: Brian Dumoulin
- Most Improved Player: Tom Kuhnhackl
- Herb Brooks Memorial Award: Dominik Uher
- Community Service: Barry Goers
- Media Award: Bryan Rust
- Fan Favorite: Bobby Farnham
Matt Murray’s Awards/Achievements:
- Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (AHL’s most outstanding rookie)
- Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (AHL’s best goaltender)
- Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins MVP
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Rookie of the Year
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Star of the Year
- AHL Record for longest shutout streak by a goaltender in the AHL’s 79-year history (304 minutes and 11 seconds between Feb. 8 and Mar. 8)
- AHL Record for most shutouts by a rookie goaltender
- AHL All-Rookie Team and AHL All-Star First Team honors
- Second rookie in the last 20 years to win the Baz Bastien Award
- CCM/AHL Player of the Week (2x)
- CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month (2x)
Latest Lineup (including 2014-15 Regular Season Stats):
- Conor Sheary: 58 Games Played, 45 Points (20 Goals/25 Assists), +/- 0
- Andrew Ebbett: 44 Games Played, 44 Points (17 Goals/27 Assists), + 19
- Tom Kostopoulos: 72 Games Played, 44 Points (16 Goals/28 Assists), + 3
- Scott Wilson: 55 Games Played, 41 Points (19 Goals/22 Assists), + 14
- Jayson Megna: 63 Games Played, 39 Points (26 Goals/13 Assists), + 18
- Kasperi Kapanen: 4 Games Played, 2 Points (1 Goal/1 Assist), – 1
- Tom Kuhnhackl: 72 Games Played, 30 Points (12 Goals/18 Assists), + 10
- Carter Rowney: 63 Games Played, 31 Points (10 Goals/21 Assists), + 14
- Dominik Uher: 72 Games Played, 26 Points (13 Goals/13 Assists), + 11
- Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond: 55 Games Played, 6 Points (2 Goals/4 Assists), + 1
- Jean-Sebastien Dea: 43 Games Played, 21 Points (10 Goals/11 Assists), + 1
- Bobby Farnham: 62 Games Played, 14 Points (7 Goals/7 Assists), + 3
- Brian Dumoulin: 62 Games Played, 33 Points (4 Goals/29 Assists), + 25
- Taylor Chorney: 62 Games Played, 19 Points (4 Goals/15 Assists), + 26
- Scott Harrington: 48 Games Played, 12 Points (2 Goals/10 Assists), + 19
- Barry Goers: 51 Games Played, 9 Points (2 Goals/7 Assists), + 3
- Reid McNeill: 54 Games Played, 7 Points (2 Goals/5 Assists), + 6
- Derrick Pouliot: 31 Games Played, 24 Points (7 Goals/17 Assists), + 2
- Matt Murray: 40 Games Played, 25 Wins/ 10 Losses / 1 SO Loss, 12 Shutouts, 1.58 Goals Against Average, 0.941 SV%
- Jeff Zatkoff: 37 Games Played, 18 Wins/ 14 Losses / 3 SO Loss, 3 Shutouts, 2.45 Goals Against Average, 0.910 SV%
Top Prospect who has yet to play in his first Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Game: Oskar Sundqvist
- Oskar Sundqvist (Skelleftea AIK): 41 Games Played, 19 Points (9 Goals/10 Assists), + 15
The average age of WBS Penguins’ latest lineup ( + Oskar Sundqvist ) is 24.5 years, with top prospect Kasperi Kapanen being the youngest & Captain Tom Kostopoulos being the oldest player of the team. It features ten Canadian, seven US American and four European Hockey players.
On Tuesday, injured player Bryan Rust practiced with a red no-contact jersey, while Nick Drazenovic has already practiced in a regular jersey. Both would furthermore improve the lineup of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, should they be ready to play. Forward Anton Zlobin had to undergo shoulder surgery in December & is expected to be out for the reminder of the season.
- Tristan Jarry (Goalie): 0 Games Played, — Wins/ — Losses / — SO Loss, — Shutouts, — Goals Against Average, — SV%
- Sean Escobedo (Defenseman): 4 Games Played, 3 Points (1 Goals/2 Assists), +/- 0
- Alex Boak (Defenseman): 31 Games Played, 6 Points (1 Goals/5 Assists), + 5
- Danny Syvret (Defenseman): 75 Games Played, 23 Points (6 Goals/17 Assists), – 26
- Nick D’Agostino (Defenseman): 50 Games Played, 10 Points (0 Goals/10 Assists), + 8
- Ryan Parent (Defenseman): 22 Games Played, 2 Points (0 Goals/2 Assists), + 1
- Clark Seymour (Defenseman): 12 Games Played, 1 Points (0 Goals/1 Assists), – 1
- Matia Marcantuoni (Forward/C): 59 Games Played, 14 Points (4 Goals/10 Assists), + 4
- Adam Payerl (Forward/C): 41 Games Played, 9 Points (2 Goals/7 Assists), + 1
- Josh Archibald (Forward/RW): 45 Games Played, 13 Points (5 Goals/8 Assists), – 1
Update (2015 – 05 – 2 / 6:00 PM):
It appears that forwards Bryan Rust & Nick Drazenovic are indeed possibilities for the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs:
“Taking part in that tough practice without any apparent restrictions were injured forwards Nick Drazenovic and Bryan Rust. Hynes said they skated yesterday as well, and seeing how they react to two hard days in a row will tell a lot about their recovery. He said it’s possible both play in the next round.” – Jonathan Bombulie (Source: http://blogs.citizensvoice.com/penguins/index.php/2015/05/02/building-buzz-52/)
How might that affect the lineup of the upcoming games?
“[…] WBS top-9 forwards pretty set: Sheary-Ebbett-Kostopoulos, Wilson-Megna-Kapanen, Kuhnhackl-Rowney-Uher. Then you have Rust & Drazenovic coming off injuries, Sundqvist from Sweden & the guys who rotated on 4th line (Dea, Archibald, PL3 & Farnham)” – Highland Park Hockey (Source: https://twitter.com/H_P_Hockey?lang=de)
– Benedikt Bäumler