Around the Net – a morning skate around the league

It’s Friday, you ain’t got (bleep) to do… so why not enjoy this edition of Around the Net, including a Song O’ the Morning to you!

Happy Friday boys and girls! I am sure that many of you are preparing for the Easter holiday… if so, Happy Easter. If you are like me, you are just bracing for the first nice weekend of the spring. It is scheduled to be in the high 70s and early 80s all weekend long.

Though I am not a huge fan of the extreme summer heat, I am looking forward to the break in the weather, especially based on the snowy winter that we had this year. It was one of the worst I can recall…

With the small talk out of the way, let’s get down to business… it is time for you Friday edition of Around the Net – a morning skate through the league. Starting with today’s edition, I will be including a song o’ the morning to you! I used to post them daily on Facebook, but figured I would just incorporate it here. Hope you don’t mind!

We start off today with Shelly Anderson of the Post Gazette. She takes a look at the debacle that was Wednesday evening’s loss to the Lightning and how it is keeping some of the Penguins up at night.

Loss to Tampa keeping players up at night

Contrary to some internet reports that were floating around yesterday morning, the Penguins Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin both participated fully in yesterday’s practice. Both could return to the line-up tomorrow against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Malkin and Gonchar close to returning

Josh Yohe of the Tribune Review shares some thoughts from the leaders in the Penguins room such as Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin and Brooks Orpik. The trio has been very disappointed in how things have gone down as of late. Guerin specifically has pointed out that the mental prep has got to be better heading into the playoffs.

Mental prep has got to get better

Yohe also gives us a notebook… yesterday’s practice was the most intense of the season by most accounts… Poni and Leopold each feel that they can play better…

Yohe’s notebook

The Flyers big wheel of goaltending spins yet again… their seventh goaltender of the season is none other than former Penguin Sebastian “TROUT” Caron. Caron had been playing in the Swiss Elite League.

Caron signs with Flyers

Eric Duhatschek takes a look at the Phoenix Coyotes and their improbable season. It seems that they are doing it all the old fashioned way…with hard work! Some have compared this team to some of the better ones that Dave Tippett coached while in Dallas.

Phoenix doing it with hard work

Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette feels that Cary Price deserves better from his coach and the fans in Montreal. I tend to agree… it isn’t Price’s fault that Bob Gainey tossed him to the wolves two seasons ago, essentially stunting his growth. However, there is no arguing the fact that Jaro Halak has by far been the best goaltender on the team.

Does Price deserve better?

Here is a nice piece about WBS Penguins head coach Todd Reirden. Reirden is one of the top up and coming coaches in the AHL and is opening eyes around the hockey world.

Todd Reirden on the fast track

The great John Buccigross offers off-season solutions to hockey fans from far and wide! Bucci’s column is a must read for hockey fans…one of the best commentators on the National Hockey League…his regular coverage is what I miss most about the NHL not being on ESPN.

Bucci offers off-season solace to the hockey masses

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution asks the question: Does the fact that the Thrashers are still in contention equal progress?

Are the Thrashers showing progress?

The Edmonton Oilers are in line for the first overall draft pick… here is a look at their chances of winning the Hall or Seguin.

Oilers in line for number one

Peter Enav of the Associated Press takes a look at the Challenge Cup of Asia…a tournament held inTaiwan that includes teams such as Kuwait and Hong Kong.

Challenge Cup of Asia brings hockey to Asia

Last but not least… here is today’s Song O’ the Morning to you!
In keeping with my Henry Rollins theme this week…here is one of my favorite Rollins Band tunes… Fool! Fool has actually become a mainstay at Mellon Arena as of late…