Penguins notebook: Some numbers in NHL are dubious at best
January 27, 2014 9:07 PM
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Tanner Glass checks Mark Fayne of the New Jersey Devils into the boards during the second period of an NHL hockey game at the Prudential Center on December 31, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
By Shelly Anderson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Winger Tanner Glass set a Penguins single-game record and tied a season high in the NHL with 13 hits Saturday in a 3-0 loss at Dallas.
Glass figures that’s a bit dubious, and not because he was motivated by a less-than-stellar overall performance by the Penguins.
“It’s not frustration,” he said Monday before the Penguins played the Buffalo Sabres at Consol Energy Center. “Well, maybe a little bit. When you’re not playing well, you try to provide a spark any way you can.
“But I think it’s a matter of opportunity and the [off-ice officials] hits guys being kind in Dallas. It’s tough. Different rinks are good for hits, and Dallas is one that’s good for hits. The stats guys [there] keep better track of hits.”
Glass contends that beyond cornerstone statistics such as goals and assists, the awarding of others is inconsistent.
“It’s so true,” he said. “That’s the thing with these stats. Sometimes, the guys keeping the stats, I swear they’re sleeping. It’s so arbitrary. If we’re going to keep the stats, they should make them credible and make them legit.”
The NHL employs off-ice officials in each city to track several statistics in games.
Glass doesn’t believe the Dallas stat-keepers inflated his hits number Saturday and that 13 seemed accurate.
“I’d like to think so. It felt like it,” said Glass, who entered Monday leading the team with 148 hits.
“I try to be physical every night. But some nights I feel like I have six, seven, eight hits, and I get [credited with] one or two.”
They go way back
Buffalo winger Matt Moulson downplayed fan-based rumors of him being traded to the Penguins, the team that drafted him in the ninth round in 2003 but never signed him.
“A lot of things have been said,” Moulson said. “I don’t think I’m in control of anything to do with that. I just try to play.”
If such talks did manifest, Moulson would have an ally with the Penguins in coach Dan Bylsma, dating to when Moulson was a teenager.
“I was going through some tough times a little bit when I was younger and was able to get in contact with Dan and talk to him a little bit,” Moulson said. “He had a lot of encouraging words. It probably didn’t seem like a big deal [to him], but it went a long way back then.”
“I’ve known Matt for a long time, way back to when he was a 14-year-old kid,” said Bylsma, who was playing for the Anaheim Ducks at the time. “So I watch him pretty closely.”
‘To Ted, from Mario’
Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan played the final 18 of his 78 NHL games with the Penguins in 1985-86, when center Mario Lemieux was in the second season of a Hall of Fame career.
“I remember a lot about it,” Nolan said of his time with the Penguins.
“I remember sitting down next to Mario. I had a poster. I asked him to sign it. He asked who it was to, and I said, ‘To me.’ I’ve still got it at home. It says, ‘To Ted.’”
Lemieux is now co-owner of the Penguins.
Stars trade revisited
Buffalo captain Steve Ott played in Dallas with James Neal and Matt Niskanen and had some perspective on the February 2011 trade that brought those two to the Penguins in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski.
“First of all, I’d say Pittsburgh stole that trade,” Ott said. “No knock on anybody, but James Neal is obviously a superstar in this league. Matt Niskanen is having one of the best seasons he’s ever had. Both those guys, you could tell the talent that [was] coming with them.
“Sometimes, in trades you have to give to get. It was for Goligoski, who was a heck of a player. You had to give something to get something.”
Center Zach Sill, who was returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last week, was back in Pittsburgh Monday to see a medical specialist. He took a skate to the wrist or forearm over the weekend. … Center Evgeni Malkin played in his 500th NHL game. … Brian Gibbons, who missed the previous five games because of an unspecified injury, returned to the lineup and played right wing on the top line with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby. … The Penguins scratched defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and forwards Andrew Ebbett and Chuck Kobasew.
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