Notebook: Pens' Malone and Sydor Get 'A's for Effort
Barnes, Keith, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
With Mark Recchi now in Atlanta and Gary Roberts out of the lineup for the next six weeks, the Penguins found themselves short on alternate captains.
In keeping with the rotational system coach Michel Therrien employed at the beginning of the season, left wing Ryan Malone with wear the "A" on his sweater during home games while veteran two- time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Darryl Sydor will wear it on the road.
"I don't think I'll change anything. I'll still go out and be myself," Malone said. "I think it's just a great honor, being from here, putting the sweater on and being looked at now as a leader is kind of special."
Sergei Gonchar will be a permanent alternate captain after alternating home and road with Roberts throughout the early part of the season. Recchi was the only permanent alternate until he was placed on waivers and picked up by the Thrashers.
With the Penguins' current six-game surge, the team has moved into second place in the Atlantic Division and, at least temporarily after their win over Florida, into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
It also nearly gave coach Michael Therrien a trip to Atlanta.
Until New Jersey shut out Philadelphia, 3-0, on Friday, Therrien was a candidate to be the assistant coach to Ottawa's John Paddock at the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 27 in Atlanta. Paddock was selected by virtue of the Senators having the best record in the conference, but New Jersey, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were all so close that it came down to the next-to-last day to make the final determination.
Coaches are selected by virtue of point percentages, which are determined by dividing the total points earned by a team by the total available points and getting the percentage.
The Penguins have earned 48 of a possible 82 points for a .585 point percentage. New Jersey's victory over the Flyers gave the Devils an insurmountable 49 of a possible 80 points for a . …