The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.
It was on Twitter where former Islanders fan favorite Dave Scatchard retired from the game of hockey after talking to doctors that determined it wouldn’t be safe for him to continue playing hockey because of concussions. Today, Scatchard tweets about his wife, three children, and still keeps in contact with former teammates and brothers from the NHL. According to his bio, he is an entrepreneur. (Photo Credit: DaveScatchard/Twitter)
Islanders fans should remember Scatchard for his hard-nosed play on the ice as he never thought twice about throwing the body or dropping the mitts. Scatchard did whatever it took for the team to win, while skating around in his always-recognizable number 38 jersey.
The first player that will be looked at in the new revamped ‘Where Are They Now’ is Brad Isbister. For those who don’t remember Isbister was apart of the Islanders team that finished 5th in the Eastern Conference and lost in seven games to the Maple Leafs in 2001-2002 season.
Isbister was drafted in the 3rd (67th overall) 1995 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets; this was the same draft the Islanders selected Wade Redden then moved him in a package to the Ottawa Senators for the 1st overall pick in 1995 Bryan Berard.
The Boston Bruins took their rival's brother - goalie Malcolm Subban - with the 24th pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Subban, brother of Montreal defenseman P.K, is considered one of the top goalies in this year’s draft field. The 6-foot-1 tender posted a 2.50 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 39 games last season for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls. Weighing in at 188 pounds, Subban has impressively demonstrated the ability to use his athleticism to thwart opponents.
Originally selected by Belleville with the 218th overall pick in the 2009 OHL draft, Subban’s prowess in between the pipes earned him a spot on the 2011 Canadian U...
The Washington Capitals signed Joel Ward away from Nashville last summer following the forwards impressive playoff performance.
On Wednesday night, Ward rewarded the Caps with a game-winning goal in overtime of game seven to oust the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Talk about paying off.
Ward's goal came just 2:57 into overtime as the No. 7 seed Caps dethroned the No. 2 seed Bruins, winning three games out of four in Boston in the process. Caps goalie Braden Holtby, proving to be a road warrior, made 31 stops on 32 shots to outduel Boston's Tim Thomas (25 saves on 27 shots) yet again.
For Caps goalie Braden Holtby, Thursday was just another day at the office.
That day at the office, by the way, included 44 saves on 45 shots by the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native. It marked the second time in four games that Holtby made 40+ saves in the series, he stopped 43 of 44 shots in game two to steal a win in Boston.
Not bad for a guy with zero NHL playoff experience prior to his start in game one. Sure he had AHL playoff experience and some while playing for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL, but not NHL playoff experience on the biggest stage in hockey.
The result: a 1.60 GAA (second among all goalies in playoffs...
Coming into the series, nobody thought that 22-year-old Braden Holtby, with zero playoff experience, could match Tim Thomas save-for-save.
But the Caps' young netminder has done just that, even slightly out-dueling Boston's former Vezina Trophy winner.
Holtby carries a .83 GAA into game three in D.C. and a sparkling .973 save percentage. Not to mention that he's stopped 72 of 74 shots in those two games, answering some of the questions surrounding the Caps' ominous goaltending situation entering the playoffs. Thomas hasn't been all that bad either, tending the cage to the tune of the same .83 GAA and a .9...