Early in the season, the Blackhawks picked up several wins where their best game wasn't there for the full sixty minutes, but they still managed to win the game. It might have hinted of a Cup hangover, but as the season rolled on, it was clear that the team didn't have any such thing - just their ongoing tendency to play some very sloppy periods within otherwise solid games.
Tonight versus the Rangers was one of those nights. The Blackhawks let themselves get outplayed in the first, and found themselves down 2-0 less than ten minutes into the game. Brad Richards opened the scoring with an even-strength goal; Mats Zuccarello put in a power play goal next off a pair of od...
It was milestone night in Philadelphia, but unfortunately for them, the milestones all belonged to the Rangers.
On a night where three Rangers reached impressive plateaus, the Flyers hit rock bottom. They dropped an embarrassing loss to the Rangers, losing 5-2 to knock them down to 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The win for New York was the 400th career win for their head coach, John Tortorella.
Derek Stepan had a tremendous game for the Rangers, putting up a dominating four-point night.
(Pictured: Rich Nash is defended by Ruslan Fedotenko. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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.
For one night, normalcy was restored in the hockey world.
As the "Fire Bettman" and "We want hockey" chants rained down to the Art Dorrington Ice Rink on Saturday evening at the Boardwalk Hall, people got a sense that this lockout just has to end.
For one night, Flyers, Rangers, Devils and even a few Penguins and Islanders fans were united with a select handful of other fans in Atlantic City's historic Boardwalk Hall. They were there for Operation Hat Trick, a charity game featuring 90% of the Atlantic Division's current and former star players, all still active in the NHL.
In all, 10,792 fans showed up, selling out the venue. It was the first sellout for a hockey event in Atlantic City since 1933.
The recent news of Lubomir Visnovsky filing a grievance with the NHLPA has Islander fans hanging their heads in despair. He has filed a grievance in an attempt to uncover a “No Trade Clause” that wasn’t honored at the time of the trade. It’s hard to decide if the actual news was the most painful or the fact that the Rangers netted Rick Nash for a bag of sweet tarts and a draft pick in a similar time frame. (Photo Credit, clydeorama/Flickr)
For playing under the same city name, the Rangers and Islanders could not be more different at the moment. Consistently, the Rangers keep improving on an already well stocked roster. They are able to speed up the process of rebuilding with their young players by pairing them with proven and perennial All Stars. It is a formula that leaves the Islanders in the dust.
In terms of young, raw talent the Islanders have the edge. However, an unproven stock- pile of draft picks does not win many games. The Rangers are able to introduce young players into the fold while adding great players in their prime.
It is like the Islanders rebuild plan but on steroids.