The stage was set for an emotional carry over into Saturday morning regardless of the outcome of Friday night's Islanders/Rangers game; a win for the Isles against their biggest rival and top team in the Eastern Conference would keep their playoff hopes alive, but a loss to their number one foe would have been a crushing blow to their confidence and chances.
Fortunately, the orange and blue would come on top with a 4-3 shootout victory with Matt Moulson netting the finally tally in the fourth round.
Tensions were high at the start of the game and Matt Martin decided to ease things up a bit by fighting Stu Bickel just over two minutes into the game. Both got their licks in before Martin swung and missed, falling to the ice to end the fight early. A fair draw would set the tone for how evenly the game would be played.
The New York Islanders went from potential playoff contenders to looking towards next season within 48 hours earlier this week.
Having the best team in the Eastern Conference coming into your building after being shutout in their last game, isn’t what the doctor ordered.
After two terrible performances against Ottawa and Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday, the Islanders welcome in their cross-river rivals the New York Rangers on Friday Night.
The Rangers are leading the Eastern Conference with 81 points, 7 points ahead of both New Jersey and Boston. They travel to Long Island after being blanked by the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Tuesday night. Henrik Lundqvist continued his stellar play making 29 saves in the losing effort. After an 8-1-1 stretch, the Rangers have lost two of their last three games.
Ah New York, New York “I'm gonna make a brand new start of it In old New York. If I can make it there, I'd make it anywhere Come on, come through, New York, New York.” – Kander/Ebb lyrics
And make it there the Hawks certainly did. This game had everything, Two Original Six teams meeting who don’t normally see each other, historic Madison Square Garden and ey New Yawkers in the stands. If that was not enough to stir the blood, you had the classic offence versus defense and two teams on different trajectories.
I was not sure what to expect in this one except the Hawks had nothing to lose. What I was pleasantly surpris...
When you think of the New York Islanders and associate the word "injury" to their name, you automatically think of all the man-games lost by this team over the past few years and immediately think of the infamous Rick DiPietro. But right now, the injury bug is starting to bite in places other than the 15-year man's knees.
Brian Rolston was placed on the Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec 15th due to a concussion he sustained during the team's 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars this passed Thursday. He left the game and did not return and has not played since.This has allowed Nino Niederreiter to return to the line-up without their having to be any major changes to the roster.
Other players, like Tim Wallace, have been getting extra playing time as well. Although Wallace has previous NHL experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he really hasn't been all that impressive.
It wasn't news to anyone that the NHL would be setting up a new realignment plan for the 2012-2013 season. Plenty of speculation went into this idea as to how it would effect the current Eastern and Western Conferences. The Winnipeg Jets, although presently in the East, seemed to be a team that would make much more sense in the West. Rumors began to run that the Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, or even quite possibly the Nashville Predators.
The bigger question, and one that still looms over the hearts of many fans out in the desert, is whether or not the Phoenix Coyotes will still be in any Conference next year. They are currently in what seems to be the final year of their lease agreement after almost being relocated this past summer. There's still a good possibility that they might be relocated in the near future as well, but all of that remains in limbo as the 2012 season moves forward.
However, the NHL and it's Board of Governors could not wait to see what happens in Phoenix and passed a very dramatic change to the current alignment. The Eastern and Western Conferences will ultimately be removed next year; the standard two conferences that consist of 15 teams will become four conferences with either seven or eight teams in each one.
For some reason, there was an explosion of NHL realignment talk and it was all concerning the Winnipeg Jets (obviously) and the Detroit Red Wings.
Bob McKenzie of TSN has said that Detroit has first dibs to move to the Eastern Conference, with Winnipeg moving West:
"More and more NHL governors convinced Detroit will be moving to Southeast Division in Eastern Conference when realignment done in early December. If Detroit goes to SE (East), it's plausible and possible ...
The Washington Capitals opening-night 4-3 overtime victory against Southeast Division-rival Carolina in front of the 107th straight Verizon Center sellout Saturday didn’t lack for thrills. From the Caps’ perspective there was plenty to be excited about – a few standout individual efforts and enough mistakes to remind everyone that there is plenty of work ahead. All in all it was a pretty typical opening-night performance, with the team getting an overall grad of a B-minus for the effort. A further breakdown follows:
It’s been an interesting off-season, to say the least, for the Washington Capitals.
Gone are longtime Caps Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr. Enigmatic, yet talented, netminder Semyon Varlamov also departed along with last year’s stretch-run veteran additions Jason Arnott and Marco Sturm.
The replacements? Former Caps captain Jeff Halpern, past Stanley Cup winner Troy Brouwer, Nashville playoff hero Joel Ward, elite goaltender Tomas Voukoun and 19-year steady blueline veteran Roman Hamrlik.
The net result? A team that has added size, speed, skill and grit; a club that can roll out a top-six defensive unit that matches up with any in ...
Things this offseason were swirling in Carolina, and one’s left to wonder exactly where this team is headed when the first official puck drops Friday night in Raleigh. The Hurricanes lost one established and respected defenseman in Joe Corvo while gaining another more well known for his ability to contribute on offense in Tomas Kaberle. Depth was added at winger in the form of Anthony Stewart, formerly of the Atlanta Thrashers, who’s currently slated to bring some of the speed and scoring potential to the fourth line. Veteran Alex Ponikarovsky, who’s struggled since he was traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh two y...