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.
The NHL season, at least, if there is one, is right around the corner. Much like the NBA a season ago, there could be quite a few surprises if teams are denied a preseason or even if a shortened season is used. With a lot of teams staying competitive throughout the season in 2011-2012, it looks as though there are even more talented teams looking to make a splash in 2012-2013. Here are three teams many are sleeping on, but they could make some serious noise.
Detroit Red Wings
It almost seems silly to include a team like the Detroit Red Wings as underrated going into a NHL season, but expectations are relatively low right now. Losing Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudle...
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Undoubtedly, hockey fans thought back to this adage in 2004: For the second time under Gary Bettman the league suffered a work stoppage.
When all seemed glitzy and good following the '04-'05 lost season, Roger Daltrey’s belted chorus “We won’t get fooled again” was apropos.
Fast forward seven years and we are staring another lockout in the face. Blame Bettman all you want- indeed all of this has transpired under his watch- but there is a greater problem underlying the Collective Bargaining Agreements.
When the league locked out in 2004 the main issue (and there were plenty) was the gr...
With the 23rd overall pick, the Florida Panthers selected Michael Matheson.
In terms of skating defensemen, few in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft are valued as highly as Matheson. The 6-foot-1, 180 pound Matheson finished with 11 goals and 16 assists in 53 games for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Due to his intentions to play at Boston College next year, Matheson will be a prospect who most likely will come to fruition in the future.
The 18-year old blueliner will most likely add a solid top-notch prospect to a system with the ability to shut down the opposition one-on-one.
Despite struggling at times with consistency in Dubuque, Matheson&rs...
The Florida Panthers weren't expected to be contenders in this year's playoffs. The team had been completely overhauled last summer under their still-new-car-smell GM; they had a new coach who was going to have his first year as an NHL coach. So long as the team climbed out of the league basement, anything else was gravy.
Yet they have pushed the NJ Devils to the brink of elimination in the first round.
The Devils have one of the defining goalies of the NHL in their net: Martin Brodeur, a goalie who is so good that the league changed the rules because of him - the implementation of the trapezoid, which came to be known as the "Brodeur rule". The las...
The Florida Panthers may have been a little overexcited to be in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years - 12 years to the day that they last went to the playoffs, in fact. At least, that's what their first-period play looked like, and they had relatively little offensive against the Devils.
New Jersey put up 26 SOG against Jose Theodore - who gave up 3 goals - while the Panthers didn't even break double digits. The first was Patrik Elias at 6:31; the second was a power play goal by Dainius Zubrus at 14:11, and the third was Ryan Carter at 14:56. The Devils pounded Theodore and nailed the Panthers into their own zone for large stretches at a time. The 26 SOG is a ne...