The Islanders are on a losing streak to start off the month of November and every Islanders fan is clutching their forehead in a panicked frenzy expecting this team to drop to last place in the Eastern Conference standings overnight.
Two words everyone: calm down.
It cannot be denied that seeing the Islanders drop three games in a row is not a good thing. Nor is it good to see a team that started 4-0 suddenly hovering one game above .500. But it is a very long season and it is still very early.
And despite their recent struggles, the Islanders currently sit at third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Over the past several seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers possessed an ability to come back to win games after subpar second period efforts. On Thursday night, after five unaswered goals by the San Jose Sharks, any hope of that happening again was extinguished rather quickly.
A hat trick from American Olympian Joe Pavelski, two goals from Canadian candidate Logan Couture and two goals from Raffi Torres in his season debut crushed the Flyers in a punishing 7-3 rout at the Wells Fargo Center.
Despite the lack of scoring there's a lot to talk about in this series. Darryl Sutter has been adjusting lines masterfully, Logan Couture's comeback in game three, and the great play of Antti Niemi and Jonathan Quick are only a few of the subplots in this exciting series.
But with the Sharks facing elimination tonight the power play is the top priority. Los Angeles and San Jose have had incosinstent power play success often determining the outcome of games this series. Before dissecting the power play rates in this series let's take a look at each teams power play and penalty kill percentages throughout the playoffs.
Through three games the Kings/Sharks Western Conference Semifinal has been nothing short of fantastic. Entering the series was the Stanley Cup defending champions who disposed of the St. Louis Blues in six games despite falling behind 2-0; the Sharks entered red hot as a team drenched with momentum after easily sweeping the Canucks 4-0.
The two Californian teams play rough styles of hockey that aren't always pretty but are effective for playoff hockey. The Kings won the first two games in different fashion, the first behind the perfect play of Jonathan Quick who shut out the Sharks facing 35 shots and secondly behind some late game heroics in a spectacular comeback win.
The first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs are in the books, eight teams have been sent packing to hit the links while eight teams remain to square off in the conference semi-finals. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The first round did not disappoint hockey fans who have come to expect physical, fast, dramatic hockey in the playoffs and year after year they are not disappointed.
One year after the Los Angeles Kings became the first eight seed ever to win the Stanley Cup both seven seeds and both six have managed to advance to the semi-finals. The Eastern Conference Semi-final match-ups pit the Pittsburgh Penguins (1) against the Ottawa Senators (7) and the Boston Bruins (4) face off with the New York Rangers (6), while the Western Conference will feature the Chicago Blackhawks (1) who will try to hold off the Detroit Redwings (7) and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings (5) will face their fellow Californians, the San Jose Sharks (6).
Preview: The Kings (24-14-4; 52 points) look to end their local road woes as they head to San Jose to take on the Sharks (22-13-7; 51 points) tonight at 7:30. The Kings enter in fourth place in the Western Conference with the Sharks in fifth, only one point behind. With seven games left the Kings playoff chances look secure as long as they can avoid a major collapse.
The Kings have lost three road games in a row and the Sharks have one of the best home-ice records in the league. There’s a good possibility that the Kings could meet the Sharks in the first round of the playoffs, making tonight’s game not only preview but a battle for the better se...
It's still uncertain whether the San Jose Sharks have shed their reputation of being chokers. They made the conference finals the last two seasons, but lost pretty badly both times. Considering every year lately seems to be "their year", even the conference finals seems like it's not enough. But this year is different. They haven't exactly been dominating the west as they usually do, in fact they barely squeaked into the playoffs. But the pressure is still there even if it might not seem like it, and people's jobs will more than likely be on the line if they "choke" yet again.&...
Another benchmark game won for the Detroit Red Wings, continuing their home game winning streaks at 23. It was a tough game for both teams, but the Wings were able to come out on top with the help from the star of the game Joey MacDonald.
The Wings controlled the first period, having 8 shots on goal compared to 6 for the Sharks. Henrik Zetterberg took the first goal for the Wings, which he did with a beautiful backhanded shot six minutes into the period. The Wings ended the first period killing a penalty for Bertuzzi for goalie interference.
The second period did not go as well for the Wings. The Sharks dominated with shots on goal, 19 to 8. ...
Jonathan Quick allows the eventual game winner from Ryan Clowe. (photo courtesy of NHL.com)
For the first time in a month, the Kings played on back-to-back nights. And after a solid performance two days ago against the Ducks, they earned a point, yet were dealt an overtime loss at the hands of the division-leading San Jose Sharks.
The first period saw a flurry of chances for the Kings’ offense, which suddenly appeared to be well on their way to busting out of the past month’s offensive funk. Trent Hunter fed a wide-open Dustin Brown in front of the net, but Brown was unable to lift the puck over the out...