Blowing a two goal lead in the third period of a hockey game is never acceptable by the standards of most coaches and players, but to let it happen when you are looking to solidify a playoff spot is downright atrocious.
And that’s what the New York Islanders did last night.
With all due respect to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team that has now won eight games in a row, they are not a contending playoff team. They currently sit fifth in the Metropolitan Division, 15 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (and the Pens sit in one of the Eastern Conference wild card spots, only one point away from knocking the Islanders out of the top three in the Metropolitan Division).
This was a game that they needed to win and should have won – and they were well on their way until they blew it; a common theme for the Islanders over the past several weeks.
The Blackhawks kicked off the weekend with an away game at Columbus, which they lost 3-2 after a nine-round shootout. It was Corey Crawford's first start after missing a couple weeks with a sprained ankle.
Jack Skille opened the evening's scoring with an even-handed goal late in the first to give CBJ the 1-0 lead. Ten minutes of play later, Patrick Sharp would tie things up for Chicago 1-1.
Kevin Connauton would give the Blue Jackets the lead once more 1:55 into the third, and then Ben Smith tied it 2-2 after a goal that had to go to Toronto review. Marcus Kruger had slid into Sergei Bobrovsky in the goal, but Ben Smith was able to stretch and tap the loose p...
Regular season hockey may be a couple weeks away but the NHL is back and in game form.
The Flyers split their training camp roster in half, sending one group to the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario for a game against the Maple Leafs while the other half stayed home to host the Washington Capitals. The games resulted in a win at home and a shootout loss on the road.
As of now, the New York Islanders do not have a forward that is undeniably the top line winger to play alongside of Kyle Okposo and John Tavares. Last year, the Islanders started the season with Matt Moulson on JT’s wing, who was soon exchanged for Thomas Vanek.
Both Moulson and Vanek fit perfectly on the top line. But with Moulson staying in Buffalo and Vanek currently preparing to wear a Minnesota Wild jersey in 2015, the top spot is once again vacated.
The Flyers are on the right track to make the playoffs, and it's Claude Giroux who is leading them there.
Giroux added another three points to his season total, helping the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Friday. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Flyers, putting them back in the playoff hunt.
The Flyers scored first, and came at the Maple Leafs early. It was the exact opposite of their effort against the Rangers on Wednesday.
Kevin Poulin has been under the Islanders' microscope for quite some time. The organization has put a lot of faith in him, expecting him to eventually take over the starting position from veteran net-minder Evgeni Nabokov, perhaps as early as next season (Photo credit: 560XLS/Flickr).
Early on, fans were probably starting to lower their expectations for Poulin, only winning one of his first five starts and then dropping six in a row between November 19th and December 7th.
However, a recent surge by the Islanders, which can be very much attributed to the performance of Poulin, may help turn a few heads and increase the confidence of the 23-year old keeper.
In a heart-breaking dose of reality, the Philadelphia Flyers have publicly acknowledged for the first time that Chris Pronger's professional hockey career is done. In a radical metaphor, it feels like the plug has finally been pulled.
In an exclusive interview with Hockey News, this is the first time the team has publicly made it known his career is over.
"I'll say it, Chris is never going to play again," said Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. "I have no problems saying it."