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...
April 13th carries a lot of history for Kevin Dineen, coach of the Florida Panthers. It was on this day in 1997 that he scored the last goal in Hartford Whalers history. A good goal it was, too - the game-winner in a 2-1 game vs the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dineen, who was captain of the team, also became the first captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, and he scored the first goal for the 'Canes. So April 13th is a bittersweet day in Hartford hockey history.
Tonight, Kevin Dineen will be in the playoffs. But this time, he's going to be there in his first year as a head coach in the NHL, as the head coach of the Florida Panthers, who will be in their first playoff game since 2...
It has taken almost 15 years, but the Islanders General manager, Garth Snow may have finally found the answer. In the 1997 series between the Sabers and Flyers then Philly goaltender Garth Snow donned a set of shoulder pads so large a pundit asked if Snow “had Jimmy Hoffa buried under there.” He had not broken any rules, there were none? Fifteen-inch pads were commonplace and his imaginative way to level the playing field was totally legal. It also started the puck rolling towards the regulation of today’s goalie equipment by the NHL.
Always searching for a competitive advantage, Garth went out and drafted a tender who required no Michelin man equipment. Anders Nilsson at 6’5 and 220 lbs. fills the net in his long johns. Last night the 21 year old from Lulea, Sweden recorded his first NHL win, a 1-0 shutout over the New Jersey Devils. It is not just his dominating size but also cobra quick reflexes which brought one clever fan to post on Twitter “ Anders Nillson, I dub thee Thor the god of goaltenders.” The Islanders may need the help of a god to make the playoffs, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are in a push for the playoffs as well and could use Nillson’s services.
The Montreal Canadiens played host to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night, in a game in which the Canadiens would drop a very important two points. Despite a great effort in the third from the Canadiens, the Devils were able to hold them off and win the game by a score of 3-1. For the Devils these two points mean that much more security in their playoff spit (they currently sit 6th in the East), but for the Canadiens dropping the two points meant the difference between being just four points out of eighth, and remaining stuck in eleventh.
Coming into Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers needed to win the game.
The reasons are endless really: because it’s their hated rivals from Pittsburgh, because the Flyers are only two points ahead of them in the standings, because it’s a day game, because they’ve only won three of their last ten, because the Flyers play poorly at home, etc.
The list goes on and on.
However, the most basic reason the Flyers needed to win on Saturday is far simplier than all the other seemingly logical conclusions. The team needed to win above all else because the game was against a division opponent.