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Colin McDonald Inks Two-Year Extension

The New York Islanders announced today that the club will retain the services of forward Colin McDonald with a two-year contract extension.

McDonald has performed as one of the Islanders most consistent checking wingers on the "energy line" which also consists of Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas.

New NHL Realignment Inherently Flawed

Say goodbye to some of the longest-standing rivalries in the game, and say hello to some of the most manufactured rivalries in the game. The NHL, NHLPA and NHL Board of Governors approved the new realignment to be put into service starting next year, lasting a minimum of three seasons.

The new plan is contingent on some ridiculous rotation because of lopsided divisions of eight teams in the east, and seven teams in the west. Thanks to the strange geographical landscape that the NHL has employed, teams have had to be at the mercy of some wide open swaths of the United States and Canada that are uninhabited by NHL clubs.

The poor Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the...

Danny Briere's Upside not Much of an Upside Anymore

Philadelphia is currently under the realization that a lot is going to be changing for the Flyers.

The team is struggling mightily, and chances of making the playoffs are very slim. This all will eventually lead to presumed roster changes.

A handful of questions are also being asked -- Will last year’s big three rookies stick around? Which defensemen will be added? And will Danny Briere still be in orange and black?

I am here to touch on that last point. I do not have an answer of course, but I stand strongly by what the answer should be.

(Pictured: Danny Briere. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Can the Leafs Sustain Their Success?

*This article was originally published at thehockeywriters.com/mapleleafscentral

If the underlying statistics are any indication, the Toronto Maple Leafs may soon crash back down to Earth.

The Maple Leafs have had difficulties this season limiting their opponents’ shots against, ranking 28th in the National Hockey League in shots for percentage at even strength. Moreover, their Fenwick for percentage (the accumulation of saves, goals and missed shots) at even-strength ranks 29th.

The league standings of the 2011-12 season can attest to the importance of puck possession as the top ten teams generally had a strong FF%:

Teams StandingsFenwick For %Vancouver Ca...

Isles Struggles: Why Are Back-To-Back Games A Problem?

There really was not much to say after the Isles were blown out 6-1 last night by the Pittsburgh Penguins. But there is a glaring stat that can be taken away from this loss. Over the past two seasons, the Islanders have only won consecutive back-to-back games once (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).

There have been a total of 28 back-to-back games from the start of the 2011-2012 season to the last two games played this past Saturday and Sunday. Of those 28, the Islanders only pair of wins that came two days in a row included a 3-2 victory in Boston on March 3, 2012 and a 1-0 win at home versus New Jersey on March 4, 2012.

The Isles overall back-to-back record in the 2012 season was 8-10-2-2. Presently, they are 3-3-0-0 in back to back games. However, they have yet to win the second game of a back-to-back pairing this year and only accomplished that task five of 11 times last season.

Why the Leafs Shouldn't Re-Sign Bozak

https://twitter.com/kevin_mcgran/status/310093153946451969

That tweet is from the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran on Mar. 8 after Ryan Getzlaf re-signed with the Anaheim Ducks on an eight-year contract extension. It’s also a representation of the misconception that Tyler Bozak is a capable first-line centre.

It should be noted from the outset that Bozak is not to blame. It’s not his fault he’s been miscast as a top line player, and one certainly can’t fault him for doing his best in a role beyond his capabilities. There are enough underlying statistics to prove that Bozak is probably better-suited on the third-line (which we’ll get to), but it e...

Reeling Flyers Take On Streaking Bruins

The Philadelphia Flyers have one mission: beat a contender. The Boston Bruins host the Flyers this afternoon in perhaps one of the most critical games of the lockout shortened season.

Philadelphia Flyers Not a Playoff Team

Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?

Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?

(Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mandatory Visor Debate Rages Again

The decision remains optional, but recent history suggests that the use of visors on hockey helmets should be mandatory.

Simply put, the eyes are the most important part of a hockey player, and they must be protected.

Last night in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, a Kimmo Timonen slap shot deflected off of a Flyer stick and straight up into the face of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Staal was left in a pool of his own blood on the ice, holding his right eye.

Staal left the game immediately after being hit directly in the eye, and is out indefinitely. According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos, the injury is not believed to be career-threatening.

(Pictured: A trainer tends to Rangers defenseman Marc Staal after getting hit in the right eye by a puck Tuesday night. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Isles End Losing Streak At Home, Defeat Senators 3-2 In The Shootout

It took a dramatic finish, but the New York Islanders finally won a game on home ice during a Sunday matinee game, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the shootout.

The Islanders got on the board early in the game when Brad Boyes scored his fifth of the year, beating Robin Lehner glove side under the crossbar. The play started when Matt Moulson received a pass from Mark Streit at the Senators blue line and fed Boyes the puck as he was flying up the slot.

Not long after Boyes' goal, Matt Martin was found banging bodies all over the ice. In fact Martin had 6 hits in just over 3 minutes of play during the first period. Senators enforcer Chris Neil took exception to Martin's physical play and challenged him to a fight, but Martin ignored his request and continued to take out Senators along the wall.

He finished with 11 hits on the night. Coming into the game, Martin was just one shy of tying Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott for the league lead of 94 hits.