The New York Islanders opened their abbreviated 48-game season tonight with a 2-1 regulation loss at home to the defending Eastern Conference champs, the New Jersey Devils.
A sold out crowd was introduced to the 2012-2013 roster before puck drop. However, head coach Jack Capuano was missing, forcing assistant coach Doug Weight to take over along with Brent Thompson. Capuano missed the game due to a medical reason that was not disclosed to the media. It had been mentioned in the locker room that it is not life threatening, and that an update will likely be provided tomorrow.
But for the Isles, playing without their head coach behind the bench might have thrown the team for a bit of loop by the time the first period was underway. The Isles provided a lot of sloppy play in their end of the ice which resulted in poorly executed break outs and many mistakes in the neutral zone.
The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.
As the season is about to begin, the TCL team of Blackhawks writers give their predictions for the abbreviated (2012-) 2013 season. (Writers are listed alphabetically.)
CHERYL ADAMS (@HockeyBroad)
Central division will finish: 1) Blues, 2) Blackhawks, 3) Nashville, 4) Detroit, 5) Columbus
This is going to be an interesting year in the Central. The Blues have proven persistent and should look to repeat from last year. It's a tough call between the Preds and the Red Wins, but the Preds are hungrier for the Cup and will look to prove themselves after finally breaking into the second round. It's a rebuilding year for the Wings after losing their ...
NHL rosters aren't due until tomorrow at 5:00 pm, but after stating the team that practices on Friday will be the opening night squad, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher has made up his mind on his 2013 team.
At noon today, Mike Angelidis, JT Wyman, Matt Taorminaand Kyle Wilson were placed on waivers with the intent of being sent to Syracuse. This means that defenseman Keith Aulie and forwards Cory Conacher and Pierre-Cedric Labrie have made the team. (Labrie Photo/Linda Hamilton)
Tyler Johnson, Radko Gudas and Mark Barberio will be returned to the Syracuse Crunch...
Lost in the flurry of what fans are referring affectionately as "Lubo Gate", the Islanders became a whole lot tougher in the off season. They did this by signing a man who has no problem dropping the gloves in defense of his teammates.
Matt Carkner quietly signed a three year deal worth $4.5 million dollars. Carkner is not what you would call an offensive defenseman but he does come with a grittiness that leaves a mark.
Just ask the players that had to be scraped off of the boards from his bone crunching hits.
In his unofficial initiation to Islanders fans' hearts, he became public enemy number one during the Senators' playoff series where they pushed the Rangers to the limit. Who can forget his assault on Brian Boyle which earned him a one game suspension?
Day one of training camp for The New York Islanders has been completed as plenty of familiar faces took to the ice today to either look to impress the coaching staff, or get back into game shape.
However, one player who was not at camp was defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.
Visnovsky has made it clear that he wants to remain with his team in the KHL, which is unsettling for Isles fans as well as his teammates. Arthur Staple of Newsday's recent report from camp today had quotes from some of the Islanders, including general manager Garth Snow, that indicated their displeasure with his actions (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flick).
The Flyers have signed free agent defenseman Kurtis Foster.
Yesterday, it was reported they were nearing a deal with the 31-year-old blue liner, who is coming fresh off a broken collar bone. Today, it was made official with him signing a one-year, $950,000 deal.
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.
With the NHL 2012-13 lockout finally over and the players in the process of ratifying the new CBA as of yesterday it appears that the beginning of the 2012 - 2013 NHL season is only days away. The league is set to begin on Saturday January 19th, 2013 and although the official schedule is not out many reports have leaked that the New York Islanders will host the New Jersey Devils on opening day.
Here is what the Islanders' lineup could look like come the beginning of this shortened season. (Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)