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.
The NHL is still in the midst of a lockout due to a CBA dispute between the NHL and the NHLPA. There have been rumors that a season could start around the beginning of December, TCL's Shane Blackburn provides a preview of the Eastern Conference should the lockout end. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
The recent news of Lubomir Visnovsky filing a grievance with the NHLPA has Islander fans hanging their heads in despair. He has filed a grievance in an attempt to uncover a “No Trade Clause” that wasn’t honored at the time of the trade. It’s hard to decide if the actual news was the most painful or the fact that the Rangers netted Rick Nash for a bag of sweet tarts and a draft pick in a similar time frame. (Photo Credit, clydeorama/Flickr)
For playing under the same city name, the Rangers and Islanders could not be more different at the moment. Consistently, the Rangers keep improving on an already well stocked roster. They are able to speed up the process of rebuilding with their young players by pairing them with proven and perennial All Stars. It is a formula that leaves the Islanders in the dust.
In terms of young, raw talent the Islanders have the edge. However, an unproven stock- pile of draft picks does not win many games. The Rangers are able to introduce young players into the fold while adding great players in their prime.
It is like the Islanders rebuild plan but on steroids.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the trade between the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets for Rick Nash has now been approved by the NHL making the trade official.
The final deal will see the Blue Jackets sending Nash, minor-league defenseman Steve Delisle and a conditional third-round draft pick (which goes back to Columbus if the Rangers reach the Stanley Cup Final) in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, 21 year-old defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The two biggest free agents on the market this summer have made their decision, and their decision is Minnesota.
It was announced early Tuesday afternoon that both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild, both for 13-year, $98 million deals.
Parise, the former captain of the New Jersey Devils, scored 404 points in 502 games over seven seasons with the Devils. After suffering from a season-ending injury last season, he had a successful comeback season, with 69 points in 82 games. He led his team to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, where they ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Kings.
With the recent huge contracts signed by Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Quick, some pundits have started to speculate. They wonder whether or not this is good for any player, even if that player helped his team to a Stanley Cup and has a room full of hardware.
Most fans would like to think that their favorite team's coach, general manager, and owner are thinking long term and looking for consistency throughout the organization.
On the surface, these contracts show a couple of things. First and most obviously, it shows the club is looking to lock up one of their most valuable assets.
Secondly, it shows the player is committed to staying with the organization and become on...
The Wings have a road game that they will play tonight at 7PM against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Can the Wings stop their losing streak tonight? Well, let's consider the different factors.
The Blue Jackets are by far the worst team in the National Hockey League. They have won a whopping 18 games out of their 62 games played. This season, the Wings hold a 2-1-0 lead over the Blue Jackets yet so far. However, the only loss the Wings have this season against them is at the Blue Jackets' home ice in which Detroit lost 4 to 1 in October. It is understandable to worry if the Wings are going to fall short, especially with their road game slumps.
Rick Nash won't be donning an Islanders jersey tomorrow night; the Islanders didn't get a first round pick for Evgeni Nabokov and/or P.A. Parenteau; Al Montoya will still be on the bench to back up the Islanders number one goaltender; and the defensive play of Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Steve Staios will still be seen for the rest of the season.
Staios, despite popular reports from a fake twitter account, was not dealt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 6th round draft pick.
BUT Garth Snow did manage to rid himself of the putrid play of Brian Rolston and the defensive relapses of Mike Mottau. Both were sent packing to the Boston Bruins for a couple of prospects; Yanick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.
The Leafs, losing eight of its last nine games, appear to have little left in the tank and have been cutting its odds of a post-season berth (down to 30 per cent, according to sportsclubstats.com) with each passing game.
It’s easy to forget, however, that the general consensus in the off-season was that the Leafs would likely miss the playoffs for a seventh-straight season. Despite the panic spreading throughout the fan base, the Leafs are three points removed from the playoffs, with two games in hand over the eight-place Winnipeg Jets. Yes, the stats indicate that the Leafs’ chances are below 50 per cent...