We’re officially a week into the 2013/14 NHL playoffs and we’ve already seen our share of overtime dramatics, borderline hits, curious officiating, and Pierre McGuire. While every series has seen at least 3 games played, now is a good time to check in on what we’ve learned through week 1 of the dance and what we should expect over the next week.
When teams have a two goal lead, the announcers like to bring up the old adage that this is the hardest lead in hockey to hang on to.
They might have a point.
In three games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team with the two goal lead in the game has gone on to lose said game by a score of 4-3. Pittsburgh was victorious in games one and three, Columbus won game two.
For the first time in this series the special teams were not special. There was not a single power play or shorthanded goal scored in this game despite ten combined power play chances.
Here are a few observations so far from this series.
Columbus beat the Penguins for the first time this season thanks to a valiant double overtime effort in game two.
The Blue Jackets once again used their special teams to their advantage. When Pittsburgh used four forwards on the Power Play, Columbus pressured hard. They were able to score their second shorthanded goal of the series, this one at the expense of a poor decision by Evgeni Malkin.
The game was not a strong one for the Penguins, but it certainly is not a series killer. Tied at one apiece, the Penguins are forced to assert themselves on the road against a confident young team. If Pittsburgh wants to play the series clinching game at home on Saturday, here are a few a...
The Islanders look to finish up their homestand Sunday afternoon on a high note as they take on their Metropolitan rival Columbus Blue Jackets 1pm at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be the third of four matchups as Columbus has taken the first two, including the Islanders’ home opener. In what was a sign for things to come, the Islanders blew a 2-0 third period lead before falling to Columbus in the shootout 3-2. The two met again in Columbus in November where the Blue Jackets scored three times in the third period to win 5-2. (Photo credit: paul.hadsall/flickr).
Just one day after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, the Philadelphia Flyers are already being linked to a netminder that could replace Bryzgalov.
According to Josh Rimer of Sportsnet, the Flyers are discussing a potential deal involving Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. It is unclear what stage the talks are currently in but it appears that there is significant interest from both sides.
Miller posted a 17-17-5 record with a 2.81 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage during the 2012-2013 season. Over his career, the American goalie has a 269-164 record with a 2.59 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. The American netminder made $6.25 million this past season and carries a similar price tag to Bryzgalov.
Miller was the 138th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft out of Michigan State and has played with the Sabres for all 11 seasons of his professional career. The former Spartan was a member of the silver medal United States team in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the MVP of the tournament.
Since dealing two of the franchise's most prominent stars of the 2000's, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, it seems the Philadelphia fan base has surgically dissected every single move made by the Flyers front office.
The two most scrutinized moves in the past two years though are the dealings of young stars James van Riemsdyk and Sergei Bobrovsky. To be fair, the former was an even trade that benefited both the Flyers, who got Luke Schenn, and the Maple Leafs, who landed the scorer in van Riemsdyk.
As for the latter, Bobrovsky was traded this past offseason to the Columbus Blue Jackets where he won the starting job over now-current Flyers back-up goaltender Steve Mason. After turning the Blue Jackets around and nearly making the post season, Bobrovsky is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's best goaltender.
(Pictured: Serge Bobrovsky against the Stars on April 25, 2013. Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
The season is beginning to find its end. It is a time that we usually reflect on what has occurred and a time where we joyfully anticipate the upcoming playoff battles. This time of the year always has a few major questions though. The question that continues to plague me; however, is the one that so many hockey writers continue to write about. Does Sidney Crosby still deserve the Hart Trophy after missing so many games with a fractured jaw?
It is a question that I am entirely sick of, to be completely honest. Mostly because the answer is yes and just about everyone knows this, but I highly doubt that hockey writers have to continue to post article after article on why he is s...
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced this afternoon that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Steve Mason to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million. Mason was acquired in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3 for Michael Leighton and a 2015 third round pick.
The 24-year-old goaltender busted onto the NHL scene back in 2008. In his rookie season, he posted a 33-20-7 record with the Blue Jackets, posting ten shutouts, and owning an impressive .916 save percentage and a 2.29 goals against average.