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Eastern Conference QF Islanders vs. Penguins Game 1: Preview

The 2013 NHL season has come to an end and an impressive push down the stretch by our beloved Isles has secured them the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. For the first time since 2007, the New York Islanders will play post-season hockey and compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

However, the real challenge lies ahead for the Islanders, as they will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. The Penguins basically ran circles around the rest of the Eastern Conference during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, finishing in 1st place with 72 points. (Photo Credit: Beauty Playin 'Eh/Flickr)

Simmonds' Four Point Night Dispatches Canes

Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.

Who Should Stay, Who Should Go?

Only five games remain in this lockout-shortened regular season for the Philadelphia Flyers. These five games serve as a tryout period for players to show why they should or shouldn't stay beyond next season. Some players have already been written off, as it may not make much sense to keep for the future.

Many difficult decisions have to be made this summer, including players that have had extended stints as Flyers.

Flyers Fall to Islanders, Further Dimming Playoff Hopes

In a truly critical contest, the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Tuesday night, putting the Flyers 7 points away from the Islanders, who now sit in in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak at Nassau Coliseum.

After the Flyers committed an icing, took a timeout, and failed to get the puck deep when play continued, the Islanders rushed the puck up the other way. Colin McDonald found Michael Grabner streaking down the wing after a pick by Keith Aucoin. Grabner snapped it past starter Steve Mason to give the Islanders the 2-1 lead.

Comeback Identity Plagues the Flyers

Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.

That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.

(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Looking Back Three Years Ago

Approximately three years ago, the Islanders debuted their 2009 first round pick, John Tavares in their season opener against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the second period, Tavares would pick up a loose puck that had last been touched by both Matt Moulson and Trent Hunter and would roof a backhand over Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Isles a 2-1 lead.

Since then, Tavares has gone on to score 83 more goals and likely several hundred more before his career is over as he currently has 202 points in 243 NHL games.

Dallas Stars Season Preview

Finally, the Dallas Stars have financial freedom. Tom Gaglardi has given GM Joe Nieuwendyk the ability to spend money—and did he ever. He dished out pretty good money to sign some free agents, and pick up a few assets over the summer. Let's take a look at what happened after another heartbreaking season.

In with the new:
Jaromir Jagr - one year, $4.5 million
Ray Whitney - two years, $9 million
Derek Roy -  acquired in Ott trade
Cody Eakin - acquired in Ribeiro trade
Aaron Rome - three years, $4.5 million

Out with the old:
Sheldon Souray - to Anaheim
Mike Ribeiro - to Was...

Simon Gagne Finally Gets His Cup

At around 8 p.m. Pacific standard time on June 11th, Simon Gagne had finally earned the right to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head.

Despite a series of unfortunate events that had spanned several seasons and a near tumble when he tried to pick up the Cup for the first time, Gagne had finally reached the peak of the hockey summit where he rightfully belonged.

TCL Predicts The Stanley Cup Final


2012 Stanley Cup FinalNew Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings  Every year, we predict, we project, we try to come up with logical conclusions to what's going to happen in the latest NHL season. Everyone has their opinions, everyone comes up with their own regular season and playoff winners, their own Final, their own Stanley Cup Champions. Usually, those predictions end up being wrong. Sure, you might get lucky with a high seed, but if the playoffs prove anything year-in and year-out, it's that the National Hockey League is absolutely unpredictable. This season has ramped that up to a degree we've never seen before. To give you a brief summary, the fir...

Eastern Conference Final Predictions: New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils


2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Eastern Conference FinalNew York Rangers ( 1 ) vs. New Jersey Devils ( 6 )  It's always fun when rivals meet in the playoffs. Penguins vs. Flyers. Habs vs. Bruins. Canucks vs. Blackhawks. Bad blood makes for good hockey, and more importantly, good television. Even better when it's late in the playoffs, like this year's Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. The best word to describe the feelings between these two teams is probably "bad blood", but then again that word pretty much sums up any match-up in the Atlantic Division. There's a lot at play here. Location. Histo...