For the past five years, the Blackhawks have wrapped up their circus trip with a Thanksgiving weekend swing through California. This year the pattern changed, and they're ending the trip with back-to-back games in Dallas and Phoenix.
Dallas and Chicago last faced each other three weeks ago on November 9 in Dallas. The Blackhawks won that game 5-2 and hope to repeat the performance on Friday night.
The Blackhawks currently sit atop the league with 40 points. The Stars are last in the Central with 26 points, and sit 8 points out of a playoff position in the West. Were they in the Metropolitan Division, they'd be comfortably in second place, ahead of the Rangers...
In a crucial week, the Philadelphia Flyers came up short, earning no points against Eastern Conference Stanley Cup contenders, losing to the Boston Bruins 3-0. It was the Flyers' third straight loss.
A game with a largely defensive identity took seven minutes to get the first shot on goal. Danny Briere let a weak shot fly to open the shooting stat. That opened the floodgates of scoring—for the other side.
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 defending Stanley Cup Champions will have to first go through the Washington Capitals in this year's playoffs if they have any plans of repeating. Fortunately for them, the Capitals aren't exactly the most consistent team in the league right now. Frankly, they're probably lucky to find themselves in the playoffs after everything that's gone on in the nation's capital this year. Star players underperforming and creating mutinies against coaches, GMs unable to figure out what to do with their team, just a lot of headaches and problems for the Caps and their fans. The Bruins, on the other han...
If the Islanders won all of their remaining games and the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres lost their remaininga games, then the Isles would have done the unthinkable and made the playoffs for the first time in years. However, miraculous combinations of wins and losses are hard to come by these days, especially when you are playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Bruins scored six goals this afternoon for the third time this season against the Islanders, taking the season series with a 3-1-0 record. The loss finally elimanted the Islanders from playoff contention, concluding the thoughts of even the most hopeless fan that thought somehow they would squeak in. The focus now will shift to finishing the season with a winning record for the first time since Ted Nolan was the head coach and ending up somewhere between 9th and 11th place.
The Flyers went into Boston needing to get two points. They left with one, and they should be lucky to have gotten that much.
The Bruins managed to hold off a Flyers comeback for a 3-2 win in the shootout, and more importantly, a much needed two points in the Eastern Conference standings.
Outplayed for much of the game, Philadelphia did manage to get a couple goals past Boston goalie Tim Thomas in the second and third periods but other than that, they were out-muscled by Boston's pressure for much of the game's 60 minutes.
For starters, luck wasn't on the Flyers side early, especially for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
With a very poor 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night, a lot of Stars fans weren’t expecting a lot from their game against the Bruins two days later who were on a very hot streak. With a fierce rivalry and a packed out American Airlines Center, it was set to be an awesome encounter between two good teams.
The Stars came out of the blocks very fast and played some great hockey early on and taking just three minutes to take a one goal lead as Loui Eriksson wristed one upstairs on the powerplay. Despite the fast start from the Stars, the reigning Stanley Cup champions hit back halfway through the period through a Tyler Seguin wrist shot that just squeezed past ...