April 14, 2016
A year ago, I (somehow) correctly predicted 14 of the 15 playoff series, so it will be virtually impossible to come close to that. But here's my first-round try: EASTERN CONFERENCE Washington over the Flyers in six: Talent trumps emotion. The Capitals are on a mission. Florida over the Islanders in six: The Panthers are better than people think, and they were insulted by the Isles' tank job in order to face them. Pittsburgh over the Rangers in seven: The Penguins, despite goalie injuries, will beat the team that eliminated them in the last two years.
April 14, 2016 |
EASTERN CONFERENCE Flyers vs. Washington Capitals Records: Flyers, 41-27-14, 96 points; Capitals, 56-18-8, 120 points. Coaches: Flyers, Dave Hakstol, 1st season, 41-27-14; Washington, Barry Trotz, 2nd season, 101-44-19, overall 658-523-60T-119. Season series: 2-2. Last season: The Flyers didn't qualify for the playoffs; Washington lost in the second round to the New York Rangers. Key players: Flyers, C Claude Giroux (22 goals, 45 assists); RW Wayne Simmonds (32 G, 28 A)
April 24, 2015 |
Without being a participant, the Flyers are making progress in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That's because Chicago and surprising Detroit are leading their respective series. If both teams advance, it could help the Flyers get better picks in the next two drafts. The Flyers own Tampa Bay's first pick in the draft on June 26, a selection they acquired in the Braydon Coburn deal. Tampa Bay trails Detroit, two games to one, in their best-of-seven series. If the Lightning lose, they could fall as low as No. 22, and the Flyers would get that pick in the first round in addition to their own No. 7 selection.
April 16, 2015 |
THE LINE between winning and losing in hockey is razor thin. That fact is never more in focus than during the Stanley Cup playoffs. This year, that line was not as fine for the Flyers. It was pretty clear where they stood - 14 points out of the mix, finishing with their second-lowest point total (84) in an 82-game season in franchise history. The lens through which these playoffs are viewed should be different in this town this year. General manager Ron Hextall has a lot of work to do. Here is a comprehensive preview of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin tonight, with predictions and an eye on what Hextall could use as a prototype: MONTREAL (A1)
February 19, 2014 |
THE KNOCKOUT games of the Olympic hockey competition are about to begin. Be prepared, as these are ritually accompanied by the knocking of the NHL in comparison to this great and glorious tournament. Flyers owner Ed Snider really is right - the NHL gets nothing out of the Olympics, unless you count the condescending grief. You know how it goes - tons of talent concentrated on a few teams; big ice surface encouraging a more beautiful, less brutal game; how can you possibly watch a Flyers-Islanders game after this?
April 30, 2013 |
Here is a look at the NHL playoffs that begin on Tuesday. Eastern Conference No. 8 seed N.Y. Islanders vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Pity the Islanders. They get into the playoffs for the first time since the Kennedy administration - OK, it's only been six years - and they have to face an explosive Penguins team that outscored them, 16-5, in their last four meetings. The Penguins will use last year's first-round embarrassment to the Flyers as incentive. Pick: Penguins in five.
June 6, 2012 |
THE LOS ANGELES Kings are one win away from putting a Hollywood ending on one of the most spectacular playoff runs in NHL history. Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in his third shutout of the postseason, Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, and the Los Angeles Kings rolled to the brink of the franchise's first NHL title, beating the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday night to take a 3-0 series lead. Alec Martinez scored the opening goal, and Jeff Carter and Justin Williams added late power-play goals as the Western Conference champion Kings moved one win away from finishing one of the most spectacular playoff runs in league history.
June 5, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - Although Mike Richards has only been in Los Angeles for less than a year, he has a pretty good idea what 45 years of simmering frustration will sound like when his Kings take the ice with the Stanley Cup nearly in reach. "That's probably one of the loudest rinks I've ever played in, and it's going to be even louder tomorrow," the center said Sunday, already anticipating the energy at Staples Center for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night. A coronation just feels imminent for these Kings, who opened the Finals by adding two more victories in New Jersey to the longest run of road perfection in NHL playoff history - 10-0 this season, and 12-0 dating to last season.
May 9, 2012
If they want to avoid elimination, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals must figure out a way to recover and regroup from a potentially devastating loss to the New York Rangers. The Rangers head into Wednesday's Game 6 with a three-games-to-two series lead, one victory from reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1997, when Wayne Gretzky was on the team. New York's Brad Richards tied Game 5 with 6.6 seconds left Monday, and Marc Staal won it 1 minute, 35 seconds into overtime.
April 27, 2012 |
ADAM HENRIQUE scored his second goal of the game at 3:47 of the second overtime, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in Game 7 early Friday to advance to second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Devils wasted a 2-0 lead in the third period, then recovered and earned a matchup with the Flyers in the East semifinals. Stephen Gionta also scored in regulation for New Jersey, which won a series for the first time since 2007. Martin Brodeur made 43 saves for the Devils in a game that ended on April 27 - the 20th anniversary of Brodeur's first playoff appearance for New Jersey.