October 1, 2013 |
IT'S A BRAVE new world in the NHL. With hockey's first major realignment since 1993, divisional play returns, and qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs will be even tougher in the Eastern Conference, which has two more teams than the West. The top three teams in each division will automatically qualify, followed by two "wild-card" teams, which can both come from one division based on higher point totals. Therefore, one division theoretically could have five teams make the playoffs.
July 3, 2013 |
THE PITTSBURGH Penguins locked up another elite young player long term, announcing yesterday they had agreed to terms with defenseman Kris Letang. A finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, Letang received an 8-year, $58 million contract extension. He would have entered the final season of an existing contract that carried an annual salary-cap hit of $3.5 million. That will now jump to $7.25 million beginning in 2014-15, before which Letang was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
July 2, 2013 |
NATHAN MACKINNON and Sidney Crosby now share more than a hometown. They've both been No. 1 picks in the NHL draft. The Colorado Avalanche made the 17-year-old MacKinnon the first pick of the draft yesterday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The Avalanche won the draft lottery for the first time in team history and Joe Sakic, the man put in charge of Colorado's rebuilding project, had made it clear that MacKinnon was going to be the...
June 14, 2013 |
OVER THE NEXT 2 days, the NHL will hand out its regular-season award winners for this season. Flyers beat writer Frank Seravalli, as a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, votes on all of the top awards. Here are his nominees and who he picked, in order: HART MEMORIAL TROPHY (Most valuable player to his team) 1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh 2. John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders 3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago The reason: By the letter of the award, it should probably go to Tavares, since the Islanders didn't have a prayer for the playoffs without him. But the Hart has always been about the league's top player, and it is tough to argue that anyone other than Crosby should win it. He played 12 fewer games than everyone else and finished just four points back of the scoring lead.
June 13, 2013
THE PICK Blackhawks in 6 The reason: This is an incredibly difficult series to predict. All along, my gut has told me Chicago is the league's best overall team - which would make me lean toward them in this matchup. But I never imagined the Bruins would have swept such a deep Penguins team out of the playoffs in the fashion they did last week. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang were all muzzled so cleanly. Boston's road has been rather easy, though, when you consider the Bruins faced rather mediocre Maple Leaf and Ranger clubs, before dismantling the Pens.
June 5, 2013 |
HERE'S A STORY Flyers fans will love. A JetBlue pilot was flying a plane from Pittsburgh to Boston yesterday morning. The night before, the Penguins had embarrassed the visiting Bruins, 6-1, to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference finals series. At some point a baby started to cry and the pilot got on the intercom and asked if Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was onboard. Ouch. Mailman misses 'point' Karl Malone knows basketball. At least we thought he did. Recently he was asked by Dan Patrick to list his all-time starting five.
June 4, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - The Boston Bruins keep talking about fortunate bounces and a dash of luck, insisting the margin between themselves and the Pittsburgh Penguins is thin. At the moment, it looks like a chasm. Brad Marchand scored twice during a four-goal first period and the Bruins routed the Penguins, 6-1, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals last night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. "It doesn't matter what the series is at right now," Marchand said.
May 18, 2013
Sidney Crosby had his second career playoff hat trick and the host Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, on Friday night to take a two-games-to-none lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brenden Morrow added his first playoff goal in more than five years, Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves, and the Penguins rode their superstar captain to their fourth straight victory. Crosby beat Craig Anderson three times in the game's first 22 minutes, sending the goalie to the bench after stopping 18 of 21 shots.
May 10, 2013 |
TOMAS VOKOUN stopped 31 shots in his first playoff start in 6 years and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the visiting New York Islanders, 4-0, last night in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Douglas Murray scored during a 7-minute stretch in the second period, and Kris Letang added a power-play goal in the third as Pittsburgh moved a step closer to advancing to the second round. The Penguins lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series, 3-2. Game 6 is tomorrow in New York.
May 1, 2013
Penguins star Sidney Crosby practiced Monday but his status remains uncertain for Wednesday's playoff opener against the New York Islanders. Crosby hasn't played since suffering a broken jaw a month ago. He said he'll see doctors again Tuesday and will not play until he is given clearance. Another chance The St. Louis Blues are getting yet another shot at the Los Angeles Kings, starting Tuesday. Los Angeles beat the Blues during its run to the Stanley Cup championship last season and swept St. Louis this season.