April 3, 1991 |
The real National Hockey League season begins tonight with the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the potential for surprises, drama and, of course, bloodshed during the next eight weeks seems as bountiful as ever. Pared down to its simplest form, the fight for Lord Stanley's coveted cup is a war of attrition, and a team's most potent weapons are torrid goaltending and effective special teams. As for the myriad possible story lines, here are the major questions: Can Chicago coach Mike Keenan, who in only three years bullwhipped a disheveled franchise into producing the league's best regular-season team, drive the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961 and send the Windy City into a frenzy?
April 17, 2014 |
LACE 'EM UP and buckle up, NHL playoff season is here. Don't take any stupid penalties, watch those cross-ice passes and just win your shift. First one to 16 victories gets the best trophy in North American pro sports. Here's a look at the first-round matchups, in bracket order, of course. (Note, see our other writers' picks on the series besides Flyers-Rangesr below the capsules.) Eastern Conference FLYERS vs. RANGERS Goals for : 2.84 Flyers, 2.61 Rangers Goals against: 2.77 Flyers, 2.32 Rangers Power play: 8th Flyers, 15th Rangers Penalty kill: 7th Flyers, 3rd Rangers Last 10: 4-3-3 Flyers, 6-2-2 Rangesr Season series: Tied, 2-2 Three things: Rangers were essentially forced to trade captain Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay at the deadline for Lightning captain Martin St. Louis.
June 7, 2012
Jonathan Quick remembers eating ice pops with his friends and watching their beloved New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup on television in 1994. Dustin Brown vaguely recalls Joe Nieuwendyk's bringing the Cup to Ithaca, N.Y., but can't remember if he got to see it up close. With just one more win by their Los Angeles Kings, the star goalie and the captain will have the Stanley Cup in their hands, above their head - even in the Pacific Ocean, if they choose. The stage is set for a California coronation in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
June 19, 2012 |
LAST WEEK, High & Inside colleague Ed Barkowitz suggested several places where the Kings' Jeff Carter, who owns a house in Sea Isle City at the Jersey Shore, could take the Stanley Cup. Lest you think we were joking, consider that Sunday the silver grail was seen sunning on a California beach. Philip Pritchard, the man with the coolest job title in the world — Keeper of the Cup — posted the accompanying photo on his Twitter account Sunday along with the tweet, "Making the rounds....at Venice Beach.
June 26, 2013
When Rocky Wirtz took over ownership of the Chicago Blackhawks six years ago, they were among the worst teams in the NHL. Fast forward to Tuesday, when the owner mingled with fans and friends hours after the Blackhawks flew home with the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons. Chicago knocked out Boston, 3-2, Monday to clinch the Cup. It's been quite the turnaround, and the 60-year-old Wirtz thinks there is more to come. "I think we're going to see a lot of good years ahead of us," he said.
April 14, 2011
The Flyers' struggles down the stretch have not dampened the expectations of Philadelphia sports fans, a year after the team's amazing run to the Stanley Cup finals. In a poll as part of the ongoing "Philly Fan Project" with the Daily News and Temple University's Sport Industry Research Center, 44 percent of respondents said they expected the Flyers to reach the Stanley Cup final, with 33 percent saying they expected the team to win. Another 30 percent said they expected the Flyers to lose in the Eastern Conference final, 19 percent said they will lose in the second round and 7 percent predicted a loss in the first round.
July 12, 2013 |
The family of Joe Watson, a grinding, fan favorite defenseman on the Flyers 1974 and 1975 championship teams, is hoping to recover a Stanley Cup ring stolen from Watson's daughter. The diamond encrusted pinkie ring the Flyers gave to each players' wife to celebrate the 1974 Cup victory was taken from the Rittenhouse Square apartment of Heidi Watson, 34, in a burglary Monday afternoon. As a member of the original 1967 Flyers, Joe Watson played 11 seasons with the team and memorably scored a goal in the 1976 game against the Soviet Union Red Army team.
May 30, 2012 |
For Flyers fans, it is the Stanley Cup finals matchup from hell. Rooting for either the Los Angeles Kings or the New Jersey Devils to skate off with the Cup is like playing a game of the lesser of two evils. Would Flyers fans rather watch Mike Richards and Jeff Carter celebrate their first Stanley Cup less than a year after being jettisoned from Philadelphia? Or would they rather watch the Devils, who surprisingly ousted their team in short order after finishing below them in the standings, win their fourth Cup in 17 seasons?
May 31, 2012 |
NEWARK, N.J. - Simon Gagne last skated in an NHL game on Dec. 26, 2011. From afar, Gagne has watched the last 5 months of the Los Angeles Kings' roller-coaster season - from squeaking into the playoffs as the West's eighth seed to cruising to the Stanley Cup final - unfold without him, missing the last 62 games with a concussion. On April 19, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he wasn't sure if Gagne was even in North America, in an attempt to clear up any lingering questions about the two-time All-Star's status.
May 31, 2012
Ed Barkowitz: Considering what the Flyers received in return, trading Mike Richards was not a mistake. Making him the team captain when he was only 23 was. Richards is comfortable now, mucking and grinding in the shadows of Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and three other guys casual fans on this side of the continent couldn't pick out of a lineup. Marty Brodeur has the Hall of Fame credentials, but LA's Jonathan Quick has been the best goaltender in the postseason. Any goalie can steal a game, Quick has stolen series.