NHL: Why the Capitals are 2 wins away from reaching Stanley Cup Final

 

Are things finally setting up as ‘This being the year’ for the Washington Capitals? The Capitals with a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals have stormed out to a 2-0 series lead. Washington taking both games in dominant fashion on the road has been even more impressive in doing it without second-line center Nicklas Backstrom. This was supposed to be a series where the faster, more skilled Lightning team would prove to be too much for the Capitals. Instead Washington is beating Tampa Bay at their own game. The Capitals are excelling at the more skilled game and they’re playing faster than Tampa Bay, something many did not see coming in. Washington has outscored Tampa Bay 7-2 during 5-on-5 play in the Eastern Conference Finals. Still a ways to go but the Capitals are finally showing all the ingredients of aRead More »

NHL Playoff Scoring Leaders: Sid & Jake

 

NHL PLAYOFF SCORING LEADERS Jake Guentzel of the @penguins became the first player to score 10+ goals through his team’s first 10 games of a postseason since 2008, when Johan Franzen had 11 en route to capturing the #StanleyCup with the @DetroitRedWings. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/6rVIL22bW4 — NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 4, 2018 1. Jake Guentzel | 10 GP – 10 Goals – 11 Assists – 21 Pts 2. Sidney Crosby | 10 GP – 8 Goals – 11 Assists – 19 Pts 3. David Pastrnak | 10 GP – 5 Goals – 14 Assists – 19 Pts 4. Brad Marchand | 10 GP – 4 Goals – 11 Assists – 15 Pts 5. Alex Ovechkin | 10 GP – 8 Goals – 5 Assists – 13 Pts

NHL Playoffs: Vegas Sweeps, Caps win in Double-OT

 

Capitals avoid going down 3-0 (CLB Leads Series, 2-1) Capitals – Blue Jackets went to overtime for the third straight game and Washington has tightened the series on a Lars Eller goal in Double-OT to deliver a 3-2 Capitals win in Game 2. The ugly goal went off Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski and past Sergei Bobrovsky. The Capitals have now gone to overtime in 12 of their past 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games and despite being favorites in Round 1 the last two seasons, eight of their past nine first-round games have been decided in overtime. Vegas Sweeps The Vegas Golden Knights are the first team to punch their ticket to the second round. Vegas swept the Los Angeles Kings with a 1-0 series clinching win in Game 4 on Tuesday night. Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves for his second shutout of the series. The amazing story of theRead More »

CBJ go up 2-0 in series over Capitals

 

CBJ 5 – WSH 4 (OT) Back-to-back overtime wins for the Columbus Blue Jackets have the favored Washington Capitals on the ropes as the series shifts to Columbus for Game 3. Sergei Bobrovsky made 54 saves and Matt Calvert was the hero in overtime, scoring off a rebound 12:22 into overtime to deliver a 5-4 Game 2 win and a 2-0 series lead for the Blue Jackets. Washington’s big boys came to play in the loss but suspect goaltending haunted Washington again. Alex Ovechkin scored twice and T.J. Oshie also scored in the win. Philipp Grubauer was pulled after allowing four goals on 22 shots, Braden Holtby stopped 7 of 8 shots. Barry Trotz who will surely be fired if the Capitals get ousted in Round 1, made the gamble to start the playoffs with Grubauer and the move hasn’t paid off. The Capitals outshot Columbus 58-30 but lost anotherRead More »

NHL: Rangers fire Alain Vigneault

 

In the midst of starting a quick rebuild/re-tool, the New York Rangers have fired head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault prior to the Rangers season ending loss to the Flyers, made a plea that he deserved to return and that the Rangers coaching staff was one of the organizations biggest strengths. He had multiple years left on his contract with a $4 million a year salary. Rangers management ultimately decided Vigneault was not the right fit for the Rangers mini-rebuild as always, coaches have expiration dates. From Press Release: Vigneault served as the Rangers Head Coach for five seasons (2013-14 – 2017-18) after he was named the 34th Head Coach in franchise history on June 21, 2013. In 410 regular season games with the Rangers, Vigneault posted a 226-147-37 record. He ranks third among head coaches in wins and ranks fourth in games coached in franchise history. During his tenure, theRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Penguins underwhelm in Murray’s return; Impact of rental winger additions in CLB/SJ

 

Islanders 4 – Penguins 1 PIT GAME LEADERS Matt Murray | 33 Saves, .923 SV% Conor Sheary | Goal (15), 2 SOG Phil Kessel | Assist, 3 SOG Derick Brassard | Assist, 2 SOG The Penguins performance in Matt Murray’s return to the lineup was underwhelming to say the least. Pittsburgh fell behind 2-0 in the first 10:33 of the game and although it was a one goal game going into the third period, it just never felt like it was going to be the Penguins night. In three games so far during a four game stretch against teams that are nine points or more out of a playoff spot, the Penguins have taken 3 out of a possible six points and the Penguins have looked like a bored team, especially in the defensive end. Defensively the Penguins did a lot of standing around against the Islanders Tuesday night andRead More »

NHL: Hurricanes struggling to find a new General Manager

 

New Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon who has a reputation of looking to be a hands on Mark Cuban type owner, is having a world of trouble in finding a General Manager candidate willing to take the job. Three of the Hurricanes top targets for their GM opening, Mike Futa (Los Angeles Kings), Paul Fenton (Nashville Predators) and Tom Fitzgerald (New Jersey Devils) all withdrew from consideration in a matter of days this week. Once Fenton withdrew, word around the league is the Hurricanes planned to offer Fitzgerald the job this week. All three have cited that it’s not the right time but this is a strong indictment on the situation in Carolina and concerns about the owner. Penguins Assistant GM Bill Guerin also declined a request to interview for the job this week as the Hurricanes tried to expand their initial 5-candidate list after candidates started withdrawing. Where do theRead More »

Ian Cole back in the Metropolitan Division

 

The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Ian Cole from the Ottawa Senators for a 2020 third round pick annd forward Nick Moutrey. Contrary to any reports, Pittsburgh was not looking to require Cole. A source says the NHL brass would have frowned upon it. There is a familiarity between Cole and Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen who was the Blues assistant GM when Cole was drafted by St Louis. The Blue Jackets are now said to be wide open on moving Jack Johnson.

Rick Nash traded to Boston

 

TRADE DETAILS Boston Receives: Rick Nash New York Receives: Ryan Spooner, 2018 First Round Pick, 2019 7th Round Pick, Defenseman Ryan Lindgren, Matt Beleskey Rick Nash is the latest big name on the move and has been traded to the Boston Bruins. Boston has always loved power forwards like Nash, so it’s not surprising they step up to pay the price for Nash. But, did the Bruins significantly upgrade their team? With having to go through Toronto and Tampa Bay, Boston is one of those teams it won’t be surprising if they reach the Eastern Conference Finals or lose in round one. Nash is a nice piece but he’s not the Rick Nash from three to four years ago. Nash has 18 goals and 28 points in 68 games. Boston loses Spooner here, a speedy-playmaking center who has 25 points in 39 games, a player whose games is built toRead More »