INSIDE THE METROPOLITAN DIVISION 1. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, 70 POINTS 2. NEW YORK RANGERS, 57 POINTS 3. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, 56 POINTS 4. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS, 54 POINTS 5. NEW JERSEY DEVILS, 53 POINTS 6. WASHINGTON CAPITALS, 52 POINTS 7. CAROLINA HURRICANES, 49 POINTS 8. NEW YORK ISLANDERS, 49 POINTS BLUE JACKETS SURGING The Columbus Blue Jackets have won a club record seven straight games and are 11-3 in their last 14 games. Things are starting to click for the Blue Jackets as their top players are healthy and rounding into form. The Blue Jackets have moved into the No. 2 wildcard spot and started peaking last year in between games 34-48, going 11-3 in their final 14 games and if the regular season had been 52 games instead of 48 games, they probably get in as they were playing some excellent hockey down the stretch. The key for them has beenRead More »
Despite signing Sidney Crosby to a 12 year extension and getting a good return for Jordan Staal based on the circumstances, there seems to be a sense of frustration from Penguins fan base, who have seen the Penguins lose the likes of Jordan Staal, Zbynek Michalek and Steve Sullivan from their NHL roster without adding upgrades over any of the three players to this point. The New York Rangers not giving up a significant return for Rick Nash only seems to have fueled that frustration. The Rangers acquired Nash in exchange for Brandon Dubsinky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick. While the Penguins never went hard after Nash, I posed the question to a few league contacts this morning on what type of similar offer the Penguins could have made and here is one Eastern Conference scouts view on a similar offer the Penguins could haveRead More »
LATEST NHL FREE AGENCY &TRADE BUZZ NASH TALKS HEATING UP To no surprise, leading into next Friday’s draft in Pittsburgh, trade talks surrounding Rick Nash are significantly heating up. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus DispatchÂ who is always on top of things writes, “NHL sources have told The Dispatch that as many as seven teams have had âsignificantâ trade conversations with Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson about Nash during the past 10 days and that a handful of other clubs â three or four, maybe more â have âkicked the tiresâ to see what a deal might cost them. “Most of the teams known to be expressing interest are the ones that expressed interest at the February trade deadline. The New York Rangers, stocked with young, promising forwards, still appear to be the most likely fit for Nash, and their desire might have been heightened during the Stanley Cup playoffs.Read More »
Latest NHL Rumblings Will Ruutu be back on the block?: In the next 24-48 hours, GM’s around the league will know whether the Carolina Hurricanes intend to deal forward Tuomo Ruutu. Sources say the Hurricanes have a four year offer on the table, believed to be in the $15-$18 million range. Ruutu has been seeking a five year deal but there has been optimism that the two sides will reach an agreement today. However, if talks surprisingly break off, Ruutu will be back in play by Thursday at the latest. Ruutu an impending unrestricted free agent is not due back until the second week of March, which could limit his suitors to teams like the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins who are in comfortable positions where they can wait for Ruutu to get healthy.
The NHL Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away but the trade market has yet to take off. A big reason for that is due to a limited number of sellers. According to one league source, there are only three true sellers right now in the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. In the Eastern Conference, teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning who are eight points out of a playoff spot are believed to be a week away from whether to go into full sell mode, while a team like the Montreal Canadiens who are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and only seven points out of a playoff spot, could suddenly become a buyer (although unlikely) in a conference with vulnerable teams battling for the No. 7 and No. 8 spots. Big names surfacing as trade bait include ColumbusRead More »
Team Canada news and Notes Is there more pressure on any athlete in the Olympics than Sidney Crosby? The pressure for Team Canada to capture the Gold medal is enormous and Canada opens up the tournament against Norway Tuesday afternoon. Sidney Crosby who went through his first practice this evening, skated on a line with Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. Nash who played with Crosby during the entire Team Canada orientation camp is not a surprise and neither is Patrice Bergeron due to Crosby and Bergeron having excellent chemistry during the world championships but that the nearly four years ago. It remains to be seen if Bergeron is the best fit alongside Crosby. Canada has a group of dynamic right wingers including Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla and Corey Perry. Jarome Iginla who saw extensive time with Crosby during Canada’s orientation camp,Read More »
Great turnout from Penguins fans last night in Columbus. The place was electric when the Penguins tied the game at 3-3 late in the third period. Thanks to the traveling Penguins fans, the BlueJackets set a record for attendance with over 19,000 fans in attendance. The Penguins have 10 come from behind wins this season when trailing in the third period and after being down 3-0 to Columbus, the Penguins were fortunate to get a point out of last night‚Äôs game. If overtime in the regular season was longer than 5 minutes, the Penguins win last night’s game. They controlled the play for the final 15 minutes of the game including overtime. BlueJackets goaltender Steve Mason is the real deal. The Blue Jackets lack the offensive firepower to be a serious threat in the Western Conference but because of their tight defensive system and the ability of Mason¬†to steal games,¬†ColumbusRead More »