Inside the Metro: Blue Jackets surging; Here comes the Isles; Stock up, Stock Down


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 »

Iginla to LA?


NHL RUMOR THURSDAY *On TSN’s Insider Trading tonight, featuring NHL insiders Pierre LeBrun and Bob McKenzie, they listed the Los Angeles Kings as one of the top teams likely to be in the sweepstakes for Jarome Iginla. The Kings are interesting because all of the chatter this past summer and even at last years trade deadline among a few NHL sources surrounding Iginla, is that the Kings were the one team he had his sights set on joining were he to waive his no trade clause. There’s a good chance the Kings remain the destination Iginla wants to go. He will get to dictate everything.

Big Names on the move in Atlantic Division?


NHL RUMOR SUNDAY The Atlantic Division could see some big names being moved by the April 3rd trade deadline or this summer. Marian Gaborik tops the list as the New York Rangers are shopping the star winger for a top flight center, NHL sources say. Sources indicate GM Glen Sather remains infatuated with trying to acquire Sharks center Joe Thornton but the buzz is this type of deal would be more likely to happen during the summer than before the trade deadline. Those around the league say the Rangers shopping Gaborik in the “right deal” is a sign that John Tortorella’s seat isn’t even warm as Tortorella is regarded as growing tired of Gaborik and a likely driving force to the Rangers at least exploring potential trade options for Gaborik. Meanwhile, struggling center Brad Richards is suddenly becoming a hot topic in league circles. In the second year of a 9 year,Read More »

Around the NHL: Hat tricks from Gaborik, Sullivan highlight Wednesday’s NHL action


GABORIK GETS RANGERS BACK ON TRACK Marian Gaborik scored a hat trick and the overtime winner, a breakaway goal, leading the New York Rangers (1-2-0) to a 4-3 OT win over the Boston Bruins (2-1-0) on Wednesday night. Gaborik was sensational in the win, getting the Rangers back on track. Gaborik last season had 41 goals and 76 points and he’s a player Rangers coach John Tortorella is very tough on but feels he’s getting Gaborik to be the player he can be. “I think he has grown so much mentally in how he conducts himself,” Tortorella said on Wednesday, via ESPNNewyork. “He’s a very talented player that’s willing to be there; and when I first met him, I didn’t think he was willing to be there.” One personnel move from Tortorella that paid dividends was Tortorella loading up the top line, putting Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash together.Read More »

Atlantic Division Report


Around the Atlantic Division 1. New Jersey Devils (33-14-1-67pts) 2. Pittsburgh Penguins (31-20-1-63 pts) 3. New York Rangers (24-20-7-55 pts) 4. New York Islanders (23-20-8-54 pts) 5. Philadelphia Flyers (25-21-3-53 pts) Tortorella furious after Carcillo fights Marian Gaborik The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers 2-0 Thursday night and Rangers head coach John Tortorella was furious after the game as Daniel Carcillo fought Rangers star winger Marian Gaborik. “There’s no honor in that,” Tortorella said. “I don’t play the game, I don’t wear the uniform, I don’t want to say too much about it, but there’s simply no honor in that.” Carcillo has no honor in going after Gaborik but Tortorella should be furious at Gaborik’s teammates like Dan Girardi who just watched their star player get pummeled. Meanwhile, Tortorella and New York Post writer Larry Brooks got into it once again. The confrontation started when Larry Brooks askedRead More »

Rupp’s first hat trick leads Penguins to 5-2 win


Michael Rupp scored three goals and Sidney Crosby added two goals and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 Monday night at Madison Square Garden to sweep the home and home series with the Rangers. Rupp was a presence all game, scoring his first hat trick of his career and has a career best eight goals this season. “It feels good that it {hat trick} comes in a win,” Rupp said. Rupp’s play through the first 28 games has led to an increased role and Rupp took advantage of the opportunity to play with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy as Matt Cooke served the first game of his two game suspension. Rupp has also filled the role of a leader in the Penguins locker room. Penguins General Manager Ray Shero has shown a strong emphasis since last years trade deadline in adding players to hisRead More »

Insider Report: Top 40 wingers on the Free Agent market


Follow TIOPS on Twitter Inside Look at the top right/left wingers on the free agent market. Players in bold are players of interest for Pittsburgh. Players are numbered from highest 08/09 salary to the lowest. Top 22 Right Wingers 1. Marian Gaborik 27 MIN $7,500,000 2. Marian Hossa 30 DET $7,450,000 3. Martin Havlat 28 CHI $6,000,000 * Pittsburgh would have to get very creative and clear salary. Pittsburgh continues to get mentioned as a possibility because of a close working relationship between Ray Shero and Allan Walsh and Havlat’s interest in playing for a contender, if things don’t work out with the Blackhawks. -Major Longshot. 4. Alexei Kovalev 36 MON $4,500,000 * Seeking $4.5 million per season and is currently out of the Penguins price range. Penguins are indeed interested but Kovalev is not as interested in Pittsburgh like he use to be – Major Longshot 5. Brian GiontaRead More »

NHL: All quiet on Lecavalier; Habs inquire about Marian Gaborik


It is all quiet on the Vincent Lecavalier front. A trade appears unlikely but it is expected that the Canadiens will pick up their pursuit of Lecavalier this evening. Sources also indicate the Montreal Canadiens have inquired about the negotiating rights for Marian Gaborik. A deal appears unlikely because Gaborik has made it known he will test free agency. Teams are looking into him though.

Crosby named third star of the week


Brodeur, Jokinen, and Crosby named ‘Three Stars’ New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was named first star of the week as Brodeur tied Patrick Roy as the NHL’s all-time victories leader and posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. Flames forward Olli Jokinen was named the NHL second star of the week. Jokinen has (six goals – two assists) in his last three games. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby brought home this week’s #3 star. Crosby notched eight points (two goals – six assists) in four games last week, helping the Penguins earn points in four consecutive games (2-0-2) and improve to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings ***The Latest Buzz*** Source: Concern over Scuderi’s ability to move the puck in the Penguins new system