2016 NHL Draft: Winners And Losers

Written by :
Published on : June 30, 2016

 

 

 

For many teams and fans alike, the NHL Draft can be a very exciting time. It can bring promising new talent to an organization or reinvigorate a struggling team. In addition to drafting new players, NHL Draft weekend is usually the kickoff to the blockbuster trades of the summer. But every player drafted and traded is a game of high risk, high reward and it doesn’t always work out. On that note, here are my winners and losers of the 2016 NHL Draft.

 

 

Winners

 

Buffalo Sabres

 

There’s no two ways about it, the Sabres had a very good draft. Alex Nylander will eventually become the winger that Jack Eichel sets up the most and they’ll eventually become the Batman and Robin of Buffalo. Rasmus Asplund was a solid pick and Cliff Pu came on strong at the end of the year. Brett Murray is a big, young project forward. The defender Budik, and first year WHL forward Hagel all have promise. The Kulikov trade felt a lot like a wash although he eats up big 2nd pairing minutes which is sure to help the Sabres.

 

Calgary Flames

 

To me they are one of the two big winners of this year’s draft. The trade for Elliot shores up their goaltending issue and didn’t cost that much. Their first 6 picks were nearly perfect. Tkachuk falling to them was a blessing. Dube as a mid to late 2nd rounder was not quite a steal but a very solid pick up there. Adam Fox is a hit or miss small blueliner. Tyler Parsons had an incredible run at the end of the season, proving to be the fastest rising goaltender. Lindstrom is a big time scorer in Swedish Juniors and showed well on the international stage. Some had Mitchell Mattson as a 2nd or 3rd round project pick; Flames got him in the 5th. Tuulola is another big Finn with soft hands and a big appetite. Tiny Matt Phillips was a 37 goal scoring, point per game player. Falkovsky is as big as Logan Stanley and it didn’t cost a pick to select him.

 

Detroit Red Wings

 

I really liked what these guys did overall. But we all know the Datsyuk “trade” made it all worthwhile. Even though they didn’t pick up any real blue-chip players, they did pick up 4 defensemen who will all likely play in the NHL. Cholowski was a particularly fast riser at the end of the season. They also were able to sandwich Givani Smith in between, another good, big bodied forward pick.

 

New Jersey Devils

 

I hate to say it, but The Devils are another team that crushed this draft. Starting out nicely with McLeod, both Bastian and Joey Anderson followed, one a big bodied net-front presence and the other the 3rd member of the high scoring Keller/Bellow/Anderson line for the USNTDP team. They then followed it up with 4 other solid prospects: Gignac, Maltsev, Cormier, and Rykov. The Bratt pick might prove to be a late round gift.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

 

The Flyers had 10 picks in this draft and hit on at least 8 of them. German Rubtsov is a perfect fit for what they need and what they are building. Pascal Laberge is going to surprise folks with his savvy offensive ability and the Flyers were lucky to get him at this point in the 2nd round. They then selected what was probably the best goalie prospect in the draft, Carter Hart. Wade Allison and Carter Twarynski both were late season fast risers and they project as hard working power forwards. Late picks, Tanner Laczynski and David Bernhardt both could be steals in a few years.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Some people didn’t like the Bolts’ draft as it didn’t take enough risks. I disagree. Instead of being flashy they picked the smart, safe selections with some talent mixed in. Howden is a solid 3C with 2C upside. Libor Hajek was the best blueliner on the board when they picked. Katchouk is scrappy and skilled. Raddysh was the forgotten man in Erie, but were his numbers all about Dylan Strome? Ingram, Colton, and Somppi were all good to great picks at where they were made.

 

 

Losers

 

Boston Bruins


Poor Boston. I just feel sorry for them given the Bruins’ front offices struggles as of late. That said I really like the Charlie McAvoy pick (NCAA, RHD) almost as much as I hated the Trent Frederic pick. The latter almost certainly would have been there at least into the 2nd round, likely the 3rd. Ryan Lindgren is a solid if not very sexy pick. Joona Koppanen might turn out to be something but they picked him right where he should have gone. Oskar Steen was a nice late round get.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

 

Their 1st pick was in the 2nd round and they snagged Alex DeBrincat who, despite his size, is likely an NHL scorer in the future. Chad Krys, while rated highly by some,  isn’t all that in my book and he was falling consistently over the last few months. The Kayumov pick was too early in my estimation. Lucas Carlsson is a mediocre “can’t hurt you” selection. The Peters selection has promise. However the rest are questionable at best and throw-aways at worst.

 

Dallas Stars

 

Riley Tufte is a boom or bust pick but has loads of talent. I think he’ll tend more to the boom side of the equation. The Stars didn’t pick again until late in the 3rd round and did something of a reach with Karlstrom. He’s a nice prospect but would have likely been there when they came around again at 116. The rest of the picks are non-factors for me.

 

Los Angeles Kings

 

A lot of people like Kale Clague but I’m not impressed. I like their 4th rounder, Moverare as much if not more. Eyssimont might turn into something but it’s a long shot. They didn’t really do anything to help the team or the prospect pool.

 

New York Rangers

 

They might as well have sat this one out. Starting with the raw, immensely talented Sean Day as their 1st pick (which happened to be in the 3rd round), the Rangers drifted from bad to, well, bad some more. There is the smaller offensive defenseman, Tarmo Reunanen. Tim Gettinger might prove to be a useful 3rd or 4th liner some day given his hulking size. But only if he improves his skating, his strength, and his hockey sense….is that all? Their best pick might have been the fortunate faller Ty Ronning who landed in their lap in the seventh round.

 

 

Well those are my winners and losers of the 2016 NHL Draft, let us know in the comment section below who you think had a good or bad draft.


Flyers Fans Prove To Be The Most Disgraceful Fans In Hockey

Written by :
Published on : April 20, 2016

 

 

On Monday night, the Flyers and their fans intended to honor founder Ed Snider, who died last Tuesday due to bladder cancer before they faced-off against the Capitals in Game 3. The organization gave away light-up bracelets and painted Snider’s initials behind the goals. Lauren Hart, the team’s longtime anthem singer, sang “God Bless America” with Snider’s name and 67 on the back of her team jersey.

 

But Flyers fans, some of whom had reportedly been tailgating since the early afternoon, showed disgraceful behavior that only got worse as the the Caps continued to score well into the third period.

 

It was undignified. It was an embarrassment. It was– as Al Koken best put it– a “clown show.”

 

Here’s the recap:

 

Before warm-ups even began, one Flyers fan went down to the glass by the Caps bench and taunted Braden Holtby.

 

 

Before puck drop, a moment of silence held for Ed Snider was interrupted by a fan yelling f-bombs at the Capitals.

 

 

 

Screaming “Lets Go Flyers” during the anthem is one thing. Screaming curses at the opposing team during a moment of silence for the man that built your organization is just complete disrespect. Classless move by the Flyers fans to start off an all-around embarrassing night for the organization.

 

As the second period began, one Flyers fan flipped off the Capitals bench for a photo.

 

 

Soon after that, Brooks Orpik got injured after a huge hit by Ryan White. As Orpik was helped off the ice and into the locker room, Philadelphia fans booed him (Pens fans did the same thing after Hank took a stick to the eye in Game 1).

 

 

Hard to believe, but it got worse…

 

After John Carlson put the Caps up 4-1, Flyers fans decided to abandon their team and headed for the exits.

 

 

With under eight minutes left to go in the very one-sided game, Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare checked Dmitry Orlov headfirst into the boards. Fans responded by throwing their light-up bracelets onto the ice.

 

One bracelet hit Dmitry Orlov in the face while he was being looked at on the bench.

 

 

After this, the Flyers PA Announcer had enough of the Flyers fans and told them to “have some class.”

 

 

You would think that MAYBE the Flyers fans would settle down at this point but no. Instead, they threw beers. After they were warned by their own PA announcer, Flyers fans continued throwing trash on the ice, forcing officials to call a bench minor against the Flyers.

 

 

Here’s Mike Richards knocking a bracelet away from center ice.

 

 

Even Flyers players had enough of their own fans.

 

 

After the game, “Embarrassing” was trending in Philly.

 

 

Just an overall disgraceful night for the Flyers organization. This just proves what a terrible fan base Philly has. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Game 4 when the Caps sweep them.

 

 


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: NHL Logos

Written by :
Published on : April 2, 2016

 

Unless you’re the Cleveland Browns, chances are your professional sports team has a logo. And while it’s expected of fans to rally around the banner of their chosen club, the sad truth is that not every logo is created equal. Today we bring you, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of those sometimes hallowed, sometimes ludicrous, images proudly worn by NHL players.

 

Detroit Red Wings – Good

Obviously I’m a little biased, but I think it’s hard to say that this isn’t one of the most classic sports logos of all time. The MLB has plenty of good ones too, but when it comes to the NHL even many of the Original Six teams have modified their logos to some extent. The only down side of the Wings logo is that it was damn near impossible to draw accurately on your Trapper-Keeper as an obsessed kid.

 

St. Louis Blues – Bad

The logo is simple and classy, but I fail to see anything tough or inspiring about a musical note. Since when is the blues a thing in St. Louis? I’ve been there twice and I’m pretty sure it’s more well known for its Jnco-pants wearing populace and murderous police force.

 

sbs_nhllogos

 

Edmonton Oilers – Good

It’s cool Alberta, if you wanna burn bonkers amounts of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere of a rapidly warming world and be proud of it, at least you’ve got a logo that makes your team look royally sexy.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning – Bad

Sorry Tampa Bay, I love the simplicity that the ‘bolts are rocking but the minimal blue on white just ends up being boring. The whole “naming your team after a force of nature or natural disaster” thing has always kind of bummed me out too. If teams were really going for local color or geographical correctness we’d have groups like the Boston “Woman Punchers,” the Dallas “Expense Accounts,” and the Ottawa “Polite White Men.”

 

Nashville Predators – Ugly

Nashville_Predators_Logo_(2011).svg

 

It ain’t easy having an abbreviated nickname like “the Preds,” and the in-profile image of Nashville’s banner saber-toothed cat looks more like it’s got a serious case of lockjaw instead of getting ready to dine on any number of NHL teams that have chosen to name themselves after an animal lower down the food chain. Pro tip: If you’re rooting against Nashville at the game make a shirt with Chris Hansen on it that says “To Catch a Predator.” Hilarity (and fistfights) will ensue.

 

New York Rangers – Good

I want to say that the Rangers logo is bad with every fiber in my being because I hate the club (I have a Pavlovian response to any footage of Messier lifting the cup that makes me punch a child), but I just can’t. Classic and classy, this one’s got that same level of Original Six cool. At least Tortorella’s not the coach anymore… Breathe, Roger, breathe.

 

Dallas Stars – Bad

Dallas has always kind of had a middle of the road logo, but what’s going on with that quasi-mint green they’re rocking now? The standard black and white, gold trim always seemed to suit them so well as a team. The whole combination with the new silver “D” over the star along with that weird green, makes them look more like a tech startup or a Canadian football team than anything else.

 

Carolina Hurricanes – Bad

1280px-Carolina_Hurricanes.svg

 

I get it, but this one’s a little too abstract to fully appreciate. It reminds me more of a decal that would be featured on a Japanese robot’s chest than on a grown man playing a professional sport. I’d make a joke about the robots being called “Spinjas” but I can’t because that was already a thing. It was awesome.

 

Philadelphia Flyers – Good

Philly might not have been an Original Six team but that logo is arguably the best in the league. As a kid I only played spring season once (that was for the hardcore kids), and it was two towns over. Our team had Flyers colored jerseys and some kid on another team called us the “creamsicles.” I told him I was the ghost of Bobby Clark and then boarded the tar out of him, then blew a kiss to his mama from the penalty box.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets – Bad

Here’s another one that looks more like a farm team logo than a proper NHL one. I can kind of dig on the esoteric team name, but the lack of symmetry in the star gives me fits, and the whoosing swoop of the flag is hard to take serious. If the ‘Canes logo belongs on a Japanese toy robot, this is the logo for the latest G.I. Joe Saturday morning cartoon reboot.

 

Buffalo Sabers – Good

Buffalo_Sabres_Logo.svg

 

See, this is what the Blue Jackets logo should be like! It’s got a military crest vibe that looks legit instead of being intended for the Fisher Price brightly-colored-teething-ring set. It’s great that those hosers up in Buffalo have a logo they can be proud of, especially when the blue and gold do a fantastic job of drawing attention away from Jack Eichel’s teenage acne. Don’t hurt ‘em hammer!

 

Pittsburgh Penguins – Ugly

It’s kind of hard for me to believe that the top brass in the Penguins’ organization would take a look at their logo and say “You know what? Let’s go back to the old cartoony one.” I actually kind of like the call. The Pens are a serious franchise with a kind of goofy name/concept, and there’s something a little magical when you can rep tough through all the whimsy.

 

New Jersey Devils – Good

Uhh, you’re telling me that your logo is a cleverly designed “NJ” made to look harmlessly satanic while being named after the state’s most well known cryptozoological myth? It’s a shame that these guys don’t get no respect anymore, as nothing feels tougher than walking past Madison Square Garden on game night with that old Martin Brodeur jersey. Whenever the Devils mix in those little green accents into their color scheme, things just get so nasty.

 

Boston Bruins – Good

Boston_Bruins.svg

 

This one’s right up there with the Flyers’ logo. No matter how much I hate the Bruins, I’ve gotta show reverence to that iconic black and yellow “B.” Sometimes, I can even find deluded solace in the glorious memories of Bobby Orr and Don Cherry, instead of constantly having to hear about how good Zdeno Chara’s slap shot is. The dude is nineteen-and-a-half feet tall. Anybody that big better have one of the league’s best slap shots.

 

Vancouver Canucks – Bad

Full disclosure: Pavel Bure was my favorite hockey player in my youth and I wore a Canucks hat with old black/yellow/orange skate logo that stunk to high heaven from years of wear and tear. This is the prime example of a team dumping a great logo for an abominable one just to “shake things up.” Remember when the Pistons rocked those TEAL fire-breathing horse chess piece jerseys? Exactly. This logo is so bad that the Canucks alternate image is just a hockey stick. Unsurprisingly, the stick is way better.

 

Winnipeg Jets – Good

Sometimes you gotta dip for a few years before you come back to the party. As far as a modern logo for a new/old franchise is concerned, nothing says Canada (Winnipeg in particular) like aerial militarism. This logo is so fresh, expect to see the next big trap rapper gunned down on the streets while wearing one of these sweaters.

 

Ottawa Senators – Ugly

Ottawa_Senators.svg

 

Of all the logo changes discussed in this piece the Ottawa Senators’ decision baffles me the most. From a completely objective standpoint I simply can’t imagine how anybody could think the current logo is an improvement on any of their old ones. Is it to psyche us out by having the Senator guy now turned in two-thirds perspective and giving us a rapey creepo stare? I give up.

 

Los Angeles Kings – Good

Assuming we’re not talking about any of that hideous purple crown jazz, The Kings are a good example of doing a decent job of updating your logo without totally destroying it. Sure, the classic logo from the 90’s is better, and you know you’re doing something right when N.W.A. reps your gear, but the new one’s got some admirable simplicity going for it that makes the change bearable.

 

San Jose Sharks – Bad

This logo has suffered from slight tweaks and modifications over the years. I understand the need to rejuvenate the fan base and be dynamic, but I also think it’s inherently cooler to keep a club’s continuity. The positive side is that it makes the OG fans feel badass when they show up with their old jerseys. The downside is that you’re wearing a lot of TEAL. This logo is also appropriate in the sense that hockey players can’t take a shot from the point anymore without their sticks splintering into a million pieces.

 

Calgary Flames – Good

Calgary_Flames_Logo.svg

 

The team is called the “Flames” and the “C” that stands for Calgary is on fire. Pretty hard to argue with the logic here. I also like how there’s kind of a Zen thing going on with the basic elemental name. Let’s hope that if Las Vegas gets a franchise they follow this enlightened path and entitle their team The Las Vegas “Impermanent Sands of Time.”

 

Florida Panthers – Bad

And I thought the Red Wings’ logo was hard to draw! Florida gets the award for the most bizarrely detailed and overly rendered logo. This pissed kitty looks admirably menacing, but the perspective of the huge foregrounded paws and tiny hind legs just kind of makes me giggle. Thanks to the Crayola box worth of different colors and the elaborate design, this would probably be more fun as a big poster to trip out to on psychedelics than to wear on your body.

 

New York Islanders – Good

Let’s just all admit that the Gorton’s fish stick man/lighthouse logo was the worst aesthetic decision made by any NHL team in the league’s history. That orange, eggplant, and TEAL abomination is the stuff of nightmares, and I’m glad to see it done with. On the other hand, the classic Islanders logo feels just that: classic. It’s a little funky with the rendering on the island’s edges, and in some ways it looks like it’s biting Washington’s logo, but no other crest evokes the mustachioed helmet-less days of yore like Long Island’s.

 

Minnesota Wild – Ugly

Minnesota_Wild.svg

 

I love that there’s an NHL team back in Minnesota but this squad’s look is too much of a good thing. Ferocious looking bear? Awesome. Tons of trees to get the point across? Alright, I guess. A shooting star for the bear’s eye and weird borders on the jersey hems? Ok, now we’re entering some uncomfortably weird hippy territory. This is the vegan poutine of NHL logos.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs – Good

I can’t say I’m too wild about that chunky/veiny logo they just trotted out recently, but there are few better logos in the NHL than Toronto’s flat blue leaf containing the team’s name in a Helvetica-like font. It’s the kind of stuff fixed-gear-bike-riding design nerds drool over. All the best to Mike Babcock. I really hope he turns that team and around and gives the people of Ontario a winning club. Unless they’re playing the Red Wings, then it’s still “fuck ‘em.”

 

Anaheim Ducks – Ugly

I say with all seriousness that that goofy duck goalie-mask back when Anaheim was still “The Mighty Ducks” is better than their current logo (see my thoughts on the Penguins). The logo’s concept of the titular waterfowl’s webbed foot barely comes through, and that shade of gold clashes so hard with the red-orange trim that just looking at it makes me feel like Tim Gunn trapped in a Tommy Bahama’s. That said, if you wanted a visual distillation of a team’s soul, it doesn’t get any more accurate or ugly than this.

 

Washington Capitals – Good

Washington_Capitals.svg

 

After so many terrible changes it’s nice to see Washington return to their classic look. This one gets the award for being the most anachronistically 80’s looking of the bunch. I feel bad for the guys and gals showing up at the Verizon center with those old jerseys with the stars and the eagle and that gross TEAL backdrop (notice a trend here?).

 

Phoenix Coyotes – Bad

I wanted to make some joke about the current Phoenix logo’s canine howling because it was getting neutered, but my heart just wasn’t in it. What I really wish is that the team still had that ridiculous Kokopelli-esque logo. Those jerseys had all the funny hem decorations and extra patches too. It’s like when the Minnesota Wild designed their new look they were like “We want to emulate the ugliest jerseys in the NHL, get the Coyotes on the phone.”

 

Colorado Avalanche – Bad

Could be worse/could be better, but that whole bigfoot shoulder patch thing is rough to stomach. I’ve found that these jerseys actually look great when soaked in the blood of Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy after being beaten to a pulp by Darren McCarty and Mike Vernon. That’s a look I can get behind.

 

Chicago Blackhawks – Ugly

ChicagoBlackhawksLogo.svg

 

If American exceptionalism has taught us anything it’s that we are very good at glossing over our awful past in regards to native peoples while blatantly celebrating them in sports logos. So while the Blackhawks’ logo is probably wildly offensive to many, it still has the benefit of looking really cool, and perhaps even being a more positive depiction of First Nations people (if we’re going to go that route), especially when compared to the Cleveland Indians and the morally reprehensible Washington Redskins.

 

Montreal Canadiens – Good

It’s cool that it has an “H” in the middle for the nickname, and if I said anything ill about the Canadiens it would probably bring some form of wrath down on me from the hockey gods, especially considering this is the first year since 1970 that no Canadian team has made it to the playoffs. I respect the hockey gods, and frankly, right now I don’t need any more problems in my life.

 

 


April Without the Red Wings

Written by :
Published on : March 18, 2016

 

An April without the Detroit Red Wings. That’s something that’s pretty hard for me to comprehend. The last time that happened was 1990 and I was four years old. For almost my entire life, the Red Wings have had a presence in the postseason of the NHL. 24 years in a row they have had a shot to win the Stanley Cup. Whether as President’s Cup winning favorites or the last team in, they’ve always been in the conversation come April.

 

The Wings currently sit one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wildcard spot. When the two teams met last Tuesday, the Red Wings defense got off to an abysmal start where they allowed 23 shots against their 3 in the opening period. The team wound up losing the game 4-3 because they were never able to recover from that first period and get a much needed win. The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the league and briefly overtook the Wings for that 2nd wild spot before that win against the Blue Jackets yesterday. The Wings are going to need some very strong performances to close out the season if they hope to make the playoffs from the 25th straight year, and keep the longest current postseason streak in all of sports alive.

 

Now all of that is in jeopardy and I’m not sure what to do. So let’s explore why the Wings are in the predicament they’re in.

 

Defense and Goaltending

 

When you allow as many shots as the Red Wings did in the first period of that Flyers game, it becomes obvious that the defense is a big problem area for the team. It’s been that way for a while now. Actually, it’s been a problem ever since Nicklas Lidstrom left back in 2012. The team hasn’t had a stud defender since and the good players that they do have haven’t been able to get the job done. With the team’s most experienced defensemen, Niklas Kronwall, sidelined for 1-3 weeks with a knee sprain, they really need the other guys to step their game up or there is a very big chance that they will not be in the playoffs.

 

 Mrazek can’t continue to let himself be caught out of position.

 

The defense also isn’t being propped up by the goaltending like it was in earlier parts of the season. There are times when the goaltending looks down right amazing, especially when you consider how many shots are getting thrown at the net. But Petr Mrazek has been looking pretty shaky as of late and Jimmy Howard, who the team is paying $5.3 million for each of the next three seasons, looks like a shadow of what he once was. From what I have seen this season, Jimmy Howard has no business being in the net and should only be looked at to give Mrazek rest. So that means Mrazek had better find some of that early season magic that he displayed if the Red Wings have any hope maintaining their shaky hold on a playoff spot.

 

 

Put the puck in the net

 

The defense shouldn’t get all of the blame for the state of the team because the offense has been anything but prolific. Despite having a stable of young stars and some aged but crafty veterans, they have not been able to get the puck in the net nearly as often as necessary to stay competitive. The Wings are 24th in the league in goals per game, with 2.5. That is not good enough. They need Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to turn it up a notch and help the young guys out. But more than anything, they need to score some goals. Some way. Any way.

 

 The Red Wings are going to need more than just Larkin to make it to the playoffs.

 

I’m not going to lie, from what I’ve seen recently, the Detroit Red Wings will not be making the playoffs. They just look too flat all around, despite the dazzling play of Dylan Larkin and other youngsters like Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. The future is bright and I’m really hoping that they can hold it together long enough to make it 25 straight playoff appearances. Then who knows what’s possible. Anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but first they’ve got to make it to the dance. And I’m not as sure about that happening as I was a month ago.

 

 


Tanner Glass Is Ready To Fight Wayne Simmonds

Written by :
Published on : February 10, 2016

 

 

As many of you know, this Sunday is Valentine’s Day. And while couples across the country will be exchanging chocolates and roses, it seems that Tanner Glass and Wayne Simmonds will be exchanging punches.

 

 

This past Saturday, the Flyers hosted the Rangers in a matinee game that the Blueshirts would go on to win in a shootout. But in good ol’ Rangers/Flyers tradition, it didn’t happen without incident…

 

 

Now that Ryan McDonagh is “day-to-day’ with a concussion, Ranger’s enforcer, Tanner Glass, thinks it’s time for Simmonds to answer for his actions

 

 

I’m glad that Glass is stepping up and making it known that the Rangers aren’t going to allow things like this. Players are going to think twice before taking a run at star players if they know that Glass is there to hold them accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if McIlrath tries to drop the gloves with Simmonds too. I can just picture Glass and McIlrath flipping a coin in the locker room before the game to see who gets to fight him.

 

Glass and Simmonds are no strangers to each other though. They fought once before back in 2013:

 

 

If Sunday’s tilt is anything like that fight, then we are in for a treat. And Simmonds really has no choice but to fight Glass now. Once it’s in the media, it’s a done deal.

 

P.S. I would be pretty scared to drop the gloves with someone who fights bears:

 

 

 


The New York Rangers Face Obstacles In Push To The Playoffs

Written by :
Published on : February 5, 2016

 

 

 

The New York Rangers opened up the second half of their season, and their push to the playoffs, Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss in New Jersey following the All-Star break. But the 2 points wasn’t all that they lost.

 

Late in the third period, Reid Boucher laid a hit on Kevin Klein that would take him out for the rest of the game.

 

“All we heard was him screaming a little bit because of the pain,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “The referee said, ‘Listen, he just fell awkwardly. There was no slash, no nothing.’ ”

 

Klein is a key player in the Rangers defense and he recently missed a game on Jan. 17 with an injury to his right thumb, which happens to be the same thumb he injured this time around. But this absence will be the second significant stretch of games he’ll miss this season, having missed most of December with an oblique injury.

 

The Rangers are obviously better with Klein on the ice. They were 17-6-2 before the  injury, then went 3-6-2 without Klein. I strongly believe Klein’s absence heavily contributed to the inconsistent play of the Rangers throughout January.

 

 

“I can’t say enough good things about him, what he means to our team and how steady and solid he’s been in our ‘D’ core,” captain Ryan McDonagh said.

 

AV says the team won’t have a timetable for Klein’s return for a few days, but also said the Rangers have no plans to call up a seventh defenseman. Even with Klein’s potentially lengthy absence, the injury isn’t expected to have an impact on whether the Rangers (27-18-5) deal impending free agent Keith Yandle before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

 

The only good that comes out of Klein’s absence is the opportunity for rookie defensemen Dylan McIlrath to get some solid playing time. He’s only appeared in 20 games (filling in for Klein during his first absence) all season and only 3 since December 22nd. In those 20 games he has scored 2 goals and notched an assist while earning a plus-five rating.

 

I love McIlrath in the lineup and I feel like he should’ve played in favor of Girardi and Boyle throughout December and January.

 

Even McDonagh said he has been impressed with how McIlrath’s game has continued progressing, despite spending most of the season in the press box.

 

 

“It’s a tough role not knowing if you’re going to be in or not every day, but every time he’s jumped in there he’s played very well,” McDonagh said. “We know about his toughness, his physicality, but it’s great to see him gaining some confidence with the puck, his poise and using his big shot, too.”

 

Now, with a guaranteed spot in the lineup (at least until Klein is healthy), McIlrath finds himself with what might be the biggest opportunity in his young career.

 

The Rangers push to the playoffs starts now, and if they play well like back in November, I’m sure we’ll be seeing them skate well into the spring (maybe even June).

 

Their next opponent is the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. Let’s Go Rangers!

 

 


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