April 26 2017 10:49AM
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Stanley Cup Final.
Well, not actually, because anything can happen, a key player can get injured, a goalie can get hot, and a surprise team can win, but the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are clearly the two best teams in the NHL. They finished with the best and second best records during the regular season, their underlying numbers match it, and whoever comes out of this series will become the favourite to win it all.
The Penguins have been the obstacle in the path to success for the Capitals forever now. Ever since Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby entered the league in 2005-06, the Penguins have come out on top. Last season, Pittsburgh beat Washington in what was as tight and well played of a series as you'll see en route to their second Stanley Cup in the Crosby era. In fact, Washington has only even beaten Pittsburgh in a playoff series once in franchise history, and that came back in 1994.
We ask every single season, but can this be Washington's year? Can Alex Ovechkin finally beat Sidney Crosby? This might be his best — and last — chance.
April 19 2017 07:00AM
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When the Vancouver Canucks signed Ryan Miller back in July 2014, it was surely a move that was expected to make the club competitive. But things didn't work out that way. Miller was solid for the Canucks, save for an injury-riddled 2014-15 season, but the team only made one playoff appearance during his three years in Vancouver. Now Miller is soon to turn 37 years old and is running out of opportunities to win the first Stanley Cup championship of his career.
Is he still good enough to take a team to that level? Or is Miller going to have to switch gears and take on more of a depth, mentorship role with a contending team?
April 11 2017 03:00PM
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This is part of a playoff preview series based at NHLNumbers.com
Here it is. The Edmonton Oilers are in the playoffs. Connor McDavid will get his first opportunity to show the hockey world that he is, in fact, the best player around. The first test will be the San Jose Sharks, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Sharks are old and tired, and this is probably their final shot at the Cup with this group, while Edmonton is just on the cusp of something great. It's a passing of the torch in the Pacific Division. But is San Jose ready to give it up? Or will Edmonton have to wait another year?
April 07 2017 07:00AM
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Before the Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup run, Nick Bonino was largely known as a guy who seems to be thrown into big trades. In 2014, the Canucks acquired him from the Ducks in a deal for Ryan Kesler. A year later, he was moved by the Canucks to the Penguins for Brandon Sutter.
But after playing a major role on last season’s Stanley Cup winning team, posting four goals and 18 points in 24 games on the HBK line with Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, Bonino has put himself on the map. This summer, he’ll head into free agency for the first time in his career, hoping to ride that playoff performance to a major payday.
March 21 2017 07:00AM
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Michael Del Zotto? In New York, he was known as DelZaster. After last season, his second year in Philadelphia, it seemed he had resurrected his career and was going to be a key piece of the Flyers blue line moving forward.
But thanks to a poor season that began with a long term injured reserve stint, the DelZaster label is back. And the timing couldn’t be less fortunate, as Del Zotto is set to his the open market this summer.