April 13 2015 01:00PM
Weighed down by a mess of injuries along their blue line, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were eliminated by the New York Rangers a year ago, sagged down the stretch and are limping into the Stanley Cup playoffs in a wild card spot. The Rangers meanwhile won the Presidents' Trophy despite injuries to key contributors like Derek Stepan and Henrik Lundqvist, and have been as resilient and polished as anyone in the league all year.
Who will win when they face-off this week in an all-Metropolitan division first-round Stanley Cup playoff series over the next two weeks?
April 13 2015 08:00AM
Jamie Benn finished the season on Saturday night with a four point effort to pull himself ahead of John Tavares and Sidney Crosby in the 2014-15 Art Ross Trophy race. Benn finished the year with 35 goals and 52 assists, good for 87 points. Obviously I don’t want to take anything away from Benn’s phenomenal season, but leading the league with 87 points seem pretty strange. In fact, it’s the lowest league leading total the NHL has seen in a season that wasn’t derailed by a lockout since Stan Mikita won the Art Ross with 40 goals and 47 assists in 1967-68. Benn’s strangely low scoring title marks a trend in the NHL that we haven’t seen since before the 2004-05 lockout.
There’s tons of factors that could go into why this season saw a really low scoring title race, but it seems the major factor in decreased scoring throughout the league has been the result of fewer penalties being called year after year. We’re a far cry from Joe Thornton’s 2005-06 MVP and Art Ross campaign largely because we’ve seen the average power play opportunity figure nearly chopped in half over that time.
Let’s take a look.
April 11 2015 03:04PM
It's always a gamble when you move future assets for rental players at the Trade Deadline. The hope is that the player you bring in for a few months can be the one to push your team over the top and either help you make the playoffs, or go all the way to the Stanley Cup. If that doesn't happen, you're stuck watching another team enjoy your prospects and draft picks as the player you rented looks for a big contract through free agency. This year, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh have seen some pretty disappointing results for players they paid high prices for.
Nation World HQ
April 10 2015 06:30AM
Canucks, Jets and Flames all headed to the playoffs, Brendan Shanahan's tight ship, Kings miss, can the Oilers ever change, Keegan Lowe fights twice in NHL debut, breaking down trade deadline a month after the deals and more in this weeks Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
April 09 2015 11:28AM
What follows is an article from Nation Network senior collective bargaining agreement correspondent and corporate lawyer @BeantownCanuck. You may remember him from his stellar work on rule 13.23, or his piece on the penalties for cap floor violations.
Today Beantown discusses a way in which the NHL can move away from the classic draft format into an auction style system that maintains the fairness and continuity of the current system, but also works out some of its kinks.