Madden scores; Chicago up 3-0

Could this be evidence that the Western Conference is simply far better than the East, as many pundits believe? The Caps started the period on the powerplay, a great opportunity to get things back together. Instead, they came out flat and did next to nothing.

After the Caps failed to clear the zone, Duncan Keith kept the puck in the zone and John Madden scored on a sneaky deflection to make it 3-0. I’m still on the fence about this one: was it a soft goal or is it asking too much of Jose Theodore to see that rapid change of direction coming?
Remember, though, that a 3-0 lead isn’t what it used to be in the clutch-and-grab era. Especially with a team that has as much firepower as Washington (even without Alex Ovechkin).

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    Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

    Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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    For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

    The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

    They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

    It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

    Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
    Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
    Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
    Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

    Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

    This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

    Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

    Mike Babcock
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    Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

    As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

    The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

    This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

    Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

    Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: