The New Jersey Devils are in a see-saw battle with the Pittsburgh
Penguins for the top spot in the Atlantic division, yet have lost four
of their last six. Not good for a team that is hoping to have more
success than the last two years, when first-round exits marred great
Jamie Langenbrunner, captain of the Devils (and
one of my favorite players to ever don a Stars jersey, darn you Doug
Armstrong!) knows that things need to change. And soon.
“I think the key word is team,” Langenbrunner said. “You have to
become a team and you have to play as a team no matter the talent.
“Talent-wise, yeah, I don’t think there’s any question we have things
we haven’t had here. The key is to become a team. We’ve shown glimpses
of it. There is obviously still time and we feel we can still do it, but
we need to put it together.”
will have a chance to at least try to build some momentum, starting
tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Also, how is
that it seems that every team aside from the Red Wings and Sabres are
stumbling heading into the playoffs? Is the Olympic Hangover not just a
myth, but reality? This is supposed to be the most intense time of the
season, yet it seems like every team is trying to answer questions about
consistency and effort.
Should make for some great
Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.
Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.
So far, it shows, too.
The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.
There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:
Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week
Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.
WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry
A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.
As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.
While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.
Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.
It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.