Flyers race ahead of sloppy Blackhawks 3-1 in first

Who are these Chicago Blackhawks? Look, I know that the Philadelphia Flyers are on fire right now, but it’s still pretty stunning to see what went on in the first period of this game. Philly is up 3-1 in the first period, and honestly, that score is more than fair considering how much better they’ve been than the visiting Hawks.

Mike Richards began the scoring with a clever takeaway from Niklas Hjalmarsson (though some say the takeaway required a hook) that resulted in a powerplay tally. Next came a great play by James van Riemsdyk, who made things happen to allow Matt Carle to score into a wide open net. Patrick Sharp scored a goal out of nowhere late in the period, but the Flyers answered with only 37 seconds left in the first.

You can’t really pin the big Flyers start on poor goaltending by Antti Niemi, as he’s made some tough saves in this one. Instead, the Blackhawks defense keeps running around in their own zone, making bad passes and generally playing like a team in early season form.

As bad as things have gotten for Chicago, it’s still only a two goal deficit. This team is as explosive and deep as any team in the NHL. They’ve fought their way out of big holes in the Kane-Toews era, so you really can’t count them out just yet.

That being said, it would be wise if the Blackhawks woke up right about now.

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    After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

    Claude Julien

    The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

    Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

    Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
    Joe MorrowKevan Miller
    Matt IrwinZach Trotman

    And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

    That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

    “I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

    But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

    “It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

    And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

    Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

    All in all, it was a tough night.

    “We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

    The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

    Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

    Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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    Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

    Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

    A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

    That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

    As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

    Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.