Hockey fans “in the know” might have been a little surprised when the Philadelphia Flyers traded for former European league scoring stud Ville Leino from the Detroit Red Wings. Still, for the casual fan, Leino was a face in the crowd at best. Chances are he’ll struggle to fly under the radar again after the kind of postseason he’s having.
Leino is climbing the ladder of all-time playoff scoring for rookies, now only two points from tying fiery forward Dino Ciccarelli for the highest mark. Here’s the list of the most productive first-year NHL’ers in the playoffs.
- Ciccarelli – 14 G, 7 A for 21 points in 19 games (’81)
- Don Maloney – 7G, 13A for 20 points in 18 games (’79)
- Leino – 7G, 12A for 19 points in 18 games
(There are three players listed at the 18 point mark; Jeremy Roenick did it in ’90 while Joe Mullen and Barry Pederson did it in ’82. Mullen and Pederson have the distinction of doing so in far less games, though. Mullen hit the 18-point mark in 10 games while Pederson did so in 11.)
It’s already been an amazing playoffs for Leino, but with one or two games left it’s not impossible that he could even hit the 22-point mark. That being said, it seems a bit much to call a 26-year-old player a “rookie” but that’s another discussion for another day. Either way, Leino already finds himself on a select list of first career playoff runs.
Could he pass the Phoenix Coyotes GM Maloney and maybe even Ciccarelli? It’s one of the many stories to watch as the Stanley Cup finals move forward.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.