Once word circulated that the NHL’s Board of Governors approved a radical new four-conference alignment, the hockey world immediately began breaking it down. PHT decided to poll the masses to see which team was the biggest “winner” and “loser” from the alteration, so let’s take a look at the results now.
1. Detroit: 417 votes (29.12 percent)
2. Minnesota: 196 votes (13.69 percent)
3. Dallas: 126 votes (8.8 percent)
4. Winnipeg: 121 votes (8.45 percent)
5. Boston: 98 votes (6.84 percent)
Total votes: 1,432
As you can see, the Red Wings were the clear “winner” of realignment according to fans. The Boston Bruins were the highest ranked “East” team at fifth place. It’s a bit surprising that the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t ranked a little higher (they garnered 67 votes). The Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators received the lowest amount of votes with two each.
Here are the full results (you’ll need to zoom in … a lot).
1. Florida: 228 votes (19.13 percent)
2. Carolina: 168 votes (14.09 percent)
3. Tampa Bay: 167 votes (14.01 percent)
4. Winnipeg 62 votes (5.2 percent)
5. Detroit: 54 votes: (4.53 percent)
Total votes: 1,192
The margin of victory wasn’t as large, but the clear losers were the Florida Panthers. Interestingly enough, the only current Southeast Division team outside the top five was the Washington Capitals, who received 46 votes. The Los Angeles Kings (four) and Calgary Flames (three) received the lowest amount of votes.
Once again, prepare to squint/zoom:
Did PHT readers get it right? Talk amongst yourselves.
While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.
Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Jimmy Hayes–Ryan Spooner–Brett Connolly
Chris Kelly–Joonas Kemppainen–Zac Rinaldo
The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.
So, where is Krejci’s game now?
Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.
So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?
On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.
So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?
“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks