Peter DeBoer

Devils’ DeBoer likes being a trade deadline buyer

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During his three years in Florida, Peter DeBoer watched the Panthers sell off assets at the trade dealine.

But now, leading a Devils team two points out of second in the East, DeBoer’s finally experiencing what it’s like to be a buyer.

And guess what? He likes it.

“I can tell you it’s nicer going into this time of year in a playoff spot than where I’ve been in previous years,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “Scratching from the outside looking in, trying to sell the hope if we can get on a run this time of year maybe we won’t be dumping salary, we might be adding.

“Those were tough situations to be in the last couple of years (in Florida) prior to getting here.”

During his time in Florida, DeBoer watched management unload the likes of Jordan Leopold, Dennis Seidenberg, Michael Frolik, Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman at or near the deadline. Now, it appears his Devils are in the mix for Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky — this after acquiring Alexei Ponikarovsky in late January.

DeBoer’s not the only person excited about the prospect of adding Zidlicky. Devils captain Patrik Elias is good friends with his fellow Czech countryman and would love to see him come to New Jersey.

“I’ve liked him ever since I was 14, 15 years old,” Elias said in an unfortunately worded statement. “We played on the national team together. He’s a good player. Offensively, he’s very good. He plays mean when he has to. He can be a little (agitator).

“But all that said, he’s not here yet.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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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.