Pittsburgh Penguins fans are salivating over the concept of Sidney Crosby coming back, but don’t be surprised if there’s at least an undercurrent of hesitation about ruining what they have going right now.
The Pens won their eight consecutive game after edging the Florida Panthers 2-1 in a shootout tonight.
While many are wondering what kind of damage the current build of the team + Crosby could produce in the playoffs, the more immediate future is getting more interesting. With this win, Pittsburgh is just four points behind the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division lead after the Rangers lost 4-3 in regulation to the Chicago Blackhawks.
That loss provides a rather interesting proposition. The Penguins have two more games left against the Rangers this season, so if they beat them in regulation both times, the teams who essentially be tied.
Sure, the Rangers would hold tiebreaker advantages in wins (42 to 41) and especially regulation/OT victories (39 to 32), but their seemingly ironclad lead could dissolve if the two teams continue moving in opposite directions.
With the changing scenario in mind, Pittsburgh has a very real chance to go from “dangerous team with perhaps just one round of home ice advantage” to possibly the first seed in the East. With or without Crosby, the Penguins’ outlook is rapidly getting more ambitious – to the point that some might be nervous about them losing a step while their captain makes his way back.
The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.
Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.
(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)
While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.
The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.
Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out
Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?
Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:
With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.
That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.
Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.
Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith