On Friday, the Florida Panthers will participate in their first playoff game since 2000. The length of their former drought is staggering to say the least, but if you assume that their first round opponents, the New Jersey Devils, have a big edge in postseason experience, you would be mistaken.
Although the Devils have been almost the polar opposite of the Panthers when it comes to their ability to get to the playoffs, the thing you have to keep in mind is that Panthers GM Dale Tallon has made sweeping changes to his team in recent years. As a consequence, 15 of the 20 players projected to play for the Panthers on Friday already have some playoff experience under their belts. Some Panthers like Brian Campbell and John Madden have even won the Stanley Cup before.
Their coach, Kevin Dineen, also has 59 games worth of postseason experience on his resume, although that was as a player, not a coach. Still, it helps that Dineen and so many of his players understand what it means to compete in the first round and beyond.
Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.