After accomplishing a feat they hadn’t managed in 12 years (making the playoffs), the Florida Panthers pulled off something they hadn’t done in 15: actually winning a postseason contest. Not since April 17, 1997 had the Panthers prevailed in a big way – the longest gap in playoff wins in NHL history, according to NBC Sports Network – as the cascade of plastic rats provided a symbolic moment of arrival. The New Jersey Devils cannot totally disregard the seemingly weak third seed any longer now that the series is tied 1-1 thanks to a 4-2 Florida win.
Let’s get the discussion started.
- Stephen Weiss became the first Panthers player to score two power-play goals in a single playoff game. Is there a player in the entire postseason group of 16 that deserves some relief more than him?
- Shots on goal don’t tell everything, but they’re a solid indicator of effort from time to time. I’d say it shows in the Devils work to some degree; they went from four in the first to nine in the second and then 12 in the final frame. Is New Jersey’s seemingly uneven play a sign that the Devils aren’t taking the Panthers seriously, that they’re not very good or perhaps a combination of the two? Or something else?
- So, tell us: what were you doing in April 1997? Were you watching the New York Rangers face the Panthers in Miami, by any chance?
- The Devils “have home ice advantage,” yet this was a confidence-builder for the Panthers. Do you think Florida has a real chance to win the series?
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.