Seeing former Boston College star Chris Kreider get the sudden call to play in the New York Rangers’ first round series with Ottawa has been surprising yet tough on the kid. When Carl Hagelin was sat down with a three-game suspension, the Rangers had a dire opening in their lineup and Kreider got the nod. After playing 11:11 in Game 3, Kreider played just 3:29 in Game 4.
It’s tough being put in that position straight out of college, but Rangers GM Glen Sather tells Larry Brooks of the New York Post that he’s done it before when he was in Edmonton and knows it’s tough on the players.
“It’s a whole different mindset,” Sather says. “In Edmonton I brought Esa Tikkanen and Andy Moog in for the playoffs, but Tikk came from the top league in Finland [in 1985] and Moog was in the minors [in 1981].
“I can’t say enough about the way Chris is handling this. You can see how tight he is, but who wouldn’t be? It’s not for lack of effort.”
Kreider certainly isn’t Tikkanen and well, he’s not a goalie either. One thing that might happen for Game 5, however, is the return of defenseman Steve Eminger. If he comes back, Brooks says it’s possible John Tortorella goes with Stu Bickel on the fourth line and sits Kreider, a move Sather supports should it happen.
Kreider will be a big player for the Rangers eventually, but expecting him to be the savior now is asking a lot.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.