Steven Stamkos

Poll results: PHT readers on Kings’ playoff hopes, Stamkos’ quest for 60 and more


With the luxury/horror* of a rare night off from the 2012 playoffs on Saturday, it seems like it might be a good time to share some poll results from the last few months. Consider this a clearing house of sorts where we give ourselves “report cards” with the advantage of hindsight.

Will Steven Stamkos score 60 regular season goals? (post)

On March 28, we asked PHT readers if Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos would reach the 60-goal mark. A stunning majority (76 percent, or 233 voters) said “Yes” and they were correct.

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs? (post)

On the heels of Brian Burke firing Ron Wilson in favor of Randy Carlyle, we decided to poll PHT readers about Carlyle’s chances of turning things around. Sure, it wasn’t that hard to make the call at that (March 2) point, but kudos to PHT readers who said “No.” That would be 82 percent, or 228 voters who were correct.

Will Jeff Carter propel the Kings into the playoffs? (post)

Dean Lombardi made a series of last-ditch efforts with his Los Angeles Kings in a tooth-and-nail struggle to make the playoffs (which might be easy to forget right now). One of those moves was to trade Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. While Carter wasn’t the driving force of a whole lot of the success, it’s still solid that a small majority (53 percent or 176 to 156) were right.

Which team will win the Southeast Division? (post)

OK, they can’t all be gold records. Back on Feb. 19, PHT took a look at how sad the Southeast was and asked voters to name a winner. The Capitals and Jets tied with 35 percent of the votes (The Jets technically won 199-198) while the eventual division winners Florida only received 98 votes (17 percent). So, like just about everyone, PHT readers were wrong about the Panthers.


There are more polls floating around, but that’s a neat little survey of some of the more intriguing ones. PHT readers went three for four, which would make you all superhuman MLB players or John Grahame, if you abide by John Tortorella’s harsh 25 percent rule.

* – Depending upon how many social bridges you’ve burned watching playoff hockey.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault
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Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

Carey Price,
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Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury