After two rounds of upset-filled playoff hockey, the East’s Stanley Cup finals representative will come from the Atlantic Division while the West’s answer will be a Pacific Division squad. On paper, the East’s No. 1 seed New York Rangers seem like they’d be the favorite, yet their opponents (No. 6 New Jersey Devils) and the West reps (No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes and No. 8 Los Angeles Kings) seem like their on top of their respective games.
So who takes the cake, then? Here’s a more visual look at the “final four” before you vote:
No. 1 New York Rangers vs. No. 6 New Jersey Devils
No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Kings
Habs sign Mark Streit — is he Markov’s replacement?
This will actually be Streit’s second stint with the Habs. He started his NHL career in Montreal, all the way back in 2005.
Streit split last season between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the playoffs, he only appeared in three games for the Penguins, all of them in the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa when Justin Schultz was hurt.
What the Streit signing means for Andrei Markov remains to be seen. Streit, like Markov, can run a power play, so it’s tempting to conclude that Streit is Markov’s replacement.
That being said, almost all of Streit’s contract could be buried in the AHL if necessary, so that conclusion may be premature. This could even be a move by GM Marc Bergevin to gain leverage and convince Markov to sign.
Mueller, a first-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2013, has only played 54 NHL games, scoring two goals with four assists. In June, after spending most of 2016-17 in the AHL, San Jose traded the 22-year-old to the Devils.
In New Jersey, Mueller should get a good chance to crack a rebuilding roster.
“Mirco is adding another piece to what we’re trying to build here,” Devils coach John Hynes said, per NJ.com. “He’s a young player, he can play with pace. He’s a very good skater. He’s got size, which is something we need on the back end. He makes a good first pass. He allows you to get out of your own zone because he can break out, he can end plays defensively, get possession, make the pass to be able to transition yourself out of defensive situations.”