As far as anecdotes go, Mike Rupp is becoming the MVP of the Eastern Conference finals.
A former Devil now plying his trade with the Rangers, Rupp has been a go-to quote machine for anything involving the Hudson River Rivalry.
So, what about the Stanley Cup ring he won with New Jersey in 2003?
No big deal, he tells Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun.
“That thing is put away,” Rupp said. “I have not looked at it for a while. I think it’s something I will cherish more once I am done playing.”
Rupp was brought to New York partly because of what he did in 2003. This past summer, the Rangers made a concerted effort to bring aboard guys with winning pedigrees that had a history of coming up big in big moments, like Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Richards scored seven game-winning goals en route to the 2004 Conn Smythe trophy. Fedotenko scored both goals in Tampa’s 2-1 Game 7 victory in the Cup finals that same year.
Rupp’s best known as the guy that scored the game-winning goal against Anaheim in 2003. But his performance was more than just one goal — after sitting out the entire postseason, the Devils summoned him for the final four games of the Cup final, and Rupp responded by scoring four points.
He seemed destined for a career of postseason success…but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.
“That was my first year in the league, and to able to win a Cup, I thought I was going to be playing for it multiple times,” Rupp explained. “And this is the first time I have got back to the final four.”
The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.
“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”
Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.
PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.
Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.
Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.
The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.
It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).
But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.
Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:
Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.
Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.
The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.