Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils - Game One

Time off between games isn’t bothering either team in the finals


With two days off between Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, everyone’s a bit stir crazy to get back to the action. Not just the fans but the players and coaches are eager to get out there but if you think it’s going to affect them on the ice, you’ve got another thing coming.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer says the layoff between games doesn’t favor anyone in particular.

I don’t think it’s a perfect scenario, all the days off,” DeBoer said. “I don’t think anyone enjoys that. You want to play. You get to this point, you know, as coaches you get tired at  looking at tape, analyzing, you analyze it to death.  From a player’s perspective, you know, they have that nervous energy. The only release is dropping the puck and playing.”

“I don’t think it favors either side.  It is what it is and you just deal with it the best you can.”

The Kings have had their fair share of delays through the playoffs thanks to the NBA playoffs getting in the way, but Kings captain Dustin Brown

“We’ve had this a lot actually back in the earlier series just cause of the Staples Center scheduling with the Clippers and Lakers being there, we had a lot of two days in between so we’re used to it,” Brown said.

“It’s a little more difficult maybe sitting around when you’re not at home. But that’s all part of it.”

With the amount of rest both teams have had and with the ice at Prudential Center looking in much better shape this morning, expect Game 2 to help both teams get out that pent up aggression.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.