Sidney Crosby

What they’re saying about the 2012-13 schedule


As you might imagine, the release of the 2012-13 schedule elicited a lot of reactions from the NHL community. Here’s a sampling of some of the immediate thoughts and facts brought up by hockey writers and staffers on Twitter following the unveiling.

Let’s start out with some good news for the Buffalo Sabres:

“Sabres will play a franchise-low 11 back-to-back sets next year after averaging 20 since 1970 and leading the league in 2010-11 and 2011-12.” — Buffalo Sabres PR staffer Ian Ott

Of course, not every team will be happy with the schedule and the Pittsburgh Penguins might end up feeling like they got a raw deal:

“Pens start season at home on Oct. 12 against the Islanders. Later in the month, they have a very bizarre 6-game road trip … Check out this road trip for Pens: at Ottawa, at Washington, at Columbus, at NJ, at Chicago, at Toronto. That makes a lot of sense … Pens play 12 of 14 games at home late in regular season. Very odd.” — Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Chicago Blackhawks schedule looks like a bit of a mixed bag. They do have several lengthy road trips ahead of them, as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune pointed out. However, the news isn’t all bad:

“‪#Blackhawks‬’ seven-game homestand from Feb. 15-March 1 equals franchise-longs set in 1926-27, 1951-52 and 1969-70.” — Chris Kuc

The Florida Panthers will also enjoy a lengthy homestand:

“‪#FlaPanthers‬ tie a franchise record with a 7-game homestand, Feb. 24-Mar. 10” — Florida Panthers’ Official Twitter

Finally, here’s a few minor odds and ends:

“Winnipeg doesn’t make trip to ‪#mnwild‬ this season. So much for the momentum of a great rivalry started last year. Lost a sellout too.” — Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Good news for Sens fans: Of the 6 games vs. Toronto this year, only 2x is it the second of a back-to-back for Ottawa. Happened 6x last year.” — Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes

“Devils’ 2012-13 sked is opposite of 2011-12 in that almost all of out of conference travel is in 2nd half.” — Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.