After securing the first seed in the Eastern Conference last season, the New York Rangers went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before finally being defeated in six games by the New Jersey Devils. Not content with that leap forward, the Rangers acquired Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets over the summer to make them one of the more interesting teams to watch going into the 2012-13 campaign.
That would also make them, from an on-ice perspective, potentially one of the biggest losers if there is no NHL hockey in 2012-13.
The current CBA is scheduled to expire on Sept. 15 and the NHL and players’ union remain far apart.
“The only thing I can say is that I want us to play hockey,” Rangers owner James Dolan told ESPNNewYork.com.
On that point, Dolan can find common ground with a number of people, including Rangers forward Brad Richards.
“We just want to play. We just want to get it figured out,” said Richards. “From my experience last time [there was a lockout], no one even talked at this point. I don’t even know if anyone talked for a while into the lockout, so, a lot of people are trying to figure things out right now.”
“There’s a lot of meetings, a lot more than last time,” Richards continued. “So, I think both sides know there’s some urgency.”
Richards also pointed out that while the current CBA will expire in less than a week, we still have some time before the regular season is scheduled to begin.
Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.
It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.
Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).
There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.
Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.
The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)
For more on the three finalists, click here.
It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.
Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.
Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.
People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.
Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.
The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.
Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.
Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?
Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.
Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.