Sidney Crosby

Crosby hopes exhibition games take place before potential season


At this point, we can say with relative confidence that training camp will only last about a week if the 2012-13 campaign is saved.

That’s not a ton of time to get ready for a condensed schedule, but Crosby is hoping that teams will at least get an opportunity to play in two or three exhibition games.

“When you’re playing your team’s system against an actual opponent, not your own teammates, it’s a little different,” he said in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. “You do get something from that.

“[Whether exhibition games are played] is something that would have to be negotiated and talked through with everyone. You have to find that balance of making sure you’re ready. Do you possibly miss other games [in the regular season] because you’re not prepared?”

Of course, the level of preparedness varies from player to player. Crosby hasn’t played competitive hockey since Apr. 22 while others have been busy in the AHL or Europe during the lockout.

That might give some players and perhaps some teams an edge if there’s a shortened season.


Formal CBA talks will resume today (Updated)

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: