Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t trying to make any bold statements about the lockout ending when he announced his plans to leave Sweden for New York City on New Year’s day:
Lundqvist spent much of the lockout in Sweden, even though he never made the full measure to actually play hockey overseas during the lockout.
Instead, he’s been holding out hope that the work stoppage would come to an end. It’s tough to blame him, too.
For one thing, the New York Rangers bolstered an Atlantic Division-winning lineup by trading for Rick Nash. More personally, he’s in the second-to-last year of a big contract, with a notable drop from his 2012-13 salary ($6.875 million) to 2013-14’s $5.125 million takeaway.
The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 30 years old, so the lockout is eating into a key prime year on a team that could give him the best support of his NHL career.
Here’s hoping he’s indeed coming back to the Big Apple for a good reason – whether Lunqvist and the Rangers end up looking great or not.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”