Marian Gaborik

Gaborik shifts to left wing, Rangers split up big three

29 Comments

It looks like we won’t see the dream line of Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards from the New York Rangers — at least not at first.

Rangers coach John Tortorella has tentatively decided to shift Gaborik to the left side and put him on a line with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan, according to the New York Post.

Gaborik has logged next to no time as a left winger in the three campaigns in New York.

“There’s definitely going to be an adjustment, especially in our own zone and with wall play, so I’ll work on that whenever I get the chance,” Gaborik said. “I like shooting from the left side. I feel very comfortable with my shot from [the left wing circle], so that could be an advantage.

“Also, if I’m playing with Step [Derek Stepan], it’s good that his first instinct as a right-hander is to move the puck on his forehand to the left side.”

Assuming this experiment works out, then Nash, Richards, and Carl Hagelin will play together.

“If Rick and I are on different lines, it makes it a lot more difficult for opposing coaches to match their defense against us,” Gaborik said. “If moving to the left makes us a more dangerous team, I’m all for it.”

The pressure will be on the Rangers to perform this season as one of the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup. They will start the shortened campaign against the Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Related:

Tortorella takes less intense approach to short camp

Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

Oshie OT goal
1 Comment

What a start.

This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

Twice:

If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

Wilson hit
2 Comments

Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

You can see that incident below:

Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

Oshie goal
2 Comments

For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.

Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

Beagle
4 Comments

Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: