Del Zotto

Video: Del Zotto shows off hand-eye skills in wacky SH goal


Even down by a man, the New York Rangers showed amazing determination and desperation to get the first goal early in Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

After the Rangers cleared the zone, Derek Stepan chased the puck and snatched it away from Johan Hedberg while the goaltender was way out of the net.

Hedberg was forced to battle Stepan for the puck and while he succeeded in robbing him of a potential empty-netter, he wasn’t able to get the puck out of the zone like he had initially intended.

As Hedberg retreated back to the crease, Stepan continued to fight for the puck and finally attempted a centering pass, which was batted out of midair by defenseman Michael Del Zotto for the first goal of the game.

You can watch the entire sequence below, including a lucky break Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist had moments earlier when a shot bounced off the top of his stick, hit the post, and just barely stayed out of the net:

That proved to be the difference on Tuesday as the Rangers earned a critical 3-2 victory.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.