The New Jersey Devils’ playoff odds were extremely slim, but that probably didn’t make it much less fun for the New York Rangers to drive the final nail in that coffin with a 4-1 win on Sunday. Let’s get to the talking points.
This win strengthens the Rangers’ grip on the eighth seed in the East and also ties them in points with Ottawa (although the Senators have an extra game in hand). How hard should New York work to avoid a first round matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Conversely, how worried might the Penguins be?
One nugget to justify possible worries: the Rangers are heating up (albeit against struggling teams). With this win, they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 18-6.
Brad Richards had two assists following a hat trick in his last performance. How dangerous is this squad as a dark horse candidate if the well-compensated center can build on this momentum?
It wasn’t a great game for Martin Brodeur, who made some mistakes and allowed four goals on 22 shots. How much does he really have left after a rough season?
Either way, Johan Hedberg’s contract expires after this season. Should GM Lou Lamoriello go after a starting-quality goalie or aim for more of a backup?
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger