The Pittsburgh Penguins are on to the Eastern Conference final, and they appear to have found their stride in this second round.
The Penguins knocked off the Ottawa Senators by a final score of 6-2 on Friday night, closing out the Eastern Conference semifinal in five games.
Here are some talking points.
- The Penguins advance to the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2009, when they won the Stanley Cup. Just saying.
- Is this the final National Hockey League game for Daniel Alfredsson? The Senators’ captain is 40 years of age and a pending unrestricted free agent this summer.
- If this is Alfredsson’s last game, let’s have a look at the numbers: regular season games played (1,178); goals (426); assists (682); points (1,108). Impressive.
- Adding salt to the wound, James Neal scored the hat trick goal to put Pittsburgh up 6-2 in the third period. And it was a beauty, with the toe-drag around Erik Karlsson. He now has five goals in his last two games.
- The Penguins, in the final two games of this series, scored 13 times.
- In 2009, when the Penguins won the Cup, they did not win a single series on home ice. In 2013, in the second round, they put an end to the Senators’ season at home.
- Former teammates with the Florida Panthers, Tomas Vokoun outplayed Craig Anderson between the pipes in this series.
- Who is next? The New York Rangers or Boston Bruins? It’s looking like the Bruins.
- Canada’s lone remaining NHL team is out. Who do Canadians cheer for now?
The Toronto Maple Leafs trimmed their training camp roster by 16 players on Sunday.
Two of the Leafs’ top prospects, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, are heading to the the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
For the full list of cuts, click here.
Nylander was Toronto’s first round pick, eighth overall, in 2014.
The 19-year-old scored an impressive 14 goals and 32 points in 37 games with the Marlies in 2014-15.
Kapenen, 19, was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.
He had one goal and one assist in a brief four game stint with Pittsburgh’s farm team last season.
The rebuilding Maple Leafs have no issue being patient with their top young prospects. Both players could make their NHL debut at some point this season, but they may have to wait a little while longer before they become regulars at the next level.
The Leafs now have 24 players on their training camp roster. They have until Tuesday to put the finishing touches on their lineup. Toronto needs to cut at least one more player.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”