That Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara may not be used against Sidney Crosby in the Eastern Conference finals is testament to the tremendous depth the Pittsburgh Penguins boast among their forwards
Chara is considered by many to be the best shutdown blue-liner in the game; Crosby is considered by most to be the best player in the game. Yet the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa believes the big Slovak, along with Dennis Seidenberg, will be deployed against Pittsburgh’s “power line” of Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Jarome Iginla.
Boston’s other top pairing of Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski — plus the Patrice Bergeron line up front — would then be assigned to contain Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and Pascal Dupuis.
Of course, there’s also the possibility B’s head coach Claude Julien could split up Chara and Seidenberg.
“Maybe it’s pairing, maybe it’s separating,” Julien said. “We’ll have something in mind by the time the first game comes around.”
Chara and Seidenberg were a pair Tuesday at practice.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.