San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Five

2013 NHL Playoffs: A look at the early Conn Smythe candidates


We’ve officially reached the midway point of these Stanley Cup playoffs.

Sixteen teams began the post-season and there are now just four remaining. It’s early, yes, but worth having a look at the early candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff M.V.P.

  • Jonathan Quick: The L.A. Kings goaltender, and winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy a year ago, has returned to that form in these playoffs. He was excellent in the Kings’ first two games of these playoffs but one could argue not good enough in back-to-back losses to St. Louis. Since then, he’s been nearly unbeatable. Look at the stats page on In these playoffs, Quick leads all NHL goalies in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. In wins, he’s tied for first with two other netminders.
  • Sidney Crosby: The captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins is currently third in playoff scoring and tied with his teammate,Pascal Dupuis, and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp in goals. Had six points in the final four games of the Eastern Conference semifinal to help knock off the Ottawa Senators.
  • David Krejci: The Boston Bruins’ forward might not get the same accolades as a Sidney Crosby, but he leads all players in playoff scoring. Did anyone else remember that he’s had strong playoff contributions before, like, say in 2011, when he had 23 points in 25 games and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup?

Here’s a look at three more potential candidates:

  • Corey Crawford, goalie, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kris Letang,defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Patrick Sharp, forward, Chicago Blackhawks

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.