If that holds true, Rosen reports that Girardi will replace Adam Clendening in the Rangers lineup.
The Rangers are 3-2-0 to start the season without Girardi, including a nice 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
For plenty of Rangers fans, this is great news, especially since New York could probably use some fresh legs on a back-to-back. He hasn’t played so far this season thanks to a groin injury.
More than a few people wonder if the former All-Star is actually a hindrance to his team, however, so expect some jokes here and there.
These two tweets from earlier this season do a decent job of summarizing the dichotomy:
“Who is Shane Harper?”
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone:
He was modest there, but acknowledged that even playing in the NHL was a dream come true, so scoring a goal must have been even better.
On paper, you’d think even a wounded Dallas Stars team would handle its business against a tired Columbus Blue Jackets squad at home.
“That was as flat as flat could be,” Lindy Ruff said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “There’s no disguising it. For me there’s some concern because that’s really two games in a row where we were outskated …”
Ruff added that “there was no emotion inside that game.”
After falling to 2-2-1 on this young season, Ruff admits that he has concerns about the Stars’ “whole defense right now.”
Yeah, that makes a pretty compelling argument that Ruff saw the truth out there. John Tortorella concurred, opining that the Blue Jackets were in a total control.
While the Stars are picking up the pieces, the Blue Jackets beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and Dallas on Saturday. Those teams are off to tough starts, but that’s still an impressive haul for an embattled Blue Jackets group.
Considering the sour feeling for Dallas and the renewed spirits for Columbus, it’s remarkable what a difference two losses or wins can make.
But, hey Stars fans, a Benn fight at least gives us an excuse to recall this great photo of his bout with Joe Thornton:
As far as NHL roster move goes, June 30, 2016 was one of the craziest non-trade deadline/free agency days in recent NHL history.
That, of course, was the day P.K. Subban was traded for Shea Weber, the day Steven Stamkos decided to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the day the New Jersey Devils picked up Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers for Adam Larsson.
Each one of those moves was significant in its own way and will have a huge impact on every team involved for the foreseeable future. Some of those impacts will be better than others.
But the one move that seemed to be perfect for the team making it in every possible way was the Devils’ ability to acquire Hall, one of the best players in the league at his position and the type of player the Devils desperately needed.
Just five games into the 2016-17 season and Hall is already showing why he was such a massive addition for the Devils.
Since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, with a roster that was built around Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils have been unable to make a return to trip to the postseason due in large part to an offense that was gutted following that deep postseason run (Parise and Kovalchuk were both gone within two years) and has never been able to replace the top-line talent it lost. The only team that has scored fewer goals than the Devils’ 673 since the start of the 2012-13 season is Buffalo, while nobody has averaged fewer shots on goal per game.
There are really only two ways to get that type of player when they are still in their prime years: The top of the draft, or hope that Peter Chiarelli is running a team that has one because you might be able to trade for him.
Enter Taylor Hall to New Jersey.
It’s only been five games at this point, but so far Hall has proven to be everything the Devils needed him to be. A game-changing forward. As of Sunday he has three goals and is pretty much directly responsible for all of the offense in the Devils’ two wins.
He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks earlier this week, and then on Saturday scored the overtime winner against the Minnesota Wild when he forced a turnover in the defensive zone, nearly went coast-to-coast with it, then finished the game with a wide open shot that beat Devan Dubnyk.
Hall on his own is not going to be enough to completely fix the Devils offense over the course of a full season (or from a long-term outlook). But he is a heck of a place to start, and he has given the Devils plenty of reasons to be excited over the first two weeks of the 2016-17 season.