CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 22: Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates on the ice prior to Game Five of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at United Center on June 22, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

DeBoer: ‘There’s no answer’ for Chicago’s top players


The New Jersey Devils managed to keep last night’s contest against the Chicago interesting through two periods of play. However, Patrick Sharp took over in the third period to complete his hat trick as the Blackhawks’ army of stars led them to a 5-3 victory over New Jersey.

After the game, Devils coach Pete DeBoer admitted that his team got bested by a superior opponent.

“That’s the best team in the NHL,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said, according to the Bergen Record. “The guys that killed us were Hossa, Sharp, Toews, Seabrook, Keith. There’s no answer for that.”

Those comments come about a week after Avalanche coach Patrick Roy predicted that Chicago would beat Colorado in the battle for the division title.

Now certainly some of that opposition praise is tactical as being regarded as the underdog can take the pressure off of your squad. At the same time, the praise sticks because it’s merited.

The Blackhawks have plenty of competition in the battle for the Stanley Cup, but they’re the only team right now that appears to even have a shot of becoming the first dynasty of the salary cap era.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.