The red-hot New York Rangers saw their five-game winning streak come to an end against the suddenly upstart Calgary Flames on Friday.
The Rangers, beginning a three-game trip through Western Canada that will end in Vancouver, lost to the Flames by a final score of 4-3. They fell behind in the first period by a pair of goals, but came back in the second to take the lead, including two goals in 39 seconds, before promptly surrendering it back to Calgary.
As far as the Eastern Conference standings go, the Rangers are still second in the Metropolitan Division. However, the Philadelphia Flyers, with their victory over the faltering Toronto Maple Leafs, moved to within a point of the Rangers.
“I don’t know what the scores are around the League, but guys should be frustrated with the way we played,” Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh told NHL.com afterward.
“I’m disappointed in the outcome for sure. I’m disappointed in the way we played, but it was the way we went about the game, just not taking care of our own end and not having guys back positionally and keeping pucks in front of us.”
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?
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.