Seeing Lee Stempniak sign with the New York Rangers made a lot of sense for both sides.
The Rangers needed a player to replace Benoit Pouliot, who signed with Edmonton this summer, on their third line. Stempniak needed to find a team to give him an opportunity to prove himself after a disappointing finish with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As Jim Cerny of Blueshirts United shared, Stempniak feels the Rangers give him a great chance to succeed.
“The style of play they play is well-suited to my game, and I think I can contribute, come in and help the team win games,” stated Stempniak. “I think this is a really good opportunity for me. I feel like this is a good fit for me. For me I try and skate and use my speed, get in on the forecheck, attack off the rush–speed is key to my game. But I also play hard, have a strong work ethic, and look to play a 200-foot game. That should fit in with this team’s style, I hope.”
Stempniak had 12 goals and 34 points with the Penguins and Calgary Flames last season. Throughout his career he’s been a steady 14-goal per year guy doing it three times.
For the record, Pouliot had 15 goals and 36 points for the Rangers last season. Seems like Stempniak might just be the perfect fit.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: