It’s easy for a team outside of the playoff race to say “We want to be like the Los Angeles Kings,” but the problem is usually obvious enough: they don’t have what it takes to be like said defending Stanley Cup champions.
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall seems aware that such an idea is easier said than done, so instead, he told the Edmonton Journal that he believes his team has a better chance of following the path of the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens.
“There are teams built the way we are, and they have success,” Hall said. “The Rangers were a fast team that had trouble with their identity at the start of the year and figured it out over the course of the season. They were a fun team to watch. They’re not big, but they play with the puck and they’re fast. That’s how we have to be.
“We’re not going to bully teams out of their arena, but what we can do and what we can grow into is a possession team … a team that’s hard to knock off pucks and battles the way the big teams do.”
That’s a pretty valid perspective, yet the natural counter is: would those Eastern Conference teams have the same sort of success in the wicked West?
It’s tough to say, but at least the Oilers seem like they’re correcting some of their issues, even if the franchise itself admits that they still sport some glaring weaknesses (particularly at the center position).
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day