Getty

Michael McLeod will do ‘whatever I can’ to stick with Devils next season

The New Jersey Devils aren’t known for having one of the most talented rosters in the NHL, but that could change over the next few years.

The last few drafts have been kind to the Devils, as they’ve loaded up on weapons like Pavel Zacha, Nico Hischier and Michael McLeod. All three players are capable of playing down the middle, which is a plus in today’s NHL.

Zacha has already played 71 games with New Jersey, so it appears as though he’ll be on the team next fall. Hischier, who was the top pick in this summer’s entry draft, also has a shot to crack the opening night roster. But what about McLeod?

The Devils selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft. Although he didn’t play in the NHL at all last year, he still managed to put up 73 points in 57 regular season games with OHL Mississauga before adding 27 more points in 20 playoff contests.

Although the focus will likely be on Hischier during training camp, McLeod is hoping to leave a lasting impression of his own.

“Right now it’s my goal to be on that team,” stated McLeod, per NJ.com. “I’m going to do whatever I can, I’m going to do whatever coach tells me to do. I’m going to work hard every practice and shift. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll head back to Mississauga and try and win there next year.

“I’d play wing, left wing, right wing, wherever they put me to get in the lineup. It’s an honor to play in this league, it’s the best league in the world, and you do whatever you can just to get here.”

The 19-year-old will have to have a terrific camp to stick around for the 2017-18 season because the Devils have quite a few forwards that can play on their top three lines. Keeping McLeod just to play him a few minutes per game doesn’t really make sense. He’ll have to show he’s capable of contributing right away.

Scroll Down For:

    Penguins roll through Red Wings, gain ground in Metro race

    Getty Images
    Leave a comment

    On paper, this seemed like it would be an easy win. Hockey is one of the more unpredictable sports, though, so credit the Penguins with taking care of business against the Red Wings. The Penguins won 5-1 to kick off “Hockey Day in America” on Sunday, improving their odds of taking the Metro crown.

    Detroit got off to a 1-0 lead, but it ended up being short-lived. The Penguins tied it up 1-1 when Sam Lafferty (or was it Patric Hornqvist?) scored less than three minutes after Valtteri Filppula made it 1-0.

    Hornqvist played a big role in the Penguins growing a 2-1 lead to a 5-1 rout during the second period. From there, it was automatic for Pittsburgh.

    It turns out Hornqvist didn’t quite get a hat trick as it originally appeared, but he still had a big game:

    Sidney Crosby scored one goal and one assist, while Matt Murray stopped 26 out of 27 shots.

    The Penguins set the stage for a potentially interesting race for the Metro Division title. They’ve been gaining quite a bit on the Washington Capitals:

    1. Capitals: 79 points in 58 games played (37-16-5)
    2. Penguins: 78 points in 57 GP (36-15-6)

    NBC and NBCSN Hockey Day in America schedule

    Bruins at Rangers – NBC – 3 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Mike Tirico will call the matchup at Madison Square Garden alongside Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

    Blues at Predators – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Chris Cuthbert will call the action from Bridgestone Arena alongside Darren Pang.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    WATCH LIVE: Rangers vs. Bruins on Hockey Day in America

    Leave a comment

    NBC’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

    Boston looks to be headed to its fourth straight postseason and potentially its first division title since 2013-14, when they won the Presidents’ Trophy with 117 points. They have finished second in the Atlantic in each of the previous two seasons behind the Lightning.

    New York sits seven points out of the East Wild Card and enters this matchup on a season-high four-game winning streak after a 3-1 victory at Columbus on Friday to close a three-game road trip. On this run, the Rangers have scored three-plus goals in each game and allowed just six goals total.

    After scoring a hat trick against Montreal on Wednesday, David Pastrnak scored again against Detroit on Saturday. He leads the NHL with 42 goal this season and is second in the league with a career-high 82 points. He’s the first Bruin to surpass the 40-goal mark since Glen Murray scored 44 in 2002-03 and Pasta is now on pace for 58 goals – which would be the most by a Bruin since Phil Esposito led the league in goals in 1974-75 (61).

    Igor Shesterkin has opened eyes in recent weeks as the potential heir apparent to future Hall of Famer Henrik Lundqvist. After starting his career in the KHL, Shesterkin had been with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) this season before the Rangers called him up in early January. Shesterkin won his first two NHL starts and has gone 6-1-0 with a 2.18 GAA & .941 SV% thus far in his Rangers career, making 40+ saves in three of his six wins.

    [COVERAGE BEGINS AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC]

    WHAT: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers
    WHERE: Madison Square Garden
    WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m. ET
    TV: NBC
    LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Bruins-Rangers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

    PROJECTED LINEUPS

    BRUINS
    Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
    Jake DeBruskDavid KrejciKarson Kuhlman
    Anders BjorkCharlie CoyleDanton Heinen
    Joakim NordstromSean KuralyChris Wagner

    Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy
    Torey KrugBrandon Carlo
    Matt Grzelcyk – Jeremy Lauzon

    Starting goalie: Jaroslav Halak

    RANGERS
    Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
    Artemi PanarinRyan StromeJesper Fast
    Phil Di GiuseppeFilip ChytilKaapo Kakko
    Brendan LemieuxBrett HowdenGreg McKegg

    Brady SkjeiJacob Trouba
    Brendan SmithMarc Staal
    Ryan LindgrenAdam Fox

    Starting goalie: Alexander Georgiev

    NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America this Sunday with an NHL tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

    Coverage shifts to NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET for a Central Division battle as Ryan O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues head to Music City to battle Roman Josi and the Nashville Predators.

    Hockey Day in America pre-game coverage begins at noon ET on NBC from the plaza outside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Host Liam McHugh and analysts Keith Jones, Anson Carter, and Brian Boucher will anchor pre-game, intermission, and post-game coverage throughout the day.

    Military veterans take to the ice with ‘Sled Preds’

    Leave a comment

    NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America this Sunday with an NHL tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

    United States Marines Ben Maenza, Joseph Woodke, and John Curtin met while recovering from serious injuries sustained in the line of duty in Afghanistan. After leaving Walter Reed Military Hospital and going their separate ways, Joseph and John moved to Nashville to bring the group back together.

    The trio fully committed to sled hockey playing for the Nashville Sled Preds and have gone from novices in the sport to Paralympic hopefuls. From the hospital bed to the elite ranks of American sled hockey, the men share a bond that looks a lot more like family than close friends.

    The “Sled Preds” represent another compelling story as part of “Hockey Day in America.”

    NBC Hockey Day in America schedule
    Red Wings at Penguins – NBC – 12 p.m. ET (Watch live) – 
    John Forslund will call the matchup with Joe Micheletti from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Bruins at Rangers – NBC – 3 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Mike Tirico will call the matchup at Madison Square Garden alongside Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

    Blues at Predators – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Chris Cuthbert will call the action from Bridgestone Arena alongside Darren Pang.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Michaels and Tirico recall ‘Miracle on Ice’ in NBCSN special

    Leave a comment

    NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America this Sunday with an NHL tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.

    Al Michaels may never get tired of talking about “The Miracle on Ice,” and can you really blame him?

    NBC Sports will debut a 30-minute special – “Miracle on Ice – 40th Anniversary” – featuring Mike Tirico’s conversation with Michaels on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Michaels and Tirico look back at the U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team’s gold-medal run at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

    As you can see from the video above, Michaels and Tirico set the scene, depicting a tough time in America. That stunning victory gave the country a boost, and created an enduring memory. You don’t get much more “Hockey Day in America” than the “Miracle on Ice.”

    NBC Hockey Day in America schedule
    Red Wings at Penguins – NBC – 12 p.m. ET (Watch live) – 
    John Forslund will call the matchup with Joe Micheletti from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Bruins at Rangers – NBC – 3 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Mike Tirico will call the matchup at Madison Square Garden alongside Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

    Blues at Predators – NBCSN –  6 p.m. ET (Watch live) – Chris Cuthbert will call the action from Bridgestone Arena alongside Darren Pang.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.