Blink and you’ll miss it: Rangers score twice in four seconds

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Scoring goals is hard enough these days for NHL teams, but the New York Rangers got two in a hurry Sunday against San Jose. In fact, when Rick Nash scored on Sharks goalie Alex Stalock just four seconds after teammate Martin St-Louis did, they set a franchise record for consecutive goals not including an empty-net goal.

In what would eventually end in a 4-0 win for the Blueshirts, St-Louis made it 2-0 for the Rangers late in the second period when he whacked away at the puck from close range and pushed it past Stalock:

Then, off the ensuing faceoff, Nash fires the puck in at Stalock, who comes far out of his crease, misplays the puck and allows the Rangers winger to swat at it and somehow bat it into the Sharks net: Read more

Milan Lucic feeling the heat after appearing to make lewd gesture at Canadiens fans

Milan Lucic (Getty Images)

Milan Lucic is no stranger to controversy. In fact, the two are fairly familiar with one another at this point. And the Boston Bruins left winger was back in hot water Thursday after appearing to make a lewd gesture and taunt Canadiens fans with a mimed raising of the Stanley Cup.

Lucic’s frustrations boiled over late in Montreal’s 6-4 win over Boston: with 1:20 left, he took a boarding penalty – and once he was in the penalty box, the 26-year-old interacted with fans by…welll, you go ahead and see what you think it was he was doing: Read more

Are the Isles for real? Also: for real, Rangers?

Adam Proteau
John Tavares (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Try getting this to make sense in your head: the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers have lost three of their first four games and their superstar goalie has surrendered 12 goals in his two most recent games – and their cross-town counterparts, the New York Islanders, as hard-luck and bad-news of an operation as has existed in recent memory, are basically unstoppable.

I’m not saying either ever was out of the realm of possibility. I’m just saying that any NHL fan in the Manhattan area has grown accustomed to a certain pecking order of late: the Rangers on the heap’s top, bankrolled by owner James Dolan’s fortune and steered by GM Glen Sather’s whims on the free agent and trade market; in the middle, the New Jersey Devils, a.k.a. the little engine that almost always could qualify for the playoffs (and, on occasion, a deep post-season run) despite existing on an internal budget and a revolving door of talent; and at the bottom, the Isles, consistently flailing in the obscurity of decrepit Nassau Coliseum, newsmakers almost exclusively for their errors and economic soap operas.

For now, at least, the Devils remain the same – they’re essentially the cast of Cocoon on the cheap, yet they lead the Metropolitan Division with three wins in their first three games – but, as evidenced by the Isles’ 6-3 romp over the Rangers Tuesday, the Blueshirts and Islanders have traded places. Read more

Injury bug bites Jets’ Evander Kane, Rangers’ Dan Boyle

Adam Proteau
Evander Kane (Getty Images)

With more than a few players seriously injured in the NHL’s 2014-15 preseason campaign, it should come as no surprise that pattern continued once the regular season began Wednesday. That’s exactly what happened the following night, as two key players were sent to the sidelines with what look to be significant injuries that could alter the fortune of their respective employers.

The Jets lost star left winger Evander Kane to an unspecified lower body injury after a first period knee-on-knee collision with teammate Mark Scheifele in a road game against Arizona. Kane skated one more shift after the collision, but left the game after that and did not return. The 23-year-old is arguably Winnipeg’s most talented player, and if the whispers are trueand the injury is serious, the Jets’ already-long-odds of making the playoffs just got a lot longer. Read more

Rangers confirm Ryan McDonagh as captain in a no-brainer decision

Adam Proteau
Ryan McDonagh (Getty Images)

When the New York Rangers had to name their 27th team captain in franchise history, they could’ve gone the greybeard route and given the ‘C’ to Martin St. Louis or Dan Boyle. But those two players are much closer to the ends of their careers than the beginning – and if they team was looking for a long-term captain, there was really only one choice to make.

The Blueshirts made that choice, naming 25-year-old defenseman Ryan McDonagh captain late Monday.

Now entering his fifth NHL season, McDonagh has become the Rangers’ best blueliner and is neck-and-neck with goalie Henrik Lundqvist as their most valuable player. Last season, McDonagh led the team in minutes (with an average ice time of 24:49) and set personal bests in goals (14), assists (29) and points (43). He’s also locked up at an almost criminally-low $4.7 million cap hit through the 2018-19 campaign, so you know he’s not going anywhere. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Will the Flyers trade a defenseman?

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Add the Philadelphia Flyers to the list of teams (the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks being the others) rumored to be shopping defensemen before the season opens next week. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Flyers could trade a blueliner to shed salary. McKenzie claims Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann as possible trade candidates.

That prompted a swift, angry denial from Flyers GM Ron Hextall, telling CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio not to believe everything we read. A report in the Philadelphia Daily News, however, suggests the rumors are credible, claiming the Flyers hope to move out a veteran or two to make room for younger defensemen. Read more

Bobby Orr pegs Gordie Howe No. 1 all-time – calls game today ‘dangerous’

Canada Post's 2014 NHL commemorative stamps (courtesy Canada Post)

On the day he was honored with his own stamp, the man many hockey fans feel was the greatest player of all-time gave his stamp of approval for that designation to Gordie Howe. Bobby Orr threw his support behind Mr. Hockey in the never-ending debate concerning the greatest player ever to play the greatest game. “Gordie is, in my mind, the greatest ever,” said Orr, who recently penned the foreword for Howe’s memoir, Mr. Hockey. “His numbers are outrageous and most of that was with the six teams, when it was a lot tougher. I don’t think there’s any question. Play any way you want to play…he was special.” Read more

Bruins beat Flyers in second round – does EA stand for ‘Errors Abound’?

(Image courtesy EA Sports.)

No need to play the 2014-15 season, National Hockey League. Yes, that may cut into the $4 billion in revenues you’re expected to generate, but think of the cost savings for teams that lose money.

Really, why actually play a season when a simulated NHL season has already been played, the Stanley Cup has been awarded and all the awards winners have already been determined? That’s what EA Sports, creators of the NHL 15 video game, have done. And they’ve determined that the Los Angeles Kings will become the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and ’98. Read more