Why aren’t the NHL’s big stars shooting the lights out this season?

Ken Campbell
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

As we head down the stretch run of the NHL season, the race for the Art Ross Trophy has never been closer. Going into tonight’s games, three points separates first from seventh in the scoring race and there are just eight points between the top spot and 18th place.

There have never been more players clustered at the top of the scoring race, but star players are about to make history this season for another, more ignominious reason. As it stands now, not accounting for Alex Ovechkin’s white-hot scoring streak and based only on points-per-game to this point of the season, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are on pace to score 86 points each to lead the NHL. (If that holds and they finish tied, Malkin would take the Art Ross on the basis of having more goals.) Read more

‘Draft, schmaft’ lives again as picks, prospects sacrificed at deadline

Keith Yandle (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Since the calendar turned to 2015, the Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired four players – David Perron, Daniel Winnik, Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole. And they’ve shipped out Simon Despres, Robert Bortozzo and Rob Klinkhammer and four draft picks – first- and fourth-rounders in 2015 and second- and seventh-rounders in 2016.

And they might lose in the first round of the playoffs.

The team they would play in the first round of the playoffs if the regular season were to end today would be the New York Rangers. They’ve added Keith Yandle, Karl Klingberg, James Sheppard, Chris Summers and a fourth-round pick in 2015. And they’ve surrendered Lee Stempniak, Anthony Duclair, John Moore, a first-round pick in 2016 and a second-rounder in 2015. Read more

Trade Eric Staal? GM Ron Francis knows all about big swaps

Ron Francis (B Bennett/Getty Images)

Ron Francis ponders the question before offering a “safe” answer.

“Did the Hartford Whalers make a mistake trading you March 4, 1991?”

The correct answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Of course it was a mistake trading Francis along with defensemen Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards John Cullen and Jeff Parker and defenseman Zarley Zalapski. The Penguins immediately went on a two Stanley Cup run. Read more

Five NHL trade deadline deals that helped clinch the Stanley Cup

Bill Guerin (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

What are the chances your team will land a player on trade deadline day to help it win the Stanley Cup this year? It’s a long shot, but perhaps not as remote as you think.

Over the past 10 years, five teams have made swaps on D-day for a piece of the puzzle, guys who’ve helped, on various levels, to capture glory. Here they are, in order of significance:

Read more

Penguins, Capitals get into heated brawl – that spills onto Pittsburgh’s bench

Adam Proteau
Caps goalie Braden Holtby makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Patrick McDermott/NHL)

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are division rivals whose rivalry has ramped up since stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 – and after Wednesday’s game included a brawl that spilled onto the Pens’ bench, the emotion of the rivalry is as hot as ever.

The Metropolitan Division teams got into a skirmish at center ice near the halfway point of Wednesday’s game in Washington, and within a matter of seconds, it erupted into a battle that jumped the boards and into Pittsburgh’s bench: (Video via SportsnetCanada) Read more

Jets land Tlusty from Hurricanes, Maple Leafs deal Winnik to Penguins

Jiri Tlusty (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images)

At this rate, there won’t be any trades left for deadline day.

The Winnipeg Jets announced Wednesday afternoon they have acquired Jiri Tlusty from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third-round pick 2016 in and a conditional fifth-round selection – which could become a sixth-round pick – in 2015.

Minutes before the Jets announced their acquisition of Tlusty, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Daniel Winnik from the Toronto Maple Leafs. For Winnik, the Maple Leafs received a second-round selection in 2016, fourth-round pick in 2015 and winger Zach Sill. Read more

Get a first-person view of Sidney Crosby’s sick mitts

Jared Clinton
(via YouTube)

There aren’t many reasons to feel bad for NHL players, but we think we may have found one thanks to a video released by GoPro showing Sidney Crosby deke around the ice.

The video, three minutes of Crosby showing off his ridiculous puck handling, shooting and hand-eye ability, is enough to put even the brightest of rec league stars to absolute shame. It gets worse, however, when you watch Crosby play 2-on-1… and he’s the one. Check out the Penguins superstar absolutely undress two defenders from his perspective: Read more

THN Trade Deadline preview: Metropolitan Division

(Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

With the Eastern Conference about as wide open as it gets in the parity-laden NHL, the trade deadline could be huge in the Metropolitan Division. Who knows if, come deadline day, a GM from one of the three main contenders swings a deal that changes their team’s fate.

The New York Islanders made their biggest splash in the off-season, trading for blueliners Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, the latter of whom was signed to a seven-year extension on Tuesday. The New York Rangers are right at the top of the standings thanks to a red hot Rich Nash. And the Pittsburgh Penguins… well, the Penguins have two guys by the name of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who can be game breakers at any time. But don’t count out the Capitals.

Even the lowly Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets are making some noise heading into the deadline, which could make the Metropolitan extremely active come deadline day. Read more