• Henrik Lundqvist returns to form, makes Ben Bishop look mortal by comparison

    Henrik Lundqvist

    Rick Nash was Mr. Popular before Game 4 of the Rangers-Lightning series on Friday, after he organized a Rangers team outing to see the premiere of ‘Entourage.’

    But after 60 minutes of play, Henrik Lundqvist was the big man in Florida – the Vinny Chase, in Entourage parlance – thanks to his stellar netminding performance against Tampa Bay.

    Lundqvist was all-world on Friday, stopping 38 shots, including 18 during a hard Tampa press in the second period to secure the win.
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  • Rick Nash busts out for a gorgeous goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning

    Rick Nash

    Rick Nash (remember him?) found his legs and his scoring touch early Saturday, blasting through the Tampa Bay defence to score on a tremendous individual effort in the first period.

    Nash took a Kevin Hayes pass in the neutral zone, slipped past Mark Barberio and outskated a backchecking Cedric Paquette to open up some space on his way to the net. Then he cut across the goalmouth and put the puck in between the post and Ben Bishop’s foot.
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  • Generational talents: McDavid vs. Gretzky, Lemieux, Lindros and Crosby

    Connor McDavid  (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

    Connor McDavid provided scouts, fans and NHL GMs with plenty of eureka moments throughout his draft year. But none compared to what he did April 10 in a playoff game against the London Knights.

    McDavid calmly, casually assaulted the OHL’s most prestigious franchise with five goals, leading his Erie Otters to a 7-3 victory. He wasn’t the first mega prospect to score five in a playoff game, but the way he did it bugged many eyeballs out of many skulls. It was just so…easy for him. He scored on a laser wrister through a self-designed screen. He blew past three Knights on a 1-on-3 rush to create his own breakaway. He picked a defenseman’s pocket and stuffed home a puck in the blink of an eye. He even scored accidentally when a Knight pokechecked the puck into his own goal, for Pete’s sake.

    The performance carved McDavid once and for all into an echelon above Jack Eichel as the surefire No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft. McDavid, by all accounts, is a generational talent, the most hyped player since Sidney Crosby, following in the footsteps of Eric Lindros, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. But how do we know McDavid’s game will translate into NHL superstardom? What evidence can we glean by looking at prior generational talents?

    The best expertise comes from those who rubbed shoulders with the greats, so we turned to two of them for help: Hall of Famer and Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis and probable Hall of Famer turned Pittsburgh Penguins player development coach Mark Recchi.

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  • Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Carle out for Game 4 against New York

    Jared Clinton
    Matt Carle (Getty Images)

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle will be watching Friday’s Game 4 from the sidelines following a hit he took in Game 3 from New York Rangers center Derek Stepan.

    Carle, who has suited up in each of the Lightning’s post-season games during their current run, left Game 3 following the hit from Stepan and did not return to action Wednesday night. In total, Carle skated 1:36 before he was said to be out with an undisclosed injury. Now, heading into Game 4, it appears that he could be out for longer than Tampa Bay would have hoped. Read more

  • Gary Bettman expects salary cap to rise to $71 million

    Jared Clinton
    US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-SPORTS-NHL

    Armchair GMs and their real life counterparts now have a figure to work with when it comes to next season’s salary cap, as commissioner Gary Bettman says the upper limit will be around the $71 million mark.

    During Thursday’s broadcast of Game 3 of the Western Conference final on NBC, Bettman said that the boost in the upper limit should be somewhere in the five percent range, but will depend on the strength of the Canadian dollar. The $71 million figure is $2 million dollars less than what was projected by Bettman in December, when he said teams could expect an upper limit closer to $73 million. Read more

  • Report: Vladimir Sobotka “should” stay in KHL next season

    Jared Clinton
    Vladimir Sobotka (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)

    St. Louis Blues fans who were hoping to see Vladimir Sobotka back in the NHL next season might be disappointed by the latest news.

    According to a report from Fedor Fedin, Avangard Omsk president Vladimir Shalaev said the 27-year-old center “should” be staying in the KHL next season with his club. Last season with Omsk, Sobotka scored 10 goals and 38 points in 53 games, all the while playing top-line minutes. Read more

  • Detroit top prospect Dylan Larkin leaves NCAA, signs NHL deal

    Jared Clinton
    Dylan Larkin (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    It’s been an eventful few weeks for Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin.

    First, he suited up for 10 games for the United States at the World Championship in Czech Republic, helping the team capture a bronze medal at the tournament. Then he decided to leave the NCAA’s Michigan Wolverines to turn pro, signing a three-year, entry-level deal with the Red Wings. Now, he’s on his way to join the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins as they get set to take on the Utica Comets in the Western Conference final. Read more