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PLAY OF THE WEEK: John Quenneville Scores Unreal Between The Legs Goal At The Memorial Cup

John Quenneville Scores Unreal Between The Legs Goal At The Memorial Cup

 

TRUE RIVALRY: CROSBY vs. OVECHKIN

(ht to Vice Sports. Read full article here)

#1 Capitals vs. #2 Penguins


In this corner:  The Presidents' Trophy winning Capitals (56-18-8, +57 true goals differential), moving on to the second round for the fifth time in eight years. They've lost each of their previous four visits, including three that went to Game 7.

And in this corner: The Penguins (48-26-8, +42), a team packed with elite talent that stumbled out of the gate before changing coaches and transforming into a powerhouse


In round one: The Capitals raced out to a 3-0 series lead on the Flyers before losing two straight to resurrect the ghosts of playoff collapses past; they ended that talk, at least temporarily, by closing out the series with a 1-0 win in Game 6. The Penguins speed-bagged Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers in a five-game series.

Injury report: The big name is Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins' goalie who missed the entire first round with a concussion. He's been skating lately and could return at some point, but until then the Pens will rely on rookie Matt Murray, who played well against the Rangers. The Penguins did get Evgeni Malkin back during the opening round, and the rest of the key names are relatively healthy.

The Capitals are also in fairly good shape, although they've been missing veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and winger T.J. Oshie looked shaken up by a high hit in Game 6 (but did return for the third period).

Dominant narrative: Ovechkin Crosby Ovechkin Crosby Ovechkin Crosby Ovechkin Crosby Ovechkin Crosby Ovechkin Crosby. The NHL spent years trying to market these two as the Magic vs. Bird rivalry of their era, but they've only actually met in the playoffs once before. That was in 2009, a seven-game Penguins win that many consider one of the best series in recent memory.

The big question: Which secondary stars show up? Crosby and Ovechkin will get the spotlight, and rightly so, but this matchup is just packed with elite talent. If Crosby stumbles, the Penguins still have Malkin and Phil Kessel. If Ovechkin goes cold, the Caps have Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom. Any of those guys are skilled enough to take over a game or two single-handedly.

The Penguins have one thing the Caps don't: a true blueline stud in Kris Letang (John Carlson isn't quite there yet). But the Capitals have an all-star in goal, while the Penguins... well... let's get to that.

One player to watch: Matt Murray. With Fleury still experiencing concussion symptoms, it looks like Murray will be the guy, at least early on. The rookie was up to the challenge against the Rangers, outplaying Henrik Lundqvist. But the Capitals aren't the Rangers, and there won't be much margin for error for a kid with just 16 NHL games under his belt.

Key number: 16—Combined powerplay goals for these two teams in the opening round. They each had eight, while no other team had more than six. Discipline and staying out of the box are important in every series; in this one, it will be absolutely crucial.

Old YouTube clip to get you fired up: Ovechkin and Crosby both record hat tricks in a high-scoring Game 2 during the 2009 showdown.

 




Prediction: Nine of the Capitals' 12 series since 2008 have gone the distance. This one is no different. In the most exciting series of the playoffs, the Penguins win a seven-game classic.

Bonus prediction that is oddly specific: The winning team loses more games in this series than they do in the next two rounds combined.

 

READ FULL VICE SPORTS ARTICLE: CLICK HERE

TOP 5 NY RANGERS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

Here's our list of TOP 5 NYR Players of all-time. Do you agree?

5) Rod Gilbert

4) Mike Richter

3) Henrik Lundqvist

2) Brian Leetch

New True Rivalry tee, Click HERE 

1) Mark Messier

Worst NHL Trades (Deadline Deals) of the Last 30 Years

In the NHL, the month of February is a time when teams and General Managers have one last chance to look at their rosters and decide if they want to go for it all or sell off and hope for next season.

This year the trade deadline is March 2 and everyone is eager to see what their favorite NHL team will do.

NHL Trade Deadline Trackers 

The NHL trade deadline has become so hyped up that some die hard fans have deemed this day a national holiday. Fans love to see their team bolster it's lineup. It's a vote of confidence from the organization and a will to win. Will your team make a deal or will the competition steal your player?

If you are planning on taking the day off, tune into your local sports TV provider and they will most likely have a panel of sports broadcasters on air, checking their twitter feeds, e-mail accounts and text messages to see which players are on the move. 

Popular NHL Twitter Accounts 

1) Bob McKenzie - TSN's Hockey Insider 

2) Pierre Lebrun - NHL Columnist and TSN Hockey Insider

3) Darren Dreger - TSN's Hockey Insider

If TV is not available to you (because you are at work), there are even websites that will list all of the nhl trades that have occurred (in real time) so you can follow directly from your desk. 

Worst NHL Deadline Trades

In most cases, the deadline deals are close and both teams get fair value but there have also been a number of completely crazy and lopsided deals over the past 30 years. Below, we’ll be looking at some of the worst nhl trades made at the deadline and maybe you can help us figure out what the GM or team was thinking at the time.

5. February 26, 2008 - Atlanta Thrashers Trade Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Angelo Esposito

4. March 20, 1996 - Canucks Acquire Markus Naslund from Penguins for Alek Stojanov

3. February 21, 2011 - Dallas Stars Trade James Neal and Matt Niskanen for defenceman Alex Goligoski

2. March 7, 1988 - Calgary Flames Trade Brett Hull and Steve Bozek to the St. Louis Blues for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley

1. March 4, 1991 - Pittsburgh Penguins Receive Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings from Hartford for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski

What were these hockey teams thinking? Why did they make the trades at the time? I guess, as an NHL fan, you must be careful what you wish for, if your team's general manager pulls the trigger on the deadline day, cross your fingers the deal does not end up on next year's "Worst NHL Deadline Deal" list.

If we missed any deals that you think should be on this list, let us know!

Battle of Pennsylvania - Flyers vs. Penguins

One of our favorite NHL rivalries can add another chapter to its great battle hockey book tonight, when the Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd in the Metropolitan Division) visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

Although the Pittsburgh Penguins are comfortably in a playoff spot, (if the season were to end today), and the Flyers are not, we still anticipate a heck of a battle from the first faceoff.

As of today, according to a Flyers history website, that tracks all stats, here are the numbers:

Philadelphia Flyers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Flyers Overall Record: 147 W - 93 L - 30 T ( 977 GF - 827 GA )
Flyers Home Record: 93 W - 33 L - 8 T ( 537 GF - 353 GA )
Flyers Road Record: 54 W - 60 L - 22 T ( 440 GF - 474 GA )

QUESTION: What SIDE ARE YOU ON???

NOTE: The fact that the NHL's new playoff format places an emphasis on inter division play, the Pittsburgh Penguins might find themselves in a bind come April. They have only won 6 games vs. Metropolitan division teams (6-8-3), so every time they match up against the Flyers and the other six teams (Islanders, Rangers, Capitals, Blue Jackets, Devils, Hurricanes), there is an added element of desperation.

UPDATE: 

The Flyers needed overtime but they got the job done, winning 3-2!

The 2 Pennsylvania teams played the kind of game that we expected, which featured one ejection and 93 penalty minutes.

Best RIVALRY in Hockey

The Best RIVALRY in Hockey (Current and Historical)

Here’s a great question: What is the best rivalry in hockey and why? Can it only be considered the best if the games happened in the postseason? Does there need to be an unbelievable bench clearing brawl? Or, do the games just have to be close and competitive? We are going to list our two favorite rivalries (current and historical).

 

Best NHL Rivalries

Current NHL Rivalry: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

All you have to do is spend a few minutes watching a recap of the epic 2012 playoff series between these two Keystone State enemies. It will clarify and you will understand how this is one of the most heated rivalries in hockey and all of sports.

These 2 Pennsylvania teams have met in three playoff series since 2008 and the Penguins won and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final after the first two meetings. However, despite those two matchups, the Flyers gained ground in this amazing rivalry in 2012 after one of the most violent playoff series in the history of the game.  

The current record has Philadelphia winning this battle with a 147-93-30 record. 

Historical NHL Rivalry: Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

You just can’t deny that this hockey rivalry isn't one of the top 10 sports rivalries of all time. These two teams have been battling on the ice since 1917, and together they have hoisted 35 Stanley Cups. Unfortunately for Toronto, Montreal has recently had the last laugh. The Red, White and Blue (Bleu, Blanc et Rouge) seem to have the edge in every important category. You should also note that some of the greatest players in hockey have battled one another over the many decades these teams have been facing off. Check out this video, see what the players think!

 

The current record has Montreal edging Toronto with a 383-313-88 record. 

Other hockey rivalries in the mix: 

We believe that they are the best because they trully have a mix of everything good when it comes to hockey (tense games, brawls, hatred, hard hits and more…). If you feel we left a hockey rivalry off our list, let us know why. We look forward to your thoughts!

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