NEW YORK (AP) — The only history the Tampa Bay Lightning were interested in was what they would create.
Such as handing the New York Rangers their first Game 7 loss at Madison Square Garden, which they did Friday night with their second straight 2-0 road victory behind Ben Bishop's 22 saves.
Such as heading to their second Stanley Cup final, where they will play Chicago or Anaheim, which will decide the Western Conference title Saturday night.
Such as going 9-0 when scoring first in this postseason, which they did when Alex Killorn slipped a backhander under Henrik Lundqvist early in the third period.
The NHL playoffs began on April 15. Two weeks later, we’re still in the first round round. Tampa Bay and Detroit will close it out when they meet for a Game 7 on April 29. After a long opening round, following a long 82-game regular season, you have to wonder: Is the NHL postseason really rewarding great hockey? Kid Reporter Evan Bergen-Epstein says “no.”
Most hockey fans consider the Stanley Cup to be the best trophy in sports. Of course they do. Measuring over 35 inches tall and weighing almost as many pounds, it’s by far the largest trophy in major pro sports. Such an award should only be given to a team worthy of the honor. The current NHL playoff format does not do that.
It’s been a long, cold season for hockey fans, but the wait is over: the NHL playoffs are finally here. Will the Chicago Blackhawks be able to mimic the Los Angeles Kings and capture the cup for the second time in three years? Or will an unlikely underdog emerge? While it is still too early to know for sure, the first-round action is critical for teams with any hopes of hoisting the Stanley Cup in just a few months. And it all begins tonight.
These are our predictions of the teams who will escape the first round unscathed:
Jets over Ducks in 7: The Jets have quietly been a very good team this year. A shaky goaltending situation will allow them to pull off the first round's biggest upset.
Eric Fehr believes that you should treat others how you would want to be treated – away from the ice, that is.
Fehr loves to frustrate other NHL teams’ top lines as the new checking center for the Washington Capitals. But in his free time, the Canadian teamed up with author Pamela Duncan Edwards to write a children’s book that combats bullying.
In The Bulliest Dozer, Bo Dozer becomes the “mean machine” at Ms. Crane’s Academy for Little Machines when he is unable to ice skate for a holiday concert on ice. He quickly learns, though, that bullying is something he shouldn’t do. Bo and his machine friends – like Lofty Forklift and Whippy Weedwacker – learn how bullying makes others feel and the importance of friendship.
Fehr recently spoke to SI Kids about the writing process, his favorite parts of being an author, and how his own tight-knit team plans to handle the coming NHL playoffs.
BOSTON (AP) — Providence defenseman Tom Parisi thought he was just dumping the puck in from the red line so the Friars could get some fresh skaters on the ice.
Boston University goalie Matt O'Connor thought he had it. Easy.
But after the puck fluttered into his glove, more a blooper than a line drive, O'Connor lost track of it. He opened his hand, the puck dropped below him, and as the BU junior scooted back to cover the net, he kicked it in for the tying score.
"I go back to the bench and guys are saying, 'That went in,'" Parisi said. "I don't even know what to say. I was stunned. The second that went in, I knew we had it."
It's been a lousy season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. They're been eliminated from the playoffs, and if not for the Buffalo Sabres tanking would be in the basement of the Atlantic Division. Players have fought at practice. Fans have thrown jerseys onto the ice in protest.
But there was a real big bright spot in Toronto over the weekend.
When 11-year-old Garrett Gamble was only 10 months old, he was diagnosed with Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA. Also called Morquio Syndrome, the rare inherited disease "is caused by an absence or malfunctioning of enzymes required to break down molecules that help build bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin, and connective tissue," according to the Maple Leafs. The disease has confined Garrett to a wheelchair, but it hasn't kept him from falling in love with hockey and becoming a die-hard Leafs fan.
He has always wanted to meet players and drop the puck before a game, and on Saturday the team made all that happen — and more.