SportsNation Blog Archives New York Rangers
How do you judge a Bruins team that found itself down three goals in the third period of a Game 7 only to win in overtime? That's just one of the challenges you face below. Click on the images of the eight teams remaining in the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup to set your power rankings heading into the next round.
Rank: NHL conference semifinalists
Aren't Game 7s grand? Sure, you've got similar stakes in, say, the final match of a five-game series, but there's something about Game 7s that excites fans and causes sportswriters to break out the purple prose. Hockey fans are spoiled for choice tonight, as both the Rangers-Capitals and Bruins-Maple Leafs series are tied at three games apiece. Hockey Game 7s have a different tenor than those from other sports -- they seem more like wars of attrition than the titanic personality clashes of the NBA playoffs, or the nervy percentage plays that make up baseball's postseason -- but they're all a blast to watch.
Rangers or Capitals?
The Capitals would seem to have the advantage in this matchup, as the home team has won in every game in this series.
Bruins or Maple Leafs?
This series returns to Boston for Game 7, although the normal home-ice advantage seems to have been blunted, as both teams have been able to take games on the road.
Did someone want bonus hockey?
The Rangers won the Winter Classic after Henrik Lundqvist stopped a late Flyers penalty shot. John Tortorella, Rangers coach, called the officiating "disgusting," but did you see a conspiracy?
Winter Classic losing any luster?
This was the NHL's fifth Winter Classic, not counting two Heritage Classic games in Canada over the years. Do you crave more outdoor hockey, or is the novelty fading?
Where should it go next?
Sorry, Toronto, Montreal and every other place north of the border, we're following the NHL's lead and limiting the options to places like Michigan Stadium in the United States.
Were these the best in the East?
You can chime in with your complete NHL Power Rankings for this week here, but will the Eastern Conference title go through one of these teams?
Hockey has had two unfortunate incidents recently involving racist and homophobic behavior. The Flyers' Wayne Simmonds had a banana thrown at him during a game on Sunday, and now, he's being accused of calling Sean Avery a homophobic slur. Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke thinks the league should take action against Simmonds if he said what he's accused of saying, but what's your take?
A fine or suspension?
Wayne Simmonds said he was provoked by Sean Avery earlier in the game. He wouldn't be the first one to be riled by Avery's actions, but does that mean he should be free from punishment for his alleged slur?
We can understand if you don't want to take the time to grade your tech-support help on the other end of the telephone, but when we're talking about the dollars and emotion you've invested in sports, we think it's worth the effort. It's time for ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, in which SportsNation grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. Which team will end up on top this year? It depends on what you say.
Take part in the 2011 MLB survey
2010 MLB Ultimate Standings
1. Los Angeles Angels (Overall: No. 3)
2. Tampa Bay Rays (Overall: No. 6)
3. Colorado Rockies (Overall: No. 13)
4. Minnesota Twins (Overall: No. 14)
5. Atlanta Braves (Overall: No. 15)
Take part in the 2011 NFL survey
2010 NFL Ultimate Standings
1. New Orleans Saints (Overall: No. 1)
2. Indianapolis Colts (Overall: No. 4)
3. Green Bay Packers (Overall: No. 9)
4. Arizona Cardinals (Overall: No. 19)
5. Baltimore Ravens (Overall: No. 20)
Take part in the 2011 NBA survey
2010 NBA Ultimate Standings
1. Orlando Magic (Overall: No. 2)
2. San Antonio Spurs (Overall: No. 7)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (Overall: No. 10)
4. Dallas Mavericks (Overall: No. 24)
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (Overall: No. 25)
Take part in the 2011 NHL survey
2010 NHL Ultimate Standings
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (Overall: No. 5)
2. Detroit Red Wings (Overall: No. 8)
3. Washington Capitals (Overall: No. 11)
4. San Jose Sharks (Overall: No. 12)
5. Chicago Blackhawks (Overall: No. 16)
It's just like the census, only this one is fun and doesn't come in the mail. And nobody from FOX News or MSNBC will yell at you about it. It's time for ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, in which SportsNation grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. Which team will end up on top this year? It depends on what you say.
Take part in the 2010 MLB survey
2009 MLB Ultimate Standings
1. Los Angeles Angels (Overall: No. 1)
2. Milwaukee Brewers (Overall: No. 7)
3. Tampa Bay Rays (Overall: No. 16)
4. Minnesota Twins (Overall: No. 23)
5. Philadelphia Phillies (Overall: No. 24)
Take part in the 2010 NFL survey
2009 NFL Ultimate Standings
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (Overall: No. 3)
2. Green Bay Packers (Overall: No. 13)
3. Indianapolis Colts (Overall: No. 14)
4. Tennessee Titans (Overall: No. 15)
5. New England Patriots (Overall: No. 19)
Take part in the 2010 NBA survey
2009 NBA Ultimate Standings
1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Overall: No. 5)
2. San Antonio Spurs (Overall: No. 9)
3. New Orleans Hornets (Overall: No. 12)
4. Houston Rockets (Overall: No. 17)
5. Orlando Magic (Overall: No. 18)
Take part in the 2010 NHL survey
2009 NHL Ultimate Standings
1. Carolina Hurricanes (Overall: No. 2)
2. Detroit Red Wings (Overall: No. 4)
3. Washington Capitals (Overall: No. 6)
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (Overall: No. 8)
5. St. Louis Blues (Overall: No. 10)
Believe it or not, the start of the NHL regular season is just about a week away. No, seriously, we're not kidding. We know the leaves haven't turned and summer doesn't actually end until today, but what the heck, it's been, what, at least three or four weeks since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, right?
Then again, maybe that short offseason helps keep the NHL fresh in SportsNation's mind. A year ago, voters correctly predicted the Red Wings to win the Western Conference and made the Penguins their second choice, behind the Red Wings, to win it all.
Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and ESPN.com writer Scott Burnside stopped by chat Monday to help SportsNation get its ice legs before jetting off to Europe (Burnside to Stockholm for the Red Wings and Blues and Kane to Helsinki for the Blackhawks and Panthers).
Jason (Ellicott City, MD)
You are only rated an 86 in NHL. What is up with that?
I think an 86 is pretty good to be honest with you. I think the highest are Crosby and 94 and Ovechkin at 92. I thought I'd be better than Teows, but I am still on the cover. I got him by that. Full transcript
AJ (Champaign, Ill.)
How do the Blackhawks avoid a lull in their performance after they return from Finland?
AJ; Good question. The European experiment has been decidedly mixed in terms of how it affects teams. All four coaches who went last year got fired although the Pens did end up winning a Cup. I think the 'Hawks' youth and the nice steady hand of head coach Joel Quenneville will keep them from going off the rails when they get back from Finland. Full transcript
How big a move did the Blackhawks make in signing Marian Hossa? If Chicago lands the 2016 Olympics, Hossa will still have five more seasons to play for the team when the closing ceremonies wrap up in the Windy City.
After serving as a high-profile rental the last two seasons for the Penguins and Red Wings, Hossa is the proud, and wealthy, owner of a 12-year deal with a team on the rise. He's also the biggest impact player to change teams so far this summer, according to SportsNation voters.
But Hossa's deal was only one move on a busy day that also saw Marian Gaborik go to the Rangers, Nikolai Khabibulin go to the Oilers and Dany Heatley not go anywhere, despite the Senators working out a trade as he requested. No wonder SportsNation isn't sure it would want one of the game's most talented players.
No need to hate on Hossa. He left the Pens for a cup. Didn't work out for him. Now he's left for security and a steady pay check. Lets not beat the guy up too bad.” -- GoWings2008
Rangers shed themselves of one bloated contract, only to replace it with a bigger one. Gaborik has serious skills, no doubt, but his injury history would keep me from throwing that kind of money at him for 5 years. Typical Sather move, though.” -- rog247
Not quite sure what Edmonton is thinking not offering Roloson more than one year, and signing Khabibulan. Fans thinking he's going to be some kind of savior for the Oilers is kind of making me chuckle a bit. It doesn't help Edmonton. They have other glaring issues. Goaltending wasn't the problem.” -- kk1244
I'll say it again: Heatley deserves no slack. If a player requests a trade, he should automatically HAVE to waive any no-trade clause in his contract. The fact that Heatley can string up his team for a $4 million signing bonus and still get his way is ludicrous. But if Murray doesn't trade him, Heatley will just turn his petulant child act on the ice. A lose-lose situation for the Senators, and Heatley comes out of it grinning like a Cheshire cat.” -- jenniejenniewho
Like watching a shark documentary on the eve of an island vacation, the Rangers and Canadiens offered the rest of the NHL a sober reminder of the perils of free agency on the eve of this summer's spending season.
A year ago, SportsNation voters pegged Scott Gomez as the fifth-best forward in the Atlantic. But after another disappointing statistical season from the former free-agent prize, only 25 percent of voters think he'll be worth the $33.5 million remaining on his contract to the Canadiens, who traded for him this week.
Perhaps that's why the 'Nation is split on whether his old team or new team will fare better next season (although the Alaskan seems to have some pull in his home state).
Vancouver is quickly building a team that could contend for the cup in the next 2-3 years. With the US to Canada Dollar spread starting to move toward Canada, they will be able to sign many free agents and build around the twins. Vancouver is a beautiful and growing city that will get a lot of publicity in February with the Winter Olympics. Looks like management is getting ready to capitalize on the window of opportunity.” -- tcco007
Gomez has never been the same since he broke his pelvis during the lockout playing in Alaska. Class guy with lots of playmaking ability but one of his biggest weapons with the Devils was his speed which he has all but lost. He's an asset to any team, but not the "impact" player he used to be.” -- giggums