And just like that, the first quarter of an NHL season has been played as we squeeze in the 2013 NHL season. Mark Rivkin Hockey reports on the latest news from the ice so let’s begin with a few players and teams to keep an eye on.
- The New Jersey Devils David Clarkson is tied for second in the NHL with nine goals on the season. Clarkson may have seemed to be playing in the shadows of Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur in the Devils’ run at the Cup last year, but this season he’s proved his worth and we expect him to continue. The Devils have shoved their way to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with an 8-1-3 record and are a definite contender for the Stanley Cup.
- The Chicago Blackhawks seem to be the all-around best team in the NHL so far and the return of Patrick Kane can be highly credited. Despite his antics off the ice, on the ice he’s on fire with 19 points and nine goals, both good for second in the league. Kane is at the height of his game and the Blackhawks have a great chance of making a run reminiscent of the team that won a Stanley Cup in 2010.
- One of the biggest injury losses might be that of Ottawa Senators’ Jason Spezza who is likely to miss the entire season with a back injury. The Senators will likely have to scrounge for offense with their top pivot out for what looks like an integral part of a Stanley Cup run.
In other news, fans will be pleased to learn our bonus side-effect from the NHL lockout that wiped out the preseason and 34 regular-season games, is the largest ticket percentage increase among the pro hockey league, the NBA and the NFL. For the second consecutive season NHL teams instituted a ticket price hike that’s the highest among professional athletics, according to an annual study by Team Marketing Report, a Chicago-based sports marketing research firm.
Mark Rivkin Hockey reports on the latest hockey news from Toronto, and in Maple Leaf news we are coming off a win Monday night against Philly; which should give our boys plenty of confidence going into our game tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Leafs scored twice, with goals coming only seconds apart, to down the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. Colton Orr and Matt Frattin scored the big goals in the second period in the 5-2 over the Flyers for only their second win in six outings at home.
After starting goalie James Reimer had to be helped off the ice early in the second period with what appeared to be a minor leg injury, backup Ben Scrivens came up big with 32 saves. Coach Carlyle doesn’t expect Reimer to miss much action.
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