Author Archives: Matt Horner
As Gordon Bombay famously said, “Ducks fly together.” Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry proved the fictional coach right by re-upping with Anaheim, ignoring the lure of unrestricted free agency. By locking up their premier duo for a combined $135 million, the Ducks avoided their own version of Sophie’s choice and ensured themselves a chance at the Stanley Cup this season and beyond. Is the long-term commitment, however, worth the cost?
Last year it was the Ottawa Senators coming back from the dead and making a surprise trip to the playoffs. This year, it’s the Montreal Canadiens who are making a surprise comeback, sitting atop the Eastern Conference in a full worst-to-first transformation. Matt Horner explores the major reasons why.
The Anaheim Ducks sit two points from the top of the NHL, yet are in an unenviable position. Both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the team’s two towers of power, are unrestricted free agents on July 1st and the longer they go unsigned the more GM Bob Murray risks losing them both for nothing. What would you do in Anaheim?
Anything can happen in a shortened season. Sure, Jaromir Jagr and Eric Lindros leading the league in points during the lockout-shortened 1995 season wasn’t surprising, but Boston’s Blaine Lacher coming within one shutout of leading the league wasn’t a popular preseason bet. The possibility of unpredictability, plus the increasing importance of every game due to a sprint to the playoffs, means early season stats are becoming overblown, regardless of the small sample size.
It’s no secret that the New York Rangers are a legitimate NHL contender. Last season, however, the team’s gruelling, physically exacting, John Tortorella-style campaign fell apart when it mattered most. This year, with a shortened season and having had more time to recover over the offseason, look out. Can the lockout be attributed for the New York Rangers being this year’s favorite to win the Stanley Cup?