Ritter’s Rant: News and Notes From Around The NHL

April 9th, 2010 No Comments

Another Addition To an Already-Impressive Resume

Don’t look now, having scored his 49th goal of the season last night against the listless New York Islanders, it looks as if none other than public enemy number one (at least in some NHL circles) Sidney Crosby is going to win the coveted Rocket Richard Trophy.

All the Crosby haters will be quick to point to the fact that Ovechkin played fewer games than Crosby this season, but Ovechkin was responsible for most of those lost games by getting suspended.

Crosby captained the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup last season, and he’s won Gold as a Junior and as an Olympian. He’s won the Art Ross (most points in the regular season, 2007), Lester B. Pearson (best player as voted by his peers, 2007), Hart Memorial Trophy (League MVP, 2007), the Mark Messier Leadership Award (2007) and now, it looks as if Sid the Kid will be adding the Rocket Richard Trophy to his accomplishments.

When you look at all his accomplishments and the quickness in which he achieved greatness, all the arguments about Crosby being a whiner, or an inferior player to anyone, let alone Ovechkin, are laughable.

Win or Go Home For Philly

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will embark on a two game “love fest” this weekend when they meet for two head-to-head games. If the Rangers can stop Philly from winning in both games in regulation, they stand a good chance of making the playoffs. If not, they will be golfing by Monday morning.

As much as you’d think these tilts would be about goaltending, the key to both games is likely to be scoring as both teams have struggled to muster up much offense of late.

Mike Richards, Jeff Carter (who may get the green light to play as early as tonight), Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, Simon Gagne, and Claude Giroux will need to be on their game if they intend on beating Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, because something tells me Lundqvist is going to be next to unbeatable in this two-game series.

Trouble is, as good as Lundqvist may be this weekend, the Rangers still have to score, albeit on the inconsistent Brian Boucher (who will likely start both games for the Flyers). I’ll take Richards, Carter, Briere, Gagne, Hartnell, and Giroux over the Rangers’ Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, Olli “the joke” Jokinen, Brandon Dubinsky, and Ryan Callahan any day of the week…for the Flyers sake, hopefully I am right. GO FLYERS!!!

A Fitting End To a Storied Career?

Elsewhere, it was nice to see Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano score the shoot-out winner against the Anaheim Ducks last night. If this is to be Modano’s last goal, it was a beauty and a game winner, no less.

No. 1 Spot Still Up For Grabs

The possibility exists that the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks may end up tied atop the Western Conference standings after 82 games. The winner of the Western Conference will be rewarded with having to play the suddenly struggling Colorado Avalanche, the loser will play either the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, or Detroit Red Wings.

All three teams will be tough to beat and all three teams are more than capable of knocking off both the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. First place is still coveted, believe that!

Will the Flames Make a Move?

There are lots of rumors about the Calgary Flames this week, one of which involves the Flames trading Mikka Kipprusoff and/or Jarome Iginla. In my mind it wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Flames to consider moving both of these players. The fact is, both Kipper and Iggy may be All-Star talents, I’m just not so sure they will continue to play at that level as Flames.

Until next time,

Peace!

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