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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NHL Headlines 4/1/08

Happy April Fools Day everyone. Glad you took time out of your pranking to check out what's going on in the NHL today. This is going to be relatively short today as I need to do some things around the house. Good thing too, since there's not much to report on today.

Penguins Will Have To Wait To Clinch Atlantic Crown

OK, so today was supposed to be a day of celebration for me but the Rangers ruined that. Gopher was all excited about the win and kept bringing it up throughout the night last night.

Anyway, the Pens are now just one point shy of winning the Atlantic Division. They should have already clinched, but for some reason they didn't show up for the first 30+ minutes last night and had to fight back just to send the game to overtime where Chris Drury scored a powerplay goal to end it.

Here's the highlights:

Not much to say here other than the Rangers are now tied for the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference with the Devils at 93 points. The Devils have more wins and a game in hand on the Rangers so they get the edge right now.

This would be a fun first round match-up wouldn't it? Rangers/Devils, Gomez playing his old team with his ludicrous contract. Sign me up.

NHL Cleared Of Anti-Competition Tactics

This one makes me rather happy. A couple years ago it looked as if the Penguins would be leaving Pittsburgh and moving somewhere. Leading candidates were Kansas City, Hamilton Ontario and even Toronto. Yes, there was talk about having two teams in Toronto all because of Jim Balsillie.

The Penguins were floundering and in need of cash and Balsillie comes into town promising the world: a new arena, putting money into the team to get star players to come to Pittsburgh, etc.

Come to find out he had no intention of keeping them in Pittsburgh and his offer to buy the team was eventually killed.

Everyone thought they'd seen the last of him, until he tried doing the exact same thing with the Nashville Predators. Look, the guy does not care at all about keeping a team in the city it's in right now. He doesn't. Any team that allows him to buy it, is going to have the entire city the franchise is in, marching outside the arena with flaming torches.

I'm glad the NHL was cleared of any wrongdoing here. Balsillie is only concerned with his own interest and doesn't appear to care about a team's established fan base at all.

Sabres Coach Ruff Talks About Season

Of course Lindy Ruff is disappointed with not making the playoffs. Any coach would be, but he should be proud of his guys for even getting close after all the injuries and front office ineptitude that let both Drury and Daniel Briere get away before anyone could even blink on day one of free agency.

This club was hanging on to the 8-seed until three of their top six defensemen went down for the season a month ago.

What needs to happen now in Buffalo is simple. Sign Ryan Miller to a long term deal. The kid obviously has the goods and played well in the playoffs last season. He's a young guy who will be able to backstop this team for years. I'm not saying give him a Rick Dipietro-long contract, but I'd say at least 5-7 years.

If they can land a couple guys who can put the puck in the net in the offseason, they could be a force again next season. Of course, that's provided they don't all get hurt and then I'm back here saying the exact same thing next year.

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