Cheap Discount Detroit Red Wings Jersey

With neither the Detroit Red Wings nor the Buffalo Sabres playing postseason hockey next month, both teams are focusing on younger players who can help them down the road.

A pair of teams looking to post rare back-to-back wins square off when the Red Wings visit the league-worst Sabres on Thursday night.

Detroit (28-38-11) won for only the second time in 15 games after stunning the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Tuesday.
Perhaps the happiest player on the Red Wings was undrafted defenseman Joe Hicketts as he collected two assists for his first NHL points in only his second career game.

“I thought as the game went on, I got better and that’s all I want to do,” said Hicketts, who at 5-foot-8 clearly doesn’t have the size of a prototypical blueliner. “Second period, I kind of knew what I wanted to do. … In the third, I thought I really brought what I wanted to bring.”

Niklas Kronwall, playing in his 869th game — all with the Red Wings — picked up his 400th career point and praised the young player from British Columbia.

“His energy is contagious, and I think that speaks for his character and the person that he is,” the 37-year-old Swede said.

Hicketts could be part of the next Red Wings core of young stars that includes center Dylan Larkin (team-high 56 points), and wingers Anthony Mantha (top goal scorer with 23) and Andreas Athanasiou (31 points).

Detroit, which has lost two of three to Buffalo this season including a 1-0 setback Oct. 24 in Western New York, is out of the playoffs in consecutive campaigns for the first time since 1982 and 1983.

“We’ve worked extremely hard, we’ve competed hard, we’ve actually played good hockey and haven’t won, and that’s been tough,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

Detroit is in position to win two straight for the first time since Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, and there may not be a better opponent to do that against than Buffalo (24-40-12) which is likely headed to a last-place finish in the Atlantic Division for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Sabres snapped a four-game slide Monday with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs behind two goals from Jack Eichel. The second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft leads Buffalo with 24 goals and 56 points.

Eichel, who missed 15 games earlier this season with an ankle injury, needs two points to set a career high and three assists for 100 in his career.

Thursday’s game will mark the Sabres debut of center Casey Mittelstadt, who was selected eighth overall in last summer’s NHL Draft, and had 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 34 games with the University of Minnesota this season.

“I’m going to try to approach it like any other game I’ve played,” Mittelstadt told the Buffalo News. “…That’s why I’m here. I’m here to learn, and I’m here to get ready for next season.”

Buffalo will be looking for Mittelstadt to make an immediate impact. The Sabres have been outscored 11-1 in a three-game losing streak at KeyBank Center.

Robin Lehner is 2-1-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average and .951 save percentage for Buffalo versus Detroit this season. However, the eight-year veteran has surrendered eight goals over his last two starts.

The Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard has lost six straight road starts while posting a 3.60 GAA. He is 3-1-1 with a 1.43 GAA all-time in Buffalo.

Backup Jared Coreau is 0-7-2 with a 4.57 GAA in 11 starts since blanking the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 16, 2017. He’s never faced the Sabres.

Cheap Discount Edmonton Oilers Jersey

The Edmonton Oilers are officially out of the playoff hunt, making this season one of the most disappointing in recent history.

The Edmonton Oilers have had some pretty awful seasons. For the better part of the last decade, they’ve been the butt of everyone’s jokes. However, after making it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, everyone thought the Oilers were finally on the right track. It turns out they weren’t, as this season has arguably been their most disappointing in team history.Now, as far as point percentage, sadly their .473 point percentage (as of March 22) is one of their better ones in recent years. But if you consider the great expectations the Oilers had going into this season, it’s hard to say this season has been anything short of a massive disappointment.

Let’s take a look at the top three reasons why Edmonton went from Stanley Cup contenders to inevitable draft lottery winners.

Honorable Mention: Injuries
Injuries to Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera left the Oilers shorthanded on their blueline. The fact that Edmonton knew the former was injured, saw him play poorly, and still let him play magnified this.

3. Peter Chiarelli’s No Good, Very Bad Trades

Last offseason, I ranked every general manager. People thought Peter Chiarelli, at 17, was ranked too low. Perhaps now people will think he was ranked too high. Yes, Chiarelli won a Stanley Cup. But let’s face it, that was a lockout ago.

It’s hard to argue Chiarelli has been anything but bad for the Oilers. He had Connor McDavid fall into his lap. The Oilers made the playoffs once during his entry-level contract, which is embarrassing.

Two trades, in particular, stand out when judging this year’s team. The first? Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. This wasn’t a god awful trade. At least Larsson is a pretty decent defenseman. But consider how much the Oilers struggled to score this year. Hall would have helped immensely.

The worst trade, though, happened in the summer of 2017 – Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome. This move made no sense back then and it might make even less sense now. Strome has 33 points in 73 games (as of March 22) while Eberle has 25 goals and 51 points for the Islanders.

Factoring in Chiarelli’s lack of moves to account for Sekera’s injury and the baffling four-year deal for Kris Russell and his moves definitely hurt the team.

Cheap Discount Florida Panthers Jersey

Florida Panthers left wing Jamie McGinn (88) celebrates after scoring against New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers won 4-3 in a shootout.

Five takeaways from the Florida Panthers’ 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night at the BB&T Center.

1. History at home. The Panthers won their eighth home game in a row, setting a record for the 25-year-old franchise.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck scored in the shootout for Florida. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 34 saves through overtime and made two more in the shootout.

Jonathan Huberdeau had one goal and one assist, and Trocheck also had two assists. Frank Vatrano and Jamie McGinn also scored for Florida.
2. Trade pays early dividend. Right winger Vatrano, who was acquired from the Boston Bruins on Feb. 22, was impressive in his Panthers debut.

Now only did he score the goal, but he had a game-high-tying five shots and was plus-one for the night.

Vatrano had been out of the lineup due to an ankle injury, but he played a career-high 19:05, skating on the second line with Trocheck and Huberdeau.
“I haven’t played in about a month,” Vatrano said. “It was probably the most minutes I’ve played in two years (since his AHL days).”

With 8:13 gone in the second period, the Panthers extended their lead to 2-0 on the goal by Vatrano, who scored on a one-timer from the slot while receiving a pass from Trocheck.

The Panthers have high hopes for Vatrano, a 23-year-old who scored 10 goals in 44 games with the Bruins last season.

He scored 36 goals in 36 AHL games in 2015-2016, compiling 55 points, and Panthers scouts surely saw that when making the move to acquire him in exchange for a third-round pick this June.

3. The Panthers are more than just good at home. They are the hottest team in the NHL since Jan. 30, going 15-3-1 in their past 19 games regardless of venue.

Another good sign for the Panthers was that they won on a night in which they did not play particularly well. Luongo said he was upset at himself for the two third-period goals he allowed.

The first of those, by Mika Zibanejad just 17 seconds into the third period, and it was soft. Zibanejad scored off the rush, beating Luongo short side with a backhander. But Luongo wasn’t screened and should have had a clean look at the puck.

“I wasn’t too happy with my third period,” Luongo said. “I thought I should have had both of those.”

Another Panthers star, Barkov, also played below his extremely high level. Through overtime, Barkov took just one shot and was minus-one for the night. He atoned with his shootout goal, but it still was far from his best game.

4. The Devils made them do it. The Panthers (75 points) put the pressure on the Devils, who played later Saturday night.

Although the Panthers are also chasing the Columbus Blue Jackets (77 points), the Devils figure to be easier prey: The Devils on Saturday started a six-game road trip that swings way out west (Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks) and then crosses back east to face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Devils could be crushed by the time this trip is done. And the Panthers, with three games in hand, figure to take advantage.

5. Forget the power play. This is a power couple. Emily Pfalzer, who won a gold medal last month as part of the USA women’s hockey team, dropped the ceremonial first puck preceding Saturday’s game.

Pfalzer, who is dating Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson, talked to the media at the BB&T Center after Saturday’s first period.

“It’s awesome to share this (experience) with Mike,” she said. “To be celebrated and to grow women’s hockey is amazing.”

A native of Buffalo, Pfalzer said meeting Serena and Venus Williams was a highlight of her post-Olympic media blitz, which also included trips to Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC and Tampa.

As for the Panthers recent run of success, Pfalzer said: “I’ve been on the road, but I try to catch as many games as possible. To see them on their win streak is awesome.”

Matheson, by the way, played a strong game on Saturday with five shots on goal. He also drew a penalty that led to a Panthers goal.

Cheap Discount Los Angeles Kings Jersey

After having about 36 hours to dwell on one of the most disappointing performances in recent memory, the Chicago Blackhawks start a rare weekend with back-to-back matinée games Saturday afternoon when they face the Los Angeles Kings.

Los Angeles comes into this one on a three-game winning streak, which includes back-to-back wins over the Vegas Golden Knights, a sentence that would not have seemed all that impressive six months ago. But with the Golden Knights leading the Pacific Division, those wins helped close the gap between Vegas and LA. The Kings trail the Golden Knights by 10 points with 17 games to play and Vegas has a game in hand, so catching that team seems unlikely. However, that recent surge has helped LA jump Anaheim for third place in the division. Staying there (or jumping into second) could keep LA from having a wild card berth that could send them through the meat-grinder that will be the Central Division playoffs. One recent development that has LA thriving again? The return of forward Jeff Carter, who’d been out with an injury since October but has scored once in each of the last three games for the Kings.

For the Blackhawks, a redemptive performance is needed in the worst way after a disastrous Thursday night blowout against the San Jose Sharks. Odd-man rushes were flying off the shelves at a discount rate for San Jose, who seemed to cash in on every one of them. Jean-Francois Berube gave away a goal at the end of the second period, but that was after the Chicago defense had left him with no chance to make a save on the previous five tallies. In response, coach Joel Quenneville has gone to the nuclear option on the top line, putting Patrick Kane on the right wing opposite Brandon Saad and next to Jonathan Toews. Alex DeBrincat and Vinnie Hinostroza are wingers on a line centered by Nick Schmaltz, while Anthony Duclair and Tomas Jurco team up with Artem Anisimov on the third line. On the blue line, Duncan Keith skates with Connor Murphy, a pairing of what’s been the two top-performing D-men in Chicago this season and seems like it could be the top pair into next season. So that is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Without a morning skate, there’s no word on who’s in net for the Hawks, but the assumption here is that Anton Forsberg will get the nod after Berube was saddled with the loss on Thursday. But it’s the 18 skaters rotating in front of net who’ll need to play significantly better during the final month of the season, even if there’s no postseason to be played for.