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NHL Power 5: April 2
- Updated: April 2, 2013
History can be made this week as the Pittsburgh Penguins can tie and beat the 1992-93 Penguins record for most consecutive wins. No disrespect to the undefeated streak the Blackhawks had this season, but I feel that the Penguins win streak is more impressive. With the trade deadline on the horizon this week, expect many teams to make moves to get their team in the playoffs. I feel bad for Dallas fans, as they became deadline sellers and traded Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy despite being three points out of a playoff spot. You would think because of the shortened season and more teams being in playoff contention that there wouldn’t be as many blockbuster trades as we seen.
1. Pittsburgh (LW: 1)- If you haven’t been on record watch, you should be now. Should they get past Buffalo tonight, they can tie the record tomorrow at Madison Square Garden and set the new record Friday at home. I’m willing to bet tickets for Friday’s game are not only sold out but is going on the secondary market for a pretty penny. Did I mention they have to do this without Sidney Crosby? Acquiring Jarome Iginla was huge and made them the favorite in the East until Boston countered with trading for Jagr.
2. Montreal (LW: 3)– Habs fans know that Carey Price was being Carey Price last week. The roller coaster goalie didn’t like being pulled in the 6-5 win over Boston Wednesday. So what did he do later in the week? Recorded his third shutout of the season and made 34 saves in their 3-0 win over New York. How much was it to have P.K. Subban hold out? He’s played six less games than everyone else and co-leads the team in points. Saturday night they face the Bruins at home, which could be a four-point swing in the standings.
3. Chicago (LW: 4)- What an impressive game by Chicago Sunday versus Detroit. Not many times you see a team enter Joe Louis Arena and score seven goals. It did mask the fact they lost three of their last five games prior. It was a statement game by the Blackhawks and they did it without Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. This week they continue their quest for best record in the league with a three games in four nights. I’ll be following their home-and-home series against Nashville over the weekend.
4. Minnesota (LW: 2)– Despite losing two of their last three games, they still have earned the second-most points over their last 10 games played in the league. They did manage to steal a win at home against LA when they were down by two goals. I’ll be ready to sit back and watch the two-team race between the Wild and Canucks for the division title. The benefit for the loser is they are in position to get home ice advantage in the first round. This week they head to San Jose and Los Angeles for road games before travelling across the country to play at Columbus. I’m curious to see how the jet lag will affect them in that game.
5. San Jose (LW: NR)- As much as I wanted to put Anaheim back in this position this week, I couldn’t overlook the Sharks. Coach Todd McLellan has been under fire all season long for not having his team firing on all cylinders earlier. But after winning five straight including two against the Ducks, could the Sharks be “back”? It could be too early to tell. Let’s see who they draw in the first round of the playoffs before calling them title contenders. Tomorrow’s game against Minnesota should be exciting to watch.