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The National Hockey League is fueled by passion and tradition, but no tradition is more fan-friendly than the superstitious belief in the world-renowned "playoff beard."
The New York Rangers hit the ground running in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a convincing 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Late Friday morning, with Madison Square Garden preparing for a Billy Joel concert, Flyers goalie Steve Mason hopped onto one of two indoor rinks that's in a complex near the West Side Highway for his most expensive workout since suffering an upper-body injury last weekend.
Flyers goalie Ray Emery, starting due to Steve Mason nursing an upper-body injury, turned in a strong effort to keep the game tied 1-1 until the third period, but didn't get much help from his teammates all night long.
"It's part of hockey. It's part of the business, I guess. You've got to move on," said Vinny Lecavalier, who won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004.
Well, here it is New York Rangers fans as the playoffs start in just a few hours for the BlueShirts we're all wondering what the Philadelphia Flyers are going to do to try and win the series.
The Philadelphia Flyers rebounded from a disastrous start to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, finishing third in the Metropolitan Division.
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The often incoherent, grammatically challenged ramblings of a man who has watched too much sports, listened to too much music and devoured too many club sandwiches.
Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray all but rubber-stamped the inevitable on Tuesday, saying the compliance buyout of beleaguered forward Ville Leino was a " very good possibility ."
Is there anything Matt Read can't do? Offense, Defense, Power plays, Penalty Kills....He does everything well.
The Flyers and Rangers split their four-game regular-season series, but Philadelphia must do something it hasn't done since 2011 if it hopes to advance to the second round: The Rangers have home-ice-advantage in the series that starts Thursday night in New York -- which means that the Flyers cannot move on unless they snap their three-year losing ... (more)
Philadelphia Flyers' Matt Read, center right, celebrates his goal on Carolina Hurricanes' Anton Khudobin, behind, with Mark Streit, left, of Switzerland; Jason Akeson, center left; and Sean Couturier, right, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Philadelphia.
The Flyers are optimistic but cautious about whether goalie Steve Mason will play in Thursday's playoff opener against the New York Rangers.