New York Rangers Daily Dose: Jack Eichel, Stanley Cup Final, Playoff Beards


Good morning, New York Rangers fans, here’s the scoop on the NHL today:

Jack Eichel Really Wants to Continue Playing in Boston (video),

Prospect, Jack Eichel, talked to reporters about the very real possibility of being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. As someone interested in the ancient art of body language, I found this clip interesting because what Eichel says with his words doesn’t exactly match with what he’s saying with his facial expressions.

In the clip, Eichel is looking down and shaking his head “no” after considering “if I end up in Buffalo…” and just before commenting on coach Dan Bylsma as “a positive get for the Sabres.”

Anybody who knows the NHL can understand why Eichel wouldn’t want to play in the Sabres organization next season. But the fact that Eichel has shown that through his body language leads me more and more to believe that he will indeed end up playing one more year of college hockey at Boston University, no matter what Buffalo has to offer him.

Stanley Cup Final – Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks,

Game Four came and went with Tampa Bay Lightning goalie, Ben Bishop, stuck on the sidelines due to a mysterious injury sustained back in Game Two. Rangers fans are familiar with seeing injured players on the ice without actually knowing what’s wrong with them – Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh played on broken/fractured bones. So, perhaps knowing Bishop played with an injury in the last couple of games doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

Backup goalie, Andrey Vasilevskiy, stepped in for his first start in the Playoffs. The 20-year-old did his job well, posting a .895 save percentage, but it wasn’t enough for a Lightning win. The series is now tied, 2-2, with the Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2-1 game win.

No More Playoff Beards?, Chicago Tribune

Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Chairman, thinks players should stop growing playoff beards because they “hurt recognition” and would benefit the NHL from a marketing standpoint. Everyone, and Lazarus himself, knows this would never happen. Yet, the fact this idea was brought up in the first place is not entirely crazy in my opinion.

For diehard fans, of course the difference between players like Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp is obvious. But when they both have humongous beards and hats or helmets on, it’s almost impossible for a new hockey fan to tell them apart aside from the names on their jerseys. Their popularity is then hurt because they’re not as easy to pick out of the team, much less a crowd of bearded faces in the Playoffs, and the viewer will soon forget who scored what goal or who said what.

Then again, the playoff beard is a distinct feature of a hockey player in the postseason and Brent Burns in the regular season. And a lot of hockey fans enjoy the tradition. I have to say I wouldn’t want to see the tradition go either. So, while the beards will never be banned, I think Lazarus does bring up an interesting point.

Next: Is Carl Hagelin Replaceable?

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