they have met six times in the playoffs,

  • The 2014 NHL trade deadline has come and gone and all thats left is to pick apart the 20 trades made with 38 players changing addresses. Kevin Norwood Seahawks Jersey . Some teams got significantly better, some teams divested themselves of talent and some teams had quiet afternoons, keeping the status quo. But you cant really pick winners or losers, yet. Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins were declared the winners of the deadline when they brought in both Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow. While both played well for their new clubs, the Penguins were overmatched and dominated in a sweep by the Boston Bruins, the team Iginila spurned to join the Penguins, in the Eastern Conference finals with the team falling well short of their goal of winning the Stanley Cup. The Ottawa Senators alleviated a logjam in net at the 2013 deadline when they sent Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Cory Conacher. Conacher, at the time, was second in rookie scoring and the Sens hoped that he could bring some jump to its second line, while identifying Bishop as the odd man out in a crowded crease that also included Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. Flash forward one year and Bishop is starring in net for the Lightning, third in the league in wins with a sterling 2.09 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The lanky goaltender is certainly at the forefront of the Vezina conversation with his team firmly ensconced in a playoff position. Conacher, on the other hand, struggled mightily in his first full season with the Senators, finding himself unable to replicate his rookie season success and enduring a 30-game goalless drought. Waived by the team, Conacher was claimed on Wednesday by the Buffalo Sabres, reuniting him with Tim Murray and taking him back to the city where he went to school at Canisius. Obviously, with draft picks and prospects in play, the full ramifications of trades wont be felt for years down the road, but we can assess the immediate impact of todays movement. With big names like Ryan Miller and Roberto Luongo moved prior to Wednesdays deadline, Thomas Vanek was the highest profile player to switch jerseys when the New York Islanders shipped the Austrian sniper to the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs pursuit of Vanek was somewhat of a clandestine one, having not been heavily attached to Vanek in the days leading up to the deadline like the Los Angeles Kings or Pittsburgh Penguins were. Vaneks potential payoff for the Canadiens is obvious. At 62, Vanek becomes one of the teams bigger fowards and his soft hands should instantly help a team looking for more scoring punch. Eclipsing the 20-goal mark in every one of his nine NHL seasons (including this one), the 30-year-old pending free agent makes the Canadiens power play a much scarier proposition. Sacrificing only a (conditional) second-round pick in 2014 and Swedish forward prospect Sebastian Collberg to acquire Vanek (and a conditional fifth-round pick) has to be viewed as nothing short of a coup for the Habs and general manager Marc Bergevin. Whether or not Vanek, who reportedly turned down a substantial extension offer from the Islanders in February, is retained long term will be a bridge to cross down the line. And what of the team that dealt Vanek in the Islanders? Looking at things strictly from an asset standpoint, general manager Garth Snow took a bath on Vanek and his bold acquisition of the player in October didnt turn out nearly the way Snow intended. Vanek, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres, cost the Islanders three-time 30-goal-scorer Matt Moulson, their 2014 first-round pick and a second-rounder in 2015. Though Moulson is an impending free agent himself, the cost to bring in Vanek was immense and with the Islanders slim playoff hopes effectively torpedoed by the season-ending injury to John Tavares at the Olympics, Snow did not come close to recouping the assets he expended. While Collberg might one day be an effective NHL scorer, its hard not to view the Islanders Thomas Vanek experiment as a failure. With both Vanek and Andrew MacDonald, who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, turning down lucrative extensions and eventually leaving town, questions will certainly be asked of Snow and his long term future in the GMs office. If the Islanders failed at asset management this week, Murray and the Sabres excelled. In the past six days, the Sabres turned Moulson, Miller, Steve Ott, Brayden McNabb, Cody McCormick, two second-rounders, a third-round pick and the newly acquired Jaroslav Halak into Chris Stewart, Michal Neuvirth, Rostislav Klesla, prospects William Carrier, Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers, Torrey Mitchell and three picks (a first and a pair of seconds). In the next two drafts, the Sabres have a staggering 10 picks in the first two rounds. This is coupled with a tremendous amount of cap flexibility going forward. While the Sabres might suffer in the short term and details have yet to emerge on Pat LaFontaines surprise resignation on Saturday, Murray has seemingly positioned his team to properly retool in an attempt to re-emerge as an Eastern Conference contender. The days one blockbuster saw an exchange of captains as the Tampa Bay Lightning shipped Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan. The writing was on the wall for St. Louis and the Lightning. Having been left off Canadas initial Olympic roster, despite eventually playing for the gold medal-winning team, St. Louiss relationship with general manager Steve Yzerman seemed to sour and a quick divorce both appeared to be on the horizon and was likely the best choice for both parties. St. Louis cited familial reasons for his trade request (he lives in nearby Connecticut), but dealing the franchises captain and talisman cant sit well with Lightning fans. Still, Yzerman did well in his acquisition of Callahan. Perhaps not as offensively talented as reigning Art Ross-winner St. Louis and unlikely to immediately replicate St. Louiss chemistry with the returning Steven Stamkos, Callahan quickly fills the Lightnings leadership void and gives the team cap flexibility going forward and the ability to re-sign Callahan if both parties so choose. On top of that, Yzerman was able to procure a first-rounder in 2015 and a second in this summers draft that could turn into a first if the Rangers can advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Though Callahans contract negotiations and lack of movement between the two sides were well publicized in the days and weeks heading up to the deadline, the trade still came as a bitter pill for the player. If Callahans agent, Stephen Bartlett, is to be believed, the Rangers and Callahan could have bridged that gap "with about one conversation," but the U.S. Olympian finds himself in an advantageous situation. The Lightning are looking likely to be a playoff team and Callahan knows that if he performs well during the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs, hell be in good position to name his price this offseason in a relatively weak free agent crop. Coincidentally, the last time the Rangers traded their captain was in 2003 when the Blueshirts sent the negotiation rights to impending free agent Mark Messier to the San Jose Sharks. In return, they received a fourth-round pick in 2004. With that pick, the Rangers selected Ryan Callahan. Other teams impressed on Wednesday. The Ottawa Senators turned a third and fifth-round picks into Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers, who will also retain half of Hemskys salary. The talent of Hemsky has never been in question, but his durability has almost always been an issue. If the Senators, who also managed to re-sign Chris Phillips for two more years, can harness some of Hemskys offensive potency, the team will have added a quality top-six forward (and a likely winger for Jason Spezza) in their push for a playoff spot. For Hemsky, the rest of this season can act as an audition for the Senators, who have the room to sign him long term at seasons end. The Los Angeles Kings addressed their scoring deficiencies in acquiring Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaborik represents a high risk, high reward proposition as the team sacrificed Matt Frattin and there is certainly some concern about how the mercurial Gaborik will fare under Darryl Sutter. But with the Blue Jackets absorbing half of Gaboriks salary, this could be a masterstroke by Dean Lombardi if the Slovakian comes up firing. Halak has always played his best hockey when never firmly established as a go-to number one goaltender and forced to compete for playing time like he did in Montreal with Carey Price and in St. Louis with Brian Elliott. The Washington Capitals are hoping that history will repeat itself after acquiring the Slovakian from the Sabres. Currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, general manager George McPhee and Adam Oates hope that a healthy rivalry between Halak and incumbent Braden Holtby will be the tonic to lift the Capitals into the post-season. Some other clubs raised eyebrows, but not necessarily in a good way. Ryan Kesler remained a Vancouver Canuck. A day after trading Roberto Luongo, general manager Mike Gillis did not pull the trigger on his (reportedly) wantaway winger to complete a drastic facelift on his team that is currently on the periphery of the playoff picture. Still, its not the end of the world for the Canucks as, if they choose to trade Kesler at some point in the offseason, he will still command a significant return since he is signed for two more seasons at a very attractive $5 million cap hit. That said, more than just Keslers future is likely to come under the microscope come this offseason even if the team pulls out a playoff spot. The Canucks core isnt getting any younger and its perhaps time to confront the reality that the teams window to contend is close to being sealed shut. Keslers staying in Vancouver rippled throughout the rest of the league. Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray clearly thought that his club was in position to land the player and was left "confused" by his inability to do so. The Ducks day, then, seemed incomplete and its hard to argue that the team is better than it was on Tuesday after it dealt Dustin Penner to the Washington Capitals and goaltender Viktor Fasth to the Oilers, compromising some of the teams depth. Other than dealing Reto Berra to the Colorado Avalanche and Lee Stempniak to the Penguins, the Calgary Flames stayed surprisingly quiet. Most notably, Mike Cammalleri stayed put in Calgary. An unrestricted free agent at seasons end, its highly unlikely that Cammalleri will remain with the Flames beyond this April, so it comes as a bit of a shock that Brian Burke didnt parlay Cammalleri into picks or prospects. Steve Largent Youth Jersey . Blake Griffin dominated the paint with 20 points, Jamal Crawford scored 25 and the Clippers ended their nearly two-week journey away from Los Angeles with a 114-86 win Monday night over the Milwaukee Bucks. Frank Clark Youth Jersey . Ryan OReilly started Los Angeles comeback from two goals down at 8:11 of the second period. Landeskog tied at 2-2 with 7:02 remaining in the period, beating Mathieu Garon on the first shot he faced after replacing Ben Scrivens.In this quarterback-driven league, nothing could be better than teams driven by their QBs meeting in the playoffs.So next weekend cant come soon enough: Denvers Peyton Manning vs. the man who replaced him in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck. Baltimores Joe Flacco, who twice has defeated the Patriots and Tom Brady, heading to New England.Aaron Rodgers against Tony Romo in Lambeau Field — just as enticing. Even Carolinas Cam Newton against another new-wave QB, Seattles Russell Wilson, who merely won a Super Bowl last February.On to next week, Luck said after helping the Colts defeat Cincinnati 26-10 on Sunday in the AFC wild-card round. Its the playoffs. Theres a difference. Youve got to move on; youve got to keep that journey alive.The divisional round opens next Saturday with AFC top seed New England (12-4), the East winner, hosting Baltimore (11-6), which eliminated Pittsburgh 30-17 in the other AFC wild-card match. That will be followed by defending Super Bowl champion Seattle (12-4), the NFC West champion, against Carolina (8-8-1), which beat Arizona 27-16.NFC North champ Green Bay (12-4) is home for Dallas in the early game next Sunday. Its the first post-season visit to Lambeau Field for the Cowboys since the 1967 Ice Bowl. Dallas beat Detroit 24-20 in the wild-card round.The final division-round contest next Sunday has Indianapolis (12-5) at Denver (12-4). Indy disposed of Cincinnati 26-10 in a wild-card game.COLTS AT BRONCOSAndrew Luck threw for 376 yards and one touchdown, Daniel Boom Herron ran for another score, and Indianapolis dominated the second half to beat Cincinnati on Sunday. The Colts made a fair share of mistakes, but nothing like the Bengals (10-6-1), who became the first team in NFL history to lose four consecutive opening-round playoff games.Colts coach Chuck Pagano, whose team lost the season opener 31-24 at Denver, knows that Luck must be as good or better than Manning for Indy to keep going.Looking at next week, hes going to have to do the same things, Pagano said. Hes going to have to create some plays, hes going to have to move around and get some first downs with his legs, and those type of things. Obviously, its a benefit.The Broncos know the challenge Luck presents.Hes one of those guys that you have to play a 60-minute game against, DE DeMarcus Ware said. He has really good pocket awareness. Hes always one of those guys, just like Peyton, where he hits the open guy the majority of the timme. K.J. Wright Youth Jersey. RAVENS AT PATRIOTSYes, New England was 7-0 at home in games with any meaning. But if theres one team that has shown no fear of Foxborough, its Baltimore.The Ravens knocked off the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the 2009 and 2012 playoffs; Baltimore won the Super Bowl after the latter victory.Bring em on, linebacker Pernell McPhee said Saturday night after the Ravens won a post-season game in Pittsburgh for the first time. Were going to work hard in practice this coming week and go up there and play our best game. Were going to play Ravens football. And with a great game plan, I know well be ready for anything.Brady, of course, owns three Super Bowl rings and two more AFC titles. In recent years, though, Flacco has been just as successful in the playoffs and has a 10-4 record, 7-4 on the road.COWBOYS AT PACKERSA longstanding rivalry — they have met six times in the playoffs, with Dallas having four wins — will be renewed. Standing in for Bart Starr or Brett Favre will be Rodgers, who already owns a Super Bowl ring. In place of Don Meredith or Troy Aikman will be Romo, whose late touchdown pass lifted Dallas over Detroit in the wild-card round on Sunday.Im excited about the challenge, its going to be fun, Romo said. Obviously we know now were going against as good an offence as there is in the league. Maybe over the last three of four years the best offence in the league. Its going to be a great test. We have to play great, better than we did today.Green Bay was 8-0 at home in 2014. Dallas (13-4) won all eight of its road games.PANTHERS AT SEAHAWKSJust the second team with a losing record to win a division title, the Panthers took their fifth straight game by ending Arizonas season Saturday. It was Carolinas first playoff win in nine years.The defence held the Cardinals (11-6) and third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley to 78 yards, the fewest in NFL playoff history. But facing Wilson is a far tougher challenge, to say the least.We know who we are — menacing, stifling and we are going to get after you, cornerback Josh Norman said. We know when there is blood in the water and when there is, our sharks are going to eat.They might not find such a meaty opponent next week when the AFC South champs travel to Seattle. Newton will face the leagues stingiest defence, one that has been doing much of the chomping the last two months.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '