The PHT Nightcap – Saturday, March 13

We put a lot of content on this here blog each day, and we understand
it can be a bit tough to keep track of everything. So at the end of the day we’ll put up a nightly recap of all that day’s news. Presenting the Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap:

Three
highlights that justify flinching –
We look at the highlights from
Friday’s action.

Rink
to Rink: Reviewing Friday’s games
– Recapping all the games from
Friday night.

Taking
off the foil: Chiefs set to relocate
– The Johnstown Chiefs are on
the moving to South Carolina. Slapshot fans everywhere shed a
tear.

Shoulder
surgery will end Weight’s season
– Doug Weight’s season is over,
and it’s possible his career might be as well.

Quinnipac
wins longest game in college hockey history
– A college game went
150 minutes and 22 seconds before a winner was decided. And then they
played tonight as well.

Canucks
share memories from 14-game trip
– Vancouver just finished an
absurdly long road trip; here are some of the behind the scenes
highlights.

Scott
Nichol speaks with referee Chris Lee
– Scott Nichol had a lengthy
chat with referee Chris Lee, but insists it was strictly professional.

The
quest to find NHL’s ‘Mr. Intangible
‘ – Here are some more
interesting stats to rank the best and worst players in the NHL.

More
anthem debate: Is yelling “Stars” worse? –
Everyone is a debating
the Chicago anthem; what about Dallas’?

Don’t
forget about the Phoenix Coyotes
– The Coyotes are a team to watch
out for once the playoffs begin.

Pronger’s
goal adds to Blackhawks’ frustration
– The Blackhawks lost another
game where their offense failed to save them. Imagine that.

Could
Jaromir Jagr be headed to Edmonton?
– Is it even a smart move for
the Oilers to consider Jagr?

Let’s
all blame the Olympics for the Ducks’ slump
– Ryan Getzlaf is not
playing all that well since coming back from Vancouver.

Odd
bounces: The Thrashers’ pre-game routines
– The Thrashers share
their — rather tame — pre-game routines.

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    Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus

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    It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.

    Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:

    Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
    Bruins: 82 points in 73 games

    This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.

    The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.

    This game was all about William Nylander‘s brilliant start:

    And also Toronto surviving a long penalty kill after that Polak hit:

    Nazem Kadri‘s 30th goal really put the game out of reach, helping Toronto nab a significant victory.

    The Blue Jackets can wallow in this defeat and Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s injury, either, as they turn around to face the Washington Capitals in a big one tomorrow.

    Tortorella was irate after Roman Polak boarded Oliver Bjorkstrand

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    John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.

    Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.

    First, take a look at the hit:

    Next, behold Tortorella’s anger:

    Again, Columbus couldn’t capitalize on its opportunities, so that didn’t make things any better.

    Right now, the Maple Leafs lead the Blue Jackets 3-2. If Toronto ends up winning, this will stand as one of the game’s pivotal moments.

    It’s far from the only exciting moment, however, with these goals and big hits also standing out.

    Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

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    Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

    For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

    The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.

    Leafs’ Nylander puts on show with breakaway goal, assist on Matthews’ 33rd

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    This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

    On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

    William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

    Hnnngmgghh indeed.

    That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

    Update: OK, so Nylander’s really stealing the show. This is stupendous.