Much like last week, I like to give sleepy eyed (possibly hungover even?) hockey fans fair warning that the league often sneaks in a few early games. Hate to admit it, but there was a point in my college days when I might have gotten out of bed in the middle of the Panthers-Sharks game. Don’t judge me, Internet.
Chicago Blackhawks (44-17-5, 93 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (35-27-4, 74 pts) 1:00 PM ET
The margin of error between San Jose and Chicago for the West’s top spot is amazingly thin. All I know is that I’d rather play Calgary or Nashville instead of the Detroit Red Wings, so who knows which spot will “really” be the best one in the West. The Flyers seem stuck in sixth place at the moment. There’s a nice amount of room in front of Montreal despite the teams being tied because Philly has played three less games while Ottawa is five points ahead of the Flyers.
Florida Panthers (27-29-10, 64 pts) at San Jose Sharks (43-14-9, 95 pts) 4:00 PM ET
It’s surprising to see such disparity between two teams in a time when the salary cap narrows the gap more often than not. You have to wonder if the (no doubt great) Washington Capitals’ dominance is inflated a bit considering the fact that their divisional neighbors occupy the Eastern Conference’s 10-13 spots.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger