The PHT Nightcap – Tuesday, April 6

We put a lot of content on this 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 of that day’s news. Presenting the Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap:

Goal or not?: Nicklas Backstrom

Breaking down the Eastern bubble race: Dirty, soapy bubbles that smell funny.

Will Pens, Devils, or Sabres gain East #2 seed?: Teams licking their chops for whoever is #7.

New Phoenix Coyotes lease not official yet: Because you haven’t heard enough about this yet.

Save of the night: Jose Theodore: From Monday night.

Martin Brodeur aims for 600th win vs. Atlanta: Spoilers listed below.

Are the Canucks in trouble without Ehrhoff?: Bet you thought you’d never read that line before.

Top Ten goals of 09-10 season: NHL Network’s picks

Ilya Kovalchuk trade impact on Devils, Thrashers: Ewing Theory at work here or not?

Penguins, Capitals still have plenty to play for: Bet you didn’t know these teams are popular.

Quick hits: Langenbrunner is a sad panda: He wishes his lawn was emo so it could cut itself.

Jim “The Hulk” Playfair wins Bertuzzday IV

How the Kings prepare for the playoffs: Orange slices and hugs are not on the list.

Vote for Bertuzzday V: Panthers not named Keith Ballard could win this.

Martin Brodeur wins #600: Remember that spoilers warning? BOOM!

Thrashers eliminated from playoff contention: Rapper Lil’ John has another reason to get crunk now.

Save of the night: Ryan Miller: Tuesday’s ridiculous save.

Keith Ballard’s own goal: He’s already the leading candidate for Bertuzzdays VI

Race for the Richard Trophy: It’s not just about Sid and Alex you know.

Playoff update: West is booked, East thins out: The East is still a gigantic mess

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    GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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    On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

    Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

    Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

    “I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

    Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

    Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

    Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

    Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

    Next four games: Three out of four at home
    Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

    As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

    For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

    via AP

    Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

    Alex Ovechkin
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    Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

    He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

    Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

    That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

    This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

    No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.