The PHT Nightcap: Monday, July 12th

Even in the depressingly hockey-free summer, we expect to be a productive bunch here at Pro Hockey Talk. Sometimes it might be difficult to follow our pace. We understand that. For that reason, whenever we can, we’ll put all of the day’s stories in one convenient post called the PHT Nightcap. Enjoy, hockey fans.

Bruins off-season still incomplete, drastic decisions ahead? – They should be careful with Marc Savard and his lengthy (but cap-friendly) contract, though.

Blackhawks add Mike Kitchen to coaching staff – *Don’t make a Kitchen sink pun … don’t make a Kitchen sink pun … Don’t make —*

NHL sees legal costs rise, news on Gary Bettman’s salary – These stories are cat nip for Bettman-bashers.

Blackhawks match Hjalmarsson’s offer sheet – So, when is Chicago going to embrace their salary cap reality?

Kovalchuk meeting up in California, Lamoriello zings reporters – Oh, good old Loophole Lou.

NHL players union is eager for Donald Fehr’s help – Yeah, Donald Fehr’s name involved with hockey? Pretty much as horrifying as it sounds. If the NHL has another lockout, will someone hold me while I cry?

A Pro Hockey Talk introduction – Joe Yerdon is our new fearless leader. Sorry, I’m still going to be here though. You are not safe from pun-based punishment.

Which team (kind of, sort of) makes sense for Marty Turco? – None of them make a lot of sense, but it’s a fun experiment. I think.

Canucks sign Shane O’Brien, three others – Those O’Briens are just no good, I tell you.

Atlantic division leads the Eastern Conference’s influx of fighters – There will be many knuckle sandwiches handed out in the Atlantic next season. They taste bad and sometimes, they’re a little hairy.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Wild are optimistic about his concussion recovery – Good luck to PMB, even if he’s no PB&J. (But who is, aside from a grilled cheese sandwich? Sorry I guess I have sandwiches on the mind.)

More twists and turns in the Lighthouse Project negotiations – This process kind of makes my brain hurt.

Ontario’s Court of Appeals rejects Rob Ramage’s bid for a new trial – Just a sad situation.

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    Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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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.

    Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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    Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

    So far, it shows, too.

    The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

    There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

    Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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    The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

    Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

    There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

    With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

    Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.

    WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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    A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.

    As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.

    While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.

    Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.

    It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.