Report: Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27 this season

Scott Niedermayer might not be the last New Jersey Devils defenseman to wear No. 27 – former Devil Mike Mottau oddly wore it after Niedermayer went to the Anaheim Ducks – but the team reportedly plans on retiring his number now that his playing days are over with the NHL.

The New Jersey Devils will reportedly raise former defenseman Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27 to the rafters of Prudential Center at some point this season.

Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cups with the franchise and one more with the Anaheim Ducks before retiring this past offseason, was at the Honda Center on Friday night to watch the game between his two former teams. The Devils haven’t confirmed the news reported originally by the Newark Star-Ledger — it was a surprise to Niedermayer when he heard it — but some of his former Devils teammates were excited to hear it.

On some level, it’s a shame that Niedermayer isn’t sharing his smooth-skating prowess with us any more. Sure, he regressed a slight bit from the 2008-09 season to 09-10 (from 59 points to 48) and missed the playoffs last season.

That being said, the truth is that Niedermayer ended his career with his reputation intact; he was still one of the best defensemen in the NHL until the very end of his career. He’s an automatic Hall of Famer (a first ballot one, I would imagine) and was one of the pillars of three Stanley Cup winning Devils teams and one Cup winning Ducks squad.

It’s not official yet, but if those reports are true, then congratulations to Niedermayer. He deserves it.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.