Goal of the Night – Derek Stepan (December 23)

Last night’s 13 games were chock full of drama and great plays, even if the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals contest garnered the biggest chunk of the attention. (It also had it’s fair share of moments, including a gorgeous Alex Ovechkin shootout goal and another highlight that we’ll get to later this morning.)

But that doesn’t mean the other 12 games were clunkers, either. One game left Columbus Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel so angry, he compared his team to “pee wees.” Another featured a fight that left Jarome Iginla bruised and battered but the Calgary Flames with a shootout win.

(If you want a rundown of those contests and more, click here for the early games and click here for the late games.)

Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a shootout last night, but they still enjoyed some nice moments (take, for instance, Martin Biron instructing Erik Christensen on his shootout attempt). Stepan showed great hands and maybe even better patience on this play, as he bamboozled Dan Ellis on the December 23rd goal of the night.

Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

Mike Commodore
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Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

Commodore wasn’t done there:

And there was much, much more.

To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.




Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”