Image (1) JoelQuennevilleecstatic-thumb-250x166-20539.jpg for post 3473

Joel Quenneville will coach Team Staal; Team Lidstrom gets Alain Vigneault and Peter Laviolette

Peter Laviolette and Joel Quenneville will coach against each other as the hockey world watches once again, only this time the stakes are much lower.

A coin-flip decided the coaches for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game this weekend. Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks will coach Team Staal while Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks and Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers will coach Team Lidstrom.

Quenneville received an invite to the game because he was the coach of the Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks. Vigneault and Laviolette were invited because they coach the top teams in the Western and Eastern Conference, respectively.

We predicted that Team Lidstrom would have a lot of Blackhawks since Patrick Kane is one of their alternate captains, but now Quenneville might be whispering in Eric Staal’s ear to add ‘Hawks as well.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win. They’ve spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.