Martin St. Louis

Martin St. Louis a gentleman and a scholar, takes home Lady Byng Trophy

It’s not always the most beloved award, but for Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis it’s the one he’s taking home once again. St. Louis won the Lady Byng tonight for the second year in a row and this time he took out a savvy veteran and a newcomer to the discussion to do it, not to mention fellow All-Stars.

St. Louis beat out Nicklas Lidstrom and Loui Eriksson for the league’s most noble award. In a league where lawlessness and head shots sometimes dominate the discussion, St. Louis is the player holding up the banner that hockey can be both graceful and have manners to it. That’s not to say that both Eriksson and Lidstrom are more of the ruffian types, just that St. Louis has yet again been the best embodiment of what it is to carry yourself with dignity and honor on the ice. Perhaps St. Louis learned some of those skills while at the University of Vermont while teamed up with Tim Thomas in the 1990s.

St. Louis was the runaway selection by the voters taking home 70 first place votes and earning 994 points. Lidstrom was second with 22 first place votes and 464 points. Eriksson was third with nine first place votes and 347 points. Fans can sometimes look upon this award as something less-than cool but in such a violent game it’s worth the time and effort to appreciate those that best set the example for how the game can be beautifully played.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)