Nikolai Khabibulin will call Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City home for his 15 days in jail

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When Nikolai Khabibulin dropped his appeal over his extreme DUI and reckless driving conviction from last summer and opted to serve his jail sentence, there’s one thing he may not have been counting on when it came time to head to jail. Given that Khabibulin’s crime occurred in Maricopa County in Arizona, he fell under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the country’s most radical law enforcement agent.

Instead of denim blues and 15 days behind bars, Khabibulin has a date set in Sheriff Joe’s Tent City and a uniform that instead of your traditional prison blues or orange jumpsuit, takes on a bit of a different look. Not only will things look different, the way things are done in Maricopa County differ from just about everything else you ever thought you knew about jail.

Sheriff Joe does things a little different in Tent City as the Edmonton Journal’s Conal Pierse shares.

“There will be no coffee, no salt, no cigarettes, no porno, no movies,” Arpaio said.

“The only television we give them is the weather channel, so they can see how hot it is.”

The coming weekend is forecast to be a sweltering 41 C (106 F), even hotter under the thick canvas tents.

As if that’s not enough on the restrictions for Khabibulin, he’ll also take on a much different look than he’s used to.

Khabibulin will also have to shave off his long, hockey locks to conform to the jail’s grooming policy, which specifies all inmates have conservative hairstyles with short sideburns. There are also no playoff beards allowed, and inmates can only sport the Sidney Crosby moustache that doesn’t extend past the corners of the mouth.

Inside, the netminder will wear Arpaio’s signature pink boxers — an anti-theft measure brought in after inmates took to smuggling white boxers out of jail to sell — and an old-school black and white striped jumpsuit.

Not only is it pink boxers, but it’s also pink bracelets and pink blankets as well. At the very least, Khabibulin can take some solace in the fact that he’s not the only famous person to spend time at Tent City. Charles Barkley and Mike Tyson have also done time at Sheriff Joe’s strange lawbreaker boot camp and while those guys didn’t spend a lot of time there either, adding Khabibulin’s name to their infamous hall of fame helps Arpaio look tough for booking celebrities there as well as other criminals.

For Khabibulin, having to do work out in Tent City will be humbling but when he opted to give up his appeal and go to jail, he was doing the right thing for owning up to his colossal mistake of driving drunk and going 30 miles per hour over the limit. Doing the crime is one thing and being a celebrity and serving the time is sometimes something else entirely. Here’s to hoping that Khabibulin learns to improve himself after going through all this.

Rangers punch playoff ticket to wrap up night of clinched spots

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The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.

For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.

The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch where the Rangers failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).

New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.

This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.

The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.

Oilers end NHL’s longest playoff drought; Sharks, Ducks also clinch

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There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fans, maybe.

On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.

The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.

The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong postseasons, even as their Cup win fades to the background ever so slightly. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.

The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.

Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.

Craig Anderson took his blunder hard – probably too hard – in Sens loss

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Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to come to Craig Anderson‘s blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).

Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.

Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.

You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.

Just about every relevant team in the East playoff races won tonight

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After Eastern Conference teams deserved a “C” on Monday, they generally passed Tuesday’s tests with flying colors. Sometimes they carved out three-point games when relevant teams faced off, too.

It’s almost bewildering trying to figure out where to start … so how about the top of the East?

Metro’s rich get richer

The Minnesota Wild deserve credit for fighting back from a considerable deficit, including overcoming an Alex Ovechkin hat trick (all on the power play). Ultimately, T.J. Oshie‘s overtime-winner gave Washington the 5-4 (OT) win.

Elsewhere in the Metro’s top ranks, Sergei Bobrovsky grabbed his 41st win of the season (3-1 win against the Sabres) to put Columbus three points behind the Capitals and two ahead of the idle Penguins.

Metro top three (all with 75 games played)

1. Capitals – 108 points
2. Blue Jackets – 105 points
3. Penguins – 103 points

Canadiens gain ground

The Montreal Canadiens handled the Dallas Stars 4-1 in The Epic Battle of the Benns. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the second-place Senators 3-2 via a shootout

Both the Maple Leafs and Bruins won their games, leaving Toronto one point ahead of Boston for third in the Atlantic.

Atlantic top five

1. Canadiens – 95 points in 76 games played
2. Senators – 91 points in 75 GP
3. Maple Leafs – 87 points in 75 GP

Bruins – 86 points in 76 GP
Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP

Finally, let’s look at the final spot in the East

OK, so there’s some overlap here. Why don’t we check on the most wild-card-relevant teams?

Third Atlantic spot: Leafs – 87 points in 75 GP

Final spot: Bruins – 86 points in 76 GP

Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
Hurricanes – 82 points in 75 GP
Flyers – 80 points in 76 GP
Panthers – 77 points in 76 GP

Again, the Bruins won, as did the Flyers. The Lightning were idle. The Panthers fell to the Maple Leafs. Buffalo lost while Detroit and New Jersey are out of the running.

You know who deserves special mention outside of the top eight? The Carolina Hurricanes deserve such a distinction, as they are enjoying one of their hottest runs in franchise history after beating Detroit 4-1.

The overall message: just about any truly relevant team at least grabbed a standings point, with most winning games outright on Tuesday.

It doesn’t exactly thin the herd, but it keeps the door open for a fun race to the finish.