Milan Lucic vs. Cody McCormick

PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Total penalty minutes in tonight’s Buffalo-Boston game (Over/under 69.5)

The Sabres have to make a physical statement. Failing to respond is not an option. The bare minimum would be for one of them to challenge Milan Lucic to a fight. However, I have a hard time believing that will be it. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff racked up over 1,200 PIM in his NHL career. He must’ve been absolutely mortified by his team’s indifference 11 days ago. The coach will expect a response tonight. The fans will expect a response tonight. Forget all this talk about the Sabres being a soft team. They’re still hockey players. I’m predicting multiple fights and misconducts. Take the over.

Odds Sidney Crosby wins the Hart Trophy (+800)

Earlier this week, an online sports book was offering these odds for real. They’ve since been pulled from the board. Probably because everyone hammered them. Crosby could easily win the Hart. First of all, he’s really good and there’s three quarters of a season left. Secondly, who else is going to win it? Phil Kessel? You’ll be excused  for doubting he can stay Hart-worthy all season. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Hart Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. With all the attention concussions have been receiving in the media, if Crosby can come back and dominate like he’s done in the past, well, that’s a tempting sentimental vote right there. Will Crosby win the Hart? Probably not. Is 8/1 enough to make the risk worthwhile? Absolutely.

Goals for Alex Ovechkin in 2011-12 (Over/under 32.5)

He scored 32 last season, thus the line. At the moment he’s on pace for 30. I’ll take the over though. The reason being, if Ovechkin continues to struggle, a coaching change becomes even more likely. And if a coaching change occurs, the new guy won’t be playing Ovechkin 18 minutes a game. Chances are he’ll let No. 8 off his leash and let him do his thing. Obviously there’s a chance Bruce Boudreau will survive and Ovechkin will keep playing the way he’s playing. It’s just hard to bet Ovi can’t score 26 goals in his next 63 games.

Capitals manage OT win after coughing up lead to Bruins

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 03: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at Verizon Center on November 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.

For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.

After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.

Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.

Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:

Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins

Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals

Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Yikes:

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: