Scott Howson controversially pulls his controversial blog post

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Earlier today, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson wrote a blog post on the Blue Jackets website expressing his frustration over Columbus’ controversial 3-2 loss to Los Angeles on Wednesday night at the Staples Center, when a clock malfunction allowed the Kings to score the game-winning goal with 0.4 seconds left in regulation.

Now, that blog post appears to have been taken down:

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That’s a recent screengrab of the Scott Howson Blog, with his most recent post being the Jan. 21 entry titled “New Additions, Injury Updates and Trade Deadline Looming.”

So, what happened to today’s rant? Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch explains:

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That said, the internet has not been completely scrubbed clean — Howson appeared on XM Home Ice radio today to discuss the incident and the blog post. The transcript:

Host: Scott, you wrote a blog about [the incident] earlier this morning and I appreciate the blog, I thought it was well-written but it was relatively aggressive in my mind. Do you feel like as a general manager in the NHL you have the freedom to write something like that? Or would you be concerned that the NHL would be critical of a piece you wrote in that regard?

Howson: I’m not sure. I can tell you I could’ve been a lot more aggressive. [Laughs] I had to pull some things back because I didn’t feel they were appropriate. Our team’s depleted, it’s been a tough year, we’re playing without a lot of people, we got embarrassed the night before in San Jose and for our guys to come out on back-to-back nights and play a very good Los Angeles team and battle like that…to have it taken away on something like this, which I have never seen in my life, I just felt we had to get out there and speak to our fans.

We’re on this, the NHL is on this. It’s easy to say it doesn’t matter but it does matter — what if this was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? And someone was in the dressing room with the Stanley Cup pouring champagne and beer? We’ve gotta get to the bottom of exactly what happened, how it happened, so it doesn’t happen again.

FYI, the answer to “What if this was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final?” is, “Your team would not be in it.”

Lundqvist snubs Sens with 21 saves in first (Video)

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You know how goalies claim they prefer to be busy rather than risking rust in seldom seeing shots? If that’s true, Henrik Lundqvist was really, really happy in the first period.

The Ottawa Senators generated chance after chance in a busy opening frame of Game 1, generating a 21-12 shot differential against the New York Rangers. The game remains 0-0 in large part because Lundqvist has carried over his momentum from the Montreal Canadiens series so far.

As you can see from the video above, Lundqvist made some absolutely fantastic saves, especially in somehow stopping Mark Stone.

In a duller game, 21 shots on goal could a team’s entire output.

That’s impressive stuff from what appears to be a “vintage” Lundqvist. We’ll see how much more the Rangers lean on him as this one goes along.

Oh, and here’s a GIF of the best stop of the bunch, because seriously.

Kunitz is in for Penguins vs. Capitals in Game 1

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The Pittsburgh Penguins get a familiar face back in the lineup, as Chris Kunitz is good to go against the Washington Capitals in Game 1.

The 37-year-old has been sidelined since March 31, ending his regular season with just an assist in his final nine games. His last goal came on Feb. 16.

So, in other words … he’s not quite as big of a deal for this series as he had been in the past.

He’ll draw into a solid fourth line with Matt Cullen and Tom Kuhnackl, while Carter Rowney will be a healthy scratch. Check out the Penguins’ line combos heading into Thursday’s showdown:

Foligno, Getzlaf, Giordano vie for Messier Leadership Award

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The NHL announced the three finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award: Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) and Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames).

In case you’re curious about the process, the league explains how it works (and how the buck stops with Messier):

Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier’s alone. 

So, yes, it might come down to steeliness/60.

Anyway, the most fun part of this award is that Getzlaf and Giordano just engaged in a first-round series, with Getzlaf’s hit on Giordano (see above) being one of the standout moments.

Perhaps Giordano will at least get the best of Getzlaf in this one?

WATCH LIVE: Game 1 for Penguins – Capitals, Rangers – Senators

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It’s really happening.

For all the griping about having the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round (again), it’s easy to forget the bright side: upsets didn’t dislodge this juicy matchup from taking place.

The West’s duo of Game 1 matchups kicked into gear last night, and now the East provides that battle between Sidney Crosby‘s squad and Alex Ovechkin‘s loaded team. Don’t sleep on Rangers – Senators, either, though; there should be plenty of intrigue in seeing superhuman Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson try to one-up each other.

Here’s what you need to know to follow the action:

New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Network: CNBC (Stream online here)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)