Jamie McGinn

The key to the Sharks offense was… Jamie McGinn?

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When the Sharks and Avalanche did their deadline deal sending Jamie McGinn to Colorado in exchange for T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik it looked like the sort of deal that showed the Sharks were loading up while the Avalanche were thinning the roster.

What the Sharks didn’t expect to happen was seeing Galiardi and Winnik fail to score goals while McGinn became a breakout scorer in Denver with seven points in seven games. Making things more awkward for San Jose is that their offense has dried up completely since the trade.

Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com checks in on how poorly things have gone for the Sharks since then and how McGinn was apparently the glue that held it all together.

[McGinn’s] presence and steady game also allowed McLellan to keep his top two scoring lines generally intact, give or take some tinkering here and there. Everything was in place.

But in the last eight games, the numbers speak for themselves. Ryane Clowe has a single goal; Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau have a goal and an assist; and Tommy Wingels, who was playing on the second line before he was hurt in Edmonton, has one assist in seven games.

That’s a remarkable drought for a lot of talented players. Logan Couture has been the one guy who hasn’t slumped since then but one man can’t make an entire team. Considering that both the Avs and Sharks are in the hunt for the final two spots in the West, this might not be the last time we end up referencing this trade.

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.)