Evgeni Malkin, Erik Gustafsson

Evgeni Malkin thought Ilya Bryzgalov would be the difference maker in Pittsburgh’s favor


Seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins bow out in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers is an especially bitter pill for Pens players and fans alike to swallow. The Penguins came into the playoffs on fire and all of a sudden they’re out in six games.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review spoke exclusively with Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin to get his thoughts on what happened. Malkin had a curious thought about one area he thought the Penguins would have the advantage.

“Every team has a chance to win, not just Pittsburgh. You see the Rangers are down, too. It’s tough to win it every year. And we played against (the Flyers), and they played unbelievable against us all year. … Defensively, offensively, they did it all against us. I thought maybe with their goalie maybe it would be good for us, but it wasn’t.”

Thinking that the possibility of Ilya Bryzgalov being shaky would be a difference maker isn’t a radical thought which makes how small Marc-Andre Fleury came up in the series that much more of a kick in the pants for the Pens. After all, if Fleury even has an average series, perhaps these two teams are setting up for a Game 7 or the Pens find a way to win.

It’s going to be that kind of summer in Pittsburgh with lots of deep thoughts and “what if” questions thrown about.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
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Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.