Johnny Gaudreau, Patch Alber

Flames prospect evokes memories of Gionta and Gerbe

Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau (2011 fourth-round pick) has made a name for himself already in college hockey. Being a major part of Boston College’s national championship winning team last season in just his freshman year has put him on the map.

At 5’6″ 140 pounds, he might be mistaken for someone a lot younger, but he brings back memories of previous diminutive BC standouts Brian Gionta and Nathan Gerbe. Gaudreau hopes he can be a fraction of the player they are.

“The history of BC hockey players with some of the small guys… I just want to be like them and play like them and have a career like they have. You’ve got to have some influences out there and they’re definitely some of mine.”

Last season, Gaudreau had 21 goals and 23 assists in just his first season at BC. If he keeps building on numbers like that, he’ll have people thinking he’s the heir to Chris Kreider’s throne. Gaudreau says he learned a lot from the New York Rangers’ playoff star. Rooting for Kreider and the Rangers while in Boston proved to be a bit tricky.

“Yeah, it was a little awkward,” Gaudreau confesses. “I’m more of a Flyers and Calgary kind of fan since they drafted me. Unfortunately they didn’t make it, but I was cheering for Kreider and happy he did so well.”

If things break right for him and the Flames, maybe he can make his own splash in the NHL.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video


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. 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


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.)