James Wisniewski returns for Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been hot lately, although a run of road games present a serious challenge. Getting expensive blueliner James Wisniewski back could help matters.

The 29-year-old defenseman has been sidelined since Feb. 24 with a broken foot. He has nine points in the 15 games he’s played so far in 2013.

While the team’s 12-game point streak was impressive, only one of those contests took place outside of Columbus. They’ve lost the first two games of a four-game road trip (and a run of six away games in their next seven contests), pushing their overall away record to 3-9-2.

We’ll get a better sense of this team’s legitimacy soon enough, although the end of the season might pose the biggest test if they hang in there: they face a six-game road trip from April 13-25 before finishing 2013 at home.

First up: a match against the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday night.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

Justin Abdelkader
Leave a comment

In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

1 Comment

Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: