Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Three

USA Hockey names Dan Bylsma head coach of 2014 men’s Olympic team


Dan Bylsma will be heading to Sochi, Russia, next year.

On Saturday, USA Hockey named Bylsma as the head coach of the men’s Olympic ice hockey team for the 2014 Sochi Games.

“It is truly a great honor to be named coach of U.S. Olympic Hockey Team,” Bylsma said during a press conference put on by USA Hockey.

“We certainly have one objective, and that’s to go to Sochi and win gold. We’re ready for the challenge, excited for opportunity.”

In 2010, the underdog U.S. team fell one goal short of upsetting Canada in the gold medal final, ultimately earning silver.

Bylsma is currently the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was behind the bench when the Penguins won the 2009 Stanley Cup, and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2011.

“We’re thrilled to have Dan as coach of our men’s Olympic team,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey, in a statement.

“He’s rapidly established himself as one of the most prominent coaches in our country today and we know he’ll help put us in the best position of achieving our ultimately goal of bringing home the gold medal.”

It wasn’t that long ago, only a few weeks, that there was speculation Bylsma’s time in Pittsburgh was over, after the Penguins were swept in the Eastern Conference Final by the Boston Bruins.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero, who is also the associate GM of the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team, ended that speculation when he signed Bylsma to a two-year contract extension.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win. They’ve spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.