Peter Laviolette

Team USA unveils Bylsma’s assistant coaches


The Olympics have a way of putting NHL rivalries temporarily on the back burner, even the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

USA Hockey previously revealed that Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma would serve as Team USA’s head coach in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, but this morning they named his assistants.

One of them will be Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. The Flyers bench boss led his team all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and he previously won the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Laviolette has a 389-279-25-63 record as an NHL head coach.

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards will also aide his country after seeing his underdog squad enjoy a late surge in 2013 that almost led to them ending their playoff drought. Richards has spent four seasons as an NHL head coach and hasn’t made the playoffs in that role.

Finally, someone very familiar with Bylsma’s style, Tony Granato, will round out Team USA’s coaching staff. Granato has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. As a player, Granato was part of America’s 1988 Olympic squad.

One notable snub was John Tortorella, who has won both the Jack Adams Award and the Stanley Cup. Dan Bylsma beat out Tortorella for the head coaching job and at the time, it sounded like Tortorella’s abilities as a coach might not have been the sole reason why he wasn’t selected.

Per Kevin Allen of the USA Today:

Tortorella damaged his public image this season with hostile news conferences while with the New York Rangers and a cursing incident during an NBC interview. It had to make him a less attractive candidate. One reason why the NHL allows it players and coaches to go the Olympics is to help grow the game. Tortorella’s behavior this season didn’t help him.


USA Hockey announces 48-player Olympic camp roster

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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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.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.