Sergei Bobrovsky

It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the 2011-12 campaign with the worst record in the NHL. It was the latest failure for a franchise that hasn’t won a single playoff game since its start in 2000.

It had gotten so bad that the face of the franchise, Rick Nash, wanted out and they eventually accommodated his request. So naturally expectations weren’t high for the Blue Jackets in 2013 minus their superstar. At first, they didn’t surprise, going 5-12-4 to start the season. And then Sergei Bobrovsky stepped up.

Bobrovsky was stunning in the final two months of the season and ended up with a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage in 38 games en route to winning the Vezina Trophy. Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets, his efforts proved to be too late as they missed the playoffs by a hair.

So another season ended early in Columbus, but they earned something that they didn’t possess roughly 13 months ago when they shipped Nash to the New York Rangers: Hope.

Offseason Recap

Naturally, the Blue Jackets biggest task this offseason was re-signing Bobrovsky. He was a restricted free agent, so the chances of another team managing to lure him away with an offer sheet weren’t significant, but there was a concern that he would end up bolting to the KHL. Despite that possibility, Columbus managed to get him to agree to a bridge contract worth $11.25 million over two years rather than a long-term deal.

Columbus also splurged on the free agent market, signing forward Nathan Horton to a seven-year, $37 million contract.

Vinny Prospal, 38, led the Blue Jackets with 30 points last season, but he is still an unrestricted free agent. Back in July, GM Jarmo Kekalainen wasn’t sure if he would offer Prospal a new contract.

The Blue Jackets also had three first-round picks going into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft due to the Nash and Jeff Carter trades. They spent them on forwards Alexander Wennberg, Kerby Rychel, and Marko Dano.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

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.