Rangers’ Brassard, Arniel bury hatchet from Columbus feud

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Rangers forward Derick Brassard and assistant coach Scott Arniel won’t let the past disrupt their future.

On Friday, Brassard told reporters there’s “no hard feelings” between the two from their rocky 2011-12 season in Columbus, when Arniel made Brassard a healthy scratch nearly 10 times — something Brassard’s agent, Allan Walsh, took exception to.

A quick refresher on that incident, from Brough’s post at the time:

You know how there were a bunch of trade rumors surrounding Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard? Yeah, you’re about to hear a bunch more thanks to Brassard’s agent, Allan Walsh, who absolutely ripped Columbus coach Scott Arniel in a statement to Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline.

Apparently Walsh is none too pleased with his client spending so much time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

“While I have tremendous respect for (general manager) Scott Howson and the rest of Columbus’ management team, the situation regarding Derick Brassard has become untenable,” said Walsh. “This coach [Arniel] has a history of burying players and using them as scapegoats to mask his own lack of success on the ice.

“Derick has been singled out, almost from the very beginning of the season, to be the fall guy in case things don’t go well. The Columbus organization cares about Derick and has been good to him, but at some point, one has to say, enough is enough.”

The fallout from the incident was ugly.

Arniel was fired within months, Columbus finished dead last in the league and Brassard had a pretty average season overall.

But during the 2013 season, things changed.

Brassard was overjoyed about getting a “fresh start” in New York (as part of the Marian Gaborik trade) and responded by scoring 11 points in 13 regular season games, then led the Rangers in playoff scoring with 12 points in 12 games.

Arniel, meanwhile, accepted a gig with Vancouver’s then-AHL affiliate in Chicago, posting a 37-30-9 record before accepting a gig in New York to work under former Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault.

Now, Brassard and Arniel are reunited.

We’ll wait and see if it feels so good.

Video: Weise records Gordie Howe hat trick after spirited scrap with Hamonic

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Thursday’s game between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers wasn’t even nine minutes old by the time Dale Weise had recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Already with the opening goal and an assist on Radko Gudas‘ goal, giving Philly a 3-0 lead, Weise dropped the gloves with Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic for a spirited fight off a faceoff.

Not many, if any, positives for the Islanders after a disastrous start. Needing a win to close the gap on the Boston Bruins in the wild card race, New York fell behind 5-0 by the time the first period was over.

There is perhaps even more bad news for the Islanders: Hamonic wasn’t on the bench to begin the second period.

The Islanders have since provided an update: Hamonic will not return to this game due to an upper-body injury.

 

 

The Islanders are off to a disastrous start in Philly, Flyers chase Greiss

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Talk about the worst possible start for the New York Islanders.

Trailing the Boston Bruins by four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders lived through a nightmare to begin Thursday’s game, falling behind the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-0 — before the midway point of the first period.

Dale Weise started the scoring at 4:30 of the first period. By the 9:19 mark, the Flyers opened up a four-goal lead and had already chased Islanders starting goalieThomas Greiss, who allowed three goals on eight shots.

Jaroslav Halak was brought into the game and promptly surrendered a goal to Jordan Weal.

It continued to get worse for the Islanders, who finished the first period trailing by five goals. Shots? They were 19-10 in favor of Philly. Yup. It was bad.

With Josh Ho-Sang in the box serving a double-minor for high sticking, Wayne Simmonds gave Philly a 5-0 lead with his 30th goal of the year.

Shaping up to be a long night for the Islanders.

Karlsson’s ironman streak comes to an end as Sens visit Wild

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For the first time since the lockout-shortened season, the Ottawa Senators will not have star defenseman Erik Karlsson in their lineup.

With the Sens four points back of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead, Karlsson will not play tonight versus the Minnesota Wild, which ends his ironman streak at 324 consecutive games played.

Karlsson trails Brent Burns by only five points for the lead in that category among NHL defenseman. He also logs close to 27 minutes of ice time per game. Only three blue liners in the entire league — Dustin Byfuglien, Drew Doughty and Ryan Suter — play more on average per game.

The injury reportedly occurred when Karlsson blocked a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Trade deadline acquisition Jyrki Jokipakka is expected to make his debut for Ottawa, per the Citizen.

“If we miss him for a game or two, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” forward Mark Stone told the Ottawa Citizen. “He’s the best defenceman in the world. If you take him out of your lineup, it’s obviously a huge blow.”

WATCH LIVE: Stars at Bruins

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The Boston Bruins hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and they will look to continue their push for the playoffs when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

McAvoy has the talent to improve Bruins right now

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins continue push for playoff spot against Stars

Stars go deeper than rock bottom in Ruff’s ‘worst game’ with team