Jonathan Bernier

Goalie nods: Bernier back in, Niemi gets 12th start of season


Some news and notes from the blue paint…

Leafs go back to Bernier

How things can change in a week.

Jonathan Bernier, who looked to have a stranglehold on Toronto’s No. 1 gig, must now re-establish himself in the pecking order with a start against the Flames in Calgary.

Bernier needs a strong effort to match James Reimer, who has been outstanding of late. Reimer stopped 37 of 38 shots in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Pittsburgh, then followed that up with a 43-save shutout against Edmonton on Tuesday.

Bernier’s last game was a 5-2 loss to Columbus on Oct. 25, in which he allowed four goals on 35 shots.

Niemi keeps on rolling

Antti Niemi will get the call — again — for San Jose tonight for its big inter-state rivalry game against Los Angeles.

Niemi has been a workhorse since signing with the Sharks three years ago, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. He’ll move into a share of the league lead with his 12th start tonight (Phoenix’s Mike Smith and Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec also have 12), and look to improve on his pretty stellar numbers: 9-1-1. 1.53 GAA, .933 save percentage.


— It’ll be Jimmy Howard vs. Roberto Luongo in tonight’s tasty Detroit-Vancouver matchup, as expected.

— After beating the Capitals on Saturday, Karri Ramo will get the nod for Calgary tonight against Toronto.

— Tuukka Rask will be in goal for Boston against Pittsburgh tonight after allowing four goals for the first time all season in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to New Jersey.

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.