WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates down the ice against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Tavares: Islanders ‘find ways to lose’ more than win

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If the New York Islanders want to make the playoffs, they need to be near perfect for the remainder of the season. They didn’t look anything close to that in their 4-2 loss to the lowly Calgary Flames last night.

“We basically find ways to lose games more than we find ways to win,” Islanders captain John Tavares remarked after the defeat, according to Newsday.

This has to have been a tough season to get through for Tavares. He’s one of the league’s best players, but a campaign that started out with a lot of promise has turned sour. Not only are the Islanders likely to miss the playoffs, but their efforts to re-sign forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Andrew MacDonald have been unsuccessful.

At least Tavares will get a brief reprieve when the NHL breaks and he heads to Sochi to play for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics. It will be his first Olympics and a chance to win gold with his home country.

Of course, Canada is far from a lock to win the tournament, but at least they have hope and a legitimate shot. Those are things that the Islanders can’t offer him at this point.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)