blockbuster Martin St. Louis trade for Ryan Callahan.
return from a broken leg.
Yep, “It’s been pretty crazy,” Lightning captain (
their new one) Steven Stamkos admitted ahead of tonight’s game versus the Leafs in Toronto, per the Globe and Mail.
And Stamkos is hoping the craziness, not to mention the adversity, is in the past.
“We struggled a little bit out of the gate,” he said of his team’s performance after the Olympics, “but I think we’ve found our groove now. It’s been fun. This group of guys that we have is something that I think can be special this year. We’re believing in each other and everyone is stepping up.”
Indeed, Tampa Bay has won three straight after its post-break slump, lifting itself out of that wild-card zone that’s going to come with a daunting first-round matchup against either Boston or Pittsburgh. If the playoffs started today, the Lightning would meet the Canadiens.
As you can see below, a win over the Leafs would go a long way toward staying out of the wild-card zone for the rest of the season. A regulation loss, however, and it’s right back in it.
Related: Playoff bubble watch — Leafs edition
Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.
OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.
For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.
You can watch all three goals in the video above.
It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.
Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between
Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.
Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.
You can see
from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”
(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)
As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.
Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.
In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.
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).
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.”