New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Seven

Pens’ Scuderi: ‘I didn’t feel like myself’ last season

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By just about any measure, the 2013-14 season was a rough one for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. Considering the fact that he’s 35, many likely believe that those struggles are a harbinger of more ugly numbers to come, but the veteran blueliner provided at least some reason for optimism to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Shelly Anderson.

While former Penguins GM Ray Shero nearly described Scuderi as the one who got away considering his often-successful time with the Los Angeles Kings, there was already a debate revving up regarding his value in the summer of 2013. That criticism has only gotten louder after a season that was a disappointment by a wide array of metrics. Pensburgh probably described it in the most amusing way while reviewing his lousy campaign:

Imagine a tire fire, now think of something worse. Multiply that by two, then square it. Now multiply that by three. We’re getting close.

That doesn’t sound very promising.

The question is: what are the chances that Scuderi can actually bounce back? He only speaks vaguely about how he might improve (including being a “little bit selfish,” which seems like an odd goal for a guy who peaked at 16 points in a season), yet the organization’s front office reboot and perhaps a cleaner bill of health might just make a difference.

Scuderi is one of those defensemen who are at their best when you don’t really notice what they’re doing – as in, they’re not making mistakes – so the Penguins are probably hoping that he’s only making subtle adjustments anyway.

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.)