Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six

Leighton talks famous goal, trying to earn time with Blackhawks


The jokes just wrote themselves when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Michael Leighton for what amounts to goaltending insurance in the 2014-15 season. The journeyman netminder told the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s OK with a few ribs from that 2010 Stanley Cup Final (especially Patrick Kane’s surreal and memorable Cup-clinching goal).

“There’s probably going to be a couple jokes around the locker room,” Leighton said. “But I’m over it, and I’m looking forward to being part of the Chicago Blackhawks again.”

(Believe it or not, the Blackhawks made him the 165th choice in the 1999 NHL Draft.)

Leighton, 33, seems aware that he’s likely to start the season in the AHL, stating that all he can control is to out-play Antti Raanta and Corey Crawford. Either way, that two-way contract gives Chicago some valuable flexibility.

The veteran goalie also provided a few interesting details about that goal from 2010. First, take a look at it:

  • Leighton admits that he did know the puck went underneath him. The Sun-Times notes that three people might have known it went in, then: Leighton, Kane and Patrick Sharp.
  • He provided no answers to the mystery of where, exactly, that Cup-winning puck is. Understandably, Leighton said it was “the last thing on his mind” at that time.

Leighton put up nice numbers in the KH with Dunbass last season, generating a 1.74 GAA and .933 save percentage in 42 games. He didn’t see enough action to really note in his last bit of NHL action in 2012-13, but those KHL stats at least make an argument that he could be a serviceable backup if things don’t work out for Raanta.

Considering that Leighton was a sixth-rounder, it’s actually a fun story that he can remain relevant enough to bring up those old jokes and treasured memories for Blackhawks fans.

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.