Bouma, 24, is coming off a breakout campaign in Calgary, during which he posted career highs in almost every statistical category. He scored five goals and 15 points in 78 games, carving himself a niche as a high-energy guy that became one of head coach Bob Hartley’s favorites this season.
Calgary’s third-round pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Bouma led all Flames forwards in blocked shots this year (87), and tied for second among NHL forwards with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf. Bouma also led all Calgary skaters in hits, with 181, while averaging over 12 minutes per night.
Midway through last season, Hartley called Bouma the club’s most improved player.
“He showed up to camp in great shape, which was absolutely no surprise to us,” Hartley said, per the Calgary Herald. “He’s one of the first guys on the ice at practice. Game day, same thing. He’s committed to getting better.
“He wants to be an NHL player. He’s a gritty player willing to block shots. I have lots of time for Booms. His progression is far from a surprise.”
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger