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Blue Jackets maintain blistering pace, and the Metro is still ridiculous

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are playing out of their minds right now, but maybe they’re just trying to fit in with their Metropolitan Division peers.

By beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday, Columbus improved its winning streak to seven consecutive games. Sergei Bobrovsky‘s masterful performance pushes him to 17 wins, the best mark in the NHL.

Simply put, Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets are closing opponents out.

You can stack great Blue Jackets for hours, really.

This is a great story, yet it would be even bigger if … well, almost every other team in the Metro wasn’t also doing amazing things. John Tortorella’s really on another level, and he’s also still entertaining us with moments like these (justifiable anger or not):

Funny. And probably a lot funnier for Columbus fans as the wins keep coming in.

Let’s take a look at where the Blue Jackets stand in the maddening Metro:

1. Penguins – 41 points in 29 games played, six straight wins
2. Rangers – 41 points in 31 GP, 6-4-0 in last 10
3. Blue Jackets – 40 points in 27 GP, seven straight wins
4. Capitals – 39 points in 28 GP, five straight wins
5. Flyers – 39 points in 31 GP, nine straight wins

That’s pretty nuts. Especially when you considering the notion that you really can’t take a night off against the Devils or Hurricanes (30 points apiece) and that the Islanders can still be dangerous at times, even if they’ve been a mess overall.

You could argue that Columbus is in the best position, right now, of all the Metro’s elite. Those games in hand look promising when you consider how often this team is grabbing both points.

Still, you could also make an argument for the four other teams vying for the Metro crown, so the Blue Jackets don’t really have time to sit back and bask in their unexpected accomplishments.

Not that Torts would tolerate such an outlook, mind you.

More: All hail the Metro

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.