James O'Brien

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
AP

Flu bug bit Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tonight

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Are we hitting that time of year where the flu can ruin a game or more?

NHL players aren’t immune to the same things that “sideline” people from offices – seriously, if you have the flu, call in sick, don’t make everyone else miserable – and Saturday provided another reminder.

As hot as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been, apparently his thermometer argued that such heat was more literally hot, so he wasn’t able to go against the Los Angeles Kings tonight.

Andrew Ference apparently wasn’t able to play either (though some would harshly joke that’s not such a bad thing).

We’ll see if the Oilers can find a way to win without two of their No. 1 pick centers against the formidable Los Angeles Kings.

Malkin on Penguins’ plight: ‘We’re mad at each other’

Mike Johnston
AP
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When the Pittsburgh Penguins were winning despite their offense, it was easy to say “a win’s a win.” Their current record probably limits the urge to panic, too.

Even so, their sputtering offense is baffling, and now with two losses in as many days, it’s that much more troubling.

Former Penguins front office members Ray Shero and John Hynes faced their former employers in New Jersey on Saturday, and they had to enjoy tonight’s 4-0 win.

The Devils also reminded people that they could very well be in the mix for a playoff spot, as they’re ahead of Pittsburgh as of tonight.

After starting 0-3-1, New Jersey is on a 10-3-0 tear, including two straight wins and four victories in five games. That includes this win against Pittsburgh and two decisions against the Chicago Blackhawks.

As much as people may spin the positive aspects of Pittsburgh’s situation, it’s clear that players such as Evgeni Malkin are frustrated.

(He also said “we need to look in the mirror.” Yikes.)

The Penguins are probably glad that they don’t play again until Tuesday, with four straight games. They need to get their house in order sooner rather than later, however.

Nashville’s blowout vs. Jets was nasty (not just on the scoreboard)

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As brutal as Blackhawks – Blues might be, it may not even be the most barbaric Central Division skirmish from Saturday.

That honor may go to the Nashville Predators’ absolute thrashing of the Winnipeg Jets.

Nashville managed a lopsided 4-0 lead in the first period, taking little time to chase Michael Hutchinson from Winnipeg’s net.

One would think the Jets might show frustration from that opening frame, and Nashville eventually capitalized on it, pouring it on with two third-period tallies to eventually win 7-0.

Yes, that’s right, a 7-0 score in 2015-16.

To give you an idea of how wild things became, just look at NHL.com’s penalty summary. The Jets received 84 penalty minutes while the Predators were tagged with 72.

Seems like a good time to throw in a “that escalated quickly” reference.

Some revenge for Roy? Avs blow out Habs 6-1

Mike Condon
AP
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Hey, remember that time Patrick Roy was left in Montreal’s net during a blowout and then demanded a trade? Nah, too obscure, sorry about that.

Anyway, it’s usually pretty fun when Roy brings his Colorado Avalanche into Montreal. Put an upstart goalie in the mix for the Canadiens and it becomes extra-fun.

Granted, Mike Condon was only in Montreal’s net for so long.

The (once?) red-hot Condon only lasted two periods on Saturday, as he was chased after allowing four goals on just 11 shots. Dustin Tokarski‘s night wasn’t a lot better, as Colorado cruised to a commanding 6-1 win.

Speaking of upstart goalies, Reto Berra continues his startingly strong start by stopping 39 out of 40 shots.

This stands as Montreal’s first regulation home loss while Colorado might just be heating up with three straight wins.

Fight video (and more): Jonathan Toews vs. David Backes

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Say what you will about the Blackhawks – Blues rivalry – some will sardonically compare it to a hammer and nail, at least in the playoffs – but it seems pretty clear that they really, really don’t like each other.

The two captains exemplify that distaste, and they really showed it on Saturday.

In one hit, Jonathan Toews was whistled for illegal hit to the head on David Backes.

Later on, the real headliner happened, however, as Backes boarded Niklas Hjalmarsson and then fought with Toews (see in the top video).

Boy, Toews hasn’t been shy about dropping the gloves lately, has he?

This tweet says a lot too: