James O'Brien

Ah bummer, we were so close to a goalie fight tonight


There are a plethora of reasons to dislike regular, run-of-the-mill fights. It’s a reasonable thing for a hockey fan to do.

Let’s be honest, though: the sheer novelty and oddness of a goalie fight makes it difficult not to at least¬†smile.

Big awkward pads flying about. One guy possibly being way in over his head, which isn’t always the most fun (sorry, Braden Holtby, about that time you fought Ray Emery).

Long story short, goalie fights are quite the spectacle, so it’s a bit of a bummer that a bout was averted between Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens and Buffalo Sabres netminder Robin Lehner tonight.

So far, video of the near-exchange/super-icy staredown isn’t available, but Stephanie “My Regular Face” tells much of the story through GIFs.

Darn it.

Should be a goldmine for memes, at least.

Update: Now there’s video AND GIFs. Hooray.

Blue Jackets make three recalls, including prospect Bjorkstrand

Columbus Blue Jackets' Oliver Bjorkstrand, left, of Denmark, and Pittsburgh Penguins' David Warsofsky chase a loose puck during the overtime period of an NHL preseason hockey game Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. The Penguins defeated the Blue Jackets 1-0 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Even as they present dangerous spoiler potential, the Columbus Blue Jackets are likely looking to next season.

(Pulling the plug on Jack Johnson‘s 2015-16 season was just the latest sign.)

With that in mind, Wednesday’s recalls include one player who could be an interesting person to watch with eyes on 2016-17: Oliver Bjorkstrand.

Bjorkstrand made quite an impression with his play in the WHL, generating 109 points in 2013-14 and 118 in just 59 games in 2014-15, with the latter campaign earning him a player of the year nod.

He’s been solid, if unspectacular, in the AHL this season.

Maybe that lack of acceleration from WHL to AHL signifies that he needs more time before making a long-lasting impact on the Blue Jackets roster, yet either way, he’s a person to watch.

(Read more about him here.)

The Blue Jackets also brought up Michael Chaput and John Ramage. Click here for that full release.

WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) keeps Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews away from the puck after a face off during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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The Philadelphia Flyers are surprising a lot of people. Beating the Chicago Blackhawks, considering the circumstances, would be even more impressive.

Philly’s coming off of a significant win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, so they might be a little tired. The Blackhawks have plenty on the line in the Central Division title race, which means the Flyers will likely face a focused group in the defending champions.

If that’s not enough incentive to watch, there’s also Claude Giroux vs. Jonathan Toews with a cast including Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and wunderkind Shayne Gostisbehere.

All of this sounds pretty fantastic, so tune in on NBCSN and stream via the link below.


Video: McDonagh dazzles in Goals of the Week


EA Sports “NHL 16” is a pretty big leap in realism from the pixelated glory of the 16-bit generation, yet there are still moments when people probably claim that a goal was “so fake.”

Perhaps they should instead say, “That would only be a goal of the week.”

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh‘s fantastic wraparound goal leads the charge in the latest edition of Goals of the Week. Watch them all in the video above.

Another hat trick, another blowout as Ducks demoralize Devils

Anaheim Ducks left wing Jakob Silfverberg, left, scores past New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, March 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

So, what’s the theme of Monday night?

If you had to choose one, would it be blowouts or hat tricks?

The Anaheim Ducks provided an example of both in pummeling the road-weary New Jersey Devils by a score of 7-1. Jakob Silverberg was the guy who nabbed that hat trick, the first of his young career.

Most importantly for the Ducks, they remain in the thick of things for the Pacific Division title. The Los Angeles Kings remain two points ahead of them after humbling the Chicago Blackhawks, yet Anaheim could have ended the evening down three or four points if they didn’t maintain focus against the Devils.

Also, remember when Bruce Boudreau’s hot seat was boiling? He managed to make a little history with this win, another reminder that the Ducks may have made the right choice, as difficult as it must have been early this season:

For some, this season will still be a huge failure if the Ducks fail to make a deep playoff run. Grabbing points in games like these may help them get there.

Hat tricks

James Neal helps Predators beat Oilers


Kings bombard Blackhawks

Blowouts with hat tricks

Michael Frolik gets three goals in a kitchen sink-game between the Flames and Blues