James O'Brien

Video: If Jonathan Toews is hurt, this is how it happened


At minimum, the Chicago Blackhawks need to monitor Jonathan Toews‘ health.

He’s been bouncing in and out of the remainder of tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues after an unfortunate moment when he collided with a slightly open Blues bench.

(You can see the moment that shook him up in the video above.)’

Again, Toews did return to the ice, yet he’s looked less than 100 percent. Andrew Shaw and Tomas Fleischmann are other Blackhawks to watch as far as possible injuries go during a physical rivalry game.

Update: It sounds like Toews is OK.

Shaw and Fleischmann appear fine, too.

Wrong call? Ryan Reaves gets ejected for hit on Christian Ehrhoff


The Chicago Blackhawks received a five-minute power play after St. Louis Blues tough guy Ryan Reaves was ejected for a charging hit on Christian Ehrhoff.

You can watch that check, with multiple replays, in the video above.

Blues fans weren’t happy about that call, but that often is the case with home crowds. The difference here is that many others felt that the punishment was excessive, including plenty of members of the NBCSN crew.

Here’s a GIF of the hit, too:

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones believed that it was the wrong call, too.

Update: The NHL might take a look at the hit for possible supplementary discipline.

Outdoor games official: 2017 Winter Classic in St. Louis, Flyers-Pens in Pittsburgh


Earlier on Wednesday, PHT’s Jason Brough noted that it looked like there would be four outdoor games next season, even if only one was official. Now the NHL announced all of them.

The 2016 Heritage Classic in Winnipeg (Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets) early next season was already announced and discussed here.

Not that long ago, the NHL also confirmed the 2017 Centennial Classic, with the Maple Leafs hosting the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto.

Now we’re certain of the final two outdoor games for 2016-17, and they’re quite interesting.

First, there’s the 2017 Winter Classic, with the St. Louis Blues hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium. Will David Backes be there, as the ad indicates?

As you can see, that game will be on Jan. 2, one day after the Centennial Classic.

Another rivalry match rounds out the outdoor slate, as the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 2017 Stadium Series game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. That game takes place on Feb. 18, 2017.

Plenty of star power and plenty of rivalries will be addressed in the often-chilly climates.

The league’s full release can be seen here.

It’s official: Maple Leafs host Red Wings in 2017 Centennial Classic

via Maple Leafs

Another outdoor game is official for next season: the Detroit Red Wings will face the Toronto Maple Leafs at BMO Field in Toronto on New Year’s Day 2017 for the 2017 Centennial Classic.

Here’s part of the league’s official announcement; you can read the whole thing here.

In 2017, the NHL will conduct a year-long Centennial celebration that will feature a variety of ceremonies, recognitions, observances and special events that will highlight 100 years of NHL hockey and also will recognize a number of milestone anniversaries for member Clubs, including the Maple Leafs.

The game will be a rematch of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. On New Year’s Day 2014, a record crowd of 105,491 watched the Red Wings and Maple Leafs rekindle their Original Six™ rivalry at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Snow fell throughout the day, providing the perfect backdrop for a thrilling game, which the Maple Leafs won, 3-2, in a shootout.

Other official game: The Winnipeg Jets host the Heritage Classic early in 2016-17.

Two more official, finalizing all four: Click here for the full post.

Earlier today on PHT: There could be four outdoor games, although only (one, now two) are official.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry – Blackhawks at Blues

St. Louis Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin, of Russia, maneuvers around Chicago Blackhawks' Marcus Kruger (16), of Sweden, during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

As much as the race for the Central Division’s title appeared to come down to the Dallas Stars or Chicago Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues have struggled through injuries and other challenges to stay in the mix.

At the moment, the Blues have 85 points in 67 games played, just two points behind Chicago. St. Louis is three behind Dallas, yet the Blues hold a game in hand.

With that, it’s pretty obvious that tonight’s game is important, especially for the Blues.

Beyond the playoff implications, there’s plenty of talent on both sides, including a matchup of two stellar scorers in Patrick Kane vs. Vladimir Tarasenko.

You can watch the game on NBCSN and stream it via the link below.