James O'Brien

Strong night for guys named Karlsson (and their goalies)


Thursday was a strong night for players with the last name Karlsson … except William of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He sort of rained on the thematic parade.

Erik Karlsson topped the charts, as he’s known to do (especially among Karlssons). He scored two goals and grabbed an assist – while flirting heavily with a hat trick – in the Ottawa Senators’ 3-0 win against William’s Blue Jackets.

Craig Anderson got the shutout in that case.

Melker Karlsson may have owned the Karlsson highlight of the night, however, as he scored the only goal in San Jose’s 1-0 OT victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The success-by-association-with-Karlssons theme carried over for Martin Jones, who nabbed an impressive 34-save shutout.

Cheesy theme, you say? Fine.

/Takes a blogger bye week

Note: Bobby Ryan‘s health may be an overriding concern for Erik Karlsson and the Senators, though.

Eriksson’s hat trick foils Wild, who may have lost Zucker to injury


Your nightly understatement: Thursday’s been rough for the Minnesota Wild.

Most directly, they lost a 4-2 decision against the Boston Bruins, with Lou Eriksson notching a hat trick against them.

(Video of Eriksson’s trio of goals will be added to this post upon availability.)

Maybe more concerning, rising star Jason Zucker might be hurt.

Here’s video of a slash that may have done some serious damage:

The Wild are already a little banged up, so they have to hope that this looked worse than it will end up being.

Nothing official yet, though.

This hit left Patrick Wiercioch with an upper-body injury

Ottawa Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch left Thursday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and will not return after suffering an upper-body injury.

It appears as though Wiercioch was injured by a Nick Foligno check, which you can watch in the video above.

At least at first blush, that seemed like an unfortunate result from what seemed like a legal hit. Agree/disagree?

Finally: Ovechkin owns Russian goal-scoring record


After a rare four-game point drought where he sat agonizingly at 483 goals, Alex Ovechkin finally scored his 484th on Thursday.

With that, the Washington Capitals star broke his tie with former teammate Sergei Fedorov, sitting alone as the record-holder for most goals scored by a Russian-born NHL player.

T.J. Oshie passed to Nicklas Backstrom, who made an absolutely beautiful setup to Ovechkin for that milestone goal.

The assist had to come from Backstrom, right?

Note: A clip with more angles may be added to this post later on.

This ranks as the 911th point of Ovechkin’s career, leaving him pretty close to Fedorov’s points record (Sergei managed 1,179 in his outstanding career).

Ignoring national origin talk for a moment, Ovechkin has 484 goals at 30. Where do you expect him to finish on the sad day he hangs up his skates?

Update: Ovechkin got the record, but the Stars grabbed the win, as Jason Spezza‘s 3-2 goal ended up being the difference.

These five teams are reportedly most interested in Hamonic

Denis Potvin, Travis Hamonic

Everyone, Travis Hamonic is clearly the Belle of the Ball, at least if you’re dancing around trade rumors.

Thursday’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading might as well have been called “The Travis Hamonic Episode.”

The juiciest stuff probably comes from Darren Dreger, who lists these five teams as the biggest bidders so well:

  • Winnipeg Jets: Mentioned first because, as Hamonic’s most immediate NHL market, it’s believed to be his preference.
  • Calgary Flames
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Minnesota Wild

Dreger does note that it’s “relatively early” in the process and mentions that Jacob Trouba or Tyler Myers may be the sort of guys the Islanders are asking for in a trade with Winnipeg (which may be too expensive for the Jets’ liking).

Pierre LeBrun points out that Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has “coveted” Hamonic even before the affordable defenseman was on the market.

That said, if a move would require Darnell Nurse being part of the package, it probably wouldn’t work out.

Dreger notes that Hamonic’s agent has been given permission to speak with interested general managers, so perhaps that group of five top suitors may swell.

There’s clearly plenty of interest in the blueliner, at least off the record.