I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Video: Jaromir Jagr celebrates 45th birthday with 1,900th point


On his 45th birthday, Jaromir Jagr got what just about any reasonable hockey player wouldn’t even ask for: his 1,900th career regular season point.

Fitting for a guy who just seems to wade through milestone after milestone, right?

Jagr’s 22nd assist of 2016-17 did the trick on Aleksander Barkov‘s 13th goal of the season. At the moment, it seemed like the tally would put things away at 5-3 … but that wasn’t the case. Instead, Joe Pavelski remarkably fired two goals past Roberto Luongo – who was hurt on the second one – to send this game to overtime.


But let’s focus, for the moment, on that Jagr assist. Watch it in the video above.

Flames climb into wild card spot as Flyers squander similar chance


Heading into Wednesday’s game, both the Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers were essentially a win for grabbing the last wild card spot in their respective conferences.*

The Flames essentially stepped on the Flyers’ heads to go up an extra rung on the ladder today. With a 3-1 win, Calgary ends the night in the West’s wild card spot while Philly lost a step or two.

It’s fair to wonder if the Flames will last long there, but really, that just cements that this was a key win:

West wild card ranks

1. Predators – 62 points in 56 games
2. Flames – 61 in 58

Kings – 60 in 55
Canucks – 56 in 57
Jets – 56 in 59
Stars – 54 in 58

Yep, it’s easy to envision the Kings climbing ahead of the Flames with those three extra games, but Calgary’s nonetheless in a better spot than they were yesterday. They could also conceivably benefit from, say, the Predators stumbling a bit.

Meanwhile, the Flyers really soothed Toronto’s wounds from the Maple Leafs’ frustrating loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Abbreviated look at race for last wild card spot

Last spot: Maple Leafs – 63 points in 56 games

Flyers – 61 points in 57 games
Islanders – 60 points in 55 games
Panthers – 58 in 54 (in action later tonight vs. San Jose)
Devils – 58 in 56
Sabres – 58 in 57

With the New York Rangers more interested in stepping into the Metro’s top three than their wild card opponents considering their 75 standings points, many of these teams are eyeing that lone wild card spot.

The New York Islanders stand as one of the big winners in seeing the Maple Leafs and Flyers lose in regulation on Wednesday. It might feel strange to see the Flames hand the Flyers a fairly costly loss, but that’s how it goes when everything is so tight in both conferences.

* Technically, the Maple Leafs would lead the Flyers thanks to games in hand, but it would have been a virtual tie. The greater point remains that Philly could have made up some serious ground.

Blues remain hot under Yeo, close off perfect five-game road trip


It was an emotional night at Joe Louis Arena as Detroit Red Wings fans paid tribute to late owner Mike Ilitch, but on the ice, the St. Louis Blues were the ones controlling all the momentum. Then again, they’ve been hogging a lot of the momentum since Mike Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock.

Tonight’s 2-0 win continues a hot streak for Carter Hutton (back-to-back shutouts, four shutouts in his last six road starts) and the rest of the team under their new head coach.

They’ve won eight of 10 games overall, but looking a little closer makes their accomplishments even more impressive. Instead of a five-game road trip ending the “honeymoon” period for Yeo, they won all of those games. They’ve won six of seven under Yeo so far.

While it’s true that Petr Mrazek probably kicks himself for Ivan Barbashev’s 1-0 goal, the bottom line is that Detroit just couldn’t get much going against that smothering St. Louis possession game. Mike Milbury critiqued Mrazek for allowing the eventual game-winner by being off his angle:

This leaves the Blues fairly comfortably in the third spot in the Central, or failing that, seemingly in a great position to at least make the playoffs. It makes questions about what to do with Kevin Shattenkirk that much tougher, but it’s a better problem to have than all the questions they were facing when things were getting uglier under Hitch.

WATCH LIVE: Florida Panthers at San Jose Sharks


Both the San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers have some work to do, even if the Sharks top their division while the Panthers are on the outside of the East playoffs.

Need proof? Merely look at their records in the last 10 games:

Sharks: 5-2-3
Panthers: 5-3-2

Not awful by any means, but there are certainly signs for improvement.

For your viewing pleasure, consider that both teams boast young talent (Logan Couture, Jonathan Huberdeau) to go with some of the league’s most beloved elder statesmen in Jaromir Jagr and Joe Thornton.

You can watch on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream.

Hey, another stick infraction: Alex Chiasson ejected for spearing


A strange week of stick-related infractions continued on Wednesday, as Calgary Flames forward Alex Chiasson was ejected for spearing Philadelphia Flyers center Nick Cousins.

The reactions so far, seem to be a mixture of 1) that was foolish by Chiasson and 2) it wasn’t especially vicious.

Cousins ended up having a busy period: receiving that spear, scoring a goal and then serving the Flyers’ too many men on the ice penalty. The Flyers were unable to make Chiasson and the Flames pay for the infraction with a power-play goal.

Apparently Cousins is getting under the Flames’ skin tonight, also drawing a roughing penalty from Sam Bennett.

Check out the infraction in the video above this post’s headline.

For your consideration:

More stick drama:

Gustav Nyquist gets a six-game suspension

Antoine Vermette receives automatic 10-gamer for “abuse of official.”