James O'Brien

Hats for Mats: Brassard, Zuccarello conjure magic for Rangers


Considering the fact that he suffered a fractured skull, it’s sometimes scary to watch Mats Zuccarello on the ice.

It might be almost as frightening to try to stop his dangerous New York Rangers line, though.

Zuccarello collected a hat trick, representing all three Rangers goals in a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Derrick Brassard got the primary assist on all three tallies, while Rick Nash mopped up with the secondary helper on every goal.

All due respect to Nash’s contributions, but Brassard’s passes to Zuccarello were downright beautiful. Check out all three goals in the video above.

Canes’ Lindholm out for the night with lower-body injury

Elias Lindholm, Nick Holden

The Carolina Hurricanes have been sneaky-scrappy so far in 2015-16, but they have to be a little concerned about the status of one of their best young scorers.

Elias Lindholm suffered a lower-body injury against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and won’t return, according to various sources including Michael Smith of the Hurricanes.

It’s early, so no word yet on how serious this is beyond ending his involvement in Friday’s contest.

It appears as if the injury may have happened during this moment, as Stephanie (“My Regular Face”) shares in GIF form.

Update: Lindholm’s ended up winning 3-2, so there’s at least that for Carolina.

Report: Leafs plan … nothing for Kessel’s Toronto return

Phil Kessel

The best thing about teams generating tribute videos to returning former players isn’t the music. It’s not about the great highlights, either.

Really, the greatest thing is when those token gestures don’t happen.

Keep in mind this is by no means official, and the Toronto Maple Leafs could easily put together a simple bit if they want to.

Still, it’s awfully interesting from a high school drama standpoint that the Maple Leafs have nothing planned for Phil Kessel‘s return with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, according to Damien Cox’s report in Sportsnet’s latest “Headlines” segment.

A little frosty, right?

Obviously this is a minor detail, yet it’s interesting, especially as the Maple Leafs were the ones who traded Kessel out of town (rather than other rare instances in which a team might feel slighted by a free agent departure).

One would guess that Toronto’s fans will give him a boo-laced tribute, anyway, though.

Here’s the latest slick Jack Eichel goal


Sure, it’s fair to say that Connor McDavid‘s made the biggest impact of the two, but Buffalo Sabres fans shouldn’t complain about Jack Eichel.

He’s showing plenty of magic, the beyond-his-years kind, and it’s still only October. He presented his latest opus against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

You can see the video above.

Aside: Buffalo’s been looking pretty feisty the past couple days, right?

Hmm: Torts makes Tyutin a healthy scratch

Fedor Tyutin, Ryan White

The Columbus Blue Jackets will shoot for three straight wins without Fedor Tyutin in the lineup.

It sounds like the move is for performance-based reasons rather than health, at least at the moment.

Kevin Connauton draws into the mix in Tyutin’s place, according to Rob Mixer of the Blue Jackets.

It’s difficult to see what, exactly, might rub John Tortorella the wrong way about Tyutin’s play.

His possession numbers seem solid  enough (even if he’s getting an unusually high number of offensive zone starts compared to his previous workhorse burden). You’d think he would be good enough to at least stay in the six-man mix for Columbus, especially against a challenging opponent like the Washington Capitals, but apparently not.