James O'Brien

Brad Marchand, Dan Boyle

Coming Tuesday: Dan Boyle, $4.5M healthy scratch


Few things say “Oops, bad signing” quite like putting a really expensive player in street clothes (without an injury being involved).

The Philadelphia Flyers set quite the high bar in that regard, but the New York Rangers can’t laugh too much. Not with Dan Boyle expected to be a healthy scratch against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

The word from the Bergen Record is that Dylan McIlrath will draw into the Rangers lineup in Boyle’s space, although Kevin Klein will take over Boyle’s role on the power play.

Let’s face the facts. At 39, Boyle may still boast some zip on offense, but maybe not enough to justify an everyday role.

It’s not the first time the Rangers have decided to make the difficult, awkward season to phase a big name out as he approaches age 40.

Even if it’s just a momentary situation, one cannot help but wonder if Boyle’s career is screeching to halt much like Martin St. Louis’ did in 2014-15 (though the latter’s decline was more sudden).

On the bright side, it sounds like Boyle has a side job lined up with Faith No More.

Flyers rebound with feisty win vs. Panthers

Brayden Schenn

Philadelphia Flyers Dave Hakstol preached to his players not to overreact from a 7-1 loss. It seems like they provided the perfect response on Monday.

It’s not too surprising that it was a feisty, physical contest since the Flyers faced the same Florida Panthers team that embarrassed them on Saturday.

Maybe they would have treated any opponent this way, though. This was a home-opening contest after a humiliating defeat, after all.

Either way, it was a physical contest that demanded some expert penalty killing:

Hakstol got his first win as Philly’s head coach in the process.

Brayden Schenn scored the game’s only tally, but perhaps the real story was Michal Neuvirth, who very much earned a shutout in his first start with the Flyers.

The Flyers’ next game is against the Chicago Blackhawks, with honor going to Kimmo Timonen. It will air on NBCSN on Wednesday.

Ouch: Blues’ Fabbri out indefinitely with concussion

Robby Fabbri, Mattias Janmark-Nylen

After he fired home his first NHL goal off of beautiful feed by Jori Lehtera, some St. Louis Blues fans may have been daydreaming about Robby Fabbri being the “missing piece.”

Maybe that’s still eventually in the cards, but the promising young forward will be sidelined indefinitely with a concussion, according to the team.

In a cruel twist in an already tough situation, it sounds as though Fabbri was injured thanks to a check by Chris Porter, at least by St. Louis Gametime’s account.

Video of the hit that hurt Fabbri will be posted if it becomes available.

So much for the Blue Jackets starting strong

Dalton Prout, Marcus Foligno, Sergei Bobrovsky

When the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t talking about injuries heading into this season, they were talking about getting off to a strong start.

“That’s going to be our team goal,” Fedor Tyutin said to NHL.com during the summer.  We don’t want to use injuries as an excuse. We still have good players here.”

Things haven’t exactly gone to plan so far.

Jack Eichel‘s nifty goal was the highlight of Buffalo’s 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets, but it’s been almost all low-lights for Columbus. They’re off to just their second 0-3-0 start in franchise history.

That 2011-12 Blue Jackets team missed the playoffs by a wide margin, managing only 65 standings points.

Of course, the difference this season is that they came into the year with high expectations, ranking as a dark horse candidate in plenty of minds.

Between two losses to the New York Rangers and today’s defeat to Buffalo, the Blue Jackets have been outscored 13-6. Four of their six goals have come on the power play, a disturbing sign for a team that aims to be rat-level pesky.

Trouble approaching

Yes, it’s only three games. There’s plenty of time for Columbus to turn things around.

Still, this is a disturbing pattern for the Blue Jackets, as NHL.com noted how they’ve been stumbling out of the gate.

In the previous three seasons, the Blue Jackets started 2-12-1, 5-12-4 and 5-10-0.

Things could get really ugly if Columbus doesn’t work things out soon.

They’ll play three of their next four games at home, but after that, they approach a harrowing stretch of seven out of eight games on the road starting on Oct. 22.

Could their season fall apart thanks to a sluggish start once again?

‘Age doesn’t matter’ for Red Wings’ Zetterberg-Larkin-Abdelkader line

Dylan Larkin

So far, Dylan Larkin is laughing at the NHL learning curve.

He’s part of the red-hot line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader that has helped power the Detroit Red Wings to two wins in as many games.

That trio has combined for 12 points and a collective +15 rating.

New head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com that “age doesn’t matter” to him when putting lines together, but it sounds like Zetterberg is elated to skate with a young up-and-comer.

“It’s been a good start obviously, but I’ve been playing with some young fresh guys, too, so that keeps me younger,” Zetterberg said.

NHL coaches are known for scrambling lines, especially with less familiar combinations, which Larkin is to Zetterberg and Abdelkader. So far, the fresh-faced forward is fitting right in, though.