James O'Brien

Video: Letang takes another big hit, some vintage Crosby


Even relatively good nights for the Pittsburgh Penguins often tend to mix a little bad in with the good.

As you can see above, there was a scare in Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, as Leo Komarov delivered a scary hit on frequently injured defenseman Kris Letang.

Early indications are that Letang is OK, but we’ve seen plenty of players see negative effects later on, Letang included.

It’s not all gloomy for Pens fans tonight, though, as we’ve also seen some “vintage” Sidney Crosby. He scored a nice goal, but it’s his assist on a Chris Kunitz power-play tally that really screamed No. 87 at his best:

As of this writing, the good with the bad extends to the score: a 2-2 tie.

Update: The Maple Leafs ended up winning 3-2 via a shootout.

Stars put Hemsky on IR, recall Faksa

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 11: Ales Hemsky #83 of the Dallas Stars handles the puck against the Nashville Predators at the American Airlines Center on April 11, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

The impressive Dallas Stars attack will be short a supporting cast member for at least a week after placing Ales Hemsky (pictured) on IR today.

The team explains that a Fedor Tyutin shot hit Hemsky’s foot during Tuesday’s win by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Hemsky’s loss could be Radek Faksa’s gain, as the young forward was recalled in exchange. He generated some positive word-of-mouth from management during his first appearances of the 2015-16 season, but Faksa didn’t set the world on fire either, so this is a chance to show progress.

Considering Hemsky’s history of poor injury luck, there’s a chance this could be a pretty solid opportunity for Faksa.

No Winter Classic for Marchand, who gets three-game suspension


The 2016 Winter Classic will be a little less pugnacious without Brad Marchand suiting up against the Montreal Canadiens.

The pesky Boston Bruins forward was handed a three-game suspension for his low, “clipping” hit on Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki.

Marchand already shared his take on the hit, so it’s unlikely that he agrees with the league’s decision.

“It was a simple play,” said Marchand, as per the Ottawa Sun. “I was trying to get to the puck carrier and I turned up ice and he was kind of standing there. I just turned up and tried to go after the puck carrier.”

In case you’re wondering about a possible appeal …

It’s not the first time Marchand faced supplemental discipline for this general type of hit; he was suspended five games for clipping Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo back in 2012.

He’s not just a repeat offender. Marchand is a repeat offender when it comes to questionable low hits, as the video explanation notes.

Borowiecki’s return to the game may have reduced Marchand’s punishment.

A few quick reactions:

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Rangers-Lightning, Flyers-Sharks)

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 29:   J.T. Brown #23 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates on the ice against Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on December 29, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

With 2016 approaching, NBCSN presents a doubleheader for the last 2015 edition of Wednesday Night Rivalry.

First, the Tampa Bay Lightning host the New York Rangers in what is indeed becoming a budding rivalry in the East. You can watch the game on TV or stream it via the link below.


That’s not all, as you can watch the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Sharks in San Jose for some late night action. Follow the link for that one, too.


Want a preview for the two games? Check that out here.

Your latest pricey healthy scratch: Matt Moulson and his $5M cap hit

Matt Moulson warms up during his first practice with the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center, in Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. Moulson came to Buffalo from the New York Islanders as part of a trade for Thomas Vanek. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Charles Lewis)

Sometimes you have to sit a guy, even when it makes you look almost as foolish as the guy perched in the press box.

Paying Matt Moulson $5 million per year already must sting a bit for the Buffalo Sabres, but they finally bit the bullet and made him a healthy scratch on Wednesday, with Marcus Foligno taking his place.

More than a few observers believe that it’s a move that has been in the making.

Moulson is paid to produce offense, but instead he’s been doing very little with the often-limited ice time he’s received.

He’s currently on a seven-game pointless streak and only has an assist in his last 11 games. Even his simple chances are drying up, as he failed to even get a shot on goal in two of his last three games.

(His possession stats seem acceptable, but they aren’t really going to force him to stay in the lineup, either.)

Moulson’s $5 million cap hit runs through 2018-19, so the Sabres have to hope that this is merely a lull rather than a sign of things to come.

Aside: perhaps it’s a slightly unhealthy scratch too? It sounded like Moulson was dealing with an illness earlier this week.

Either way, Buffalo has to hope for better things from him in the future.