James O'Brien

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

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)

Update: Bergeron and the Bruins got the last laugh. He scored two goals and Boston beat Winnipeg 6-2.

Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

Here’s his second assist for good measure:

Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.

Stars chase Crawford as Eaves scores first-period hat trick

AP
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The Dallas Stars seemed like they were slipping out of the run for the top spot in the Central Division for a while there.

Now it seems like they might just boot the Chicago Blackhawks out of first place in little time.

Granted, there’s plenty of time left in Thursday’s game, and that’s probably part of the reason why Joel Quenneville gave Corey Crawford the early hook.

The other reasons? Well, four of them, as Dallas is up 4-0 … and Patrick Eaves provided a remarkably rapid hat trick riding along with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Here’s his third tally:

If Dallas can hold on for a regulation win, the Stars would end the night just one standings point behind Chicago with two games in hand. Then again, as this race has shown, it’s rarely safe to make too many assumptions.

Update: Dallas ended up beating Chicago 4-2.

Connor McDavid’s best game yet: Five points vs. Maple Leafs

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The Oilers could be a big seller during the trade deadline, but that’s not the only reason to keep an eye on Edmonton.

Connor McDavid is making up for lost time from his freak injury, scoring highlight reel goals often enough that he’s almost doing so at will.

In many cases, he’s used his speed to leave opposing defenses helpless. In this case against his hometown team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, McDavid took advantage of a nice Benoit Pouliot pass. Check out that nice tally in the video above.

Update: It turned out to be special night for McDavid in more ways than just that one goal. With five points in Edmonton’s 5-2 win against Toronto, he set a new career-high in his young career.

Remarkable stuff … and likely just the beginning for the NHL’s latest wunderkind.

It was also a special night for Jordan Eberle, by the way.