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

Just like that, Blue Jackets at risk of continuing trend of squandered leads

The Columbus Blue Jackets put themselves in a great position to win after the first 20 minutesĀ of Game 4, taking a 2-0 lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They even – seemingly – reversed the trend of bad second-period play, fattening their edge to 3-0 early on.

It was really looking like, maybe, possibly, the Blue Jackets would cruise to their first win of the series.

They enter the second intermission in a … far different state of mind, however.

Stream Penguins vs. Blue Jackets on NBC Sports

After a Monday full of heart-stopping comebacks, the Blue Jackets rapidly saw a 3-0 edge degrade to a more tenuous 3-2 lead.

The mini-comeback began with Patric Hornqvist scoring from his office (or is it Wayne Simmonds‘ office now?):

A few jaws dropped (or at least some nail-biting commenced) after Ron Hainsey made it 3-2 with just a handful of minutes remaining in the second:

The Blue Jackets merely need to draw even in the third to get to a Game 5. It should be interesting to see if they go aggressive or try to play “prevent defense.” Either way, they’re dangerously close to being swept after a shockingly successful run in 2016-17.

So many men on the ice – for both Rangers, Habs – in this goal (Video)


On first blush, the Montreal Canadiens’ 1-1 goal from the first period of Game 4 against the New York Rangers was about a few things:

  • Alex Radulov‘s Jagr-esque sturdiness on the puck. (Seriously, good luck getting the biscuit from that guy right now.)
  • The Rangers feeling frustrated after a mostly positive opening frame ending nonetheless at 1-1.
  • An outstanding give-and-go between Shea Weber and Torrey Mitchell.

As it turns out, the goal might be most noteworthy for how many RangersĀ and Canadiens were on the ice during the tally:

You don’t see that every day/year.

Stream Rangers vs. Canadiens on NBC Sports

Even Blue Jackets are taken aback by fan’s weird Zach Werenski tribute shirt


Is it us, or is this postseason already a great one for weird-but-wonderful fan displays?

Think about it, we’re completing the first week of action and there’s already been:

That’s quite the start, and there are almost certainly more amusing and impressive examples of fans going the extra mile. If you want to up the level of bizarre, though, well … feast your eyes on this guy, who baffled even the sardonic Columbus Blue Jackets feed.

… Goodness.

In case you can’t tell, that’s a tribute to Zach Werenski‘s wounds from Game 3 of Penguins – Blue Jackets, when he posted this selfie.

Stream Penguins vs. Blue Jackets on NBC Sports

So, are we going to see an arms war in fan shirts now? Some of us … wouldn’t complain.

Here’s an update on his face:

Vegas Golden Knights roster reveal will happen at NHL Awards on June 21

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The NHL announced that the Vegas Golden Knights will announce their 30 selections from the expansion draft on June 21, adding a considerable dash of pizzazz to the 2017 NHL Awards.

(Will there still be skits?)

To review, the protected players and available players lists are expected to be revealed on June 18, giving Hockey Twitter/message boards a few days to put together hypothetical situations in respective mad science labs.

It will be a glorious, chaotic time. Perhaps the celebrity host will get to make especially awkward jokes? (Crosses fingers for Norm.)

Anyway, the league also revealed when the award nominees will be announced:

Wednesday, April 19
Selke Trophy (forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game)

Thursday, April 20
Calder Trophy (top rookie)

Friday, April 21
Norris Trophy (top defenseman)

Saturday, April 22
Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Sunday, April 23
Lady Byng Trophy (player best combining sportsmanship and ability)

Monday, April 24
Masterton Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)

Tuesday, April 25
NHL Foundation Player Award (community service)

Wednesday, April 26
Jack Adams Award (top head coach)

Thursday, April 27
Mark Messier Leadership Award

Monday, May 1
Hart Trophy (most valuable player to his team)

Tuesday, May 2
Ted Lindsay Award (most outstanding player as voted by the Players)

Fun times will be had.

Yes, Rangers give Buchnevich (and Holden) a chance in Game 4


It wouldn’t be a New York Rangers postseason game without fans being a bit upset about Alain Vigneault’s lineup decisions. They’re even more reliable than Henrik Lundqvist in net.

Still, some of the louder complaints are muted heading into Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens, though it remains to be seen if it will be to the extent to quiet complaints.

As discussedĀ earlier, the Rangers will indeed play PavelĀ Buchnevich tonight, with Nick Holden also drawing into the lineup. Tanner Glass‘ shocking game-winning goal could only carry him so far, so he’s out (along with Kevin Klein on defense).

Stream Rangers vs. Canadiens on NBC Sports

Perhaps this will give the Rangers a shot in the arm and/or better chance of gaining more puck possession against the Habs tonight? Perhaps.

But that doesn’t mean Vigneault gets an A+ from every fan.