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

Fight videos: Stewart vs. Haley, Rangers – Devils feel the hate


Tuesday saw some entertaining and violent tussles, whether the teams involved were both desperate or if some were merely driven by pride (or was it spite?).

To kick off a big game for both the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild, Chris Stewart dropped the gloves with Micheal Haley. As you can see from this post’s main image, it’s not their first bout, as Stewart fought Haley as a member of the Anaheim Ducks.

Stewart probably won that fight with his jab-heavy approach.

The New Jersey Devils didn’t have much to gain against the New York Rangers tonight, yet they edged them 3-2 in overtime nonetheless.

Then again, spite can be quite the motivator, and there were multiple moments of violence that made you think that the Devils are well aware of the teams’ rivalry.


Penguins become fourth team to clinch playoffs; Caps keep Metro lead


Injuries continue to assail the Pittsburgh Penguins, yet they keep battling. Perhaps clinching a playoff berth will soothe some of those wounds, then.

They punched their ticket after beating the Buffalo Sabres in a spirited 3-1 bout on Tuesday, becoming the fourth NHL team to do so in 2016-17. As the latest example of how ridiculous the Metropolitan Division is, consider that the Penguins are the third Metro team to clinch.

Speaking of that stout division, Pittsburgh didn’t get to go to first place tonight, as the Washington Capitals rode a great Alex Ovechkin performance to a 4-2 win against the Calgary Flames.

Let’s take a look at the three-team race for the top spot in the Central after Tuesday’s proceedings:

Capitals – 102 points in 72 games
Penguins – 101 points in 72 GP
Blue Jackets – 100 points in 71 GP

(Those lagging Rangers would merely lead the Atlantic Division. Slackers.)

You can check out some of the nastiness from Penguins – Sabres here and a mixture of Sidney Crosby‘s brilliance and saltiness here.

Video: Torey Krug goes coast-to-coast for impressive Bruins goal

If there’s one obvious choice for a Boston Bruins defenseman who would benefit from the team’s increased emphasis on attacking, it would be Torey Krug.

Usually that means advancing the puck in transition and being a little more aggressive in offensive support … but every now and then, Krug turns on the jets and creates chances more or less by himself.

Tuesday presented one of his most impressive moments, as he made it look way too easy going coast-to-coast to score a goal against the Ottawa Senators. You wonder if Erik Karlsson felt a tinge of jealousy in that moment.

Flu seems to be in the water for Sharks with Vlasic out this time


The San Jose Sharks have already been struggling to score goals and win games. Now they’re also fighting off the sniffles.

Chris Tierney missed Monday’s game with the flu, now Marc-Edouard Vlasic is missing tonight’s contest against the Minnesota Wild (in progress, on NBCSN) with an illness.

CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz wonders if a bug is going around, and he’s likely not the only one.

With Jannik Hansen hurt – likely injured, at least? – the Sharks are trying to break their three-game skid with a group that’s far from 100 percent.

Video: Pens’ Guentzel suffers concussion from hit by Sabres’ Ristolainen


Sidney Crosby showed a moment of brilliance and, in contrast, a moment of bitterness during Tuesday’s Penguins – Sabres game, but it wasn’t the only nasty moment.

Crosby’s young linemate Jake Guentzel was clearly struggling after a hit by Buffalo blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen during the first period. Ristolainen received a five-minute major and game misconduct for interference on that play.

You can see that hard hit in the video above.

The Penguins have already been battling a ridiculous slew of injuries, and it sure seemed like Guentzel was dazed. Not good.

This game means a ton more to Pittsburgh than it does to Buffalo, yet the physical play and decent array of scoring chances makes it seem like both teams are quite engaged.

Update: Bad news for the Penguins, as it appears that Guentzel suffered a concussion.