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

Fight videos: Couturier vs. Landeskog; Lucic against Bortuzzo


With 12 games on the docket, playoff positioning on the line and the trade deadline messing with emotions, it’s not surprising that we got a few fights on Tuesday.

It’s a little surprising to see Sean Couturier battle Gabriel Landeskog, though the two forwards certainly have some “sandpaper” to their games. Hockey Fights pegs this as Couturier’s fifth NHL bout while this Landeskog’s third of 2016-17 and ninth in the NHL.

(You think Landeskog got mad about a possible trade joke?)

The Flyers ended up easily beating the Avalanche 4-0.

The other noteworthy fight of the night involved Milan Lucic dropping the gloves with Robert Bortuzzo. Seeing Lucic drop the gloves is worthwhile even in a more mundane bout, while Bortuzzo tries to find himself a more consistent spot in the Blues’ lineup now that Kevin Shattenkirk leaves an empty spot:

Edmonton ended up edging St. Louis 2-1 in regulation.

Galchenyuk helps Price edge Bob in goalie duel; Torts gets angry again


Columbus Blue Jackets – Montreal Canadiens games are starting to feel like events.

While the 10-0 shellacking Montreal suffered felt like a blockbuster disaster movie (think “San Andreas”), Tuesday’s matchup was a little more nuanced. Granted, that’s not to say that the Canadiens’ 1-0 overtime win was always a high-brow affair.

Take, for instance, the latest round of John Tortorella rage. In this instance, he wasn’t happy about a penalty that opened the door for Alex Galchenyuk to score overtime goals in back-to-back nights.

On the other hand, Scott Hartnell got away with some tomfoolery early in the game. (If we have #HartnellDown, was this a #PriceCheck?)

Even with those salt-of-the-earth hockey moments, there was plenty for a connoisseur to sink one’s teeth into. Carey Price got his revenge on Hartnell & Co., winning a goalie duel with Sergei Bobrovsky despite this dazzling stop:

The Ottawa Senators are stumbling a bit, but with their games in hand, Montreal had motivation to start putting together wins. The Habs are doing just that, having won three straight games in overtime to give them 78 standings points.

Columbus gets a standings point for its troubles, at least getting some breathing room in front of the New York Rangers for third in the Metro.

Torts probably doesn’t really care about that right now, and some can’t blame him.

Tortorella might do a thing or two other than laughing.

Subban calls Forsberg ‘the best player in the league right now’


Filip Forsberg just won’t be denied right now, and his Nashville Predators teammates aren’t shy about telling people about it.

Forsberg generated one of his best performances amid a slew of masterpieces on Tuesday, ultimately being the difference-maker in a 5-4 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres.

The 22-year-old scored the goal that sent the game to overtime, nabbed the overtime-winner and assisted on a tally that got Nashville within striking distance.

Take a look at his point streak after tonight:

Feb. 19: assist
Feb. 21: hat trick
Feb. 23: hat trick
Feb. 25: goal and two assists
Feb. 26: goal
Feb. 28 (Tuesday): two goals and one assist

Yes, that’s four three-point games during a six-game point streak. Holy smokes.

Again, his teammates are noticing, which really shouldn’t be difficult considering the numbers he’s generating.

“He’s the best player in the league right now, the way he’s playing,” P.K. Subban said, according to the Tennessean’s Adam Vignan.

It’s tough to argue with Forsberg’s teammates, and they’re joining him for this ride, having won four games in a row.

Considering the trade deadline steal the Predators managed in acquiring Forsberg – sorry, Washington Capitals fans – it only makes sense for him to go on a tear around this time of year.

Capitals take care of business against Rangers in Shattenkirk’s debut


The scary thing about the Washington Capitals acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk is just how formidable this team is even without him. That point was quite clear even as Shattenkirk looked quite solid in a debut win vs. the New York Rangers.

In tonight’s case, the Capitals’ vast arsenal of dangerous scorers really shone through.

Flexing their muscles

Marcus Johansson scored two goals and nabbed one assist. Nicklas Backstrom‘s 4-1 goal put a late comeback out of reach, ultimately accounting for the final score. Both Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen (another great right-handed defenseman for Washington) collected two assists.

Beyond the scoring stats, the Capitals impressed in the second period in particular. They fought back from a 1-0 deficit by scoring two goals in that middle frame while generating a 19-9 shots on goal advantage.

It felt like the Capitals were imposing their will at times in this one, giving Barry Trotz his 700th win as a head coach. He’s the sixth coach in NHL history to manage that many victories.

Rough one for the Rangers

This loss hurts the Rangers beyond the scoreboard and standings.

The team will need to monitor the health of multiple players going forward. Dan Girardi was ruled out of as much as two weeks’ worth of games while Mika Zibanejad was a late injury scratch. Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Jesper Fast all seemed to be shaken up during different times in this contest.

Falling short of standings points keeps the Rangers in fourth place in the highly competitive Metro Division.

Well … highly competitive for the second and third spots. We’ll see if anyone can even make Washington sweat, especially now that they added Shattenkirk to an already staggering array of weapons.

Trade: Oilers get David Desharnais; Canadiens receive Brandon Davidson


There have been some interesting trades streaming lately, but the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens made one of the purest “hockey” trades, a “player for player” move rather than a straight buy-or-sell.

Canadiens receive: defenseman Brandon Davidson

Oilers receive: center David Desharnais (pictured)

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Montreal has retained 20 percent of Desharnais’ salary in the deal.

Edmonton’s side is the easiest to understand. The Oilers have been far too dependent upon Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl for offense; perhaps Desharnais can give the team a big boost as far as scoring support goes.

Montreal, meanwhile, keeps loading up on defensemen. Almost to the extent where you wonder if there’s something that has to give.

The Oilers might have some more work to do before the deadline expires, too.