Puck Drop: Tavares Nets His 300th

Congratulations to Leafs’ center John Tavares for netting his 300th career goal on Thursday. The 28-year-old is having an excellent first year with his new team after departing from the Islanders during the offseason—the season just reached its halfway mark, and Tavares already has 50 points.

Things may be a little tense in Columbus this week. Prior to the Blue Jackets’ road game in Tampa Bay on Thursday, the team announced that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky would not be playing that evening following what the statement referred to as an “incident.”

Here’s the statement in full, brief and cryptic as it is:

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not be with the team for tonight’s game vs. the Nashville Predators, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture,” said Kekalainen. “An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

No tea has been spilled to explain what went down to cause Bobrovsky’s single-game suspension. However, it’s probably safe to assume it was related to an exchange between Bobrovsky and coach John Tortorella during Tuesday’s game when Bob was pulled for an early third-period exit after allowing four goals. He appeared to be none too pleased about his removal from the game, and though it’s just speculation, it’s all we’ve got unless someone decides to talk about it.

Bobrovsky will be a free agent at the end of the 2019 season, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that he will likely be taking his talents somewhere other than Ohio next year.

Do you like hockey fights? Of course you do. This fight between Adam McQuaid and Ryan Reaves is certain to be one of the most ferocious brawls we’ll see all year. Enjoy.

Injury Report

Bad news for the Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson is on the IR. The phenom center sustained a knee injury on January 8th, and his return is considered day-to-day. The injury was serious enough to warrant an official trip to the injured list, but according to coach Travis Green, his return could be “imminent.”

Arizona forward Nick Schmaltz is finished for the season after a suffering a lower-body injury on January 3rd. The Coyotes have been ravaged by injuries—they currently have eight players out of action, with only two set to return anytime in the near future.

On an injury-related note, longtime veteran Rick Nash hung up his skates today, ending a 15-year stint in the NHL. Nash has suffered three known concussions during his career, and the latest one (sustained last March) left lingering effects that caused Nash’s medical team to warn against further brain injury. Nash was the 1st overall pick of the 2002 draft and spent most of his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Play of the Period

New dad Matt Duchene scored this scrapper before stepping away from the team for the birth of his son. Check it out.

Media credit: Sporting News

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