Just A Thought
@ESPN_Burnside: Don't you love those games where history takes a front-row seat? Like in Philadelphia on Thursday night when former Flyers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, cast off by the Flyers only to win a Vezina Trophy last season in Columbus, blanked his old team with a 37-save effort in the Blue Jackets' 2-0 win. Bobrovsky was especially strong in the second period, when he faced 17 Flyers shots. The victory kept the Blue Jackets one point ahead of Toronto for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference and also moved Columbus to within two points of the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams have six games remaining and there is significant incentive for Columbus, Philadelphia and Detroit to avoid being the second wild card and drawing the Bruins -- the best team in the East by a country mile -- in the first round of the playoffs.
@CraigCustance: Drew Doughty has been an absolute horse for the Kings, rarely missing more than a game or two per season, which is why it was so concerning to see him leave the Kings 2-1 loss on Thursday night after an innocent-looking hit on Tyler Kennedy. With the West as tight as it is the loss of a player like Doughty, even for a few games, could be the difference between winning a series and an early exit. The good news for Kings fans though, is that according to the L.A. Times, Doughty will make the trip to Vancouver. Like with other key veterans, rest and recovery needs to be the focus for Doughty if the injury isn't too serious. As deep as the Kings are, he's a loss even they can't afford.
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: Claude Julien has talked about it, and hopefully it's going to happen sometime before the end of the regular season. The Bruins head coach needs to sit captain Zdeno Chara to help keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs. We all remember how worn down Chara was in last year's Stanley Cup finals versus Chicago, with the Blackhawks publicly stating mid-series their plan to target Big Z. It was bordering on heresy , but it worked perfectly for the Blackhawks as they hounded the tired-looking giant en route to a six-game Cup victory over the Bruins. And so as I sat in the Air Canada Centre on Thursday watching Chara play a team-high 27 minutes, in the second of back-to-back games no less, I said to myself that the big man needs a rest. And soon. Don't get me wrong, he was terrific against the Leafs, bolstering his Norris Trophy candidacy, but for the sake of a Cup run he needs to rest. If I'm Julien, I rest him next Thursday at Winnipeg, and then again Sunday, April 13, at New Jersey in the team's regular-season finale. The Bruins host the Sabres the day before, April 12, so you figure there's a home game for Chara to play in and then you don't even ask him to take the flight to Newark. Rest, man, rest!
@KatieStrangESPN: You have to figure at this point that rookie coach Patrick Roy is the front-runner for the Jack Adams Award, considering the stunning turnaround he has orchestrated with a Colorado Avalanche team that finished 29th in the league last year and is now sitting pretty in fifth place overall. Want more evidence of Roy's impact? The Avs, second place in a stacked Central Division, have shown incredible poise and maturity for a young and relatively inexperienced team. Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers was their second come-from-behind effort in as many games -- they rallied from a two-goal deficit to knock off Columbus in OT on Tuesday -- and they lead the league with 28 one-goal victories. Their winning percentage (.296) when trailing by a goal after two periods? Second only to the league-leading Boston Bruins. Granted, the Avs have received some terrific goaltending from Semyon Varlamov, but the team is for real and Roy deserves much of that credit.
Quote Me On That
"We're in a good position. It's not like where we were last year when we had to continue to watch and hope and chase teams. We're right where we want to be."
-- Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky afte the win over the Flyers
"I tried to hold the boys in there and keep it close. I had faith in the boys. They pulled it out, and obviously it was a good feeling."
-- Maple Leafs G James Reimer after replacing an injured Jonathan Bernier against the Bruins
• Kings: Eight-game road win streak snapped
• Penguins: Clinch Metropolitan Division title (third division title in last four seasons).
• Maple Leafs: Won two straight after losing previous eight.
• More from ESPN Stats & Information »