An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
By Sarah Kwak
• Just two days after taking a nasty hit into the boards by Capitals rookie Tom Wilson (who dodged a suspension), Flyers forward Brayden Schenn played on Thursday night against the Blue Jackets. He also didn't take a concussion test, claiming that he was not experiencing symptoms. Right. No sense in chancing it with a test. Never mind that sometimes the onset of apparent symptoms can be delayed for days ...
• Meanwhile, Capitals coach Adam Oates continued to defend Wilson. Said the coach: "[Schenn] had every opportunity to resist the hit, and he chose not to." When will "blame the victim" cease being the standard hockey person's logic? Probably never.
• Late in the first period on Thursday night, Kings captain Dustin Brown received a five-minute major and game misconduct for a nasty knee-on-knee hit on Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl, who didn't return to the game. The league will probably look at it.
• Kings' rookie goalie Martin Jones remained undefeated and continued to amazingly keep pucks out of his net. His extraordinary emergence has some observers saying, "Jonathan who?" and is fueling speculation that L.A. could dangle Ben Scrivens as trade bait.
• Philadelphia put together a feverish comeback on Thursday night against Columbus, scoring five goals in the third period. Highlight? Claude Giroux lifting a filthy backhand with a man draped on his back while falling down. The goal was the 100th of his career, and the game-winner. Philadelphia is now in playoff position. Then again, the Metropolitan Division is not very good.
• It's official. The Ottawa Senators have entered The Crisis Zone.
• Olli Maata's penalty shot goal for the Penguins against the Wild on Thursday night was a pretty rare deed:
• The choice that many youth hockey players face--in college or major junior--is a difficult and nuanced one. That some have to make it when they are as young as 14 just doesn't seem fair.
• The U.S. won gold at last year's World Junior Championships, but stars such as Seth Jones and Alex Galchenyuk won't be returning to the team, so it will have to close the skill gap by playing a more cohesive style.
• Is Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov the kind of Best Supporting Player that we think of Joe Thornton as being? Maybe not.
• Dave Harmon, the senior producer for HBO's 24/7 series says, "Red Wings fans can rest assured we'll see plenty of Pavel Datsyuk." Rejoice!
• Speaking of 24/7, Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul vowed that his team's skid would end against Phoenix last night. It did and Lupul scored the winner in the shootout.
• Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, driven by Olympic aspirations, is having a career year in terms of goal-scoring. He's on pace for almost 40.
• Both the men's and women's hockey gold medal games in Sochi will be broadcast live on NBC. The women's game will air on Thursday, Feb. 20 at noon ET; the men's final at 6:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 23. Set those alarm clocks, folks.
Three-time Olympian Pavel Kubina, who who hoisted the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004, has decided to hang up his skates.
• As Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun aptly tweeted: "Like Rob Schremp before him, Linus Omark's exit is much quieter than his entrance." The 26-year-old Swedish winger was traded to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday for a conditional sixth round pick.
• Anyone who watched Wednesday night's Penguins-Rangers "Rivalry Night" game probably relates to the sentiment a young fan is expressing in this photo. No surprise that it took no time at all to get the meme treatment.