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Analytics suggest Columbus slide could be temporary

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

The Columbus Blue Jackets dug themselves an early hole with an eight-game losing streak to open the season.

During that stretch, the Blue Jackets were outscored 37-15, fired their coach and bore little resemblance to a team many predicted would be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But, it may be way too early to write off these Blue Jackets, who have a new coach in John Tortorella and have won back-to-back games.

Columbus has a strong starting goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky, an experienced and accomplished coaching staff, and a solid young core of players, highlighted by Ryan Johansen, who could someday supplant Rick Nash as the Blue Jackets' best all-time player.

Penguins downplay Bylsma's return as Sabres coach

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins admit it will be strange to face former coach Dan Bylsma for the first time when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, ROOT). But for the most part it will be business as usual.

"I think the first time is always a little bit different," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "But I think at this point we've all kind of dealt with those kind of things before. And once you get in the game, really get into it, everything kind of becomes normal. But I think the initial start is always kind of [strange]."

Bylsma coached the Penguins for parts of six seasons, starting when he replaced Michel Therrien 57 games into the 2008-09 season. That season ended with Bylsma coaching the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

Mississauga's Day moves past 'exceptional' label

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

Every Thursday, will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

Mississauga Steelheads defenseman Sean Day doesn't necessarily want to be known as exceptional. The 2016 NHL Draft prospect would prefer to be himself.

Day still is trying to move past the heightened expectations of being granted exceptional-player status and allowed to play in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2013.

"To this day there's still pressure about it," Day said. "I'm kind of scrutinized more than anyone else because of that label. I can't really make excuses for it. I just kind of play and hopefully people see that I'm the same age as everyone else in the draft. I did play an extra year [in the OHL], but I'm on the same development curve as everyone else still. To me it doesn't really matter. I don't think too much about it. I just play."

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