Samuelsson irate over Olympic snub: Take 5

HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.

1. Samuelsson irate over Olympic snub

Mikael Samuelsson was not pleased with Sweden’s decision to leave him off the country’s Olympic team roster. "I pretty much have one comment and maybe I'll regret it," Samuelsson told the Vancouver Sun. "But they can go [expletive] themselves. That's what I really think."

The 33-year-old Samuelsson has 10 goals and 24 points in 39 games this season, but has not scored in his past 14 games. He was a member of the Swedish gold medal team at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin.

He also closed the door to the possibility that he could be a replacement in case of an injury. "Not a chance," he said. "If [Swedish coach Bengt-Aake Gustafsson] doesn't want me, he doesn't want me."

2. Lecavalier picks up play

Will Vincent Lecavalier join Samuelsson on the sidelines? The Tampa Bay Lighting centre got off to a horrible start, hindering his chances of being selected to play for Canada, but he has picked up his production lately.

He has three goals and 10 points in his last six games. But it’s likely too late for the Lightning captain to be included on Steve Yzerman’s Canadian Olympic team roster.

3. No problem for Blackhawks in back-to-backs

The Chicago Blackhawks play games on back-to-back evenings a league-high 19 times this season. Surprisingly, the Hawks are 3-5-1 in the front end so far, but a near perfect 7-0-2 on the second night.

On Sunday, they stormed back with four goals in the third period for a 5-4 victory at home against the Nashville Predators. The Hawks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes, went ahead 4-2, only to see the Predators tie the game before Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored the winner with 43.4 seconds remaining.

"We've had some amazing games, some spectacular endings, and tonight was one of them," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It's all about finding a way to win. You win in different ways. I don't recall giving up a two-goal lead late, and finding a way to circumvent it was pretty impressive."

4. Losing blues for Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to end their club-record matching nine-game losing streak when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday evening. Columbus first lost nine in a row in the 2003-04 season.

It has some wondering how Ken Hitchcock has held onto his job. The Blue Jackets have dropped 17 of 19 games.

"Every day in this league is a blessing. It's a tough time for everybody," Hitchcock told the Columbus Dispatch. "I'm not going to be the guy that gets discouraged by it.

"My job is to provide hope every day."

5. Shark bite

The San Jose Sharks have made their Southern California rivals from Anaheim pay for their first-round upset victory over the Sharks last spring. San Jose has beaten the Ducks in each of their four meetings this season by a combined score of 16-6, including the latest, a 5-2 San Jose victory at home on Saturday.