Admittedly, I “slept” on the results from ESPN’s Confidential Players poll for a bit, but after hearing some complaints about the answers being restricted by “Insider” status on Twitter I thought I’d share some of the more interesting results. (Yes, I am an Insider. Yes, I paid for it myself.)
Now, naturally, all the results can be found here (although I must warn you that there will be laborious clicking since every answer is within its own link).
Anyway, here are some of the highlights of the poll. First, I’ll start with the more “typical” questions.
Alex Ovechkin (64 percent)
Sidney Crosby (24 percent)
Ovechkin nearly tripled Crosby’s results. Interestingly enough, Roberto Luongo was named the league’s most overrated player (although he only received 6 percent of the votes).
Detroit (60 percent)
Pittsburgh (14 percent)
Jeez, the Penguins are getting second place often enough that I have to check and see if Marian Hossa is back on their roster. (Phoenix was named the worst franchise, for the record.)
Should the NHL contract teams? If so, which one?
No: 48 percent
Yes: 38 percent (and if yes: Atlanta received 41.3 percent while Phoenix received 31 percent.)
No comment: 14 percent (Boo that isn’t a fun answer.)
OK, now for a few fun ones.
John Tortorella won the “last coach you’d want to play for” award in front of former coaches Mike Keenan and Ken Hitchcock. Somewhere in Russia, Nikita Filatov smiles.
Edmonton and Montreal apparently have the best ice. Want bad ice? Just go to the state of Florida.
The Minnesota Wild have the best visitor’s locker room, while the relatively ancient Mellon Arena is found to be the worst. Do hockey teams really want to be that accommodating, anyway?
Montreal’s groupies are apparently the best. Vancouver comes in second. Have some pride, American groupies!
Derek Boogaard was named the best fighter while Chris Pronger was named the dirtiest player.
(Again, for more results, click here. You will need an “Insider” subscription, though.)
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger