Good thing the Blackhawks have Antti Niemi. Perish the thought of
actually using the goaltender the Hawks are paying nearly $6 million a
season for the next three years, in the playoffs of a season which may
be their best shot at a Stanley Cup.
It’s a very slippery slope.
With Cristobal Huet floundering, and not anywhere close to instilling any
confidence in his team that he can succeed in net for them. And with
Niemi starting the last five games — and playing well — it seems the
Hawks have found their goaltender of the future. From Tim Sassone
of the Daily Herald:
“I think he has a lot of confidence in the net,”
Quenneville said. “Guys get a little confidence when they get the net in
“The thing that you like about Antti is he doesn’t get
disturbed or disrupted. His approach is the same, very quiet, low key. I
think this experience along the way is making him comfortable in the
Niemi will certainly be on a leash in the playoffs, but it was
important for the Hawks to make some sort of commitment heading into the
postseason. I have to admit that I really wanted to see Hawks fans and
their response after Huet allowed another goal right off a bounce off
the boards, in game five of a playoff series. Would have been epic.
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