Tom Kostopoulos is excited by Hurricanes prospects

tomkostopoulos1.jpgWith how things have changed in Raleigh for the Hurricanes just in the last year, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is overly excited about the team’s chances. Going into a season with as much youth as the Hurricanes will be putting out on the ice on a nightly basis, growing pains will be tough for the team but one veteran is excited by the energy that comes with youth as Canes Now’s Chip Alexander tells us.

The changeover of the team has been dramatic. Brind’Amour has retired and Whitney is gone. Kostopoulos looked around him today in the locker room to find Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe, Matt Kennedy, Chris Terry and Jared Staal, among others.

“The age difference is huge,” Kostopoulos said. “You see the energy of the young guys and how they’re working and how bad they want it.

“It’s good to see them working hard on the ice. I think it brings a whole different energy to the team. They all seem like they have good heads on their shoulders and are headed in the right direction. …

“It’s a whole new ballgame this year.”

Sure that’s a lot of youth, the question is how many of them are going to be consistent contributors on a nightly basis. While a guy like Drayson Bowman shapes up to be a highlight rookie for the team, guys like Dalpe, Kennedy, Terry and the youngest of the Staal brothers, Jared, might be spending the majority of this season in the AHL in Charlotte. If goalie Cam Ward can stay healthy all season and Eric Staal continues to evolve into one of the game’s premiere scorers, the Hurricanes could turn out to be a feel good story this year, but you have to think that expectations around the league are a bit low.

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    Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

    Niklas Kronwall
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    When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

    (His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

    It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

    He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

    First, the Kronwalling:

    Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

    It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

    Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

    Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

    Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky
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    Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

    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.

    Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


    More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

    In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

    Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

    Jack Eichel
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    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:

    Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

    Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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    Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

    While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

    In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

    The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?