Zac Dalpe

Can Zac Dalpe have a Jeff Skinner-like breakout for Carolina?

Last season, the Carolina Hurricanes had a phenomenal breakout rookie season from 18 year-old Jeff Skinner. Skinner went from the 2010 NHL Draft to being the Calder Trophy winner at the end of the season thanks to putting up 31 goals and 32 assists finishing just behind Eric Staal on the team in points. Without Skinner, the Hurricanes could’ve been one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. Instead they were a threat to make the playoffs, just missing out in the end.

The Canes head into this season having Staal and Skinner being known factors, but they very well might have a new, young breakout candidate in their midst in the form of 21 year-old Zac Dalpe. Dalpe is entering his second NHL season and while he got a small taste of the action last year playing in 15 games, he’s opening a lot of eyes in training camp. After having an impressive season in the AHL that saw him score 23 goals and add 34 assists, he’s gunning to stick with the Hurricanes full time this year.

Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer gets Dalpe’s thoughts about getting a shot in the preseason playing alongside Eric Staal and Alexei Ponikarovsky on the first line.

“They like to play north-south and that’s my game too,” Dalpe said of Staal and Ponikarovsky. “Hopefully we’ll complement each other well and hopefully I’ll get a couple more games with them and get more comfortable.

“But you don’t want to get too comfortable and start trying to make plays that are out of your element just because you’re playing with them. Obviously I got put there for a reason so I’m just going to keep doing that I’ve been doing, finding the big guy in the slot and hopefully it all works out.”

Getting Dalpe work on that line allows Jeff Skinner to work with Tuomo Ruutu on the second line and if Dalpe can continue to show his skills off, he could help the Hurricanes forget about losing Erik Cole to free agency this summer. Without Cole around, that’s 26 goals and 52 points gone from last year that they’ll need to find a way to replace. Dalpe has been in competition with Jiri Tlusty during training camp to see who can get the bigger minutes with the big time players, but it’s been Dalpe whose seemingly taken advantage of the opportunity so far.

If Dalpe can bring the sort of game he showed in the AHL with Charlotte last season and take the lessons learned from his cup of coffee with the Hurricanes, he could be poised for a big season, especially if he sticks on a line with Staal. Ponikarovsky isn’t the scoring forward he was while with Toronto so Staal is going to need someone to help him out. Dalpe could just be that guy.

Julien says Lundqvist’s acting ‘doesn’t need to be on the ice’


The goalie interference penalty called on Brad Marchand late in Friday’s Thanksgiving Showdown didn’t sit well with the Bruins.

Marchand, whistled after making contact with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third, said he thought “it was a bit of a weak call,” adding “[Lundvqist’s] out of the crease, and he lightly gets touched.”

While Marchand took issue with the call, his head coach took issue with King Henrik.

(In Julien’s defense, Lundqvist does have a pretty lengthy IMDB page.)

The interference penalty was nearly disastrous for the Bruins, as J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing power play to given the Blueshirts a 3-2 edge.

However, Boston replied with a power-play goal of its own — Ryan Spooner, at the 16:14 mark — which set the stage for David Krejci‘s dramatic game-winner with just under two minutes to go.

So, to recap: Today’s game had the Beleskey hit on Stepan, the Marchand-Lundqvist theatrics and a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Boston.

And so, to answer your next question:

These two teams next meet on Monday, Jan. 11, at MSG.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Video: Peluso, Gabriel throw down in spirited heavyweight tilt

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The big boys got after it early in Minnesota today.

Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel — all 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds of him — picked one of the toughest opponents in hockey on Friday, throwing down with Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso early in the first period.

And it was a pretty good tilt.

Peluso, one of the league’s most feared fighters, was coming off two pretty heavy scraps — one against Columbus tough guy Jared Boll, and another in which he landed some serious shots on overmatched Canucks d-man Luca Sbisa:

Of course, Gabriel’s no slouch.

He had one previous fight in the NHL this year (against Peluso’s teammate, Chris Thorburn) and five in the American League, where he’s spent the majority of this season.

Given the fisticuffs that occurred earlier in the Bruins-Rangers game, it seem the NHL has really gotten into the spirit of Black Friday.

(All videos courtesy

Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Matt Beleskey, Derek Stepan

Alain Vigneault remembers a late hit that happened in Boston one time.

The Rangers’ head coach referenced it today after one of his top centers, Derek Stepan, was injured on a check that the NHL may need to review with a stopwatch.

“I remember Aaron Rome in this building, .6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final,” Vigneault said, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

For those that need their memories refreshed (nobody in Vancouver does, that’s for sure), here’s Rome’s late hit that knocked Nathan Horton out of the 2011 final with a concussion:

Now here’s the hit that Matt Beleskey put on Stepan:

According to Vigneault, Stepan has some broken ribs and is out indefinitely.

Over to you, Department of Player Safety.


A league source has confirmed that the hit is being reviewed.

High-flying Bruins (sounds weird to say) beat Rangers for fifth straight win


Somebody tell the Boston Bruins there’s a goal-scoring crisis in the NHL.

This afternoon, for the 14th time this season, a Bruins game featured at least six goals. The final score was 4-3, as Boston came back to beat the Rangers in a wildly entertaining Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC.

David Krejci scored the winner with 1:43 remaining. Krejci’s goal came just 2:03 after teammate Ryan Spooner had tied it on the power play.

The win was the Bruins’ fifth straight. Though the defensive mistakes remain…

…Claude Julien’s troops have been finding ways to overcome them.

The running and gunning Boston Bruins.

When was the last time you could call them that?