Zach Parise

Captain America: Zach Parise named New Jersey Devils captain

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After Patrik Elias made it clear he didn’t want to be named captain of the New Jersey Devils, the Devils made the right move and the best one in naming Zach Parise the ninth captain in Devils history.

Parise earns the “C” after missing most of last season with a knee injury and coming off a summer that saw his contract negotiations run into some problems leading Parise to sign a one-year deal to avoid running into any Drew Doughty-like problems. Joining Parise as the team’s lettered leaders will be Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk as the alternate captains. With Parise set to play in New Jersey this year and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he’s got a bit more in common with Kovalchuk because of it.

If you’ll recall, Kovalchuk was named captain of the Atlanta Thrashers in January of 2009 as a means to both help make him a leader of the team and to play nice with him as he was due to become a free agent after the 2009-2010 season. Things went south and Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils the following season. The comparisons end there, however as there’s no way Parise gets dealt from New Jersey. If the Devils end up trading Zach Parise at all we’ll pass out from shock.

It also helps that Parise is making it clear that he’s happy in New Jersey and loves playing there. Still, until a long-term extension is worked out the fans will be nervous about Parise’s future in Newark. For now, Devils fans should take pride in Parise for being named captain and be excited about what he’ll be able to do this season being fully healthy. Expect Parise to get back to his 40-goal scoring ways and for the Devils to push for the playoffs once again.

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

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


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?