Pekka Rinne

PHT’s Morning Skate: That Pekka Rinne guy is really good

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Pekka Rinne had a big night in Nashville last night. Not only did he earn his 100th victory, but he did so in record breaking fashion. (Section 303)

Francois Beauchemin may end up hearing from the league offices, but he insists that his hit on Mike Fisher was a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit (OC Register)

The Blues have been one of the most schizophrenic teams over the first month of the season. Maybe if their top scorers starting acting like it, they’d be able to put together a little consistency (Post-Dispatch)

Looks like Maple Leafs’ head coach Ron Wilson is content pumping the tires of his own team nowadays. After Toronto’s win against the Penguins, he said Dion Phaneuf is the best defenseman in the league. The word you’re looking for is “hyperbole.” (The Hockey News)

We all know that Sidney Crosby is going to come back at some point this season. But when he comes back, just how good will he be for the Penguins? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Could Ken Hitchcock be back behind the Blue Jackets bench? Could Craig Button be their new GM? Yes and yes—and it all could be done by Monday. (Puck-Rakers)

Newsflash: the Philly media can be tough; and they love going to a guy who is a great quote. Now we hear the goalie coach say that Ilya Bryzgalov needs to ignore the off-ice stuff and focus on his game. Sounds like this could be a theme for the next nine years. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Remember when the Montreal Canadiens were the worst team in the Eastern Conference? Oh how things can change in only a few short days. (Hockey Inside/Out)

Yes, the NBA should have learned from the NHL when hockey lost the entire 2004-05 season. But while basketball is dealing with their own labor problems this fall, the NHL should take a look and learn a lesson from the NBA. (Tampa Tribune)

Visors. Need to be mandatory. You may have heard this before. (Buffalo News)

Same crap, different day for the Bruins. A nicer way to say that is the Bruins season has been like Groundhog’s Day. (CSN New England)

The Islanders played one of their best games of the season on Saturday night, only to have a questionable call help seal their fate in overtime. Frustrating was the word most used. (Islanders Official)

We’ve been tough on Roberto Luongo lately. But on the day after he only gave up 4 goals for a 7-4 win, we thought we’d take the opportunity for a little tire pumping. Watch and enjoy Canucks fans:

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?