No supplemental discipline for Johnson after Iginla headbutt

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Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune is reporting that Wild forward Nick Johnson will not receive any additional punishment for his alleged “headbutt” on Calgary’s Jarome Iginla last night.

The incident occurred during a second period scrap with Minnesota up 2-0:

Johnson received five minutes for fighting and an additional 10 (match penalty, intent to injure) with the headbutt coming around the 40 second mark of the video.

The big debate is if Johnson’s actions were egregious enough for a match penalty…or if the match penalty was a result of Iggy working the officials.

“It just felt I got head-butted. I haven’t had that very often in a fight. I thought the refs made the right call, and that pretty much was the end of it,” Iginla told reporters afterward. “You just kinda get fired up in a fight, and I felt like he got me there a couple of times with the head. I thought the refs saw it, made the right call, and that was pretty much the end of it.”

Wild head coach Mike Yeo disagreed with the call (Russo also disagreed, for whatever that’s worth), suggesting that Johnson was merely trying to protect himself during a fight.

I guess the tricky part for Brendan Shanahan and the NHL’s discipline/player safety department is they just nailed Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta for serial headbutting. That said, there’s a big difference between the moves Kaleta pulled and what Johnson did last night. Johnson was jerking his head around during a fight; Kaelta was launching himself at unsuspecting opponents with his helmet on (and was caught doing it on three separate occasions.)

UPDATE: Russo also reports the Wild plan to make a formal request to Terry Gregson, NHL Director of Officiating, to rescind the match penalty.

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?