Cory Schneider

Make it six: Schneider to start for Vancouver…again


In a furious race for Interweb supremacy, Vancouver Canucks beat writers (here, here and here) all simultaneously tweeted the big news:

Cory Schneider will start his sixth straight game tomorrow night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This is uncharted territory for Schneider, fresh off earning the NHL’s second star of the week. Though he’s been with Vancouver since 2008-09 and started 22 games last year, he’s never rattled off this many consecutive appearances.

(Ironically enough, one of Schneider’s longest consecutive games streaks came in the opening round of last year’s playoffs against Chicago. He relieved Roberto Luongo in Games 4 and 5, then started Game 6. Moving along…)

The always even-keeled Vancouver media is treating this development as you’d expect. The Vancouver Sun ran a column about how Luongo makes for an excellent backup goalie while a local TV journalist made a “Luongo should change his name to Wally Pipp” joke.

Overreactions aside, it is a big development. The Canucks have had reasons (or, excuses) for riding Schneider lately — Luongo was coming off an injury, they needed to string together wins, they weren’t in a playoff position — but those reasons (or, excuses) don’t fly anymore. Luongo is beyond healthy. They’ve won four straight and seven of 10. They’re in the thick of the playoff pack and two points out of the Northwest Division lead.

Plus, Tuesday night’s game is against Columbus. The worst team in hockey. There might not be a better opponent to ease Luongo back in, but it’s also a terrifying prospect. Imagine if Luongo starts against Columbus and stinks the joint out. What happens then?

Ergo, the Canucks will continue employing the “Vegas Philosophy” with Schneider (as coined by Canucks play-by-play man John Shorthouse): You might only get on a heater once, so make sure to ride it as long as possible.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
Leave a comment

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
1 Comment

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?