Canucks GM addresses Bolland comments


Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was quick to come to the defense of Henrik and Daniel Sedin this morning on Team 1040 radio in Vancouver.

When asked about Dave Bolland’s comments in which the Chicago forward called the Sedins the “sisters,” Gillis provided a thoughtful response — he compared the twins to former Rangers and Bruins star Jean Ratelle, a player that never shied away from going to the tough areas of the ice despite all the abuse he took from the opposition.

“[The Sedins] go in the corner and they get the puck and they play with the puck against the other team’s top defensemen, top lines, every night and they produce,” said Gillis.

He makes a great point.

Look, everyone knows the Sedins didn’t have a very good Stanley Cup final. They admitted as much themselves. But consider the defensemen they went up against in the playoffs – Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Zdeno Chara.

Henrik finished second in playoff scoring, Daniel fourth.

And while it’s fair to criticize the twins for not producing against the Bruins, don’t forget to credit Chara and Tim Thomas. The best shutdown defenseman in the NHL. The best goalie. On a team that plays great defensive hockey. Yeah, the Sedins lost the battle. There are worse battles to lose.

As someone who’s watched the Sedins closely since they came into the league, I can say they’re among the most humble superstars in sports. They’re just…good people. They donated $1.5 million to help build a new BC Children’s Hospital. When time ran out in Game 7 of the Cup final, they immediately went over and shook hands with the referees.

“These guys are great players,” said Gills. “They’re leaders on their team. They’re leading in their community.”

As for Bolland?

“If someone wants to take a shot at them after all the accomplishments, especially the last three years, it certainly rings hollow in my ears.”

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?