Talbot Hit

Why didn’t Flyers respond to Talbot headshot?


Last night, Islanders defenseman Steve Staios tagged Philly’s Max Talbot with a huge check, drawing the ire of both Talbot and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

Today, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio is wondering why the Flyers didn’t respond.

Staios wasn’t penalized on the play and sources say he’ll receive no supplementary discipline from the league. In short, he appears to be getting off scot-free (Staios was reportedly grinning on the bench after the hit), not exactly what you’d expect from the rough-and-tumble Flyers.

Panaccio notes the non-response was alarming, but thinks is has to do with who wasn’t in the lineup (namely, enforcers Zac Rinaldo and Jody Shelley) rather than who was.

“Rinaldo is not a heavyweight like Shelley, but for all intents and purposes, he’s been the Flyers’ main enforcer this season with 11 fights, by default,” Panaccio explained. “Laviolette was not available on Friday to explain whether he was disappointed in the lack of response from his own team or whether he needs to play Rinaldo every game, regardless.”

Not having Rinaldo available is an explanation, though not a strong one. The Philly lineup featured enough capable fighters — Wayne Simmonds has scrapped five times this year, Scott Hartnell averages six bouts a season — and it’s not like Staios, an average-sized 38-year-old, is a gold-glover.

But Staios is pretty old-school, familiar with “the code” and probably would’ve taken on any comer in response to the hit. Of course, even if the Flyers on the ice at the time were Talbot, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen — though Staios did play three more shifts in the third period. (Correction: He didn’t play another shift.)

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?