Three years after Nicklas Lidstrom was suspended for bailing on the NHL All-Star Game, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock praised the league for letting his captain pass on this year’s festivities.
“At 41 years of age and with seven Norris trophies and going to the all-star game every year, I think if [Lidstrom] needs four days off, the National Hockey League respects that,” Babcock told the Canadian Press. “There was no fooling around. It was done up front. He deserves the time off.”
In 2009, Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were suspended one game after not attending the All-Star Game in Montreal. Their decisions broke a policy stating injured All-Stars must have missed at least the last game before the All-Star break in order to be excused; otherwise, they must sit out the first regular-season game after the break.
Lidstrom and Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne got around the rule this year because they weren’t named to the team and, ergo, didn’t turn down an invite. (Both asked not to be considered.)
That said, the veterans really should’ve been locks for the ASG — Lidstrom is ninth in defenseman scoring and fourth in plus-minus while Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring (45 points in 48 games), 18th overall in the NHL.
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.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
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:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger