Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews

Toews out of tonight’s game, Datsyuk to miss two weeks after knee surgery


Tonight’s game on NBCSN between Detroit and Chicago is going to be missing a bit of firepower from both the Blackhawks and Red Wings.

Tracey Myers of reports that Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will be a scratch tonight thanks to what the team is calling an upper-body injury. Myers says the injury is not the same injury that was nagging him before the All-Star break and he’s listed as day-to-day. Toews is second on the team in points and the team’s top centerman. Taking his spot will be relative new guy Brendan Morrison.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings will be without All-Star center Pavel Datsyuk for a bit longer. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports that Datsyuk will miss the next two weeks of action after having arthroscopic knee surgery. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he was happier that Datsyuk had the procedure done now so his knee wouldn’t bother him in the playoffs.

It’s a smart decision with that in mind, but in the short term it’ll be tough for the Wings to make up for what Datsyuk can do. Datsyuk leads the team with 59 points and was recently voted by the NHLPA as one of the best forwards in the league in a number of categories.

Henrik Zetterberg will take Datsyuk’s spot on the top line while Valtteri Filppula slides over to center to take Zetterberg’s spot on the second line. With Dan Cleary back and feeling better the Wings won’t need to call up anyone from the minors for now.

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
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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

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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?