Edmonton Oilers v Philadelphia Flyers

PHT Morning Skate: In which Sam Gagner misses his good buddy

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Edmonton’s Sam Gagner was caught off-guard by the trade that sent Tom Gilbert to Minnesota in exchange for Nick Schultz. “It’s tough to see him go, he’s obviously one of my best friends and he’s a great guy,” Gagner said of Gilbert. “But we picked up a great player in return.” (Toronto Sun)

Carlo Colaiacovo and Andy McDonald talk about life under Ken Hitchcock. Oh yeah, the Blues are 34-10-7 on Hitch’s watch. (QMI Agency)

Stephane Veilleux is back in Minnesota…with a vengeance! (Minnesota Star-Tribune)

Newly-acquired Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon spent his first day in Boston getting lost. “I was on Hanover [Street] and I started walking around and had lunch, and I was like, ‘Oh, let’s go down this street’ rather than just retracing my steps and ended up — I have no idea, just some side street. There’s that rink [Steriti Memorial Rink] down there and I remembered passing it when I went to the hotel, so I was able to find my way back.” (NESN.com)

Ken Warren thinks the Senators should practice caution when it comes to a new contract for defenseman (and potential Norris candidate) Erik Karlsson. (Ottawa Citizen)

Freshly-minted Rangers enforcer John Scott reminisces about Derek Boogaard. “I think about him every day. I’m a Ranger now, and I still can’t believe my friend – the guy was everybody’s friend – isn’t around any more. It’s kind of eerie that I’m following in his footsteps.” (Globe and Mail)

Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner speaks out on a potential fighting ban in junior hockey. “We’re preparing guys for the next level and if you toughen the rules and get rid of it (fighting) in the game, it would have to coincide with the NHL and AHL. If they’re not doing it, then you’re putting kids (looking to go pro) in a tough situation.” (Windsor Star)

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?