Steven Stamkos

This Stamkos guy is pretty good at scoring the goals


As you all know, Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos has 58 goals through 79 games this year. Should he score two over his final three, he’ll become just the 39th player in NHL history to pot 60 in a single season.

But you probably knew that, too.

If you did, here are five things you might not know about Stamkos’ wild and crazy season:

1. He has 46 even-strength goals.

That’s the most since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne (52), Alex Mogilny (49) and Mario Lemieux (47) all reached that mark. Since the lockout, only Alex Ovechkin (43 in 2007-08) has come close to that total.

2. He had a decent March.

On Mar. 31, Stamkos scored his fifth overtime goal of the season against the Jets, setting an NHL single-season record in the process. That goal put him at 12 for the month (in 15 games), matching his career high for goals in a calendar month, first set in Nov. 2010.

3. He’s young.

At 22, Stamkos could join some elite company if he gets to 60 goals. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Teemu Selanne, Mike Bossy, Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Bure scored that many at the age off 22 or younger (to be specific, Gretzky was the only younger one — he scored 92 goals at the age of 21.)

4. He’s earned his goals.

Only two have been scored into an empty net. That’s in sharp contrast to Ottawa’s leading scorer, Milan Michalek, who has scored five of his 35 into a yawning cage (14 percent!)

5. He’s better than many former Lightning goalscorers.

Things started brightly for the organization — in its first year of existence (1992-93), Brian Bradley scored 42 goals.

Then things got ugly.

The next leading goalscorers, in chronological order, were Petr Klima (28), Klima again (13, during work-stoppage season), Alex Selivanov (31), Dino Ciccarelli (35)…then things bottomed-out entirely in 1997-98 when Selivanov and Mikael Renberg tied for the team lead with 16 goals.

Prior to this season, the Lightning’s single-season goals record was 52, set in 2006-07 by Vincent Lecavalier.

Other guys that once led the Lightning in scoring? Wendel Clark, Fredrik Modin, Dave Andreychuk and Martin St. Louis.

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?