Discuss: Toews wins it for Blackhawks in OT, forces Game 6


Well, of course Game 5 had to go into overtime. The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes wouldn’t have it any other way.

This time around, Chicago procrastinated a bit less to close the Coyotes’ 1-0 lead; Nick Leddy redeemed himself for missing a wide-open net to send it to overtime in five out of five games. There was the sense that the Blackhawks might suffer the most respectable 4-1 series loss in recent memory but Jonathan Toews showed why he’s such a huge difference-maker by winning it 2-1 in OT. Now it’s 3-2 and with the series shifting to the United Center, you can’t blame the Blackhawks for believing they can do it.

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens’ 1951 Stanley Cup finals series is the only other one in NHL playoff history in which all five games went to OT. That one ended in five, though.
  • OK, let’s ask again: are the Coyotes playing with fire by going with the turtle+counter-punch routine? The second period was even (10-10) but every other period featured a serious shot disadvantage. Mike Smith made 36 out of 38 saves but lost. Can they really grind out another win by leaning so much on Smith?
  • The Blackhawks’ power play is a paltry 1-for-17 in this series. Can Chicago win without getting those easy man advantage tallies?
  • How do you feel about Coyotes fans pledging their support for Raffi Torres?
  • Will the ‘Hawks push it to seven games? If so, can they actually complete another big series comeback and actually win it?

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?