Brodeur on MSG: Boards are awful, ice no good


Madison Square Garden might be the World’s Most Famous Arena, but to Martin Brodeur it’s the World’s Most Uncomfortable Arena.

The Devils goalie shared his thoughts on MSG following Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“It’s a tough place to play,” Brodeur told ESPN New York. “There’s so many bad bounces. The ice is not good, the boards are awful, and the glass makes crazy bounces everywhere.”

“In the second period, I think two or three just went right in front of my net. So mentally it’s a tough game to play because you really have to look at the puck all game long.”

These comments came on a night where the MSG penalty box jammed shut — with Devils forward Travis Zajac waiting to get in. He was attempting to serve an interference penalty but had to wait several minutes while maintenance fixed the issue.

Hardly a banner night.

That said, Brodeur was complimentary of the Madison Square atmosphere.

“It’s a great place to play playoff hockey,”he said.

In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, we should point out that New Jersey’s arena — the Prudential Center — has also come under fire this postseason for lackluster conditions. In the opening round, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen called the ice “sloppy” before taking aim at Prudential Center staff.

“I think their customer service probably will be pretty embarrassed to see that’s what they are putting out there for people to see,” he said. “If the ice is anything like it was this morning, it will make for a very sloppy game. No fun for the fans. A lot of water out there.”

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?