Chris Kreider

Rangers’ Gordie Clark doesn’t see much talent in the second half of 2012 Draft


The New York Rangers only have four picks going into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Their best selection is the 28th overall pick and they have nothing after the fourth round. However, the Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark doesn’t seem bothered by that.

“I don’t think there’s any (more) pressure (with just the four picks),” Clark told Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record. “It’s probably, in the last four five drafts, the best to do it because there isn’t a lot of talent in this draft, the second half of this draft, whereas we’ve always been excited about somebody to pick up (in the later rounds). We don’t really have that.”

Clark admitted that it’s still tough to see young, talented athletes get scooped up in the first round by other franchises while New York waits for its turn. Of course, the Rangers are in that position because they were superb in 2011-12.

Clark also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Rangers trading up “if there someone’s that going to slip to an area where we think we could get them.” That being said, the Rangers can only realistically jump up so high from their current position.

“At 28, we might be able to get into 20, maybe 20-25,” Clark speculated.

The Rangers two most recent first-round selections, J.T. Miller and Dylan McIlrath, haven’t broken into the NHL yet. However, their top pick in 2009, Chris Kreider, turned heads during the New York Rangers’ playoff run. On top of that, their first and second-round picks in 2008, Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan, have become big contributors for the Rangers.

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?