… The 25-year-old controlled play at evens matching up against opposing teams’ best forwards all season long. The only defensemen in the NHL to face both a higher quality of competition than Vlasic this past year and finish with a higher Corsi rate (an on-ice shot differential metric that tracks closely with puck possession and scoring chances) were all-world veterans Nicklas Lidstrom and Kimmo Timonen. Which is fitting since the mark of Vlasic’s game, even when he broke into the league as a 19-year-old six years ago, has always been his veteran-like positional play and defensive prowess.
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.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
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:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger