Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk

Boston’s top line looking tough to stop once again


BOSTON, MA — Last season the Bruins’ top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton saw more downs than ups. The line was broken up for a bit and later on, Horton was lost to a season-ending concussion.

This season, the trio has been reunited and it’s just like 2011 all over again as all three are clicking with each other. Last night, the trio combined to score their only goal in regulation in a 2-1 shootout win over the Devils. The good news for Bruins fans is that they’re all keeping a level head about things.

“We’ve been playing together for some time now,” Krejci said. “It feels good though. We’re winning, our line’s doing good. That’s what everyone expects from us. We don’t get too high on ourselves. We know that’s what we should do and if we didn’t do that, we didn’t do our job. So far I like what I see from those two guys and I’m trying to help them out as much as I can and they’re trying to help me out. So far, so good.”

Horton, meanwhile, kept his line’s and the team’s success in check.

“They’re great players,” Horton said. “It’s fun for me to play with them. They’re special, just like everyone else on the team. It’s fun to be a part of this and great guys make it a lot of fun.”

If anyone might be viewed as “excited” it’s coach Claude Julien. His enthusiasm about their play, however, stems from them having concerns heading into the season.

“This was a line that had a question mark on it,” Julien said. “One guy hadn’t played in a year [Horton] and the other guy didn’t play at all so far since the beginning of the year [Lucic] and David was the only one having played. Being one of our top lines… We want to be able to rely on those guys. We have and they’ve certainly given us exactly what we need right now.”

With the Bruins atop the Eastern Conference with 11 points and a 5-0-1 record, the more that top line keeps rolling, the more trouble they’ll bring their opponents.

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?