Fedorov raves about ‘big star’ Tarasenko


It’s been quite a start to the season for Vladimir Tarasenko.

After being named the NHL’s top rookie for January, the St. Louis forward received high praise from one of the greatest Russian players of all time — Sergei Fedorov.

Fedorov, who actually played on the same team as Tarasenko during last year’s KHL All-Star game, has been following the 21-year-old closely during his first season in the NHL.

He likes what he’s seen.

“He is a very good player, so talented and with outstanding puck skills,” Fedorov told the Windsor Star. “I’m absolutely very happy that he’s gone over there and made an impact so quickly.

“I think he’s been a very impressive NHL player so far.”

While Tarasenko has gone cold as of late — scoreless in his last three — he still leads the Blues in goals (with five) and sits second among rookie scorers, with 10 points, two behind Tampa’s Cory Conacher.

Tarasenko’s also averaging close to 15 minutes a night and playing a big role on St. Louis’ top-ranked power play.

Fedorov, currently the GM of CSKA Moscow, knows that many have compared him and Tarasenko because of their similar skill sets (also, the fact Tarasenko patterns his game after Fedorov.)

He also thinks that, like himself, Tarasenko benefited from spending time in Russian league.

“I think maybe it helped him that he had the five months of the lockout to prepare for the NHL, because he announced at the start of the [KHL] season that he intended to play in the NHL when it started,” Fedorov explained.

“I thought maybe he was too young to go and it might be too tough for him, but he’s playing so well and he’s been a big star.”

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?