Shawn Matthias #18 of the Florida Panthers looks to pass in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 5, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Florida Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in an overtime shootout.
(February 6, 2013 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)

Panthers’ Matthias: ‘I’m sick of losing’


Is the 2013 campaign just a bump in the road in the Florida Panthers’ rebuilding process or was the 2011-12 campaign a fluke?

Either way, after making the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in over a decade, the Florida Panthers are dead last in the NHL.

“This is unacceptable,” Shawn Matthias told the Miami Herald after Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. “We’ve been through this before and it’s not fun. I’m sick of losing.”

Matthias was drafted by Detroit in 2006, but was traded to Florida before he ever got to play a game in the Red Wings’ organization. Matthias has consequently spent his entire 231 game NHL career with Florida.

“We need to change things, turn this ship around,” Matthias added. “It’s frustrating and it has gone on long enough. They were ripe for the picking and we didn’t take advantage of it.”

Panthers GM Dale Tallon is reportedly ready to start trading, but given the Panthers’ record, he will likely prioritize the team’s future over this season.

Meanwhile, players who have spent their careers with the Panthers will be left remembering their brief 2012 playoff run and wondering how long they’ll have to wait for their next postseason game.

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?