NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 25: Sergei Kostitsyn #74 of the Nashville Predators ties up the stick of Corey Potter #44 of the Edmonton Oilers at the Bridgestone Arena on March 25, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Kostitsyn back on Trotz’s good side after embarrassing incident

A little over a week ago, Sergei Kostitsyn was in the doghouse after a mental lapse resulted in a shorthanded goal and cost the Predators two key points against the Edmonton Oilers.

If you missed the incident, you can see it below:

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz was at a loss for what happened.

“I can’t give you a logical explanation for an illogical event,” he said and was passionate about his decision to make Kostitsyn a healthy scratch in the Predators’ following game.

But if you thought that might led to a bigger riff between Kostitsyn and his coach, that hasn’t happened. Instead, Kostitsyn has bounced back and Trotz was back to singing his praises following Nashville’s rematch against the Oilers.

“Sergei is almost the smartest guy defensively we have, if not the smartest,” Trotz told the Tennessean after Kostitsyn led the Predators’ to victory with a goal and an assist in Monday’s 3-2 win over Edmonton.

“He has good awareness around him, he has a great stick, he holds ice and doesn’t drift and get sucked to the puck when he doesn’t need to. I have a lot of faith in him defensively, and killing penalties he’s the same way.”

Kostitsyn now has 13 points and a team-leading plus-nine rating in 31 games this season. Nashville and the San Jose Sharks are tied for eighth place in the Western Conference, but the Predators have played in two extra games.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
Leave a comment

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
1 Comment

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?