“Both those guys, we were looking at them to be top-six, top-seven forwards and we got no production. Craig Smith and Sergei were on power plays all year. I did it to try to get them going. I tried different things to get those guys going.
“I knew that we needed them because we score by committee and we had some committee members that didn’t get ‘er done.”
The 26-year-old Kostitsyn, who has one more year left on his two-year $6 million contact after this season, had just three goals and 15 points in 46 games.
Smith, 23, experienced a downturn in his second NHL season, scoring only four times and 12 points.
Those two players were part of the overwhelming problem, and that was the Predators, ravaged by injuries, had trouble scoring goals.
They finished at the bottom of the NHL, along with the Florida Panthers, in goals-for per game at 2.27.
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