Subban officially wins Norris Trophy


This news originally leaked on Monday, but now it’s official: Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban won the 2013 Norris Trophy, edging out Ryan Suter and Kris Letang. This makes him the first Habs blueliner to take the award since Chris Chelios did it in 1989.

That’s not bad for a guy whose season didn’t start until Feb. 2 because of a prolonged contract dispute. The 23-year-old tied Letang for the points lead among defensemen, notching 38 in 42 games. (That also ties a career-high mark he set in 77 games during the 2010-11 campaign).

Subban’s defensive play improved, as he set a career-best +12 mark and served as a go-to guy (along with Andrei Markov) on a Habs team that shocked many to win the Northeast Division and East’s second seed. Despite a first-round loss to Ottawa, Subban scored four points in five postseason games.

With the glaring exception of Nicklas Lidstrom (2011), the Norris has been going to younger blueliners lately, as Duncan Keith (2010), Erik Karlsson (2012) and now Subban have claimed the prize.

With the win, Subban becomes the first Habs defenseman to win the award since Chris Chelios, and will join Hockey Hall of Famers Larry Robinson, Jacques Laperriere, Tom Johnson and Doug Harvey as Montreal defensemen to win the award.

Norris Trophy Top 10 voting

1. P.K. Subban, MTL 1266 (66-56-35-12-3)

2. Ryan Suter, MIN 1230 (65-54-34-8-8)

3. Kris Letang, PIT 914 (31-37-42-39-18)

4. Francois Beauchemin, ANA 290 (1-6-20-33-39)

5. Zdeno Chara, BOS 289 (10-9-16-8-22)

6. Duncan Keith, CHI 281 (1-8-16-36-27)

7. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, PHX 79 (3-1-2-8-8)

8. Shea Weber, NSH 49 (0-1-4-5-7)

9. Drew Doughty, L.A. 43 (0-1-2-7-5)

10. Niklas Kronwall, DET 33 (0-2-1-3-5)

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?