Discuss: Blackhawks grind out 3-2 series lead


Patrick Kane’s hot start ended up being just enough for the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, as they edged the Boston Bruins 3-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. The Boston Bruins find themselves down for the second time in this 2013 Stanley Cup Final series.

Let’s discuss the game and the future of the series.

  • Let’s assume that Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews are both out for the rest of this round. Which team “benefits” the most from this situation? How would you juggle lines if you were the coaches? Which players shoulder the most pressure on each squad?
  • Kane now has four points in his last two games and seven goals in his last seven contests. He finished the 2010 Stanley Cup Final series on fire, too. Could he win the Conn Smythe with a strong finish to this series?
  • Speaking of Kane, whose facial hair/general playoff look is more amusing: his or Jaromir Jagr’s Wolverine/”Hollywood Hulk Hogan” routine?
  • Corey Crawford allowed another goal to his glove side, the only puck that beat him on Saturday. So add one more to this cool infographic. But does it matter? Is it an overblown problem or something that could get Boston back into this thing?
  • Zdeno Chara has received some criticism and seemed to struggle in the first two periods before playing big in the final frame, including scoring the Bruins’ goal. Can he carry Boston to two straight wins?
  • Any officiating beefs? Air your grievances.
  • Do you think Chicago will wrap the series up in Boston on Monday? They won their 2010 championship in Philadelphia in Game 6.

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?