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Wild’s Harding launches multiple sclerosis charity


Minnesota goalie Josh Harding — who won the 2013 Masterton Trophy after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year — has established a public charity aimed at changing perceptions of MS.

“There is a poor perception of people diagnosed with MS. People immediately think wheelchair and death,” he said in announcing the launch of Harding’s Hope. “I want to be a role model for others diagnosed with MS by showing that this will not come between me and my goals.”

Here’s more, from the release:

Harding initially struggled to find important and necessary information about the disease, while he was exposed to some of the negative perceptions surrounding something that affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide.

A lack of education and understanding are something that Josh hopes he is able to help change through work with his new organization.

In the United States, Harding’s Hope will work with existing agencies to help support people faced with the expensive treatment costs.

In Canada, the charity will support organizations that provide community services to people living with MS.

Harding, 29, learned of his MS diagnosis last fall but managed to serve as Minnesota’s backup this season, though he did miss extensive time with a MS-related setback in February.

Undeterred, Harding returned to action and became the team’s starter for all five games of its opening-round playoff loss to Chicago.

Filling in for the injured Niklas Backstrom, Harding posted a .911 save percentage and 2.94 GAA in the playoffs, which included a stellar 43-save effort in Game 2 — paving the way to winning the Masterton, awarded annually to the player who exemplifies “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

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
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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

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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?