St. Louis Blues v Vancouver Canucks

Report: Eddie Lack to start Heritage Classic for Canucks


Oh boy, here we go again. Another goalie controversy in Vancouver?

According to multiple reports, rookie goalie Eddie Lack will get the start in goal for the Vancouver Canucks against the Ottawa Senators in Sunday’s Heritage Classic. That would make it three straight starts out of the Olympic break for the 26-year-old Lack, who is in his first NHL season.

In his last three starts, including one against the Detroit Red Wings prior to the Olympic break, Lack has been stellar. He’s allowed only two goals over those last three starts, despite a record of just 1-1-1. The problem has been lack – no pun intended – of goal support.

After the Canucks practiced at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, one day before hitting the ice for real against the Senators, head coach John Tortorella did not reveal who his starting goalie would be.

Lack was the first goalie to talk to media after the skate. He also said he hadn’t heard who was starting, but spoke highly of the ice conditions inside BC Place.

“We used to have two practices a week outdoor and three inside. It’s a really cool event. I’m really looking forward to it,” Lack told reporters.

“I’ve never been in here before, so from the first time I walked in here this morning, I was just like, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be so cool.”

This isn’t the first time the Canucks have found themselves with something of a goalie controversy on their hands.

For almost two years, the Canucks tried to move Luongo, tied into a 12-year, $64 million contract, in a trade, after his starting job was taken over by Cory Schneider in the 2012 playoffs. Remember that whole ‘My contract sucks’ line?

In the end, Schneider was dealt to the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft.

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?