Buffalo Sabres v Nashville Predators

Poile admits Del Zotto is ‘not a fit’ with Preds


When the Nashville Predators acquired Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers in exchange for another defenseman (Kevin Klein), the general thinking fell in two general camps:

1. “Barry Trotz might be able to fix the man nicknamed Del Zaster.”

2. “It’s going to be a Del Zaster.”

Even with Trotz out of town, it seems like the Predators are acknowledging that it ended up being a disaster. OK, they didn’t use such harsh words; the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper reports that GM David Poile merely says that 24-year-old blueliner isn’t “a fit” in Nashville.

From the sound of things, the polarizing defenseman could see any number of fates:

This comes a day after it was revealed that the Predators were shopping him around the league, with this update indicating that they’re having trouble finding buyers. Back in March, the Preds made it clear that they believe his game “has slipped” and that feeling seemingly remains even with a different outlook via new head coach Peter Laviolette.

At this point, it’s difficult to see why one of the NHL’s other 29 teams wouldn’t just wait to grab Del Zotto via free agency rather than giving up assets to gain his rights.

As much criticism as his defensive prowess (probably fairly) receives, not many blueliners hit the free market at his age with his offensive resume (37 points as a rookie in 2009-10, a career-high 41 in 2011-12). It’s hard to fathom every team passing up on a possible “reclamation project” like MDZ.

It’s unlikely that the Predators will get anything for trouble – aside from the nearly $3 million in cap space that they garnered from dealing Klein – though.

PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shane Doan took a friendly jab at the the movie “Miracle” and the Miracle on Ice. (BarDown)

–The best of the worst Upper Deck hockey cards from 2015-16. (Puck Junk)

–Here’s a list of the top 50 players in WHL history. (WHL)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A sad story about how Chris Phillips feels helpless as his hometown of Fort McMurray burns. (CBC)

–“You want to get back into things right away (but) I think these last four or five months have been good for me.” Former Penguins coach Mike Johnston is ready to coach again. (Local XPress)

–Blues forward Jori Lehtera is in a pretty random commercial:

Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win


The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.

Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.

With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.

It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.

Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.

The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?

Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:

If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby looks hurt (and furious) after Alex Ovechkin slash

NBCSN screen

Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.

An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.

After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.

You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.

Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.

Dirty or not? Evgeni Malkin’s hit on Daniel Winnik


Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.

Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.

Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.