As talented as James Neal is, the scoring forward has, in the past, made headlines for running afoul of the league’s player safety department, resulting in numerous suspensions.
On Friday, the 26-year-old Neal was traded to the Nashville Predators during the first round of the NHL Draft. For Pittsburgh, moving Neal was simply a matter of trying to “change the mix” with the Penguins, according to new general manager Jim Rutherford.
“Your emotion gets the better of you. There were things that have happened in my game that you regret. I have to change and be better for it. I’ve changed as a player, I’ve grown as a player,” said Neal, as per The Tennessean.
“I’m still young, I have a very long way to go. Mistakes happen and I’m going to be better for it and move forward and not let that stuff happen again. I have to concentrate on being a leader on this team and taking my game to the next level.”
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.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
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:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger