2014 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7

Poll results: PHT readers name 2014 draft’s winners, losers


About two weeks ago, PHT asked which of the 30 NHL teams were the biggest winners and losers of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Naturally, it’s difficult to gauge how well a team fared in the first season or two after a draft, let alone in the same weekend … but some might find it enjoyable. Let’s take a look at the results and see if there’s a consensus (or if popular and/or disliked teams skewed the results).

For the sake of convenience, the top and bottom five from each category are listed. For all 30 teams’ results, click here.

Biggest winners top and bottom five (5,987 total votes):

1. Buffalo – 23.7 percent (1,419 votes)
2. Islanders – 7.75 percent (464)
3. Vancouver – 6.53 percent (391)
4. Detroit – 4.79 percent (287)
5. Florida – 4.64 percent (278)

26. New Jersey – 1.12 percent (67)
27. Dallas – 1.1 percent (66)
28. Colorado – 1.02 percent (61)
29. Carolina – .79 (47)
30. Ottawa – “0” (4)

Biggest losers top and bottom five (3,712 total votes):

1. Ottawa – 15.54 percent (577)
2. Pittsburgh – 10.29 percent (382)
3. Rangers – 8.3 percent (308)
4. Toronto – 7.65 percent (284)
5. Vancouver – 5.6 percent (208)

26. Minnesota – .89 percent (33)
27. Tampa Bay – .86 percent (32)
28. Dallas – .75 percent (28)
29. Nashville – .65 percent (24)
30. Columbus – .57 percent (21)

Some notes: The most telling thing might be that the distaste for Ottawa’s draft seemed clear: they received the fewest winner votes and the most loser voters. Biggest winner Buffalo received 2.9 percent (89 votes) of the loser votes. Dallas was in the bottom five of both polls (feel free to draw whatever conclusions you’d like from that).

The Sabres command such an impressive majority of the votes that it seems reasonable to deem them the “PHT voters’ choice.” One can only hope that people gave the Sabres bonus points for the uncanny resemblance between Brendan Lemieux and Sam Reinhart (pictured).

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?