Dany Heatley

Heatley to open with Getzlaf and Perry?


From NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke:

There’s two ways of looking at this.

One, in a positive light — Heatley’s a left-handed shot that would (theoretically) play LW with Perry on the right and Getzlaf down the middle. In that sense, it’s a natural fit. Two, Heatley’s frame (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) and skating ability (or lack thereof) is more suited to the puck-possession, big-bodied style that the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Getzlaf and 6-foot-3, 212-pound Perry play.

But there’s also the negative way to view this.

What often seems like a good fit doesn’t always work. Last year, the Ducks signed Dustin Penner in the hopes of recreating some of the magic he had with Getzlaf and Perry during the 2006-07 campaign, but it never panned out. Penner’s game simply tailed off too much; after a good start to the season (he had 16 points in 15 games in November), he scored just four times in 27 games prior to getting dealt to Washington for a fourth-round pick… which didn’t sound like the most pleasant departure.

From the OC Register:

Penner said the interaction with [Ducks GM Bob] Murray was short and quick.

“He just said, ‘You’ve been traded to Washington,’” Penner said. “I said, ‘Why?’ And then he said, ‘Cap room.’ And then I left.”

Just like that, Penner’s second stint with the Ducks didn’t last eight months. The big winger who won a Stanley Cup with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in 2007 was brought back on a one-year, $2-million deal to reignite the chemistry they had as a trio.

Penner arrived in training camp out of shape but worked his way back on to the top line and had his best run after an October concussion with seven goals and 12 assists in 18 games. His production tailed off but had picked up right before the trade.

Heatley, much like Penner, has been criticized for a lack of fitness and conditioning during his NHL career.

That said, Heatley — a two-time 50-goalscorer that popped 24 during the ’11-12 season — appears to be already focused on playing with Perry and Getzlaf, which may spur him on to arrive at Anaheim’s camp in the best shape imaginable:

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

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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?