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Who has been Naughty or Nice

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In Toronto, fans and media had Phil Kessel on the naughty list. After Monday's two goal performance, he safely on the nice list for the Penguins.

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Nice: Tyler Seguin, the young man went from scapegoat in Boston to a game-changing forward alongside Jamie Benn in Dallas.

Naughty: New York Post's Brett Cyrgalls for his "Sidney Crosby is a coach-killer - there, we said it" article that was filled with speculation without nary a piece of evidence, believe or make believe on what Crosby might have done to actually get one of his four previous coaches fired.

Nice: Pascal Dupuis, he gave it all he had for the game he loved. You can't ask for more than that. It was time to retire.

Naughty: Arizona Coyotes owner will complain about their arena situation, yet doesn't see how much better his team and sport would be with a better product on the ice. This early December quote on goal scoring is all you need to know about the state of the sport. "I think there’s great parity in the league and I’ve heard some rumblings about lack of offense, I personally don’t see it, I don’t understand it, but that’s my take."

Nice: Montreal defensemen P.K. Subban donated $10 million to the Montreal Children's Foundation. As much as I dislike Subban on the ice, much of that due to his early use of his skates as a weapon (i.e. Jordan Staal in the playoffs), he's a good person off it.

Naughty: Buffalo Geneal Manager Tim Murray on goal scoring, "Our coaches have to come up with offensive schemes to match defensive schemes," Murray said. "And obviously, it’s easier to coach defense than it is to coach offense. So we’re not there yet." Pretty funny as Murray and his peers do nothing but hire coaches who ignore offense and mainly complain about and highlight the defensive breakdowns. And somehow, GMs are set to be the stewards of the game?

Nice: Kerry Fraser for his words on TSN that do not always line up with the NHL agenda. Just wish Fraser was able to officiate the game like he talks it in retirement.

Naughty: Columbus Blue Jackets got one coach (Todd Richards) fired and have done nothing under John Tortorella. Well, unless you consider resident naughty list contributors Brandon Dubinsky and Dalton Prout for their stick work against the Penguins and Boone Jenner's sneaky knee on Evgeni Malkin. I expected better from John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen but desperation exposes the character of men.

Nice: While you can question many of his teammates and those around him, tap of the stick to Ryan Johansen on Monday for taking a stick over to a young fan after a pane of glass broke and almost hit the boy in Pittsburgh.

Naughty: NHL's Department of Player Safety. Hello gentlemen, resign.... resign now. Only in the NHL can you have a league run so badly with some men getting jobs purely on their last name. Birth shouldn't give you a right to be anything in life. You need to earn it. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what Patrick Burke has done to deserve the job. He didn't play in the NHL and has proven nothing but pick up the reigns left due to the tragic death of his brother. The "You Can Play" initiative is a wonderful thing but just because he's the son of Brian Burke, a dinosaur and a man of questionable character, doesn't mean Patrick should be the Director of Player Safety.

Nice: Mike Sullivan for putting the Penguins 4th line on the PP. If that doesn't send a message to Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel, what will? The Penguins power play minus Crosby looked good enough on Monday against Columbus.

Naughty: TSN and NHL Network for trying to make this Steven Stamkos story bigger than it is at the moment. He's no different than LA's Anze Kopitar but Toronto is the Mecca or so they think.

Nice: Beau Bennett for finding his niche on the team as the pizza delivery boy in the Penguins' Home Alone video. Who knew filthy hands is also on a team full of filthy animals.

Naughty: Crosby's 1970's porn stache in November.

Nice: Watching Johnny 'Hockey' Gaudreau play the game with the enthusiasm of a young kid.

Naughty: NHL owners present and past for their handling of brain injuries. The league is being sued and it should be interesting to see if the NHL settles in order to avoid having their records go on the public docket for all to see what they knew and when they knew it. This isn't just a Gary Bettman problem, it goes back for decades and explains how much violence is part of the game. We'll see if the league is serious about cleaning up the game as fighting is just one aspect to limiting the head injuries.

Nice: While stationed in hockey's Siberia, Taylor Hall has taken a step forward, a positive sign considering team has been without Connor McDavid.

Naughty: Anyone that says eliminating the two-line pass was a mistake. The problem is coaching and defensemen that don't have the skill to skate the puck up the ice or pass it crisply to an open teammate flying through the neutral zone. The problem continues to be how teams deploy their defensemen once the puck reaches center red line. Too often defensemen are already inside the defensive zone. There's a new rule to be created for illegal defense, make it happen.

Nice: Evgeni Malkin has taken a step forward as a leader on and off the ice. A few years ago, Malkin would defer to Crosby at post-game playoff press conferences, now he's speaking and playing as the heart of the team. A motivated Malkin is the most dominant player in the game, Tortorella saw that on Monday night.

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.