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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Believe it or not, the NHL needs to make sure the KHL continues to move forward, especially now that it is trying to fund junior teams as well. But, the Russians must be more reasonable in their demands.

-Elliotte Friedman of CBC/HNIC.  Read on th find out why Elliotte feels that way.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Win One For Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It won’t change or decide anything. The Leafs will still be 29th out of 30 NHL teams when the match against the Boston Bruins ends Saturday night, and the Bruins will still be in the process of trying to secure a Stanley Cup playoff berth.

Yet there’s still meaning to this game, most of it surrounding the Phil Kessel trade from last fall.

More to the point, from the Toronto end of things, if the Maple Leafs were ever going to win a game for president/GM Brian Burke, maybe give the game puck to him if they could come up with a victory, this would be the one.

Burke’s reputation has taken a bit of a beating this season as the Leafs have settled into the bottom of the league, and certainly there are many who have resoundingly panned his decision to ship two first-round picks to the Bruins for Kessel.

He did it because he believed in the player and because he believed the trade was a way to jump-start the rebirth of his downtrodden team.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ryder Slump Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Michael Ryder, once a fixture on the No. 1 man-advantage unit, was taken off the power play entirely four games ago. Yesterday, a day after Ryder landed zero shots in a 1-0 loss Thursday to Florida at TD Garden, his coach dropped him to the fourth line.

Who knows where Ryder will end up next.

“It could definitely happen when you’re looked at to score goals and you’re not scoring,’’ Ryder said of possibly becoming a healthy scratch. “It’s definitely in your mind. But I’ve just got to keep working hard and step it up even another notch. We’ve got five games left and we need wins to get to the playoffs.’’


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+ryder

Quick Feels Time Off Helped His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has played a career-high 4,041 minutes, did not ask to sit while Jonathan Bernier started and won the last two games. But Quick said Friday having time to refine his game will benefit him Saturday night when he faces the Ducks at Staples Center with the Kings’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot at four points.

“You’re going day to day. You’re taking one day at a time. Along the way you are going to feel fatigue, either mentally or physically,” Quick said. “But you just kind of every day talk yourself into being up for the game no matter how you’re feeling.

“Regardless, I think those two games off there was a good respite. Mentally and physically I feel good. I got three solid days of practice these last three days here. I feel confident about my game and I feel confident about the team’s game. They’ve been playing well.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Forget The Cruise Control, Uncle Mike Is Dropping The Hammer

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The Wings are enjoying their greatest success during the Season of Jobu.  7 WINS in a row.  21 of 22 possible points in the last 11 games.  Sitting at 95 points, if the Wings reach 98 points they are guaranteed a playoff berth.  With 5 games remaining, it would take a nosedive of the kind Denver’s Dive is undergoing to miss consecutive playoff berth #19. 

In the Leastern Conference 91 points is enough to clinch a playoff berth.  While that is good for 5th in the (L)East, it would only be good enough for 8th in the middle of the Peloton of Suck in the West.  More in that in a bit.

While the Wings have taken no prisoners lately, it has not been pretty every game.

Brad Stuart via Khan(!):

“We can probably play better than we have the last couple of games,’’ defenseman Brad Stuart said. “We’ve gotten away with a few games that weren’t as good as the ones previously.’’

And Uncle Mike agrees:

“I think we’ve played pretty well defensively. The last two games haven’t been indicative of the whole run,’’ Babcock said. “The last two games, we’ve made more mistakes than we made the rest of the time totally. We got to sharpen up our game right now.’’

Babbles is not happy despite 7 WINS in a row.  While the teams in the NHL are fearing the Wings, the Wings are fearing Uncle Mike.

With good reason.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Do You Envy The Capitals Goaltending Situation?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post,

Controversy might be a little strong. Let’s call it a situation. The Capitals have a goaltending situation. It’s a situation some other teams might envy, but for the Caps, the key is keeping it from blossoming into a controversy.

The Capitals have two very good goaltenders. José Theodore is 27-7-7 with a 2.87 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Semyon Varlamov is 14-4-5 with a 2.52 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. (Math was never my strong suit, but there seems to be very little difference between .908 and .909.)


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There are many different levels of fandom. I’m extreme! I’m one of those Rangers fans who doesn’t take defeat well. For example, if the Rangers fail to make the playoffs in a given season, I make it my mission—as do many other hard-core Rangers fans—to root against their most hated rival, the New Jersey Devils.

-Linda Cohn at ESPN New York.  Read more about Linda’s love for the Rangers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About A Home Grown Exception In The Next CBA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Assuming the salary cap is engraved in stone, should the NHL and NHLPA consider a version of the Larry Bird Exception in the next CBA?

From our perspective, the answer is yes. While a Bird Exception would soften what is, basically, the NHL’s hard cap, it also would mitigate the single worst consequence of the post-lockout cap: the inability of good teams to stay together. (The Larry Bird Exception allows NBA teams to re-sign their own free agents; to be eligible, a player cannot have changed teams as a free agent in three seasons.)...

Chicago reached elite status through bumbling—high draft choices allowed it to pick Captain Serious and Killer Kane—but Detroit did it on sheer brainpower. Still, GM Ken Holland has been forced to lose important players because of the cap, including Marian Hossa to the Hawks. Hossa would not have qualified as a Larry Bird Exception because he had jumped to the Red Wings as a free agent from Pittsburgh, but that’s beside the point. The point is: some kind of exemption for a homegrown player might allow a Pittsburgh or Washington to become a true circus team, one of those must-see squads of an earlier era that can dominate for half a decade.

more questions and answers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Chris Mason On the Blues Play Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of Game Time at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

In case you missed it, here’s what Blues goaltender Chris Mason said following Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Nashville.

“I’m definitely not going to single anybody out, but some guys showed up and worked as hard as they could and some guys didn’t,” Mason said. ”When you’re in a desperate situation like we are, we need everybody to come and compete, and we didn’t have that.”

continue for some reaction from teammates and coach…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+mason

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vancouver may not need Luongo to be amazing in the postseason, but they need him to be good. Heck, at this point they will take average if it lasts a month.

—Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province where you can read more on Luongo.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

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