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NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Facing a 2-1 deficit in the third period, the Ottawa Senators scored four unanswered goals – including two in a span of 1:12 – to defeat the San Jose Sharks and earn their seventh consecutive victory. The Senators, who have earned points in 16 of their last 17 games overall (15-1-1), improved to 37-24-11 (85 points) this season and leapfrogged the idle Boston Bruins (36-25-12, 84 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Senators have recorded points in 16 of 17 games for the first time since Feb. 20-March 24, 2007 (11-1-5). Elias also says that Ottawa has won 15 of 17 games for the first time since Oct. 3-Nov. 15, 2007 (15-2-0).
Andrew Hammond made 29 saves to improve to 14-0-1 in his first 15 career starts and push his personal winning streak to nine games. According to Elias, Hammond is the first goaltender to earn points in each of his first 15 career starts since Patrick Lalime went 14-0-2 in his first 16 career starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996-97.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Thoughts On Proposed All-Star Game Format

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

At the recent GM meetings, there was some discussion about All-Star Weekend.

“It’s a good event,” one of them said. “Until the game starts.”

There’s an understanding it is never going to be competitive. And, after polling several of the GMs, they don’t want it to be. The season is taxing enough on the players, so no one wants to see them injured when it doesn’t matter.

Chicago’s Stan Bowman was one of those who suggested a small March-Madness like tournament. After thinking further about it, here’s how it could work.

Currently, the NHL invites 40-ish players to the event, six of whom are goalies.

Increase the total to 48 skaters and keep the same number of goalies, bringing the total to 54. You can still do the draft, picking six teams of nine. We go four-on-four. The NHL and NHLPA determine the length of each game (it should be no problem getting them to agree on things, right?), creating a 15-match round-robin, with each group facing the others once.

The top two teams get a bye to the semis. The next four go head-to-head in the quarters in single-elimination until we have a winner. There would be ties in the round-robin and shootouts in the “playoffs.”

more plus 30 Thoughts...

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

Sabres Fans Sound Off About Wanting 30th

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

Yesterday, I asked a question on Twitter to gauge where Sabres fans are at emotionally as they watch their team play out the stretch with a possibility of lining up a guarantee to get either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the draft.



If you want to know just how big this has become for a lot of fans in Buffalo, the responses will give you an idea. Some of them even surprised me.

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Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: sabres+mceichel

Red Wings-Coyotes morning skate Tweets: It’s an ‘optional’ and Datsyuk remains out

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red WIngs can either take advantage of the 29th-place Coyotes to earn two "gimme" points or turn tonight's tilt against Arizona into a "trap game" (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM) that allows the Senators (4 points behind Detroit) and Bruins (5 points behind Detroit) to close in upon the Wings' 3rd and final Atlantic Division playoff spot.

As MLive's Ansar Khan noted in his "5 Things to Watch," the Coyotes haven't exactly been world-beaters this year:

2. Coyotes in the hunt for top pick: Arizona is in a three-way battle with Buffalo and Edmonton for the worst record in the NHL; don't count out the Coyotes, who've lost six consecutive games in regulation, eight in a row overall (0-7-1), are 1-17-1 in their past 19 and seem determined to bring Connor McDavid to the Desert.

The team with the fewest points gets the most balls in the draft lottery, with the best chance to secure the No. 1 pick, which is certain to be McDavid.

The Coyotes visit Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday (7:30). The teams have split six games since the start of the 2013 season.

In theory, the Wings should be able to earn 2 points over Thursday's opponent, the San Jose Sharks, pretty easily, too, but those pesky Senators aggravated the Sharks by defeating them 5-2 last night.

Anyway, the Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena for their morning skate shortly after 10:30 AM, and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa was the first beat writer to check in...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings to raise funds for Make-A-Wish of Michigan on Thursday

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings:

… Mystery Puck Draw, Online Fundraiser to Benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host their third annual ‘Wings for Wishes’ night to benefit Make-A-Wish®  Michigan on Thursday, March 26 when the team takes on the San Jose Sharks at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit / 97.1 The Ticket). In its first two years, ‘Wings for Wishes’ night has raised more than $30,000, which has helped Make-a-Wish® Michigan grant the wishes of six Michigan children.

The team’s wives and girlfriends will hold a mystery puck draw on the concourse behind Section 126 when doors open at 6:00 p.m. For $35, fans will have the opportunity to purchase from an assortment of 300 hockey pucks signed by members of the 2014-15 team and packaged in a black box to conceal the autograph. Each puck has been signed by a Red Wings player and comes with a certificate of authenticity. One in three pucks available at Thursday’s game has been signed by Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard, Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist. The fan who purchases and opens the puck signed in gold by Nyquist will meet him after the game.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Playoff Race In The Western Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

You have to love late-season jockeying in the playoff race. The Los Angeles Kings made their move Monday night, and the Calgary Flames responded a few hours later.

With Mike Richards back from the AHL and in the lineup, the Kings opened their five-game road trip with a much-needed 3-1 win at New Jersey, temporarily tying the Flames for third place and the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.

But Bob Hartley's men said "No problem" later in the evening, disposing of the visiting Colorado Avalanche 3-2 to go back up two points on the Kings.

The defending champs have a tough one at MSG on Tuesday against arguably the best team in the NHL right now, the New York Rangers. And you'd better believe the Blueshirts wouldn't mind delivering a tough blow to the Kings after losing to L.A. in last year's Stanley Cup final.

The Flames host the Stars on Wednesday before heading out onto their own five-game road trek. It also happens that the Kings visit Calgary on April 9 in the second-to-last game of the regular season for both teams. Got a feeling that game is going to matter.

read on for more from the ESPN hockey staff including Strang on the Senators, Custance on the Wild and Burnside of the Jets...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Consider The San Jose Shark Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

That should just about do it.

After allowing four goals in the third period on Monday at Canadian Tire Center to lose 5-2 to the Senators, the Sharks playoff odds went from remote to virtually impossible.

A seven-game road trip that began in Winnipeg with a confident group has now devolved into a funeral procession for the 2014-15 season. There are still nine games to go and three more stops on the trip, but for all intents and purposes the Sharks’ 10-year streak of making it to the postseason died in the frosty Canadian capital.

No one would say it in those words, of course, but there was a palpable sense that the players and coach are now reserved to their fate as a team....

Logan Couture was particularly sincere.

“We’re not good enough right now to compete against good teams in the NHL,” he said. “It’s disappointing. We’re a better team, I think, than what we’ve shown in the last couple months.

“Every night we go out there, we just haven’t been good enough on a consistent basis. It’s so disappointing because we believe in this room that we’ve got a good enough group of guys to make a push and to compete past the regular season. Consistently, we just don’t get the job done.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Toronto Maple Leafs Honor Eric Brewer’s 1000th NHL Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

The Leafs don’t always get these things right, but the pre-game tribute to honour veteran Eric Brewer for playing in his 1,00th career NHL game was a nice, well-deserved touch. Sure, he has only played 10 games with his latest team, but any NHLer who makes it to the thousand mark should get his due — and the traditional silver stick that goes with it. The video tribute was first class, playing tribute to a defenceman who has represented Canada eight times in his career, including a member of the gold medal winning squad at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

more on the Leafs and watch the ceremony below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+brewer

Pat LaFontaine Returns To Nassau Coliseum Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Kreda of the New York Times,

Pat LaFontaine has always been a popular Islander, though in recent years he has not been seen much at Nassau Coliseum.

Since he left the franchise during the turbulent summer of 2006, after the abrupt departure of Neil Smith as general manager, LaFontaine, the team’s gregarious former center, has primarily concentrated on his charity work and, more recently, working for the N.H.L. as vice president for hockey development and community affairs after a brief job as an executive with the Buffalo Sabres.

Before the Islanders leave for Barclays Center, however, LaFontaine will finally return to Nassau Coliseum, which he called home from 1984 to 1991. A Hall of Famer, he was happy to be invited back by the team owner Charles B. Wang and General Manager Garth Snow to greet fans and be recognized on the ice before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

“I haven’t been in the building for a long time, so I’m excited to see it again,” LaFontaine, 50, said. “I cherish those times and the players I played with. And the Islander fans have always been great. I’m honored to come back to where it all started for me.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+lafontaine

Jarome Iginla Still Looking For The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Overall, his legacy is cemented. In addition to starring on two Olympic gold-medal-winning teams, Iginla has won a case full of trophies – an Art Ross, two Rocket Richards, a King Clancy and the Mark Messier leadership award.

What he hasn’t won is a Stanley Cup, though he of course came achingly close when Calgary pushed Tampa Bay to Game 7 in the 2004 Cup final. More recent playoff runs fell short in Pittsburgh two years ago and Boston last year. Finding the right landing place as a free agent, in what he hopes is his final NHL stop, was critical to Iginla for personal and professional reasons.

“It’s hard to pick, especially now with how the cap works,” Iginla said. “If you try to predict what the final four are going to be, maybe you can do it, but for me, it’s hard to tell. They’re all so close. There are no teams you play now where you feel they’re so much ahead of you – and that wasn’t always the case.

“Right now, we’re playing some good hockey and getting better and we’re missing some impact players [Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon]. That should – and I believe will – only get better. So absolutely, it was more than just about this year. It was about being part of a team that’s trending positively in the right way. And even though we had a step back in the beginning, overall, we’re going to keep getting better and better.”

Every time Iginla returns to Calgary, it gets a little easier for him, he said. His family is enjoying life in Denver, from his three kids’ schools to their minor hockey. He sees a lot of similarities to Calgary – “a lot going on, but not too busy. Maybe a little warmer.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarome+iginla

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