Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Keep it On the Ice

As I am sure all of you hockey nuts are aware of, Dallas Stars’ forward Sean Avery was suspended indefinitely for the comments he made after yesterday’s morning skate in Calgary.

I posted my thoughts on it over on XM’s Home Ice Channel Hockey Blog.

Let me know what you guys think of the whole situation in the comments section!

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An Interview With Scotty Wazz of The Face-Off Hockey Show

In what I hope will become a somewhat regular feature in this blog, I have gone ahead and interviewed another hockey personality.

Last week, I interviewed Seth Rorabaugh of the Empty Netters Pittsburgh Penguins blog. On tap for this week is Scott Wasilewski (also known as “Scotty Wazz”), one of the hosts of the Face-Off Hockey Show, an Internet radio show (Wednesday nights from 9PM-11PM EST) that focuses on all things hockey whether it’s the big leagues, AHL, junior leagues, the lighter side of the game, etc.

Enjoy!

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Records can be Deceiving

With a record of 17-8-2 and sitting first in the Eastern Conference, one would have to think that the team and its fans would be happy.

In the case of the New York Rangers, not so much. Looks can be deceiving folks and yesterday afternoon’s 4-0 clunker at the hands of the Florida Panthers proves that point.

Over at Sam Weinman’s (The Journal News) Rangers Report Blog, MSG’s John Giannone points out that of the club’s 17 wins, six have come in the shootout. If there were no shootouts, the team would have a substantially lower record and would be 11-7-8.

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  Tags: calgary+flames, chris+drury, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, john+giannone, markus+naslund, michal+rozsival., montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, ottawa+senators, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, sam+weinman, scott+gomez, tampa+bay+lightning, wade+redden

Skills Competition Bails out Rangers

For the second straight game, the New York Rangers needed a shootout to pick up two points, this time against the Florida Panthers.

It was also the second straight game that both Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev scored in the “skills competition” to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory.

Unlike there many other games that went to the shootout, it was the opposing team that tied up the game with just over a minute to go in the tilt as David Booth ripped in an in-tight shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (38 saves) with 1:33 left to go in the hockey game.

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  Tags: craig+anderson, david+booth, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, petr+prucha, stephen+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

Prucha to Play tonight in Miami?

Sam Weinman of The Journal News reports in his Rangers Report Blog that New York Rangers forward Petr Prucha may be in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Prucha has played just eight games this season, his last one being on November 8 against the Washington Capitals. In those eight games, Prucha has no points and just ten shots on goal.

For Prucha, tonight is an opportunity for him to show that he belongs in the league and with the Rangers. However, if he doesn’t contribute offensively or looks out of place, he could find himself right back in the press box.

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  Tags: florida+panthers, hartford+wolf+pack, new+york+rangers, petr+prucha, sam+weinman, the+journal+news, washington+capitals

Rangers on the Prowl in Miami

The New York Rangers continue their two-game road trip in the South with a matchup against the Florida Panthers tonight at the BankAtlantic Center. A win would give them 36 points on the season and a chance to keep their lead in the Eastern Conference.

One would have to expect that Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney will implement the same lineup he used on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which includes keeping the line of Markus Naslund, Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev together.

Last season, the Blueshirts were 2-1-1 against the Panthers. This season, the Panthers have struggled under new coach Peter Deboer, going 8-11-2 with a minus- 12 goal differential, scoring just 48 times in 21 games and allowing 60 goals.

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, david+booth, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, peter+deboer, stephen+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

Dynamic Duo

Throughout training camp and preseason, New York Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney had Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev together.

During this time, the two found instant chemistry by being able to find each other on the ice, utilize their speed, jump into open holes and more importantly, create scoring chances.

Two months later, the two players are doing it again and last night’s 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning was a perfect example.

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  Tags: eastern+conference, markus+naslund, mike+smith, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney

An Interview with Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters

Good evening folks. For your reading pleasure, please check out the interview I did with Seth Rorabaugh, the Post-Gazette’s Pittsburgh Penguins blogger.

Seth was kind of enough to take time out of his hectic schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got his start as a hockey journalist, his thoughts of the future of hockey blogs and his prediction on who this year’s Stanley Cup Finals representatives will be.

Enjoy!

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  Tags: alex+goligoski, empty+netters, frank+pieterangelo, kevin+stevens, kris+letang, larry+murphy, mario+lemieux, mark+eaton, patrick+roy, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+whitney, sergei+fedorov, sergei+gonchar, seth+rorabaugh, steve+yzerman, tim+cheveldae, tim+thomas, ulf+samuelsson

Officially a Losing Streak

While they may have only dropped their last two games, the New York Rangers played like they were in the midst of a two-week slump in a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators this afternoon.

They had no jump in their legs, didn’t get pucks to the net, had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone and looked generally disorganized for 60 minutes.

So my question is: What’s going on?

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  Tags: brandon+dubinsky, colton+orr, jarkko+ruutu, marc+staal, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, paul+mara, phoenix+coyotes, stephen+valiquette

A Fish out of Water

This would be the perfect way to describe Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith.

He’s up, he’s down, he’s to the left, he’s to the right, he’s on his belly, he’s on his feet, etc. However, it’s a style that works for Smith and his statistics through the first month and a half of the regular season.

In 14 games, the 26-year-old is 5-4-5 with a 2.35 goals against average, a .932 save percentage (fourth in the league) and 1 shutout.

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  Tags: mike+smith, nashville+predators, rick+tocchet, tampa+bay+lightning

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.

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