Kukla's Korner Hockey
Home Team in Caps
PITTSBURGH 4, NY Islanders 2
Minnesota 4, BUFFALO 0
Arizona 5, PHILADELPHIA 4
TORONTO 3, Florida 2
MONTREAL 3, Tampa Bay 1
Detroit 2, ST. LOUIS 1 (SO)
WINNIPEG 4, Dallas 1
LOS ANGELES 3, Nashville 2 (OT)
SAN JOSE 3, Columbus 1
CANADIENS, RED WINGS EXTEND WIN STREAKS TO SIX GAMES
The Canadiens (7-0-1) and Red Wings (6-2-0) each extended winning streaks to six games with victories on Thursday. Montreal remains the only team without a regulation loss in 2016-17.
* Elias notes that Montreal is the first team in NHL history to win at least seven of its first eight games in three straight seasons (2014-15: 7-1-0 and 2015-16: 9-0-0). In addition, the Canadiens are just the second team to start back-to-back campaigns with at least one point in each of its first eight games, joining the Sharks (2012-13: 7-0-1 and 2013-14: 8-0-1).
* The Red Wings’ six-game winning streak equals their longest such run over the past five seasons (also Jan. 13-27, 2015). In 2011-12, Detroit posted three winning streaks of at least six games – first from Nov. 19 to Dec. 2 (7-0-0), then from Jan. 12 to 23 (7-0-0) and finally from Feb. 8 to 19 (6-0-0).
Among ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's "Rumblings':
The Las Vegas expansion franchise will be given a head start when it comes to free agency.
Sources told ESPN.com that as part of these fascinating expansion-draft rules we keep learning about, the Vegas organization will have a 48-hour window ahead of the expansion draft in June to speak with and sign any pending unrestricted or restricted free agents whom the 30 teams left unprotected for the expansion draft.
So, for example, let's say for whatever reason Brent Burns remains unsigned by the San Jose Sharks by June (and I’m not saying that’s going to happen, just using him as an example). Would the Sharks want to protect Burns in the expansion draft if they feel he’s walking out the door July 1?
Let’s pretend they don’t, and Vegas has the opportunity to negotiate with Burns ahead of the expansion draft and sign him. Pretty unreal, right? But it’s possible, according to these rules.
Now, one can’t imagine Vegas would want to launch its franchise by overpaying a number of UFAs. But for a real difference-maker? Who knows.
And the same goes for RFAs, who obviously are younger. Any RFAs left unprotected for the expansion draft can become property of the Vegas franchise if they agree to terms on a new contract within that 48-hour window.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Jounal,
If your tried-and-true No. 1 goalie gets hurt for not days or weeks but months or has an injury that nags all season, you’re hooped. Mike Smith (groin) is hurt again in Arizona, and while Louis Domingue was good last year for a good stretch, not so this year.
In Boston, the Bruins had to play Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre the other day with starter Tuukka Rask and backup Anton Khudobin out.
Only a few NHL clubs have the luxury or the good fortune of withstanding a major injury to the starter, because they’ve got a No. 1 and a No. 1A.
Like Pittsburgh with Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray.
Like Tampa with Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
To a lesser degree, Jaro Halak and Thomas Greiss are an interchangeable pair with the New York Islanders. It’s much the same story for the Dallas Stars with Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi, although both have struggled. Perhaps the Detroit Red Wings, too, with Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard, but it’s a short list.
The Penguins and the Lightning could have dealt Fleury and Bishop at the draft after the strong play of Murray, who took Pittsburgh to the Cup, and Vasilevskiy, who got the Lightning to the third round, but they didn’t and they’re happy they’ve got both, even if they’re going to lose one of them to Las Vegas in the expansion draft — barring a trade.
more plus other hockey topics...
from Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer,
A 1993 Sports Illustrated headline called Samuelsson “Mr. Dirty.” The New York Times Magazine proclaimed him “a thinking-man’s thug.” A Pittsburgh sportswriter named Dave Molinari wrote in the 1990s that Samuelsson was “the kind of guy who would elbow Mother Teresa if she strayed near his net. Then cross-check her when she tried to stand up. Maybe spear her behind the knee as she hobbled away.”
You know the “Mayhem” guy in the Allstate commercials? That was Samuelsson when he played. He caused accidents. Fans in Boston were once so incensed after Samuelsson, a defenseman, injured one of their star players that they hung banners that read “Kill Ulf.”
I asked Samuelsson recently if he thought that long-ago Sports Illustrated headline and story were accurate.
“Yeah, I would say there’s probably a little truth to that article,” Samuelsson said. “I noticed in my career that if I would play 3-4 games in a more relaxed way, letting them off the hook – when I could hit a player hard I wouldn’t do it – the other team’s forwards would all of a sudden be a little more confident and make me look bad. So I found the way I could do my job was stay hard and stay aggressive – as far as the rules would let me. And sometimes a little bit over.”
Below, watch Samuelsson's most talked about hit on Cam Neely plus other YouTube videos here.
The Insiders have the latest on where Jacob Trouba could end up, why Hampus Lindholm budged on a six-year, $31.5 million contract with the Ducks and which teams are on the hunt for additional goaltending.
Regarding Trouba, Darren Dreger says his camp still believes Winnipeg is not a fit for him.
Also, besides the above topics, some interesting expansion draft talk too.
Watch here, no geo block...
What the Oilers have accomplished so far is position themselves in order to have an opportunity to make the playoffs.
This year, they¹re not out of it on Halloween.
This year, even if they lost 10 of their next 15, they wouldn’t be out of it on Grey Cup Sunday. they¹d be 11-11-1.
What this team has already accomplished is to stake itself to a position] for a chance to sit at the playoff table very early in proceedings.
- Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun where you can read more on the Oilers.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Seen as the potential leader of the Ducks' blue line, Lindholm, 22, led the defense corps with 10 goals and 115 blocked shots last season. Lindholm had 28 points in 2015-16 and his plus-6 rating led the Ducks in their playoff series against Nashville.
Lindholm's average annual salary is $5.25 million, around the amount the Ducks were willing to do on a long-term deal. He will make $3 million this season, $6 million in 2017-18, $6.75 million in 2018-19, $5.25 million in 2019-20, $3.75 million in 2020-21 and $6.75 million in 2021-22.
Lindholm has remained in Sweden, missing all of training camp and the first eight games of the season as Ducks general manager Bob Murray and Lindholm's agent, Claude Lemieux, continually worked to close what had been a wide gap in negotiations.
Using other young defensemen such as Toronto's Morgan Rielly, Columbus's Seth Jones and Buffalo's Rasmus Ristolainen as comparables, Murray ultimately held firm on not going to the $5.4 million annual range that Jones and Ristolainen are making.
"It’s a business and Claude Lemieux, he had a job to do and we had a job to do," Murray said. "We wanted to get it at a fair number for the organzation so we can try to move forward with this group as best we can because, as I said before, I wanted to give this group another shot.
"I’m going to do everything in my power to keep it that way."
from Ben Shpigel at the New York Times,
At stoplights around town, motorists honk at the owner of a 2009 black Ford F-150 and snap photographs of its license plate, the one that reads, “McDavid,” in red uppercase letters. Then they speed up, straining to see the driver through the window.
Could it be? Could it really be Connor McDavid, the 19-year-old prodigy charged with restoring the woebegone Edmonton Oilers to prominence?
Because he is polite, the driver, who is not McDavid but rather a 31-year-old part-owner of a plumbing and heating company named Raffaele Papaianni, always smiles and waves at those hoping to glimpse hockey royalty. And why not? Like them, he just wanted to believe again.
Even if it is tempered, optimism does abound throughout northern Alberta, where 10 consecutive postseasons have passed without the Oilers’ presence, the longest current streak in the N.H.L. Across that decade of misery, masochism and mismanagement, Edmonton toiled through several unsuccessful phases of rebuilding, garnering three No. 1 picks before a fourth gifted them McDavid, a generational talent — “once-in-a-lifetime,” said General Manager Peter Chiarelli — who conjures the greatest Oiler of them all, Wayne Gretzky.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Between now and Dec. 1, the Jets will be the busiest team in the NHL.
They will reel off 19 games over the next 33 days, change time zones 10 times, cross the border eight times and fly roughly 26,585 kilometres. Along the way, they’ll enjoy two consecutive off-days just once — and play four sets of back-to-back contests.
These are the breaks of being one of the NHL’s most geographically isolated teams, located smack dab in the middle of the map — where it’s just as easy for the schedule maker to send the Jets east one night and west the next.
To combat the grind as best as possible, the Jets have implemented a few key changes to their routine after experimenting with sports science during an equally gruelling stretch late last season.
“We are now more focused on active recovery rather than pure days off,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said Wednesday. “We used a number of different things last year during a stretch of games every other night for a month and a half.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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