Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

What’s Next For Corey Crawford?

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

While we wait to see if he returns to the Blackhawks this week, next month or never -- from a concussion suffered Sunday night -- much will be said about what the goaltender should do.

But only Crawford will be able to answer the question of whether he can come back from another concussion after the last one kept him out of the net for 10 months.

And more important, whether he wants to.

There was much discussion behind the scenes about Crawford's desire to ever play hockey again as he rehabbed in 2018. Many questioned his interest in the game, which is almost always the case when the return is repeatedly delayed and especially when the injury is not visible to the naked eye.

The road to Halifax is paved with the careers of players whose hearts were questioned because they did not reappear in a time frame deemed appropriate by coaches and execs, thinking them malingerers but later determined to be seriously damaged.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: corey+crawford

The Playoff Races

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the fascinating parts of the NHL regular season is how tight the standings appear on the surface. Elite and terrible teams become obvious very early, but the middle of the pack always appears to be a muddied mess. Consider the conference races right now. In the East, you have nine teams separated by four wins or fewer. In the West, you have eight teams separated by four wins or fewer. Add in the fact that playoff races are division-based under the latest realignment –finish in the top three of your division, regardless of record, and you’re in – and you further complicate the situation.

But reality is quite different. By now you have probably heard of certain checkpoints or markers that teams reference to legitimize (or delegitimize) their playoff likelihood. Some prefer to look at a team’s position when American Thanksgiving rolls around. Others prefer to wait until Christmas. In many cases, we don’t need that many games to understand a team’s fate as it pertains to the postseason.

Even under the funky division-based playoff system, we have a very strong handle on a team’s fate by about the 20-game mark, and possibly earlier. We don’t need to run complex simulations to understand exact probabilities in varying environments. 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How’s This For A Top Line?

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

The Avalanche’s top line of center Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog enter Monday’s game against the New York Islanders with a combined 148 points, the most for an NHL line through 33 games since Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis amassed 203 for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.

In addition to Lemieux — who is considered one of the top-five players of all-time — Colorado’s dynamic trio also has ties to the “Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, and three-time Stanley Cup-winning captain Sidney Crosby of the Penguins.

Rantanen leads the league with 56 points and MacKinnon is second with 52. They are the fifth set of teammates since 1981-82 to become the first NHL players to reach 50 points in a season, joining Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (2009-10), Lemieux and Jagr (1995-96), Gretzky and Glenn Anderson (1985-86) and Gretzky and Jari Kurri (1983-84).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Kyle Dubas

"When I look around the League right now, for whatever reason, it seems like the Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team that is going to be a target of an offer sheet. Seems interesting to me, but there's about a third of the teams that have a very highly talented RFA and some have more than one as we do."

-Kyle Dubas, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs via McCarthy at NHL.com.  More from Dubas on the RFA plans...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+dubas

Video- Goals Of The Week

Sportsnet style.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Dave Hakstol No Longer The Head Coach In Philadelphia

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+hakstol

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Dec. 17, 2018) – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 16.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- It’s A Slow Monday

Just under 6 1/2 minutes of NHL action is slow motion from the last week.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

In A Classic Battle The Winnipeg Jets Defeated The Tampa Bay Lightning In OT

from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,

This was one of those games people on the ice, on the benches, in the stands and watching on national TV will remember for a long, long time.

Sure, it was a mid-December game, with the playoffs still months away, but it had all the feel of a post-season matchup between two of the very best teams in the NHL.

It didn’t disappoint in any way.

After a back-and-forth wild ride for three periods, the Western Conference-leading Winnipeg Jets and league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning fittingly took their talents to extra time, where Jets centre Mark Scheifele continued his scorching hot streak with his third overtime goal of the month.

In the end, it was a 5-4 win for the Jets — their fifth straight and third straight in overtime — in a game that featured a combined 89 shots on goal and a combined 154 shots attempts (86-68 for the Lightning).

continued

Game highlights below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Hitchcock Not Happy With The Refs After A 4-2 Loss To The Vancouver Canucks

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

This in from Edmonton Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock, his brilliant rip on the referees after Edmonton’s 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks that saw the Canucks get five power plays, the Oilers just one, and Connor McDavid no end of hooks, holds and slashes.

In the media scrum, Postmedia’s Rob Tychkowski asked Hitchcock what the coach thought of the penalty calls: “I’m not going to comment on the penalties,” Hitchcock said, “but the stuff that really bothers me is what is happening to Connor, and that really bothers me because we’re a league that is supposed to showcase our top players, and you don’t want to give them all the freedom, but the tug of war on him was absolutely ridiculous today.

“And that’s a little bit discouraging to be honest with you. Because I can see the whackin’ and hackin’ going on when he’s got the puck but to me it’s all the stuff behind that doesn’t allow him to showcase his speed. And if that’s what we want, well, that’s fine. But I think it’s a real disservice to a player like him.

“He’s not allowed to play give-and-go. It’s give-and-hold. So we’re going to have to figure out a way to fight through it. We’ll just play toughness with him and figure it out from there.”

continued

Below, watch Hitchcock in his post-game media scrum, the McDavid talk starts at the 1:00 mark.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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