Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
It was as if Mike Babcock ordered up Brian Boyle by simply speaking his wish out loud.
Asked to assess his roster’s depth after Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadiens, the Maple Leafs coach put out a not-so-subtle call for reinforcements at a certain important position.
“We have good depth in lots of spots — not as much at centre ice,” Babcock said.
And just like that, not much more than 36 hours later, Leafs management made a deal to address the issue. In acquiring Boyle, the 32-year-old fourth-line centreman formerly of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto brought into its fold a rare NHL commodity — one of a dying breed of veteran grit guys in a league always looking for younger, cheaper versions of the type.
But Boyle, who came at the price of a 2017 second-round pick and the seldom-used Byron Froese, has a resume that differentiates him from the average bottom-six forward. Along with a six-foot-six frame that ought to be a turn-on to the size-obsessed Babcock, Boyle is in possession of something that’s mostly missing from the current Toronto lineup. That’d be a deep well of post-season experience, including back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup final in 2014 and 2015 as a member of the Rangers and Lightning, respectively.
Washington general manager Brian MacLellan is sending a clear and direct message to his team, especially to his core players, by acquiring the best rental player on the market less than 48 hours before the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline: This is the year to win the Stanley Cup. No more disappointments. No more early exits. No more Game 7 flops. No more wondering why they can't get past the second round. Now. The time is now. This year.
-Dan Rosen of NHL.com on the Washington Capitals acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk. Read more from Rosen on the Capitals.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
At his peak with the Canucks, he averaged 28 goals a season over a five-year stretch, but he was about so much more than numbers. He burned for the game. He was willing to do anything and everything to make a difference. That didn’t make him the most likable character and there were times it was difficult to defend Burrows, but he was our Rudy and if the rest of the hockey world didn’t see the things we saw in Burrows, we didn’t care.
That might explain the reaction to Monday’s trade that sent Burrows to Ottawa for prospect Jonathan Dahlen. From a hockey point of view it was a good deal for the Canucks. But it also gave the faithful a chance to savour Burrows’ career here; to appreciate the player he became and those shimmering moments he provided.
In time, he will go up in the Canucks’ Ring of Honour and will be remembered in this town. But this is Burrows’ greatest triumph.
We tell our kids if they want something badly enough and they’re willing to work hard enough for it, they can do anything. We have a hard time believing that a lot of times, but then along comes someone like Burrows and he makes us believe it’s possible, that you can believe in the power of the dream.
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
This was supposed to be the season the Lightning raised a Stanley Cup banner. Instead, it feels as if it might be raising the white flag.
Goalie Ben Bishop traded Sunday. Veteran forward Brian Boyle traded Monday. Hard to imagine a postseason run without them. Don't be shocked if another big name such as Tyler Johnson or Valtteri Filppula is dealt before Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.
No one with the Lightning is going to come out and say this season is over. They can't. The pride of a hockey man says that as long as there's a pulse, there's a chance. And there's still plenty of talent and a long way between now and being officially eliminated from playoff contention.
But, let's face it, this season feels over, Monday's 5-1 win over the Senators notwithstanding.
from David Ebner of the Globe and Mail,
One of Ralph Slate’s great scores arrived unexpectedly through an eBay dealer he often bought from.
The man behind HockeyDB, the statistics site originally known as the Internet Hockey Database, had paid $50, not knowing exactly what forgotten corner of hockey history he would find in a stack of envelopes. When the package finally arrived, he discovered a decade’s worth of game sheets half a century old from the Eastern Hockey League, whose tumultuous brand of hockey in part inspired the 1977 movie Slap Shot.
The granular detail, of referees under assault by coaches and players, was a bonanza.
“Just amazing. Most people don’t appreciate this the way that I do,” said Slate, who by day works as the principal data architect at New England’s electric power system operator. By night, he’s the brains behind one of hockey’s most popular online destinations for statistics and facts about the game’s most prominent and most obscure participants – past and present.
Home Team in Caps
Montreal 4, NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)
TAMPA BAY 5, Ottawa 1
MINNESOTA 5, Los Angeles 4 (OT)
KUCHEROV POWERS LIGHTNING WITH RARE NATURAL HAT TRICK
Nikita Kucherov (3-1—4) scored three consecutive power-play goals in the second period to register his second NHL hat trick and power the Lightning to a 6-1-2 record in their last nine games.
* Elias notes that Kucherov tallied the 10th natural hat trick in franchise history and the first with all three goals scored via the power play. The last player from any team to score a natural hat trick with three power-play goals was Taylor Hall on Feb. 19, 2011 vs. ATL (w/ EDM).
* Kucherov, who matched a franchise record for power-play goals in a game, paces the Lightning with 26-32—58 this season (54 GP) including 5-4—9 in his last three games.
added 11:16pm, Washington release is below...
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild announced today that forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville have been diagnosed with mumps.
Members of the organization that have symptoms are being tested immediately and placed in isolation for a five-day period. Team doctors recently provided players and staff an MMR vaccination and the organization will continue to work closely with the NHL, NHLPA and the Minnesota Department of Health to help prevent further infection.
STAMFORD, Conn. – February 27, 2017 – NBC Sports’ primetime presentation of the 2017 NHL Stadium Series on Saturday on NBC, featuring the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field, was the most-watched NHL regular-season game in three years, excluding Winter Classics, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company.
The Penguins’ 4-2 win against the rival Flyers (8-11 p.m. ET) averaged 1.917 million viewers, up 13% vs. last season’s primetime NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche (1.698 million; 2/27/16), and was the most-watched regular-season non-Winter Classic game since the 2013-14 season (PIT-CHI; 2.759 million; 3/1/14). The game delivered a 1.12 household rating, up 17% vs. Red Wings-Avalanche (0.96).
Locally, the Penguins’ victory delivered a 16.3 rating in Pittsburgh, up 137% vs. the Penguins 2015-16 NBC regular-season rating (6.9). Philadelphia produced a 5.1 rating, up 12% vs. last season’s NBC average (4.6). NBC was the top network in both markets during the game. Digitally, the game set Stadium Series records for uniques (56,000) and live minutes (2.3 million).
added 4:22pm, Montreal press release is below...
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.
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