Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Perhaps it’s time to cut Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf some slack instead of cutting him up all the time, as the media and Leafs fans tend to do in abundance. Myself included.
Guess what? Whipping boy Phaneuf is a plus-14 this season. The Leafs captain has also been on the ice for 54 goals for, tied (heading into Tuesday’s game against Anaheim) with Calgary’s TJ Brodie for the NHL lead. And playing along defensive partner Cody Franson, Phaneuf almost always plays against the opposition’s top line.
Everyone dumps on him when the Leafs are in the doldrums. But when things are going well (as they have since a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 20), the praise hasn’t come with the same frequency. Maybe it’s the having-a-Hollywood-wife thing. Who knows.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Jets are now down three of their top defencemen; Toby Enstrom, Zach Bogosian and Jacob Trouba.
Cheveldayoff has proven effective in the patience game, but this may be the time for him to be more forceful.
The Jets need help on the blue-line and short of finding an out-of-work free agent, it will fall to Cheveldayoff to manufacture a trade. No one should expect a blockbuster, or for Winnipeg to overpay.
Giving more than fair market value would be foolish and this team hasn't shown it's worthy of the GM paying a heavy price to get them over the top.
There is, however, something to be said for rewarding these players for what they've accomplished to date this season.
This group has done all coach Paul Maurice has asked of them. They've adopted a defence-first style and they've played for one another.
Now they need some help. They need a booster shot only Cheveldayoff can deliver.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
“Point three seconds,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “I couldn’t believe it. I looked up, thinking it would be five seconds, 10 seconds. Of course, it has to be under a second left.” ...
With just three tenths of a second left on the overtime clock, Martin Erat slipped around Nugent-Hopkins with the puck and before the Oilers could say shootout, Oliver Ekman-Larsson beat Ben Scrivens with the winner.
“Heartbreaker,” said (Todd) Nelson. “I think there were five seconds left, the play was on the wall near our bench, and all of a sudden, they have a rush and Larsson makes a great shot.”
“It sucks. It really does. It’s just like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” said captain Andrew Ference. “Those plays are extremely frustrating, but you can’t toss the positives out of the window. We were playing for the win.
“Yeah, the final play of the game sticks with you, and it’s hard to shake off, but you can’t constantly beat yourself up about it.”
more on the game and watch the Oliver Ekman-Larsson goal below...
On St. Louis capitalizing on momentum:
I didn’t really see it like that. I think that we’ve got to get a save in there somewhere. It’s frustrating.
On the team having been strong at protecting leads:
It’s not the same team. It’s quite a bit different team on the back end, and I’ve said all along we need great goaltending.
LA Kings head coach Darryl Sutter after losing 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues, via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.
"things aren't coming easy for us--have to find a way to get some wins here. You look at the standings, we're behind the eight ball"
"hasn't been an easy year at all and we need to find ways to grind it out, start getting wins & start feeling good about ourselves"
-Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins after losing 3-2 to the Nashville Predators in a shootout. Quotes via the Boston Bruins twitter account.
6.5 out of 10 for me.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Well, the star got the call.
Many in the Wild dressing room was spitting mad after tonight’s 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild rallied from 3-1 down in the third to tie the mighty Hawks, then superstar Patrick Kane got the benefit of a referee’s call on what the Wild felt was a ticky-tack penalty that should not have been called that late in a tie game.
In a game where Brent Seabrook got away with a blatant elbow on Justin Fontaine that basically caused the Wild to be short a man when Seabrook scored the tying goal in the second, in a game where there was reaching and hooks uncalled all game long, Erik Haula was called for hooking Kane at the blue line with 4:35 left in a 3-3 game.
Kane, one of the game’s great puck-handlers, lost the puck out of the zone, then motioned exasperatedly.
Referee Dan O’Rourke’s arm went straight up.
Below, watch Mike Yeo post-game...
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider has pictures and a fan poll too and at this point 39% of the voters strongly dislike the look.
Watch below as Luc Robitaille points out some of the finer details of the just released LA Kings Stadium Series sweater and pants.
note, the video below is autoplay....
Anyone care to comment?
Here is a six minute recap of the action from Tuesday night.
By Jenna Smith,
Hockey fans love to spend some quality time on the couch watching the sport with friends while slugging down some snacks. There are few more relaxing ways to spend an afternoon or evening.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org