Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Winnipeg has passed the Avalanche because the Jets have size and physicality to go with their skill players, even if MacKinnon, Landeskog, Duchene likely have a higher offensive pedigree than Winnipeg’s stars up front.
It’s not all about scoring. As Colorado learned this season, sometimes it’s about surviving with whatever lineup is left come game time. And just because you win one season, it doesn’t guarantee a damned thing next October.
“We all fall in it. The coaching staff and the players,” Roy said. “A lot of things came pretty fast. You have a tendency to think it’s going to be easier. Then you’re not as sharp when you come to camp. Then you start behind.
“I think the thing that I learned the most is, you always have to adapt to you group,” said Roy. “You have to deal with this. You have to learn to adapt to your team.”
Lesson learned. Too late, mind you, but with this lineup, the Avs will be back.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
The sight of Ryan Miller out early Tuesday in full equipment and working with goaltending coach Rollie Melanson was certainly encouraging — especially with the stopper going into the butterfly and pushing off to replicate reactions he would normally display in a game. However, it was just one of the obstacles Miller is facing before he’s ready to be battle tested after suffering a knee strain Feb. 22.
I asked former Canucks goaltender and current Sportsnet analyst Corey Hirsch what we should read into Miller skating and working on his movements. He suggested there is the initial testing of that inside knee ligament to see if Miller is enduring any pain and the process can also be a means to strengthen the ailment. If a defenceman or a forward suffers a similar injury, the rehab process can include wearing a brace upon returning to league play. Not goalies. The next step for Miller will be to practise with his club and that won’t occur until the second week of April because it’s doubtful he would travel on the upcoming four-game road trip with just one practice day scheduled.
Everybody has a theory about when Miller might be ready for prime time. The injury was significant because of the position he plays, putting tremendous strain on the knees through contact and groins through stretching and straining to make saves. And contact is going to be a huge issue because there’s going to be a tendency to be tentative and back up initially instead of playing aggressively.
more plus other Vancouver topics...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
-- It is time to get boring.
The Ducks’ penchant for one-goal games and comebacks might make them the entertaining bunch but the capacity for great theater doesn’t bring home a Stanley Cup. Strict, unyielding play (here’s looking at you, defending champion Kings), strong goaltending and timely scoring is the recipe that usually makes for a long playoff run.
In other words, they’ve got to win 2-1 or 3-2 games. Or 1-0. The Ducks have to get serious about playing a disciplined brand of hockey, not in the sense of staying completely away from the penalty box but sticking to their system, supporting each other on the ice and playing a simple, if unglamorous game.
They’re not doing that right now. An undermanned lottery-bound Columbus team repeatedly got prime scoring chances in the second period and cashed them in, turning around a 2-1 deficit after the first 20 minutes. And this came after the 7-2 shellacking by the Rangers on Sunday.
“I think that’s when it comes to the playoffs, when you play against good teams, it’s really who makes more mistakes and who’s going to win from that,” winger Andrew Cogliano said. “We’re beating ourselves. It’s pretty obvious what we’re doing.”
TORONTO (March 25, 2015) – Jim Gregory, Vice-Chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced today that one of hockey’s most renowned team leaders, Lanny McDonald, will become the next Chair of the Board effective July 1, 2015. This appointment to fill the vacancy left by the untimely passing of Pat Quinn on November 23, 2014, was confirmed at the Board of Directors meeting held this morning in Toronto with the effective date to occur following McDonald’s final meeting as a member of the Selection Committee in June.
CROWDED AT THE TOP
The Montreal Canadiens (46-20-8, 100 points) secured a point on Tuesday with an overtime loss to the Nashville Predators to become the first team to reach the 100-point plateau this season. In the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks all sit one back of the Canadiens with 99 points. Overall, the top 12 teams in the League are separated by just 10 points.
LIGHTNING WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT, MATCH FRANCHISE RECORD
Leading 2-0 before the eight-minute mark, the Lightning surrendered three goals in a span of 1:58 but scored twice in the final frame, including Ryan Callahan’s winning tally with 2:28 on the clock, to pick up their fourth straight victory.
added 10:16am, Another view of the hit below...
from Chris Villani of WEEI,
Wasted first-round draft picks, an overpaid core and a couple of disastrous trades. It's a recipe for a mediocre hockey team in a bad salary cap situation and the concoction that should have the Bruins cutting ties with general manager Peter Chiarelli at the end of the season....
When you trade a player like Seguin, it's the kind of deal that will make or break you as a GM. Couple that with the Johnny Boychuk trade at the beginning of this season. Full disclosure, I was more supportive of the deal than most at the time ... but that support hinged on the "second piece" of the deal I assumed would be coming down the pipeline. We're all still waiting for that, and no question Boychuk has been missed on what's been a mess of a blue line beset by injuries and ineffective play.
Turning this roster over won't be easy, and the outlook isn't completely bleak. A goaltender like Rask and a two-way player like Bergeron are pretty nice cogs around which to build, and Hamilton and David Pastrnak show promise. But the core needs to be broken up and the proverbial deck reshuffled.
That reshuffling has to start at the top.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So little time left in the NHL's regular season, and so much unknown vis-à-vis goaltending around the league.
Jimmy Howard did little but muddy the goaltending waters in Detroit, allowing five goals on 22 shots as the Red Wings were beaten by the sad-sack Arizona Coyotes, 5-4 in overtime at home Tuesday night. The win was the first in nine games for the woeful Coyotes. It was hardly the performance that inspires confidence in a coaching staff or teammates, especially with backup Petr Mrazek playing well when he's had the chance, going 6-3 in his past nine decisions. Howard, meanwhile, has just two wins in his last seven decisions.
The goalie decision confronting Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau didn't get any easier, either. The Ducks also blew a 2-0 lead against a non-playoff team, losing 5-3 on the road to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anaheim's ohn Gibson allowed four goals on 26 shots to take the loss, one game after the Ducks were shelled 7-2 by the Rangers in New York. Frederik Andersen, the Ducks' other young netminder, lasted less than eight minutes in that game.
read more hockey topics which include Strang on the Kings, Custance on Tomas Vanek and LeBrun on the Canucks...
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
If Phil Kessel’s dogging it, which does happen from time to time, O’Neill will go after him. It’s refreshing.
“He never works hard enough,” said O’Neill, when the topic of Kessel is brought up. “It’s my job to watch and talk about it and if the effort’s horrible, then the effort’s horrible. I don’t make it up. I don’t know Phil Kessel. Apparently he likes fishing and he likes playing cards. And I love that s--t. So I’d probably like playing that with him. But when I watch him on the ice, he does a lot of things that I don’t like.”
In particular, Kessel’s lack of effort when he’s not scoring or when the club is in a slump, as it is right now (a profound understatement).
But the irony is — and NHL fans and O’Neill followers will jump all over this — that O’Neill himself was sometimes knocked as a player for his occasional Kessel-like qualities — a gifted goal scorer who wasn’t (or so it would seem) always in the very best of shape.
But the Etobicoke resident admits as much and tells a story about how he spent a summer training with Roberts, a fitness guru and good friend. They were doing sled sprints (with weights) on a baseball field in Muskoka. After some very tough sledding, O’Neill started puking.
“(Roberts) just looked at me and said, ‘What did you do last night?’ And I said, ‘None of your business.’ And he goes, ‘Whatever you did, you can’t do it again if you want to do the sleds, because you can’t f---ing do it.
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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