Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago Business,
Patrick Kane has, by necessity, gotten pretty good at repairing his public image.
Gone are the headlines about the 28-year-old's off-the-ice conduct, replaced by thrilling goal highlights and commercial appearances, including recent ones for Chevrolet and hockey equipment brand Bauer. The turnaround comes just one year since a district attorney in upstate New York said he would not pursue criminal charges after investigating a Buffalo woman's allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Kane.
It's a familiar script for the Chicago Blackhawks star forward, who has had to rehabilitate a damaged reputation for the third time in his 10-year professional career. While last year's investigation was by far the most serious of his setbacks, it added to a track record that includes disorderly conduct for punching a cabdriver in 2009 and public displays of drunkenness that pervaded the internet.
While sexual assault accusations rarely stick to superstar athletes in courts of law, they can stick in the court of public opinion. In this case, Kane ran the image recovery play perfectly. He abandoned social media for eight months after the allegations surfaced in Buffalo, generally avoided media attention and was absent from ads. And he topped it off by turning in the best season of his career, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
TORONTO (Nov. 29, 2016) – Travis Moen announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following 12 NHL seasons.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
A month ago, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said he planned to keep Sergei Bobrovsky’s number of starts to a manageable 58 to 60 this season.
Asked Monday if a goaltender who’s started all but two of 19 games could stay in the target range, Tortorella responded: “It’s doable.” Informed it would mean limiting his puck-stopping workhorse to roughly two of every three remaining games, the coach declared war on arithmetic.
“I don’t do the math . . . I’m not a numbers guy,” he said.
The good news for Tortorella and the Blue Jackets (11-5-4) is the goaltending “numbers” have been strong. The club ranks sixth in goals against average (2.27) and Bobrovsky’s statistics (2.15 GAA, .929 save percentage) are in line with his Vezina Trophy-winning season in 2013-14.
He’s also on pace to play about 72 games, which seems like an unsustainable pace for a goalie with a history of groin injuries and one who has never started more than 57 games.
“Bob is our No. 1 goalie and we’re going to monitor the situation very close . . . to make sure we don’t overload him or overwork him,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “But he’s going to play most of our games no matter who our backup is.”
Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 2, Calgary 1 (OT)
ST. LOUIS 4, Dallas 3 (OT)
BLUES STAY HOT AT HOME
Dallas tied the game twice in the third period, but Vladimir Tarasenko scored the winner with 1:36 remaining in overtime to help the St. Louis extend their home winning streak to five games.
* The Blues have now earned a point in ten consecutive games on home ice (8-0-2) and are 10-1-2 overall at Scottrade Center. Their last 10-game home point streak came from Jan. 28 – Mar. 27, 2014, when they posted an identical 8-0-2 record.
* Jake Allen picked up his sixth straight victory overall and his fifth straight at home, the longest home winning streak of his career. Allen improved to 8-0-2 with a 1.57 GAA and a .940 SV% on home ice this season. According to Elias, Allen is the first Blues goaltender to earn at least a point in 10 straight home games in one season since Jaroslav Halak did so from Dec. 8, 2011 – Mar. 8, 2012 (13-0-1).
* David Perron stretched his point streak to eight games (3-8—11) to set a new career high, surpassing the mark he previously set from Feb. 7-18, 2012 (6-3—9 in seven games).
* Tarasenko has earned a point in 10 of his last 12 games (6-8—14) and sits tied for third in League scoring with 10-13—23 this season.
* Jaden Schwartz picked up an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (5-4—9), one shy of his personal best eight-game streak accomplished from Dec. 19, 2013 – Jan. 4, 2014 (7-3—10) and Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 13, 2015 (6-6—12).
from Dave Hyde of the SunSentinel,
The names keep changing. The roles keep shifting. The primary question stays the same:
Do the Panthers know what they're doing?
With Sunday night's firing of coach Gerard Gallant, the purge is nearly complete of the smart hockey lifers that gold-fingered general manager Dale Tallon assembled before being kicked upstairs last spring.
The old-school hockey minds have given way to hockey analytics almost completely now. Maybe this team wins now. Maybe it gets healthy and shakes off a slow start. Probably in the short term, as Tallon assembled so much talent it can't be completely screwed up no matter who's in charge.
That brings up the question: Who is in charge? To announce Gallant's firing Monday, four Panthers officials were needed on the teleconference with media. Four. One more and they'd have a starting lineup Tuesday night in Chicago for the first game of their next chapter.
from Micahel Traikos of the National Post,
For years, the NHL has mined the NCAA for affordable free agents who for one reason or another fell through the cracks and went undrafted. Brian Burke used to say it was like finding a wallet and discovering there was money inside. But in the last couple of years, Russia holds even more of a windfall.
“The established players know the league they’re playing in is crap, so they are going to the best league in the world. And the NHL needs cheaper players,” said a player agent who requested his name was not used. “Radulov might not be a cheap player (his $5.75-million cap hit is second among Montreal forwards), but for what he delivers every night, he is a cheap player. Zaitsev and Panarin are entry-level players.
“More and more teams are sending scouts out to Russia to watch the KHL. There are many more out there that can play in the NHL and do well. They’re coming.”
"I pinch myself that I still get to skate around. Every year there's a new generation of kids coming in, and it's amazing how skill and how good the game is because they are getting better and better every year. It's neat because I'm a pretty lucky guy. I do my best to try and stay out of the highlights."
-NHL referee Wes McCauley. Blake Sebring of the News-Sentinel has much more on and from McCauley.
A little over three minutes of NHL action from the past week, all in slow motion.
from the CP at Canoe,
- The goalie with the most shutouts this season and most since the start of the 2014-15 season is not Carey Price, but the Minnesota Wild’s Devan Dubnyk. The former first round pick of the Edmonton Oilers has a league-leading four shutouts this year and 15 over the past two-plus seasons, a mark equalled only by the Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury.
Only Price, meanwhile, has a better even-strength save percentage this season than Dubnyk’s .956 mark for Minnesota (minimum 10 starts).
It was less than two years ago that the Oilers traded the Regina native to Nashville. In a span of almost one year exactly he bounced from the Predators to the Canadiens to the Coyotes before settling in with the Wild, where he inked a six-year deal worth US$26 million in the summer of 2015.
- Arguably the NHL’s most effective line a quarter of the way through the 2016-17 season is Boston’s trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. The unit boasts a ridiculous 66-per-cent puck possession mark in almost 160 minutes together at even-strength, combining for 16 goals and 31 points over that time.
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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