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Edmonton Could At Least Taste A Point - Then Nothing

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

The Edmonton Oilers had the Detroit Red Wings on the ropes for two and a half periods, but their failure to deliver a knockout punch left them in a precarious position in the tight Western Conference playoff race….

“Those are the games that drive you to drink,” said Oilers forward Dustin Penner. “It doesn’t feel good. I’d say that feels worse than losing 10-2. Especially at this point of the season with the way we have been playing and who we were playing tonight. That one stings.”

Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish admitted it was tough to take the loss when he felt his team had done so much right in the contest.

“A game like that leaves everybody with a heavy heart,” he said. “It’s an incredible sense of disappointment. But at the same time we played pretty well and in a lot of ways outstanding. The way we checked and killed penalties. It’s disappointing but we’ll take some solace in that.

“It’s going to be quite the nine-game stretch here down to the end.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avery Leading The Rangers

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Playing his best hockey — EVER! — as a Ranger, The Great Gabbo is making the homestretch look rosier for the Blueshirts every day and in every way; and that’s not a stretch either.

To avoid famine, a hockey club must feast and next on John Tortorella’s menu is a Thrasher named Atlanta to be served on Thursday in dear, old Georgia. And if Avery plays his all-rink game then, as he did on Tuesday at The Garden, the Thrasher will be sauteed and sliced….

New York’s gears have meshed so perfectly that the Sunday night loss to Ottawa seems so distant, so much an aberration, one might imagine that it happened in 1939.

Avery made forgetting Sunday possible by challenging Cal Clutterbuck in an old-fashioned first period sluggeroo. Each worthy doffed gloves and then — great stuff! — also their helmets in a who-cares-who-wins tilt that lifted The Garden a few feet off its moorings. For Gabbo it merely was the beginning of an MVP night.

more & watch the Avery/Clutterbuck battle below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Hossa/Franzen Contract Talk

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Contract talks between the Detroit Red Wings and free-agent forwards Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen appear to be at a standstill, as neither side is budging.

General manager Ken Holland is hoping to sign one before the end of the regular season. If he has no deal in place by the first week of April, he will postpone talks until after the playoffs.

“I’ll obviously stay in touch,’’ Holland said. “I understand where they’re at and they understand where I’m at. We’re talking.

“They both have indicated their first choice is to stay. I can address it in June if I have to. They know the (team’s other) contract commitments.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wild In Need Of Offense

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

The Wild just didn’t create a whole lot tonight (outshot 30-19), but in the end, if Marian Gaborik buries the partial breakaway or Dan Fritsche doesn’t redirect the puck wide on the 2-on-1 or Eric Belanger buries the 3-on-2 or Cal Clutterbuck can score on that late scramble, it’s a tie game.

But there’s no what-if’s anymore, not when the season’s quickly evaporating and the Wild lacks such go-to guys right now with the injuries to Mikko Koivu and Brent Burns. The Wild has missed the spark Burns provides for some time. But tonight, you really saw how much Koivu’s absence kills. Not just the 22 minutes a night he plays — “and not just 22 minutes of skating around,” said James Sheppard — but the big minutes.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Did You Know…

from Japers’ Rink,

Each of the last three Stanley Cup Winners have entered the playoffs with a starting goaltender who was on the bench when they hoisted the trophy. In Carolina, Ward supplanted Gerber. In Anaheim, Giguere reclaimed his starting job from Bryzgalov. And last year, Dominick Hasek was riding the pine as Chris Osgood took over in net the last 18 playoff games.

In their teams’ last 10 regular season games, Osgood started only 3, Giguere 5, and Ward 2.

read on for a looks at the Capitals goaltending situation…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Gillett Should Have Sold The Canadiens Last Year

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

If George Gillett was a really smart guy, if he was the craftiest of wheeler-dealers, adept at getting into deals and getting out, at trading assets like hockey cards — and a seer — he would have put the Montreal Canadiens on the block a year ago.

Think back.

Emotions were riding high, the team was first in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and obviously playoff bound. Its mix of veteran talent and an apparently endless supply of terrific young players from the farm seemed to bode well both for the Canadiens’ present and future.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The State Of The Stars

from Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News,

Stars owner Tom Hicks said he doesn’t blame coach Dave Tippett for the team’s slide in the standings.

“In hockey, you always worry about if the coach has lost the team,” Hicks said Tuesday. “Dave Tippett has not lost this team.”...

Hicks, in an interview at his Dallas office, commented on several Stars-related items, among them:

• He hasn’t decided whether he’ll continue with the co-GM setup next season. The Stars are the only NHL team with such a system.

• Missing the playoffs would cause a budget shortfall of $3 million to $4 million because the Stars expected to play at least one round.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Joseph With A Great Relief Performance

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

If this was his last hurrah at the Air Canada Centre, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph found a way to maintain his popularity with the Leafs’ faithful.

Joseph was pressed into action after starting goalie Martin Gerber was tossed late in the game against the Washington Capitals last night for bumping into an official. Joseph not only stopped all nine shots he faced in the final minute of regulation time, but also the Capitals’ three shootout attempts to give the Leafs a 3-2 victory.

In the shootout, Joseph stopped Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin, who scored his 51st goal in the second period. Joseph was chosen first star for his brief but effective outing.

continued and watch below the shoving incident with Gerber and the referee…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Devils Will Have To Make Decisions On UFA’s

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Madden and Gionta are two very different players, but they may be in the same boat. Both are proven winners. However, both are also unrestricted free agents this summer and are probably making more money than Lamoriello would be willing to pay to bring back.

Gionta, 30, is earning $4 million in the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal he signed after scoring 48 goals in 2005-06. Since signing that contract, his goals total has gone from 25 to 22 to 18 so far this season.

With the right centerman and some luck, he could be a 30-goal scorer. But how much will the Devils want to pay him?

Madden, 35, is earning just under $3 million this season. His defensive play, faceoff ability and penalty-killing have been at the heart of the Devils’ success over the past decade. But his role hasn’t always been clear this season and he admits he hasn’t played well enough to satisfy himself.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Osgood’s Numbers Don’t Lie

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

He is hockey’s Indian rubber lightning rod, so used to the criticism that he can wrap it in stats and send it flying back at you twice as fast.

Sure, Osgood stunk in Calgary Monday night, letting in three softies before getting the hook. But if you want to say that makes him suspect for the playoffs, you’d better check your numbers, pal.

“Last year I had a 1.55 (GAA) and a .930 saves percentage in the playoffs. That’s not a fluke. There is a reason why that happens,” the beleaguered Detroit goaltender said Tuesday morning in Edmonton, where he was — by some seven or eight minutes — the last Red Wing off the ice after an optional morning skate.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

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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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