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The Oilers Have Problems

from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,

There’s something wrong with this year’s Edmonton Oilers. It’s been wrong from the start of this year. The problem has haunted the squad all season. It hasn’t abated, hasn’t been rectified.

The problem is not the coach. It’s not the general manager. It’s not the lack of one more top scoring forward, or the lack of a third-line center who can take face-offs or of a shut-down defenceman. These are all red herrings.

And the problem is not Dustin Penner, who report has it is going to be benched for the Montreal game. Penner is the biggest, reddest herring of them all.

No, the problem is that this Edmonton Oilers team is neither aggressive nor is it united. Instead, it’s lifeless and divided. It’s not really a team at all, at least if you go by its on-ice performance. It looks, sounds, acts and performs like a group of individuals or, at best, an assemblage of factions.

continued

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

Caps Need More Hard Work

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

I started looking for common themes in the losing streak based on my observations, Boudreau’s postgame comments and the score sheets. Here’s what I came up with as I sat (emphasis on “sat”) on Rt. 66 this morning.

I’m talking about secondary scoring. The Caps have scored eight goals in the four losses. For the mathematically challenged, that’s two per game, significantly down from their season average of 3.22….

None of those goals were of the “ugly” or “dirty” or “hard work” variety that all teams need. The Caps have also out-shot their opponent by a combined total of 111-81 in the past three games. Someone needs to crash the net, screen the goalie and bang in a rebound. That needs to be an every-game thing, not a once-in-a-while thing.

While the Caps competed much harder against a Penguins team they despise, that same sense of urgency wasn’t there in the previous three games. The Caps are comfortably in a playoff spot and are one of the most skilled teams in the league. But skill doesn’t equal wins—especially in hockey—if the work ethic is not there.

more

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

Your GM Meeting Coverage

George James Malik at his SnapShots Blog at Mlive covers the GM meetings.  Go there for complete coverage.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Spezza Caught With Skinny Blade

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

With 2:16 left in the third period, the Leafs coach asked for a measurement on Senators centre Jason Spezza’s stick, questioning the width of the blade.

While Spezza was found guilty of using an illegal stick, the Leafs were unable to score on the ensuing power play and the Senators pulled off their third straight victory with a slim 2-1 decision in front of only 18,898 fans (The last time the Senators didn’t sell out a Toronto game was Dec. 5, 2005, when only 18,860 were on hand).

“The boys did a good job of killing that for me. You don’t want to see them score when you get a penalty for a call like that,” said Spezza, who had an assist on Heatley’s goal. “Nobody here knows the rules. I don’t know what the clarification is. We still never got an answer. (Refereee Dan O’Halloran) just told me it was too skinny. It’s apparently too skinny. Real dangerous, I guess.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

On-Ice Communication

from SanJoseSharks.com,

There is a different level of talking depending on who is in net for each contest, but the message is usually the same.

“It depends on who is playing,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic. “They both (Evgeni Nabokov and Brian Boucher) talk. Both will let you know if you have time. There is more talking if you’re playing five-on-five.”

Without the verbal assistance from Nabokov or Boucher, it can be tough to tell who is charging up ice from the other team.

“If someone is on me, the goalie talking makes my job easier,” said Vlasic.

“If the puck is going around the net, we’re not sure if a guy is coming from the other side,” said Boyle. “He keeps us from getting run over and getting injured.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gainey Explains Coaching Move

from Kevin Mio at Habs Inside/Out,

In explaining why he fired his good friend, Guy Carbonneau, and has moved behind the Canadiens’ bench, general manager and now coach Bob Gainey said a change was needed after eight weeks of underachievement by the team.

In a 7 p.m. press conference at the Bell Centre, Gainey said he began to think about a coaching change on Saturday, after the Canadiens embarrassing loss to Atlanta on Friday night. He made the decision this morning, unswayed by watching the team beat Dallas.

continued

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

There’s too much respect for Carbonneau for anyone inside the Montreal organization to pick at his carcass, but his firing with just 16 regular season games remaining came as no surprise to some, while others speculate Carbonneau’s firing may have been encouraged by ownership.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+gainey

Lightning Hit The Road For Season Ticket Push

from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,

Tampa Bay players, coaches and executives all hit the road in a marketing blitz aimed at stimulating season-ticket renewal packages for next season.

Even Lightning owner Oren Koules participated as the organization made surprise deliveries to long-time club supporters, hoping they renew their faith by signing up for season-ticket packages featuring significantly lower prices.

“The idea is to thank everybody for sticking with us over the years,’’ said Patrick Duffy, the Lightning’s Senior VP of Sales. “Our players were happy to jump on board with today’s plan.’‘

“We’ve got some very good hockey fans and we appreciate their support,’’ captain Vinny Lecavalier said before heading out for a special delivery. “We have people who have been with this team since that first season in 1992 and it’s nice to see.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Carbonneau Fired

via RDS (translated),

Head coach Guy Carbonneau of the Canadiens was fired, RDS has learned Monday afternoon. It will be replaced by CEO Bob Gainey.

added 5:01pm, TSN confirms.

added 5:07pm, via the Montreal Canadiens,

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens’ General Manager, Bob Gainey, today announced that he is taking over Guy Carbonneau as Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens effective immediately. Associate coach Doug Jarvis,assistant coaches Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson will be staying on the coaching staff.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guy+carbonneau

Sharks Still Hurting

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

The Sharks’ charter flight was scheduled to leave San Jose 14 minutes ago, but Evgeni Nabokov and Rob Blake were staying behind.

Bottom line is that it looks as if last week’s statements on Nabokov’s condition turned out to be overly optimistic, though Coach Todd McLellan did qualify everything by saying Mother Nature would have the final say as to when his No. 1 goalie returns.

Blake was having his “lower extremity” examined after he was struck by a slap shot in the back of his foot or leg on the same play in which Joe Thornton scored late in the second period of Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Memories

The Rocky Mountain News is saying goodbye and featuring some of the stories from the past…

from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,

Mike Keane hopes he hasn’t seen the last of the Detroit Red Wings.

``I’ve got no problem playing a heartless team in the playoffs,’’ Keane said Wednesday night following the Colorado Avalanche’s 6-5 overtime loss to its bitter rival.

``That team has no heart. They showed their true colors tonight. Everyone’s gutless. Sure, I’d like to see them again.’‘

The busiest people at aptly named Joe Louis Arena were the maintenance people given the task of blotting blood puddles off the ice.

It was the most vicious game yet between the teams, not a surprising development as it marked Claude Lemieux’s first visit to Detroit since his well-publicized hit on Kris Draper in last year’s playoffs.

continued

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

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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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