Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mike Harrington at The Buffalo News,
“At times I wasn’t playing well and the other two guys were playing good,” Vanek said after practice Monday in the Amherst Pepsi Center. “Then maybe I had a few better games. Right now, we’re just finally playing all three on the same page, playing well at the same time and that makes a difference.”
Roy, in fact, is tied with Calgary’s Daymond Langkow for the best December plus-minus in the league at plus-10 and Vanek isn’t far behind at plus-7. Roy has 11 points in eight games this month, just three off the league lead.
“As a line, we’re getting to know each other and where we’ve got to be,” Roy said. “Team-wise, we’ve clamped down on things, we’re collapsing in the defensive zone, guys are blocking shots and Ryan [goaltender Ryan Miller] is making some great saves.”
from Capitals Insider,
“We can take a lot from this,” defenseman Tom Poti said. Detroit “has only lost six or seven games all year, and we stuck right with them for 65 minutes. If we keep going out and giving a consistent effort like that, we’re going to be fine.”
Alex Ovechkin, who netted his 24th goal, added: “We don’t give up. We know we played hard. It was a great time for us. We played a great team in a great place.”
“We’re going to get back at it and keep on rolling,” defenseman Shaone Morrisonn said.
more and the key for the Caps is to, as Morrison said, “get back at it”. If the Caps play like they did last night, they will win more than they lose, but they need to maintain that effort all year long.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, Parise tells us what it was like to upstage Sid the Kid, how his father helped get him to the bigs and what latest prank has one of his teammates fuming….
Q: Any pranksters on the team?
A: Yeah, it’s getting ugly in the locker room right now [laughs]. The latest prank was on Brian Gionta. He just got a new car, a BMW M6. One guy, I won’t say who, took this huge mannequin, like 6 feet tall, put a little skate towel around him, took Gionta’s car keys and stuffed the mannequin into the front seat. This is a little two-seat sports car, so it is literally jammed into the car. Gionta is freaking out. He loves his new car and there’s this mannequin inside scratching it up [laughs]. So, guys are doing all kinds of crazy stuff.
From Ed Moran at the Philadelphia Daily News,
As of yesterday, the Flyers were second in the league in penalty minutes with 605, topped only by Anaheim, which has 706. And watching games like the win in Minnesota, where the Flyers were flagged for nine penalties compared to the Wild’s three, it would seem the Flyers are constantly on the wrong end of the whistle.
The fact is, a lot of those minutes have to do with the game misconducts and majors that came with those five big incidents. And in 31 games, the Flyers led in penalties only 17 times and won 10. Still, coach John Stevens would like to start trimming the time his team is shorthanded.
“I don’t know what the final total was, but you’ve still got to play the game hard,” he said after the Flyers’ loss to the Devils Sunday night. “We’re still trying to sort through what is and what isn’t a penalty. The one guy gets his stick knocked out of his hands [slashing] and, I don’t know, that’s just a battle for the puck.
more including injury updates on Gagne and Timonen
Paul’s post about the Red Wings’ continued inability to promote themselves to both a local and national audience stuck in my head all day long Monday. As I watched the Wings defeat the Capitals by the hair of their chinny chin chins, rolling over a team that outplayed them once again, I kept thinking the same thing…Why?
All I know is this: Mike Babcock said nothing remotely controversial during his conference call, but it still took almost three hours before the Red Wings approved a transcript of the conversation that usually takes 15-20 minutes to appear on the NHL’s media website.
from the Star-Telegram,
Mike Ribeiro is the stylish one. Antti Miettinen is the quick and physical one. Then there’s Brenden Morrow, the dependable one. Always in front of the net, always willing to do whatever it takes. And as the halfway mark of the season nears, Morrow continues to be one of the steadiest Stars on the roster.
Holiday greetings and wishes at my NHL.com blog today...
I sure would enjoy reading yours!!!
from the Calgary Sun,
Oh, but Iginla had a hand in that, too, having discussed the idea of putting Daymond Langkow and Kristian Huselius beside him with head coach Mike Keenan to mix things up a bit while the pair was slumping in November….
“I talk to Mike a fair amount, when things are good and when they’re not. Good dialogue,” said Iginla. “For a while there, as a group, we weren’t winning and we weren’t scoring a lot of goals.
“It was just an idea. It was just a small thing. Just part of one conversation.”
The fresh outlook has paid off on the scoresheet and—ultimately—in the win column. The team is 6-0-2 since the trio’s debut Dec. 1 and has amassed 39 points between them. After scoring 28 times in all of November, they’ve racked up 30 goals in eight games this month.
from the Montreal Gazette,
“Carey has his confidence going and I think it would be difficult to go back to Cristobal at this time,” Carbonneau said.
The decision didn’t go over well with Huet, which Carbonneau said was exactly the reaction he expected - and wanted - from the veteran.
“He’s a competitor. He wants to play. I understand that. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t,” Carbonneau said.
Price is becoming the focal point of the Canadiens’ youth movement. When the Habs beat the Leafs, they dressed 10 players who are 25 or younger and there could have been 11 if Guillaume Latendresse had been 100-per-cent healthy.
via the New York Post,
For the first time since very early in the season, yesterday’s practice saw Scott Gomez reunited with Jaromir Jagr on his wing.
In recent weeks, it seemed that ex-Devil Gomez, in concert with Brendan Shanahan, had begun to find his niche on this side of the Hudson….
The other major shift is Chris Drury being put between Shanahan and Nigel Dawes.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who missed Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Phoenix due to flu symptoms, will be a game-time decision.
I have also heard the Rangers have recalled goaltender Al Montoya
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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