Kukla's Korner Hockey
Some folks may be home today while celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Here is your chance to enjoy some early NHL games and check out NHL.com for the TV broadcast schedule.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
But for the Blues, it goes beyond a losing streak that has blossomed to four games. After a 16-9-1 start, they are 6-8-5 in their last 19 games before heading into today’s rematch against Nashville.
“This is not just one game,” Blues forward Keith Tkachuk said after Saturday’s loss to the Predators. “This has been happening.”
The Blues’ problem areas have been well-documented. The power play has been weak all season, and in a recent stretch, the team received little offense from its skilled forwards. The even-strength scoring has improved lately, but then at times, the defense fails to match its high level from earlier this season.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
In the end, the veteran center said, the combination of pain, diminished productivity and inability to sleep told him it was time to undergo season-ending surgery this week.
“I was playing with one hand,” Nylander said, making his first public comments about the injury during Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. “I had to change my game. I was playing at 70 percent, 80 percent most nights and it just got worse and worse. It was 50 percent, maybe, sometimes.”
The 35-year-old Swede, the Capitals’ top free agent signing during the offseason, said he’ll miss five or six months while rehabilitating, but added that he expects to make a full recovery.
read on (reg. req.)
from the Detroit Free Press,
John Osgood suspects only three Red Wings will have immunity today when players get to shoot at coach Mike Babcock.
The Wings, after hockey practice this morning, will head off to target practice with the Huntington Beach police in what Babcock called “a simulation,” of police training, or in other words, no live ammo involved. Players and their dads, like Chris and John Osgood, will be divided into groups, and set to track Babcock and video coach Jay Woodcroft.
from the Vancouver Province,
With Mikko Koivu and Mattias Ohlund about to meet on the same sheet of ice for the first time since the Vancouver Canucks defenceman broke the leg of the Minnesota Wild centre with a timber-felling whack two months ago, tonight’s tilt isn’t just any old game.
No, according to the Wild, it’s Game 48 on the schedule.
That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Two important points against a divisional opponent up for grabs. A road trip to get off on the right foot against three Northwest teams in cities in which the Wild have yet to win this season.
Mattias Ohlund? Who’s he?
from the Toronto Star,
There is nothing carved in stone with that scenario – Fletcher, who was first approached by the Leafs early last week, vacationed in Mexico the past seven days. Some key figures on the board were also vacationing and when all parties are back in business mode, it’s expected a deal for Fletcher will be done.
It’s believed the board’s desire is to have Fletcher on board in time to establish a game plan for the trade deadline Feb.26.
He would then assess the current roster and prepare for the entry draft in June.
However, with the NHL all-star game and festivities slated this weekend, Ferguson should learn his fate within the next two days, if not sooner.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The marquee names up front were ineffective again. The defense gave away the puck under minimal pressure. The goaltender yielded yet another killer soft goal. The power play was miserable. What else is new?
Well how about this: Brendan Shanahan Brendan Shanahan was benched in the third period, with head coach Tom Renney saying he needed to protect the 20-year-veteran and his team in the final minutes of a dispiriting 3-1 loss at the Garden to the Bruins.
“This wasn’t so much a commentary on his play, but he’d played a lot, and there were diminishing returns,” said Renney, who gave Shanahan 1:43 of ice time in the third for a total of 11:46, and who seemed shaken by the defeat.
added 8:45am, from Stan Fischler at Game On,
If you’re not going to get your nose dirty,” says Renney, “and get chances from a second and third effort, then the shot total looks sexy, but it doesn’t mean a thing.”
For the second post-game chat in a row, there was talk about players “looking at themselves in the mirror.”
Sean Avery stressed it after the shootout loss in Boston.
On Sunday, Renney’s post mortem underlined the idea that all oars are failing to pull hard simultaneously and throughout the game.
“We’ve got different people working hard all of the time,” Tom concludes. “What we need is everybody working hard all of the time.”
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Normally, I like to think I’m above stirring things up with the kind of baseless trade rumors that permeate the hockey world. So I’m not doing that. Really.
What I’m about to do is mention two things. The first is something you probably don’t know, the second is something you might know – especially if you’re a stats geek, peruse every comment here or read the early edition of the Merc.
Here’s the first: Scouts from Montreal, Florida, Boston and the New York Rangers have been on the press box list for the past two games at HP Pavilion. And anyone who does hang out at various trade rumor web sites knows that at least two of those teams – Montreal and Florida – have been linked to the Sharks over the past couple months.
from the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
The rumour merchants? Well, let’s just say they’re batting under 1,000.
While one national media outlet claims the 28-year-old native of Ste-Justine, Que., has already agreed to waive his no-trade clause, Tanguay insists that is not so.
“It’s not coming from me, that’s for sure,” he said Sunday afternoon. “We haven’t talked about it.”
That jives with what Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter said Saturday night in Montreal, the latest stop in his week-long tour of Eastern Conference cities.
On the other hand, neither side is completely ruling out the possibility of movement before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Brendan Shanahan after losing to the Bruins today, via Rangers Report,
“Right now the biggest enemy is ourselves,” Shanahan said. “We repeat the same mistakes and it’s no one else’s fault. You don’t have to be Scotty Bowman to figure out what’s wrong with our team. We beat ourselves. So we have to fix it ourselves, and we can. It’s tough to be positive after a game like this. But it’s not like we’re playing our best hockey and we just can’t win. We’re playing as bad hockey since I’ve been here.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org