Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Okay now that the Super Bowl (that was super?) is over, we can turn our full attention to the stretch run and the trade deadline, which is only three weeks away. I'm looking forward to Monday's Anaheim Ducks-Pittsburgh Penguins tilt in Pittsburgh, a homecoming for the Ducks' sterling still-rookie netminder.
These teams made an interesting swap recently, with the under-performing David Perron heading to Anaheim and Carl Hagelin becoming a Penguin after simply not fitting in with Bruce Boudreau's Ducks. Both have played well since, especially Perron, who has three goals and five assists in seven games as a Duck. Hagelin, playing often with Evgeni Malkin (who missed games on the weekend with injury) and Phil Kessel, has five assists in eight games. Bottom line, though, is both teams are thriving now after struggling through miserable first halves.
The Ducks have won six in a row and are a point behind San Jose for second place in the Pacific. The Pens, meanwhile, hold down the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are on a 7-2-2 run, putting them just a point behind an up and down New York Islanders team who sit third in the Metropolitan Division.
So, are both these teams locks to make the playoffs now? Could both the Pens and Ducks significant playoff runs? What say you?
read on for more views on this topic fromt the ESPN hockey guys...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Here’s what you need to know about the Ducks’ 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night:
THE GAME IN 140 CHARACTERS OR FEWER
- Once the second period began, the offense kicked back into high gear and took advantage of a leaky Coyotes defense and shaky Anders Lindback.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“I think Bruce has found a good mix in terms of finding guys to create depth throughout the lineup. I think our team is really hard to defend right now.”
- Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano
STAT OF THE NIGHT
- The Ducks have the NHL’s longest active win streak at six games and they’ve scored 35 goals over their past nine games.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The first sign came early on, when the captain who doesn’t shoot the puck did. The next sign came when the skilled defenseman put the hit on the star center, took one to draw a penalty and then let loose his own powerful shot.
Ryan Getzlaf did the former, and Hampus Lindholm came up with the latter. Those were two high points of many for the Ducks in a one-sided 4-2 win over the Kings on Thursday night.
A stunned sellout crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center watched as the Pacific Division-leading Kings were throttled by a Ducks team that hasn’t relinquished one bit of momentum it gained from the Christmas holiday break to the All-Star break.
“Sometimes you have a feeling the way the guys practice the day before,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The way they’re just carrying themselves around the rink, you know that they were going to be really into the game.
“Our guys were really into the game today and I thought it showed. I thought we played really well.”
from Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times,
The Ducks' defense is about to regain its strongest piece, and the set is almost complete.
Defenseman Cam Fowler will be ready for Tuesday's game against San Jose, Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday. Fowler's return after sustaining a sprained knee comes as the Ducks begin their post-All-Star break drive, and it gives them nearly a full complement of defensemen.
Boudreau said that helps psychologically, particularly after Anaheim got defenseman Simon Despres back just before the break. He had missed 42 games because of a concussion.
"The more Despres plays, the more he'll get back to where his form was last year, and I think the other guys are playing pretty well," Boudreau said. "Our strength has been defensive hockey, not offensive hockey, so it can only help us."
Fowler was regarded as their top defenseman for much of the first three months, and he has assumed more of a leadership role as well. He said he benefited from the break and feels game ready nearly five weeks from the Dec. 27 injury.
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
This just in, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman talking to Oilers uber-insider Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now and dropping a new trade rumour bombshells.
Stauffer mentioned the Oilers trying to upgrade at right defence from Justin Schultz by moving for either Sami Vatanen of Anaheim or Travis Hamonic of the Islanders, as both teams can use a scoring winger. ...
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re getting near to the end of his time with the Edmonton Oilers,” Friedman said. “I mean the writing is very much on the wall. I think it is time. I think both the organization and the player need a fresh start. It’s just not really changing there at all. I could see the Oilers not wanting to commit for whatever the salary is going to be for this year. I think there is a decent chance that a trade with him could happen.”
Friedman said he wasn’t optimistic about the New York Islanders signing winger Kyle Okposo, and Stauffer interjected that at the World Jr. tournament Islanders ace John Tavares had had success with Oilers winger Jordan Eberle.
Said Friedman: “I do believe we are getting closer to the day that Edmonton makes a move with one of its young forwards. I would say on the ranking of it probably (Jordan) Eberle one, (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins two for a young player, for a defenceman. I think that everybody is looking at Hamonic and saying, ‘Is there going to be a match there?’ I have no doubt that that is what the Oilers are considering. I have no doubt they’re going to try to get it done.”
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
No sabotage theories. No “flax seed oil” claims. No tales of carrying the absorbed remains of an unborn twin. That was cyclist Tyler Hamilton’s original explanation.
Melky Cabrera, now with the Chicago White Sox, once attempted to concoct an elaborate lie that involved launching a fake website in order to sell a fake supplement. But he eventually was busted by, among others, the feds.
Thankfully, Horcoff took a more direct route to his failed PED test and confessed to the mistake Tuesday, meaning this story shouldn’t become any more bizarre or unnecessarily entertaining.
As of this moment, the situation appears to be as straightforward as the 20 games and $357,526.88 Horcoff just forfeited.
For that much, the Ducks can be thankful. The circumstances certainly could be more convoluted and less savory. Just ask the Clippers and Blake Griffin.
Horcoff’s latest admirable actions, however, don’t make up for his previous regrettable ones. He erred in a major way and brought unwanted negative attention to a team that has played its way to enough embarrassment already.
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of Capitals Insider,
With a massive snowstorm expected, the Washington Capitals moved up the puck drop for their game against the Anaheim Ducks to 5 p.m. after it was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. That time change would allow for fans attending the game to still use the Metrorail, which will stop service at 11 p.m. Friday.
But Chris T. Geldart, the director of the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, implored the Capitals and Wizards to cancel games scheduled for the weekend.
“We talked to all of these organizations and we told them, ‘We are telling our residents, the folks here in the city, to be off the streets by 3 o’clock,'” Geldart said. “If the Capitals decide to bring their players in and put them in danger like that, then the other folks do the same, I cannot tell the NHL or the NBA what to do … But I would highly encourage them, do not have those games.”
added 10:30am, Anaheim release is below...
Bob Murray on Ducks/Drouin rumors: 'if you listen to everybody and listen to all the…we’re one of the front runners in that aren’t we?
Every time I turn the page I hear we’re making a deal with a certain team on the East Coast. There’s more than just him that’s probably
out there and available right now. let’s just leave it at that. We’re looking at a whole bunch of things. We know he’s there but
there’s a few others out there, too, that haven’t requested trades. Requesting trades on entry level that’s something new for your and I.'
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The blinders are off for the Stars and now they see who they're running against.
Like a thoroughbred squaring off against a triple-crown champion, the Stars are halfway through the battle that is the 2015-16 season and they know now it's going to be a heck of a horse race.
The Stars no longer are in first place in the Western Conference. The Chicago Blackhawks have won 10 games in a row and have 64 points. The Stars are 1-4-1 in 2016 and looking incredibly mortal, despite their 62 points.
"The whole league is in playoff mode, except us," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "This is a desperate time for a lot of teams."
Friday's 4-2 loss was just another painful night for Stars fans. Facing the lowest scoring team in the NHL -- the Anaheim Ducks -- Dallas allowed four goals in the first period. That's twice what the Ducks have been averaging in an entire game (1.90). It was confusing, frustrating, embarrassing...all of the ings.
It was frightening, really.
Below, watch the game highlights plus see how Daryl Reaugh feels about the game...
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 email@example.com