Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
MacTavish needs a No. 2 centre (something he undoubtedly knows), and before you say he would be dealing from a position of weakness now, Montreal GM Marc Bergevin managed to trade winger Rene Bourque for a useful defenceman Bryan Allen this week.after sending the inconsistent Bourque to the minors, first.
Whether that means MacTavish has to trade a winger, even with Benoit Pouliot busting his foot after a Marek Zidlicky shot slammed into him Friday, so be it. While rookie Leon Draisaitl was markedly better against the Devils, driving the net, distributing the puck, playing 16 minutes, the Oilers need an older second-line centre who’s played 400, 500, 750 games.
Draisaitl, who was robbed by Cory Schneider in the dying seconds on his doorstep, could move back to the third hole and Mark Arcobello could be the 13th forward.
Does MacTavish have to dangle David Perron, a greasy guy with hands who had 28 goals last year but can’t get untracked (one goal in 48 shots)? Does he consider trading Jordan Eberle in a bigger package as some have suggested? Who knows, but the GM, before he starts looking at the coach, has to make a deal. And, no, Detroit’s oft-injured but former No. 1 centre in Florida, Stephen Weiss, is probably not the answer.
ISLANDERS EDGE PENGUINS IN FIRST HALF OF HOME-AND-HOME
Kyle Okposo scored the decisive goal in the third round of the shootout to power the Islanders to a win in the first half of their home-and-home series with the Penguins.
* At 13-6-0 (26 points), the Islanders trail the Penguins (13-3-2, 28 points) by two points for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. These clubs face off again Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, the third of five meetings in 2014-15 (also Jan. 16 at NYI and April 10 at PIT).
* The Islanders improved to 7-1-0 in their last eight contests. They have won 13 of their first 19 games of the season for the first time since 1987-88 (13-5-1); they didn’t record their 13th victory until their 41st outing in 2013-14.
* Okposo improved to 4-for-4, with three game-deciding goals, in tiebreakers this season. He is 8-for-21 (38.1%), with six game-deciding goals, in his shootout career.
* Frans Nielsen also scored in the shootout; his 56.3% career efficiency (36-for-64) leads all active players with a minimum of 20 attempts.
* Ryan Strome posted 1-2—3 to set a career high for points in one game.
* The Islanders now have won six consecutive shootouts dating to April 11 at NJD, including a 4-0 mark in 2014-15.
* ICYMI: Trailing 1-0 just 73 seconds after the opening face-off, the Islanders scored three goals in 1:35 to take a 3-1 lead midway through the first period.
Two minutes of highlights...
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The Edmonton Oilers sunk to a new low Friday, difficult as that might be to comprehend, having to skate off the ice to a chorus of boos after being badly outworked in a 2-0 home-ice loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Once again, all the skill in the world came up short in the face of superior will, as Team Analytics got steamrolled by an opponent that simply rolled up its sleeves and ground out a victory with hard work, determination and smart hockey.
“We have guys in our lineup, guys like Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, they have a ton of will, it’s in their DNA,” said embattled head coach Dallas Eakins. “And we have other guys, who we’re pushing to go there and they will go there sometimes, but we need them to go there every time.
“That’s the challenge, because people are wired a certain way.”
Watch coach Eakins post-game below...
The Blue Jackets lost 4-3 in a shootout.
No penalty on the play, thoughts?
You can see how the injury occurred at the :22 second mark of this game recap video.
Dalton Prout with one punch...
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
You can understand why Shanahan is keeping out of this. This season was always lost. All he wants to do is get to April. By then, he can torch Carlyle and maybe Nonis, and hire Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Babcock is his finish line. In the interim, he needs Carlyle and Nonis to wear this wretched season, but he also needs them to survive it.
Those two objectives only align if the team is mediocre, rather than embarrassingly awful. They’re sliding from the former to the latter.
The pressure is mounting on Shanahan to do the thing he least wants – give in to public frustration and fire Carlyle now.
Then he’d have to hire an interim coach. What if that guy won? And the fans fell in love with him? That would screw everything up.
So Carlyle is left dangling, with no word at all from his bosses. Shanahan can’t be seen supporting or denying him. Any presser he holds right now is going to be perceived as a vote of confidence or a kiss of death. Probably both. It’s an impossible bind.
In the end, all Shanahan can do is hide.
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