Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Here’s what you need to know about the Ducks’ 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night:
THE GAME IN 140 CHARACTERS OR FEWER
- It is becoming a well-worn script. A lot of can’t is in the Ducks’ game right now, especially in the offensive end. Goals remain scarce.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“Well, I’ve got to believe it is but I don’t know. We try to not let it. And we talk about the positive things that you can do all the time. Quite frankly, when you’re best players aren’t your best players, you’re not going to win games. And that’s the bottom line. On a too consistent basis, our best players aren’t our best players.”
- Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, on whether the lack of offense is in their heads...
You wonder how much longer Ducks GM Bob Murray is able to stomach the utter lack of offense. But with so many unproductive players committed to long-term deals that other teams are probably unwilling to take on at this point, there isn’t a whole lot he can do in terms of a major trade. It means that the seat under Coach Bruce Boudreau could be heating up once again.
Watch the game highlights below...
added 8:52am, Bruce Boudreau post-game is below too...
"Personally, it's been OK, I'm not where I want to be yet, and our team is not where we want to be. I've got to be a lot better. There's a lot more I need to work on and get better at. I don't want to blame it on the fact that I'm adjusting to life and the pace and everything like that because I think I've adjusted pretty well. I need to be more consistent and play my best every time I touch the ice."
-Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres. Read more on Eichel from Joe McDonald of ESPN.
via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Colaiacovo was still in the hospital when the Sabres left Bridgestone Arena.
"Carlo's doing OK," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He got the cross-check to the throat. He did go to the hospital, is there now. I guess they're saying he's got a dented trachea right now but OK.
"I don't think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check, but they kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it's a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo's neck."
Two more videos below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
Some frustrating times for the Buffalo Sabres, who are trying to hang with the playoff kids in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres dropped another close on Monday night, 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues, a game that was notable for a couple of reasons.
First, the Sabres are now winless (0-3-2) in their past five games. Unlike the past couple of seasons, though, the Sabres are keeping it close and have allowed just 12 goals over that stretch against quality opponents, including the Blues twice, the San Jose Sharks, and the Dallas Stars twice. The offense has gone soft, though, and the slide has coincided with a six-game goal drought for standout rookie Jack Eichel, who has just one assist during that span.
It's also worth noting that the Edmonton Oilers, without the services of No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid, lost a tight one last night, too, in a 1-0 defeat by a very good Washington Capitals team. The Oilers have won just two of their past eight games and are last in the NHL. It's not too early to say that as Eichel goes, so go the Sabres, or to say the same about the Oilers and McDavid.
more on both teams from the ESPN hockey guys...
from Dave Hodge of TSN,
"Thumbs up" to the clear winner, in my estimation - Ryan O'Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres.
He's supposed to deliver in a big way because the Sabres blessed him with a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension. He has scored seven goals and nine assists for 16 points, and those who watch the Sabres regularly say statistics merely begin to explain what O'Reilly does on the ice. The fuller explanation, in one word, is "everything."
Money was always O'Reilly's problem in Colorado, and the fiasco of the offer sheet signed with Calgary and matched by the Avalanche made it obvious he'd be negotiating his next deal with a different team. Buffalo was able to be that team by trading Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, prospect J.T. Compher and a second-round draft pick. There's time for the youngsters to help Colorado close the gap, but right now, O'Reilly's a steal, even at an annual cost of 7.5 million bucks.
read on for a "thumbs down" to Alexander Semin...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Led by netminder Linus Ullmark's 36-save effort, the Sabres edged the Florida Panthers by a 3-2 count, the third straight win for Buffalo and its fifth in the past six outings.
Cody Franson, who signed late in the offseason, is starting to fit in after a bit of a rough start and scored the Sabres' second goal, while emerging young defensive star Rasmus Restolainen had two assists.
Over the course of this six-game stretch the Sabres, so grisly in their own end the past couple of years, have allowed just 11 goals. And remember, this fine play is happening without starting netminder Robin Lehner (lost at the start of the season), Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane. Let's not start planning the parade, or even the playoff scenarios, but the Sabres have made significant headway in a short period of time under head coach Dan Bylsma.
more on the Sabres from the stable of hockey writers at ESPN...
from Paul Hamilton of WGR, 550
When the Sabres came to training camp they had so many new players.
Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Jamie McGinn, Robin Lehner, Chad Johnson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Cody Franson and David Legwand had never played a game together.
You can never tell how long it will take, but the Sabres have won four out of five and five out of seven games. Dan Bylsma said, “I think there was a lot of newness in a lot of places not just players, but when you’re looking at nine new roster players and a new coach, it’s not just getting used to each other, it’s getting used to how we’re going to play and how we need to play and I think you’re starting to see that.”
Cody Franson is somebody that I’ve noticed in the offensive end. He seems to be making better plays with the puck because he has a sense of where his teammates are going to be. Franson said, “At the start of the year we were a unit that had never played together, so we needed a little bit of time to get to the point where everything is just a reaction and not having to think as much.”
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
...coach Jon Cooper made one thing abundantly clear after Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Sabres at Amalie Arena, its seventh loss in the last nine games.
"First of all, this season isn't last season," Cooper said. "There's a big difference between the two."
"There's no comparison," captain Steven Stamkos said.
The Lightning look like a shell of the team that reached the Stanley Cup Final just five months ago. Cooper said they'll have a different journey this time, and it's certainly going to be more difficult after Tampa Bay fell under .500. The Lightning (7-8-2), the highest scoring team in the league last season, was held to one goal or less for the eighth time, and now finds itself in uncharted territory, below .500 this late in the season for the first time since missing the playoffs in 2012-13.
"We're not a fragile team, but when things aren't going well, you're a human being, you start to doubt yourself," Stamkos said. "You start to doubt things. We can't let that creep in. You're not going to feel that way when things are going well and the team is scoring and we're winning last year. We've got to have that sense of urgency."
Watch the game highlights below....
There is only one Rick Jeanneret...
And Evanka Osmak of Sportsnet does her Jeanneret impression below...
from Dan Herbeck and Lou Michel of the Buffalo News,
The local woman who accused National Hockey League star Patrick Kane of rape three months ago has notified the Erie County District Attorney’s Office that she no longer wants to cooperate in the investigation, five sources with knowledge of the case told The Buffalo News on Monday.
The woman has told authorities that the high-profile investigation has caused tremendous stress for her and her family, and that she no longer wishes to participate.
The alleged victim spoke to investigators at the District Attorney’s Office at length last week, and after that, signed a document called an “affidavit declining prosecution,” which is now under consideration by District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III, one of the sources said.
“She was no longer interested in going forward,” another source told The News.
The woman first asked the DA’s staff about the status of the investigation before stating that she no longer wants to cooperate, this source said.
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.
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