Kukla's Korner Hockey
"What Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did for basketball, [Ovechkin] and Sid did for hockey at a time when hockey needed something to provide hope and excitement. McDavid and Eichel are perpetuating that same sort of intrigue into the League again. Not that it wasn't there before, but you can feel it."
-George McPhee, special advisor for the New York Islanders. More on this topic from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.
via Kent Youngblood at Russo's Rants,
If you watched the game, you saw the hit that Chicago’s Andrew Desjardins put on Justin Fontaine early in the second period. Fontaine was skating along the blue line when Desjardins appeared to lunge at him, clipping him and sending Fontaine to the ice. He needed help getting to the locker room and is, according to Yeo, “week to week’’ with a lower body injury.
Asked if he thought the 2-minute tripping call was correct, here’s what Yeo said: “You don’t like a knee-on-knee hit,” he said. So, I know it’s a tough one for the refs, and I kind of understood what they were saying. But certainly I felt it warranted a 5-minute major.’’
Two more bac hits below...
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The buildup began at practice Wednesday. Bylsma gave extra greetings to some Pittsburgh reporters and had a welcome-back chat with Jennifer Bullano, the Penguins’ senior director of communications. Bullano was one of Bylsma’s closest front-office confidantes when he was here and he even appeared with her in March, 2014 on the TLC reality show “Say Yes to the Dress,” to do shopping in New York during a road trip for her impending wedding.
“I was a part of this organization for eight years and here for 5½ of them and there’s a lot of familiarity walking into this building,” Bylsma said. “I certainly felt that today.”
But what’s it going to be like to coach a game in front of a full house against the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?
“There will be emotions. I’m not going to be moved to tears but it’s going to be emotional,” Bylsma said. “Even right now, I look at the empty seats and I’m gonna know 50 faces in the stands tomorrow where they sit. I know where my family sat when they were here. There’s certainly going to be emotions.”
Jets forwards Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd says it’s frustrating to keep talking about a player no longer on the team, but have moved on from Evander Kane, hoping he can soon do the same.
If you missed what Kane said about Winnipeg yesterday, start here.
from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Kane gave a recent interview to The Hockey News writer Ken Campbell that will be published today in the magazine in which he aired numerous grievances with Winnipeg and its Jets....
Kane confirmed in the story what was eventually known, but not before he was traded -- each summer he spent as a member of the Jets, he asked for a trade. When asked about it while he was in Winnipeg, Kane talked around it or inferred denying it.
"Something I asked for a long time finally came to fruition," Kane said in the THN interview. "Yeah, I asked for a trade every off-season in Winnipeg."
To be fair, the Jets also obfuscated on the trade-request matter back then.
In his story, Campbell writes: "Truth is, though, Kane was never a good fit in Winnipeg, even in his first season there where he scored 30 goals.... Every unpaid traffic ticket, every rumour about him skipping out on restaurant bills and having his girlfriend with him on the road, every time he posed for pictures with a wad of money attached to his ear, every time he shaved YMCMB into his scalp became a major cause celebre in the league’s smallest market."
Why was that?
Kane believes racism is relevant to his story, a charge he first leveled more than two years ago in an interview with THN.
"There are lots of guys I could point to that everybody knows publicly who have done a lot worse or been accused of doing a lot worse things than I have," Kane said in the interview. "But they don’t look like me. They don’t look like me.
Ken Campbell of The Hockey News with the article.
added 1:22pm, via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
from Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News,
Twice in the first period he put on some vintage Jack Eichel moves – if an 18-year-old rookie can have the word “vintage” used to describe his play.
Eichel blew by veteran Montreal defender Jeff Petry to charge the net with the puck and create scoring opportunities.
They were fantastic moves and one included a sick toe-drag, but neither resulted in a goal....
“I think I’m getting frustrated at this point,” said Eichel who had four shots in the Sabres 7-2 loss to the Canadiens at First Niagara Center Friday night. “You feel like you’re getting a lot of chances and you’re playing well and you’re doing the right things and then it’s not going your way but it’s a long season. You’re going to start getting the bounces sooner or later if you keep doing the right things.”...
“Just trying to do too much,” Eichel said when asked how he knew he was getting frustrated on the ice. “You don’t want to stray away from what you’ve been doing that’s helped you get the chances. The way I’ve always looked at it – if you’re getting chances then you’re doing something right. I think you just need to bear down a little bit and once you get one I think it will open it up.”
via the CP at TSN,
Buffalo took control of the third period midway through and raised the Leafs' ire when Kane plowed through Dion Phaneuf near the blue line, dropping Toronto's captain to the ice with a high stick.
"I don't quite understand, we should have been on the power play four minutes in the third and we weren't at all," said Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock. "So that's disappointing, but it's also part of life."
Buffalo beat Toronto 2-1 in a shootout.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
There are all kinds of fresh faces around the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup and even behind the bench. Optimism is flowing about as much as it can be for a team coming off back-to-back visits to the netherworld of 30th place in the NHL standings.
After months of hype, the big unveiling is here. It’s the season opener Thursday night in First Niagara Center against the Ottawa Senators. And there’s no way for the team to downplay it: This one is all about Jack Eichel.
The likeness of the No. 2 overall pick is one of four giant posters erected this week in the FNC atrium with its “Next Chapter” marketing slogan plastered on it.
Connor McDavid and Eichel will be forever linked by going 1-2 in the 2015 draft and this is their night, with Eichel skating in Buffalo and McDavid officially suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers for the first time in their game at St. Louis.
“You don’t focus on that too much anymore but it was all part of the experience to get here,” Eichel said after practice Wednesday on the eve of Buffalo’s 45th NHL opener. “There were great times but they’re over with now and it’s time to play hockey.”
Eichel said he expects plenty of electricity in a building that’s been mostly devoid of any juice for several years.
“I think it will be pretty wild,” he said. “I know Buffalo has been looking forward to this one and so have we. It’s going to be a great experience.”
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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