Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
What may have been Radek Dvorak's final NHL game in South Florida didn't last long. Roberto Luongo's night ended early as well.
Dvorak, a rookie on Florida's Stanley Cup Finals team in 1996, was ejected (charging) from Carolina's 3-0 win over the Panthers after colliding with Luongo in the first period. Luongo remained in the game after the hit, one that looked more accidental than anything else, but didn't return for the second period.
Florida goalie coach Robb Tallas said during the second intermission that Luongo took a hard hit and was pulled purely for precautionary measures. Tallas added that he expected Luongo -- who suffered from a sore neck -- to play Saturday against visiting Montreal.
"They held him out for precautionary reasons,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "I'll have a report on Friday.''
continue for more on the game and watch the hit below...
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Justin Faulk to a six-year contract extension. The $29-million dollar deal will pay Faulk $2.5 million in 2014-15, $3.5 million in 2015-16, $5.5 million in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and $6 million in 2018-19 and 2019-20, for an average annual salary-cap figure of $4.833 million.
“Justin has proven to be among the best young defensemen in the league as confirmed by his selection to the U.S. Olympic team,” said Rutherford. “He has been and will continue to be the anchor of the Hurricanes’ defense for years to come.”
Faulk, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last Thursday, is in his third professional season, and his third NHL season with Carolina. Thus far in 2013-14, he has scored three goals and earned 21 assists (24 points) in 65 games played, and ranks second on the team in average ice time per game at 23:21. In February, the South St. Paul, MN, native represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, helping the Americans to a fourth-place finish.
Cam Ward with the stick save on Bryan Little.
Earlier today, Jonathan Quick joined the nominees.
fromMichael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets outshot the Hurricanes 47-20. It was their highest shot count of the season....
The Blue Jackets outshot the Hurricanes 19-0 in the third period. It was only the third time in their history that they have held an opponent shotless in a period, and the first time in nearly seven years....
The Hurricanes scored on their first shot of the game.
The Jackets did not score until their final shot of the game.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes a demon temptress plays with your mind.
Once again, the earth moved in the Metropolitan Division. The New York Rangers won. The Philadelphia Flyers won in overtime. The Washington Capitals won in Anaheim. The Blue Jackets, who started the night one point out of second place, slipped to fourth in the division and eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The short version: This morning, they are holding down the second wild card, even in points with the Capitals and one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.
After practice yesterday...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Muller talked of “wanting guys who want to make a difference.” He said “losing is for losers” and that too many of the players were cheating and “playing their own way.”
Too many, he said, were “playing for the scoresheet” and worried about getting theirs. Some were more worried about new contracts, he said, and others about somehow holding on and playing another year in NHL.
“You’re a good group of guys but the culture is going to change,” he said. “It takes work, it takes togetherness. We have a lot of fans who support you guys and care about you and we’re not quitting. We’re staying together. You better stay together.”
Muller told the players he liked the energy at practice. But he said the consistency has not been there in games, or enough mental toughness.
At one point, he asked the players if they were upset – albeit in more graphic terms.
RALEIGH, NC – Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen today issued the following statement as he continues to rehabilitate from a heel injury suffered last season:
“I’ve been working with Raleigh Orthopaedic throughout this season with the hope of returning to play hockey. There is no timetable as of now, but I’ve been making progress with my rehab and it remains my goal to resume my professional hockey career. It’s been frustrating to be away from the ice, but I want to thank all of the people who have expressed support throughout the season.”
Pitkanen, 30, suffered a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone on April 2, 2013, against Washington. He missed the remainder of the 2012-13 season and will be out for the entire 2013-14 season. The Oulu, Finland, native has scored 57 goals and earned 225 assists in 535 career
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The good news for Hurricanes fans is that while Rutherford has tied the Hurricanes to a bloated, underperforming roster full of long-term contracts (Exhibit A: Alexander Semin) and no-trade clauses (Exhibit B: Tuomo Ruutu), he can still swap horses with the best of them at times (Exhibit C: Jamie McBain and a draft pick for Andrej Sekera).
So let’s see what he can get for Jeff Skinner. Let’s see what he can get for Cam Ward. Let’s see what he can get for Ron Hainsey. Let’s see what he can get for Jiri Tlusty. Let’s see what he can get for Semin. Let’s see what he can get for Ruutu. Let’s see what he can get for Anton Khudobin, if he doesn’t sign an extension.
Other than Justin Faulk and Elias Lindholm, is there really anyone who’s truly irreplaceable? No, there isn’t, and that includes the previously untouchable Eric and Jordan Staal, because building around them hasn’t worked yet.
Some of those contracts (Semin, Ward and Ruutu in particular) may be too toxic for anyone to touch until the salary cap goes up over the summer, and almost all of the biggest names have no-trade clauses, but strange things can happen when teams panic at the deadline.
Update from George: No harm, no foul:
Max Pacioretty's Olympic hopes may have taken a late hit.
The Montreal Canadiens forward had to be helped off the ice in the first period of the team's Saturday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes after taking a hard hit.
Pacioretty went legs first into the post behind Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin and was taken immediately to the Canadiens locker room.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observre,
Since Khudobin returned from a lengthy injury of his own at the beginning of this month, the Carolina Hurricanes are 7-2-0 in the games he has started. In the two losses, they failed to score a goal. Among regular NHL starters, only two have a better save percentage than Khudobin’s .930, in a much smaller sample.
“Just play consistently, and every game, go there and try to get the win no matter what,” Khudobin said. “It’s always like this when you feel confidence in the guys and they feel confidence in the goalie, you put all those words together and you get the result.”
Even in those few appearances, Khudobin’s outstanding play has raised serious questions about the franchise’s future at the position. Is Khudobin, two years younger than Ward, a better long-term solution in goal? And does Ward’s contract, with a $6.3 million salary-cap hit through 2015-16, still make financial sense given his recent history of injuries and inconsistency?
It’s not a decision the Hurricanes have to make now, but it is one they have to start thinking about now. Khudobin will be a free agent this summer, and one of the most sought-after of the bunch if he continues to play like this.
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.
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