Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Overall, his legacy is cemented. In addition to starring on two Olympic gold-medal-winning teams, Iginla has won a case full of trophies – an Art Ross, two Rocket Richards, a King Clancy and the Mark Messier leadership award.
What he hasn’t won is a Stanley Cup, though he of course came achingly close when Calgary pushed Tampa Bay to Game 7 in the 2004 Cup final. More recent playoff runs fell short in Pittsburgh two years ago and Boston last year. Finding the right landing place as a free agent, in what he hopes is his final NHL stop, was critical to Iginla for personal and professional reasons.
“It’s hard to pick, especially now with how the cap works,” Iginla said. “If you try to predict what the final four are going to be, maybe you can do it, but for me, it’s hard to tell. They’re all so close. There are no teams you play now where you feel they’re so much ahead of you – and that wasn’t always the case.
“Right now, we’re playing some good hockey and getting better and we’re missing some impact players [Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon]. That should – and I believe will – only get better. So absolutely, it was more than just about this year. It was about being part of a team that’s trending positively in the right way. And even though we had a step back in the beginning, overall, we’re going to keep getting better and better.”
Every time Iginla returns to Calgary, it gets a little easier for him, he said. His family is enjoying life in Denver, from his three kids’ schools to their minor hockey. He sees a lot of similarities to Calgary – “a lot going on, but not too busy. Maybe a little warmer.
from Rick Gethin of FoxSports Ohio,
With players looking at Columbus as a destination and not some backwater, the caliber of skill coming into the organization is better. This makes it much easier for Todd Richards to find a role for the players, as most of them are known quantities. This was the case with Scott Hartnell being traded to the Blue Jackets from the Flyers June 23, 2014, while rene Bourque was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for James Wisniewski March 2, 2015.
"They're veteran guys," said Richards. "Hartnell has been around the league long enough and played enough games. There's a reason why he's played over one thousand games. It's not necessarily 'Blue Jackets hockey'. I think when you acquire players, you understand because they've been around long enough, you know what they can do, what they can bring and maybe what their potential is."
Scott Hartnell has recorded 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points in 67 games this season, while Rene Bourque has accrued 4-0-4 in 8 games since the trade.
"In Bourque's case, maybe it's a fresh start, new surroundings to maybe ignite him and get him going. With Hartnell, you know what to expect when he comes in. Those are players that you're trying to add to your team to add certain things to your team. So, it doesn't surprise me what Hartnell's done this year."
With the Blue Jackets making strides in becoming the team that fans have waited a long time to see, these "changes of scenery" have been beneficial for the players and the club. Knowing who will fit and who to pass on starts at the top with GM Jarmo Kekalainen, along with President of Hockey Operations John Davidson, and filters down throughout the play on and off the ice.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
... forward Jesse Winchester — who has not played this season after suffering a preseason concussion at Calgary — is on the trip and is a candidate to make his long-awaited Avalanche debut after signing with the club as an unrestricted free agent last summer.
Winchester's post-concussion symptoms disappeared about 10 days ago, he said, ending a dark and depressing period for the Colgate University graduate. His illness became so uncomfortable he was told to stay away from the team and its facilities. He met with a specialist in Memphis, Tenn., and learned to juggle, among other eye-hand coordination skills, with a local therapist.
"I'm just happy to feel totally alive again," Winchester said. "I stuck with the program, working with a vision-training lady and made some big strides. Just one day, I felt normal and felt like playing hockey. I'm just happy to be back with the guys, especially at such an exciting time of the year."
Winchester had severe vision problems that made him ill when he would walk through a grocery store or skate in an arena with large seating and other landmarks. Avs coach Patrick Roy said Winchester might play Monday if he feels good during and after the morning skate.
In case you missed what happened a few days ago, you can get caught up here.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The rivalry has built throughout the years in part because Minnesota has played Colorado in three of its four all-time playoff berths. One of the great dramas is the disdain Landeskog and the Wild’s Mikko Koivu, Landeskog’s captain counterpart, have for each other. They battle intensely every game, and in the heat of the moment last weekend, Landeskog swiped at Koivu from bench to bench to earn a $5,000 fine.
“Five grand, he should have hit him. Make it worth it at least,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, laughing, joked.
Every Wild-Avs game, there are skirmishes, big runs and dirty hits, and the Avalanche still is upset that now-injured Matt Cooke knocked defenseman Tyson Barrie out of last year’s playoffs with a knee-on-knee hit that earned Cooke a seven-game suspension.
After last Saturday’s game, Wild coach Mike Yeo called what McLeod did to Granlund “garbage.” Friday, Roy countered, “To me, garbage is what Cooke did to Barrie.”
added 5:08pm, below there is more...
added 5:28pm, Russo remarks now added below too...
from Terry Frei of The Denver Post,
Well, what do you know? ... Ryan O'Reilly still is here.
Absolutely, the Avalanche listened to or initiated offers involving him in the weeks leading up to the Monday trading deadline, primarily seeking an imposing, first-rate defenseman to eventually play with Erik Johnson or to anchor the second pairing.
There's a huge leap to take between discussion and consummating a deal, and others considered part of that Avalanche "core" undoubtedly also were at least mentioned at one point or another. That's all justifiable and prudent within the "anything to improve this team" parameters any general manager should follow.
The Avalanche's inertia was glaring, yes. But here's what was underplayed in much of the O'Reilly speculation. While he's a heady two-way forward, among the league's most crafty, and he broke out offensively last season with 28 goals, mostly playing on the wing, his salary benchmark at this point is daunting. He is scheduled to make $6.25 million next season in the second year of the two-year, $12 million deal he reached with the Avalanche on the verge of an arbitration heading last summer.
via the Colorado Avalanche,
The Colorado Avalanche announced this morning that forward Nathan MacKinnon will miss 6-8 weeks with a fractured foot.
MacKinnon, 19, has yet to miss a game with the Avalanche since being drafted first-overall at the 2013 NHL Draft. He has 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists) through 64 games this season, including five goals in his last five games and nine points in his past 10 contests.
He scored his first NHL hat trick on Feb. 22 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
NEW YORK (March 3, 2015) -- Colorado Avalanche forwards Cody McLeod and Gabriel Landeskog each have been fined the maximum amounts allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement for their respective actions during the final seconds of NHL Game No. 930 in Denver on Saturday, February 28, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
McLeod has been fined $3,091.40 for entering the game on a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Directly off a face-off at center ice, McLeod launched into a bodycheck against Minnesota center Mikael Granlund and then engaged in a fight with Wild forward Charlie Coyle. McLeod was assessed a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, a major penalty for fighting and a misconduct penalty.
Landeskog has been fined $5,000 for throwing a punch at Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu while both players were on their respective benches with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation. Landeskog was assessed a misconduct penalty.
The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Watch the altercations below...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Mayhem in Denver as the Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 to gain a three-point cushion on eighth and move a point from Winnipeg.
In a nasty, physical, action-packed, playoff-like affair, the Avalanche tried to run the Wild out of the building.
“I’d probably be frustrated too if we played a team and hadn’t scored on them in four games except on a dump-in,” Zach Parise said, grinning (you’ll understand what he’s referring to in a few paragraphs). “They’re taking their frustration out on us. We played a good game in spite of what they were trying to do.”
Twelve periods and 240 minutes of hockey now this season, and the only goal the Avalanche has scored against the Wild in four losses (outscored 12-1) arguably should have been wiped out by referees Chris Rooney and Dean Morton tonight.
Just 1:32 into the second period, a Maxime Talbot dump-in ricocheted awkwardly off the glass, into the crease and pinned under Devan Dubnyk’s right pad. Cody McLeod came charging in trying to jam at the puck and pushed Dubnyk over the goal line.
The ref blew the play down signaling no goal. But they went to review, and the NHL Situation Room correctly determined the puck lodged under Dubnyk’s pad when it went over the line. Tying goal.
However, Dubnyk’s pad only went over the line because McLeod pushed him over the line. Before it got to video review, Rooney and Morton probably should have disallowed the goal. That part of this was not reviewable.
continued inlcuding Cocy McLeod being Cody McLeod...
Watch the disputed goal below...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org