Kukla's Korner Hockey
Polak received 5 for boarding a game.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
No one around the NHL views the Presidents' Trophy as a predictor of playoff success. Since 2003, only two of 13 teams that finished No. 1 overall have gone on to win the Stanley Cup.
But winning that title has added value this season because the NHL’s top three teams, Washington, Pittsburgh and Columbus, are all in the Metropolitan Division. The runner-ups in the race will face each other in the opening playoff round.
“That’s going to be a test right off the bat, and it could leave a mark for the second round,” Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz told USA TODAY Sports.
The Chicago Blackhawks, currently fourth in the Presidents' Trophy race with 100 points and nine games remaining, could easily step up and win it. But that wouldn’t change the reality that the losers of the battle for Metropolitan Division supremacy have a tougher playoff road.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
John Tortorella doesn't want to discuss the race for the Presidents' Trophy, or as he referred to it Friday, "the Presidents' whatever it's called."
Proper nouns aside, the Blue Jackets coach is fine with his players using it as incentive for the last 13 games. Tortorella also knows what comes with having the best regular-season record in the NHL, especially for the top three teams in the outrageously competitive Metro Division.
The winner would have home-ice advantage throughout the postseason while a team theoretically finishing just two or three points behind the champ could open the playoffs on the road. That's how tight the division standings are as the Blue Jackets head to New York to face the Islanders today and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
Capturing the Presidents' Trophy would earn the franchise its first banner. Of more immediate relevance, however, is securing home-ice advantage. If the top three teams in the league wind up being from the Metro, the third-place club would start a best-of-seven series away from home.
"That's what you are fighting for," captain Nick Foligno said of home-ice advantage. "It just gives us great motivation every game. I know we are playing some teams that are out of (the playoff race) or are fighting for (a playoff spot), and it allows us to have that emotion every time we step on the ice."
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Bob is on fire. This was his third consecutive shutout. He has gone 179 minutes, 29 seconds without allowing a goal. It's the second-longest streak of its kind behind Devan Dubnyk, who earlier this season went 183:16 without letting a biscuit in his basket.
The Blue Jackets' franchise record: Steve Mason, before he was ground down, had a shutout streak of 199:19 in 2008-09, his rookie season.
"(Bobrovsky) made two or three really good saves there (in the first)," coach John Tortorella said. "I don't think we gave up a lot of chances during the game, but the timing of his saves has been very important for us."
"I just try to stay focused, as usual, and help as much as I can," he said.
He looks and carries himself like a kid who grew up across the street from Beaver Cleaver. It's genuine. He comes from a place — Novokuznetsk, in southern Siberia — where the rivers still freeze in the winter. His goaltending idol? It was not Vladislav Tretiak, who Bobrovsky resembles in stature and athleticism. No, Bob followed the local guy he was able to see live, Vadim Tarasov.
via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,
John Tortorella speaks with Christine Simpson about his past mistakes as a coach and how he has approached his opportunity in Columbus.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Dillon Heatherington from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Lauri Korpikoski.
Heatherington, 21, has produced six points (1-5=6) in 38 games played for Cleveland of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. Last season was his first full professional campaign and he helped Lake Erie to the Calder Cup championship, appearing in 15 playoff contests and recording three assists (0-3=3). In total, he has appeared in 104 career AHL regular season games and has posted 26 points (4-22=26). He will report to Texas, Dallas' top development affiliate in the AHL.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Calgary, Alberta was originally selected by Columbus in the second round (50th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Korpikoski, 30, recorded 20 points (8-12=20) in 60 games played for the Stars this season. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of Turku, Finland was signed as a free agent by Dallas on Oct. 10, 2016.
It would have taken minimal effort to flash a picture of Johansen on the Jumbotron and have the PA announcer say, "Fans, welcome back Ryan Johansen," before the game, or during an intermission. It would have drawn some cheers and a few boos, and it would have been done, no sweat.
Johansen's contention: He received no "thank you" because Jackets management is still hot about the vicious contract negotiations that took place in the summer of 2014. If he is right, it speaks to a certain pettiness on the Jackets' part. I would hope that management here is not so small-minded. It would be bad for business.
Yet, Johansen's plea for martyrdom does not come off well, either. He has the size and skill to do his talking on the ice, he should have been supremely motivated, and he played one of his average games — which is why he was traded in the first place.
-Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read more on this...
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
On Sunday afternoon, Johansen, drafted by the Blue Jackets at No. 4 in 2010, said that "it feels like everyone’s forgotten about (the trade)," remembering his four-plus seasons in Columbus fondly.
At no point during Sunday’s game, however, did the Blue Jackets recognize Johansen, which he noted afterwards.
"I was a little disappointed they didn't put anything on the (scoreboard) to say thank you or anything like that," Johansen told reporters. "I think we all know who made that call, but whatever."
It’s unclear as to whom Johansen is referring to, though his Blue Jackets career wasn’t always sunny.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
It was a dazzling 47 seconds, with the puck on the Lightning wing's stick for most of it.
"I was gassed," Drouin said.
Drouin was also determined. With the Lightning blowing a two-goal lead for the second straight night — this time with 41 seconds left — it desperately needed the second point. Drouin made sure of it, his slick steal-and-deke display on the winner lifting Tampa Bay to a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
"He wasn't going to be denied on that shift," goalie Ben Bishop said. "He was a man on a mission.''
Said Tyler Johnson: "A pretty heroic effort."
read on for more on the game...
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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