Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Jason Spezza is the player Mika Zibanejad wants to become.
Like Spezza, Zibanejad was a first-round pick. They are right-shot, offensive-minded centers. They were teenagers when they made their NHL debuts with the Senators. They played together for parts of three seasons.
Zibanejad didn’t figure, however, that he’d have to become Spezza’s replacement this soon.
Ottawa is fighting for the playoffs. Craig Anderson has delivered ace goaltending. Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur are clicking as a dangerous combination.
But the Senators miss Spezza, the longtime Senator who is now finding his way as a first-year Star. They are not as good without their former captain, who wanted a change after 686 games as a Senator. The Stars had the cap room to absorb Spezza’s $7 million average annual value and the pieces to deliver a package that made the trade close to palatable for the Senators.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
As bad as the Wild played in losing 11 of 17 games (6-7-4) prior to Friday’s win against Toronto, the Wild was never, ever humiliated.
It lacked the energy and excitement that became its trademark late last season. It made mistakes and gave up too many goals, either because of sloppy defense or a bad goal or two, but for the most part, the losses were of the one-goal variety (yeah, yeah, if you exclude the empty-net goals, which do count, I know).
But for the first time tonight, the Wild left an arena with its tail fully between its legs. Humbled, shamed by the team that used to reside in Minnesota.
I’ve seen the Wild play lousy in this rink 15 or 20 times, but this was just an awful, awful display by a flat, uninspired, tired-looking group tonight, and it was so obvious right from the opening draw that tonight’s outcome could get ugly.
The only question was how ugly because the Stars, who have now won eight of nine, had been off since Wednesday and were here for the killing.
Oh, this happened to in the 2nd period...
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has claimed defenseman David Schlemko off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.
Schlemko, 27, has posted four points (1-3=4) in 20 games played for Arizona this season. His 38 blocked shots on the season were fifth on the team. He has also appeared in two games for Portland of the AHL this season, producing four points (1-3=4) and a +2 plus/minus rating.
Having played in parts of seven NHL seasons, all with Arizona, he has posted 50 points (9-41=50) and a +19 plus/minus rating in 207 career regular season games. In nine playoff games, he has one goal (1-0=1) and 10 shots on net.
"David will add veteran depth and a solid puck-mover to our blueline," said Nill. "This gives us the flexibility to keep our young defensemen playing, whether here or in Texas."
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Tyler Seguin is off to Edmonton on Saturday morning, and you know what that means: Another round of Tyler-Taylor questions are coming – and these ones will be more pointed than ever, given their current career trajectories.
Tyler Seguin is on the rise. If he were a stock, it would be on the verge of a split. Seguin currently leads the NHL in goals and points, a rare feat in today’s game. Since the NHL introduced the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy in 1999 to reward the NHL’s goal-scoring leader, only one player has managed to win both goal- and point-scoring titles in a single year, and that was Alex Ovechkin in 2008. Before that, you have to go back to 1996 and Mario Lemieux for the last time it happened.
Taylor Hall’s stock, meantime, is flat. In fact, some of the NHL’s so-called insider traders put Hall’s name on the sell list this week, after the Oilers fired coach Dallas Eakins and replaced him, on an interim basis, with the tandem of Craig MacTavish and Todd Nelson. MacTavish is the Oilers’ general manager and after reluctantly removing Eakins he promised a top-to-bottom review of the organization on the grounds that the team’s current struggles reflect a deeper problem than just coaching.
Patrick Burke with the suspension explanation.
Earlier today I posted the incident, watch it here.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
It was another failed test, and one that Ruff will have to study intensely. Because the time for gut checks and resets is quickly slipping away.
“I’m really disappointed,” Ruff said. “You have to work for what you get. The worse you play in your own end, the less you get. I thought our running around allowed them to create more zone time.”
more on the 5-2 loss to Winnipeg last night.
Plays like these by Ryan Garbutt certainly don't help..
Below, even the video operator for the Stars should re-think about the graphics they display...
from Alex Reimer of the Boston Herald,
Bruins apologists will point to Seguin’s putrid showing in the 2013 playoffs as a legitimate reason for his departure. How quickly they forget about his four-point performance off the bench in Game 2 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, or that he led the team in points in 2011-12.
Maybe Seguin lacks grit, and can’t play in Claude Julien’s defensive-minded system. But then that’s a negative commentary on the Bruins. When you have a talent like Seguin, you make it work. The Red Sox, for example, rode the mercurial Manny Ramirez’s bat to two championships.
Julien’s brand of conservative hockey and rolling four lines hasn’t been able to save the Bruins from a mediocre first half. Krejci and Zdeno Chara have been nursing injuries, and only appeared in 11 and nine games this season, respectively, but that’s the point. A coach’s system is only as good as the players who play in it.
A frustrated Tyler Seguin...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars’ goaltending plan was shaped last summer with the thought that all of the bases would be covered.
Kari Lehtonen was returning after a solid season. Anders Lindback was brought in as a free agent on a one-year contract. And Jussi Rynnas was signed as an additional backup on a two-year deal....
Yet, 25 games into the season, the Stars have the worst goals-against average in the league (3.52) and the second-worst save percentage (.893).
“Obviously, it needs to be better,” goaltending coach Mike Valley said. “There’s been too many soft goals. There’s been too many leads that have been lost in games. What we have to do is acknowledge it’s happened, and we have to leave it in the past and move forward and concentrate on what we can do better.”
The Stars on Wednesday placed Lindback on waivers with the intent to send him to the AHL to get playing time. He is 0-5-0 with a 4.63 GAA and .861 save percentage.
Rynnas (pronounced ROO-nuhs) gets his chance to serve as backup.
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