Kukla's Korner Hockey
Benn received 5 for crosschecking and a 10 minute misconduct, Jones received 2 for goalie interference.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
"Big picture, it's an excellent point against the strongest team in the National Hockey League right now," said head coach Ralph Krueger. "Sure, there's some pain … but they're an amazingly powerful team, and we never let up on the puck at all.
"In the end I'm proud of the team for the character to come in here and take a point. But, you believe you could have won this one too."
Why should a point on the road in the league's toughest building come with a caveat? That is just one of a myriad of questions for an Oilers team that seems forever poised to take that next step
When does "now" ever arrive for this Edmonton Oilers franchise anyhow? The way "today" is suddenly showing up in Toronto?
It is as nebulous a question as this one: When did this rebuild actually start in Edmonton?
It seems like it's been on since about 2007, when in fact this is really only Year 3. Still, a little bit of success wouldn't hurt long-suffering Oilers fans, who have seen their small team get outcompeted, outhit, and generally rubbed right out of the playoff picture for far too long now.
from Ryan Dittrick of EdmontonOilers.com,
Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Minnesota, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago (again) and Denver.
Over the next 17 days, the Oilers will make separate stops in each city and will return home in two-and-a-half weeks' time with a clearer picture of where they stand with less than half the season to play.
"We're feeling really good about it," said Head Coach Ralph Krueger after wrapping up a 45-minute practice at the Leduc Recreation Centre Sunday morning. "You can feel the energy here. Everybody's excited.
"We need to keep the picture really, really small and take very good care of our bodies and our minds.
"We need to work really, really intelligently together on conserving our energy, on the nutrition, on the times we go on the ice, how long that's going to be, our sleep patterns -- we're staying over on three nights that we wouldn't have done in the past. All kinds of details have been taken care of by the staff. Our nutrition on the airplane will be as good as ever and all these little details will help us to have the energy and the focus to help us perform the way we want to on any given night."
Maybe Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini isn’t getting any concrete offers for Whitney. Maybe that’s why this is dragging out and it’s getting messy. I know one thing: you can’t have a $3.8 million player sitting while a $750,000 player like Potter is playing, not if you’re the owner of the team. Can you?
-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal on Ryan Whitney. Read more from Matheson on this topic.
Is (Taylor) Hall taking a dirty run at a guy like Clutterbuck going to make the next guy think about getting in Hall's business?
-Chris Stevenson of Sun Media. More at the Toronto Sun on this topic.
The Taylor Hall suspension is explained by Brendan Shanahan.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trying to assess when a rebuilding team is ready to make that great leap forward is always a tricky suspect business. Usually, improvements occur in small increments and are often hard to detect, and then it all comes together in one big push forward. The Pittsburgh Penguins did it in the second year of the Sidney Crosby era, jumping from 58 to 105 points. The Washington Capitals did it in the third year of the Alex Ovechkin era, jumping from 70 to 94 points. The Oilers were hoping for a breakthrough this year, but reasonably objective observers had to concede they could still use another year or more to get the collective act together.
Curiously, what’s largely set the Oilers back this year is the popgun nature of their offence – and more specifically, the inability to score goals at even strength. The NHL keeps track of this as a ratio of five-on-five goals scored for and against – and Edmonton ranks dead last at 0.52 (calculated by dividing their 29 even-strength goals against into their 15 even-strength goals for). It isn’t even close by the way. The Florida Panthers are 29th at 0.65, followed by the New York Islanders (0.66), the Calgary Flames (0.68), the Washington Capitals (0.74) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (0.74).
more plus other hockey topics...
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
When the Edmonton Oilers signed Ales Hemsky to a two-year, $10-million US extension a year ago, the Twitter feed down the highway for the Calgary Flames called the move a joke.
Plenty in the hockey world snickered. After all, Hemsky had scored only five times in the 47 games before the extension was signed. But since then, he has scored 31 goals in 73 games. Here's the breakdown:
- Five goals in final 22 games of 2011-12 NHL season
- Five goals in 10 games for bronze medallist Czech Republic at 2012 worlds
- 14 goals in 27 games for Pardubice HC of Czech Extraliga during lockout
- Seven goals in 14 games to start 2012-13 NHL season
more hockey topics...
It's so nice to see a goal like this instead of the crash the crease, dig for the puck type goal which is becoming more prevalent these days.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
They are the same guy, in so many ways.
Jarome Iginla and Ryan Smyth. A northern Alberta kid who captains the Calgary Flames; a Southern Alberta kid playing most of a 1,200-game career with the Edmonton Oilers.
One, the face of the Flames franchise and favourite son of owner Murray Edwards. Another, whose flowing mullet and oversized beak are routinely seen on internet photo shops of Jesus, in a flowing white robe under shining light.
Both would die happy men if they could bring a Stanley Cup to their city. Both took it to a Game 7, but came away with nothing.
Today, at age 35 and 36 respectively, Iginla and Smyth are feeling the identical heat where it hurts the most. At home.
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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