Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Arash Madani of Sportsnet,
Mitchell remains on injured reserve while he debates whether to return to action after suffering a concussion, the seventh of his career, earlier this season. He will turn 39 on April 23. He has been out of the Panthers lineup since Jan. 18. He hasn’t spoken publicly since.
But that changed Saturday morning when he opened up to Sportsnet in a lengthy interview.
“I don’t know where I’m at,” Mitchell admitted, matter-of-factly. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. When you’re blindsided like me, you reflect on things.”
It’s the dilemma many veteran athletes with a concussion history are facing. With only four games remaining in Florida’s season, including Monday’s at Air Canada Centre in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, time on this season, at least, is running out.
It wasn’t until three weeks ago that Mitchell says his health improved to the point where, “I got my life back.”
Mitchell claims he is now symptom-free, but in his multiple conversations with trainers, doctors, neurologists and other specialists, he has yet to receive a definitive answer as to what may happen if he sustains another blow to the head.
“Unfortunately, no one can give you an answer,” he said.
Watch as Hockey Night in Canada gets you set for all the action on Saturday night.
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
Your playing style has evolved a lot over the years. How many versions of you have we seen in net?
I would say three or four. There are always new techniques coming out that can improve performance. I try to stay on top of that and if I find that something new might be helpful, I’ll try it out. Especially now that I’m a bit older, you can’t just rely on being athletic and sliding around all over the place. [Laughs.] You gotta save some energy, you know?
Wait—are you saying that now that you’re older, you’re not athletic?
No, I am. I just can’t be all the time. Only in desperate measures can you rely on that stuff.
You’re playing really well. Did you expect this at 36? Not that 36 is old…
[Laughs.] Yeah, exactly. I feel pretty good about my play. You always feel like you could be better. But you know what? The team is playing so well in front of me, it makes me look good. When that happens, the confidence grows and you feel like you play better. Numbers-wise it’s one of the best seasons I’ve had.
They received a warning after their first goal and after the second goal...
Jaromir Jagr disagreed with the call...
Trochek will have an MRI today. He blocked a shot and suffered a leg/ankle injury.
from Elizabeth Quinn Brown of GQ,
Jaromír Jágr, 44, was drafted at the age of 18 in 1990, an era in hockey defined by the prevalence of the mullet. Since then, he has established a career that has toured the NHL, from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Dallas Stars, the Boston Bruins, the New Jersey Devils, and the Florida Panthers (minus his three seasons with the KHL), a "This Land Is Your Land" on ice. At some point, he decided to restyle his hair.
Jágr has evolved beyond your average star to become something of the unofficial mascot for the NHL. Sure, we can appreciate the talents of the Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin and the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, but we recognize that Jágr is different. To appreciate the sport is to appreciate its gladiator. The numbers speak volumes: Jágr has scored 742-plus career goals (he is third after Wayne Gretzky, 894, and Gordie Howe, 801, surpassing Brett Hull, 741, on February 20, 2016). And he's at the point in his career where ovations on the road are regular, as evidenced at Madison Square Garden on Monday. He’s humble about all the applause, yet superstitious: “I like to have them at home, but on the road, of course it’s special. But every time I hear [cheering] on the road, I sort of have bad luck, so I don’t like to hear it.” (The Rangers beat the Panthers, 4–2.)
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The goal would have tied the game at 2-2 in the third period, and would have been a major development for a B’s team struggling for offense. Instead, the NHL ruled the video was “inconclusive” as to whether the puck crossed over the goal line, and so the “no-goal” call was upheld by league officials. It was a ridiculous blown call by the NHL in the third period of a game with major playoff implications for both teams, and an embarrassment given the technology and tools that the hockey ops people have at their disposal in Toronto.
There were major reactions of stunned outrage from the Bruins huddled around the home bench, and disgruntled TD Garden fans started raining debris, and boos, down on the ice.
Claude Julien was beside himself postgame while discussing the blown video replay after feeling like there were already some questionable calls in the Rangers loss just 24 hours earlier.
“I can’t explain it either,” said an exasperated Julien. “I’m as baffled as you are right now, and I looked at it many times here before coming out here. It looks like it’s in. It looks very conclusive. That’s two in two games now. Tonight, obviously, was a very important goal, and, you know, it’s unfortunate. We think we’ve got great technology.
“We’ve got everything going, but people just think we were getting it right [with the replays]. I don’t necessarily agree with that because we’re obviously still not getting it right. I’ve got another coach that texted me [on Thursday], and there was, ‘WTF. How can that not be a goal?’ That’s coming from somebody who’s neutral.”
Watch the play below...
Went to Toronto for a better look, still not a goal.
Additional replay is below...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The New York Rangers bounced back from an ugly loss with a convincing 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday. The Rangers dominated the first two periods against the Panthers, who have now dropped consecutive games and could slip out of first place in the Atlantic Division if the Tampa Bay Lightning win Tuesday night.
Florida has been a fantastic story this season, but they don't match up all that well with the experienced Boston Bruins, their potential first-round opponent if they finish second in the Atlantic.
The Panthers have five wins this month, but all five have come against teams outside a playoff spot. You have to go back to Feb. 4 to find a regulation win over a team currently in a playoff spot.
What's our level of concern with the Panthers? Do they have to win the division to have a fighting chance of getting out of the first round?
more from the ESPN hockey guys on the Panthers and the Eastern Conference playoff race (Burnside)...
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Jokinen tried to get the puck through as Luxmore leapt into the air but hit the post. The soft shot — Henrik Lundqvist lost his stick in the flurry of activity and it affected Jokinen’s trajectory — clipped the cage as well and slowly hugged the goal line slowed by ice shavings and crept out of danger’s way.
“It’s not a fun feeling when the goalie is out but the ref is right there,’’ said Jokinen, who echoed many who said they had never seen an official taking up that piece of prime real estate during a game. “Yeah, we had a lot of chances and made too many mistakes. We had enough chances to score four or five goals. But I need to put the puck in. It’s on me. I need to score on that. That’s on me.’’
Said coach Gerard Gallant: “A lot of things didn’t go our way. Some of the calls didn’t go our way. What do you say? ... That was frustrating when you see that happen. The guy was standing in the net. I’ve never seen that before, but those guys have a tough job to do.’’
more on the Panthers 4-2 loss to the Rangers...
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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