Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,
While Fletcher’s primary problem is simple, its solution is not. There is no goalie available via trade who would be sure to improve Minnesota enough to guarantee a playoff spot this season, much less a playoff victory. And while the Wild’s young players have disappointed, Fletcher would be mistaken to trade them while they remain promising and while their trade value is at low ebb.
Here’s what Fletcher should do:
1. Apologize for placing so much faith in Kuemper and Thomas Vanek, who, on a 2-on-1 with Zach Parise on Saturday, tried a mindless behind-the-back pass, as he continues to look for easy ways to play a hard game.
2. Nothing. At least, nothing to mask the flaws of the current team, which played in the second and third periods as if its water bottles were filled with NyQuil.
If Fletcher wanted to take a long shot at the playoffs, he could fire Yeo and trade for a goalie, but that would be like dabbing Neosporin on gangrene.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
Brent Seabrook took a skate to the face in this scramble in front of Chicago's net. He did return to the game.
In Chicago's 4-2 win over Minnesota, Thomas Vanek put this hit on Marcus Kruger and received a major for boarding.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The Wild’s goaltending hasn’t been good enough this season. Despite allowing the second-fewest shots per game in the NHL, the Wild has the second-lowest save percentage only to lowly Edmonton.
Kuemper ranks 53rd, Niklas Backstrom 60th.
It’s why the Wild is looking for a goalie, sources say. What General Manager Chuck Fletcher is gauging is this: Do you give up significant assets now to get a short-term fix when there’s no guarantee a goalie can save the season or do you stay patient, continue to ride out the instability and wait for the right move to come along that will address the long-term need?
Fletcher declined to comment Wednesday.
Some names potentially on the market? Carolina’s Cam Ward, the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champ, San Jose’s Antti Niemi, Buffalo’s Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth, Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth and St. Louis’ Martin Brodeur.
via Michael Russo tweets,
Yeo has stopped practicing and laying into the team
Koivu just left ice hurt. Smashed stick in half twice as he left.He's been dealing with a lower body injury & seemed to aggravate it
Yeo now skating the heck out of the #mnwild without pucks
Yeo is going nuts in practice. Just slammed his stick in the middle of a scrum; screaming his head off.
Yeo just stormed off the ice after slamming his stick against the glass
#mnwild continuing practice without Yeo. Assistant GM Brent Flahr and director of hockey admin Shep Harder left stands when Yeo left ice
added 1:18pm, Watch Mike Yeo post-practice...
via Minnesota Wild release,,,
Zach Parise will not play in tonight’s game against San Jose. The Wild supports his decision to be with his family as his dad, J.P., battles lung cancer and asks that their privacy be respected. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Parise family during this difficult time.
via Bryan Burns of TampaBayLightning.com.
Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday in Tampa.
A determination following surgery will be made on how long Gudas will be out of the Lightning lineup.
Gudas, 24, returned to Tampa on Sunday prior to the Lightning’s 4-2 victory in Ottawa. He is schedule to receive further examination after missing training sessions Friday and Saturday and three-straight games.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
I wanted to quickly blog that defenseman Keith Ballard talked today for the first time since he sustained three facial fractures and a concussion Dec. 9 against the Islanders.
Ballard, 32, the Baudette native and former two-time Gophers national champ, is still experiencing symptoms and has done nothing other than taking walks since the injury. He admits that he’s not sure if he’ll ever play again. He said he’s going to let this play out before determining if he’ll return.
Ballard said during his last concussion that he’s worried about his future and wants to make sure he’s healthy in his post-hockey career as a husband and dad to two children.
He said that again today.
from Micheal Russo of the Star Tribune,
Parise is playing through immense pain right now. Not physical pain, but emotional pain. The stress he’s under, the burden he’s playing with, the sorrow he’s feeling is written across his face anytime you look at him.
J.P. Parise, the beloved former North Star and husband to Donna and father to Zach and older brother, Jordan, is in dire straits. Diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer last January, J.P. spent a month in the hospital earlier this fall due to the effects of chemotherapy.
He finally said enough to the chemo that was causing him so much discomfort and sickness. In the past few weeks, the 73-year-old has deteriorated.
“It’s hard to watch,” Zach Parise said Saturday night, a half-hour after the Wild suffered the worst loss he has experienced during his three seasons with Minnesota — a six-goal defeat at the hands of the relocated franchise for which his father used to star.
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...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“Keep the blue out!”
At this late juncture, it’d probably be hard to do, but maybe the Wild should take a page out of the Nashville Predators’ book (and the St. Louis Blues’, Buffalo Sabres’, Edmonton Oilers’ and even the Miami Dolphins’) and orchestrate a way to keep Winnipeg Jets die-hards out of its rink April 6 … and beyond.
It’s become a tradition since Atlanta’s move to our frigid neighbor to the north in 2011, but Jets fans — many who can’t get into MTS Centre because the small rink is overrun by season-ticket holders — travel by the busload to fill Xcel Energy Center whenever the Jets visit St. Paul.
That was the case Dec. 27. Jets fans were everywhere.
Lower bowl, club level, upper bowl, loud (we’ll call ’em) … passionate fans dressed in blue cheered the boys from Winnipeg and mocked Wild fans anytime the Jets scored. During the national anthem, they screamed in an ode to the Jets’ owners, “True North,” and chanted throughout, “Go Jets Go!”
When Andrew Ladd scored a fluky goal to win the game in overtime, it was so noisy, you would have thought the Wild won.
Kerry Fraser of TSN answers a few questions regarding a Thomas Vanek goal on Saturday...
Every apparent goal is reviewed by a staff member in the Situation Room in Toronto, in addition to the Video Goal Judge on site and must be confirmed as a 'good goal' prior to the next puck drop. A final decision is rendered and then communicated by the Situation Room personnel to the penalty timekeeper at ice level to issue a 'thumbs up' to the referee at centre ice. This is the signal to the ref that a 'good goal' has been determined and he is allowed to drop the puck and resume play. A 'thumbs up' is not issued until there is concrete evidence that the puck entered the net.
The quick decision to confirm the tying goal credited to Thomas Vanek as opposed to placing the play under formal review however is somewhat confusing to us based on the broadcast replays that were offered. A formal review provides additional time within the process to look at every available angle and confirm beyond even the slightest doubt that a valid goal was scored. Replays shown by various camera angles on the Hockey Night Broadcast, in addition to postgame recap on NHL Game Center Live footage create reasonable suspicion (and even a pretty clear impression) that the puck went post to crossbar and straight down onto and ahead of the goal line without ever entering the net as you suggest...
more and watch the 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.
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