Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
The Wild played six minutes in the third without top-pair defenseman Jared Spurgeon. Tyler Seguin took a baseball swing at a puck in mid-air and instead nailed Spurgeon on the chin. No penalty was called despite Spurgeon leaking blood. He brushed it off afterward, saying, “Just a couple stitches.”
Yeo wanted a five-minute major. The refs told the Wild they didn’t know whose stick hit Spurgeon.
“Obviously, they got a tough job,” Dubnyk said. “I thought the refs did a good job tonight, but it’s tough to see how four guys can miss when the puck’s there. It’s not like it happened away from the play. I would think that everybody is looking at the net when the puck’s up in the air. The other thing I said too is why would our sticks be swinging toward our net? We’re not trying to bat the puck in the net, so we didn’t hit him. Obviously, it’s frustrating when they get the call at the end of the game there, but I thought those guys did a good job tonight. It’s tough for them, if they don’t see it they can’t just make it up either. They don’t get look at the video board and decide what happens, so it’s tough for them too. I thought they did a good job tonight.”
The Wild did win the game, 2-1.
from Gary Craig of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,
National Hockey League star Thomas Vanek was worried and was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to irate bookies.
He thought his name was being kept from others in the Rochester-area gambling circles where he wagered upwards of millions of dollars and now it appeared some angry debt collectors knew just who he was.
“I thought my name stayed anonymous,” Vanek said in a Feb. 27, 2014 text message to his Rochester bookie, Joseph Ruff. “Guess not.”
Minutes later Ruff texted back, forgoing punctuation: “Hey man I’ve tried my hardest to keep your name out of it 3 guys showed up at my house today And start threatening me infront of my fiancée She of course flips out and is scared.”
The text exchange between Vanek and Ruff, now public in unsealed court records from a local gambling investigation, provides some insight into the significant debts Vanek owed for his gambling. And, the records of text exchanges — messages between February 2014 and April 2014 — also add clarity to the odd extortion plot involving Vanek.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a four-year, $20.75 million contract extension starting with the 2016-17 season.
Spurgeon, 26 (11/29/89), owns 16 points (4-12=16), four penalty minutes (PIM) and a plus-4 rating in 31 games this season. He leads the team in blocked shots (65), ranks second in TOI/game (22:15) and his point total ranks second amongst Wild defensemen and tied for seventh overall on the team.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Henrik Lundqvist’s stick was in pieces on the ice at Xcel Energy Center, the Rangers’ franchise goalie having broken it over the crossbar in frustration. It lay in shambles like so much of the past month for his Rangers.
There was just 2:17 remaining and Lundqvist had just given up the final goal in a 5-2 loss to the Wild on Thursday night, a loss that stands as a microcosm of how quickly things have snowballed out of control for the Blueshirts.
“I think if we’re not concerned with the way things have been going lately, we have to look at ourselves,” said Lundqvist, whose team is now 3-7-2 in its past 12, with the good games proving to be the aberrations in this deep malaise. “Every player, including myself — how to improve, how to be better to help this team turn it around.”
Below, watch the game highlights...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Refresh your memories with the day's events and you'll understand the context for today, but before today's skate, Yeo and Suter met to clear the air. Tonight against the Blackhawks, Yeo will indeed go with Suter being reunited with left-shot now right-defenseman Jonas Brodin and left-shot Marco Scandella will return to the lineup and be paired with right-shot partner of yesteryear Jared Spurgeon. Nate Prosser, a righty, will play the left side of right shot Matt Dumba. Christian Folin won't play.
"We’re obviously on the same page," Suter said. "It’s a story that shouldn’t even be a story. I think the heat of the practice yesterday, I was just saying stuff I probably shouldn’t have said. But at the end of the day, it’s about winning and it’s about what's going to be best for our team. Obviously Brods is a great defenseman, Spurge is a good defenseman, we’ve got a lot of good defensemen. I told you at the beginning of the year, our D corps I think is up there at the top of the league. It’s not really news to me anymore."
Yeo said Suter's comments yesterday "didn’t bother me. There was a time maybe where it would have, ... but first off, just the day in general, practice in general was a day to rattle the cage a little bit, and so that’s what we were looking for."
Yeo basically admitted he was trying to tick the players off yesterday after going 1-4-2 in their previous seven games.
"Exactly," Suter said, before laughing and adding, "I did exactly what the coach wanted, right? At the end, it’s what they decide to help us win. And we weren’t winning, and I think it’s probably good to change it up a little bit."
via Chad Graff tweets,
Ryan Suter on coaches pairing him with a fellow lefty: "I don't know what they're thinking. I need to play with a right handed defenseman."
Yeo responded by praising his defensemen and saying, "Ultimately we have to decide what is going to help us win. That's first & foremost."
Sutter post-practice today...
added 2:44pm, from Micael Russo of Russo's Rants,
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
The Wild lost at home when leading by three goals in the third for the first time since Jan. 31, 2012 vs. Nashville (lost 5-4 in regulation). The last time the Wild allowed three third-period goals in a loss/OT/shootout loss at home was Dec. 29, 2013, vs. the Islanders.
Those two previous notes are according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
This was the Wild’s first blown three-goal lead at home for a loss since March 11, 2014 (vs. Edmonton, up 3-0 in the first, lost in a shootout, 4-3). And I’m sure you remember, this is the first blown three-goal lead for a loss overall since Oct. 27, 2014, at the Rangers (up 3-0 in the third, lost 5-4).
If you thought Yeo ripped into the team after Friday’s loss to Winnipeg, that was nothing compared tonight.
Mike Yeo post-game...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rant,
I was so unenthused watching this game (not because of the Wild’s performance but just how bad of a game it was to watch), I’m just going to let you read the quotes I transcribed if you don’t mind. Not sure I can write too much more about this one.
-- But Yeo’s quotes were candid, frank and alarming.
He said this was “probably what we need right now to be honest with you. Might sound funny, but I look at the first part of the season, I think our record was a little misleading. I think there were a lot of inconsistencies in our game. I think the early part of the year you get away with that stuff, and you try to show the video and you talk about things and maybe it gets a little bit better, but when you’re winning games, I don’t think those things really sink in. What happens is I think we’re playing the same game probably that we were at the start of the year, but the league gets better and so right now we’re not getting away with those things.”
On the poor puck management: “This has gone on all year. All year. You win a game, have a little success, but you show the clips and you say we’re not going to get away with this, we’re not going to get away with this, … so now it’s not.”
Watch Yeo post-game below...
“What happened was that we came out and played with half speed, half intensity, made hope plays, just threw the puck to them. We weren’t really willing to work and play honest and try to create. Mentally we were not sharp. Things that we draw up on the board and talk about, then we come out and we’re not ready.
“The intensity part is the main thing, because when that’s not there everything else is following suit.”
-Mike Yeo, head coach of the Minnesota Wild after a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. More on the game from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants.
Watch the game highlights below...
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