Kukla's Korner Hockey
Craig Custance of ESPN held an online chat today,
I know it sounds crazy but shouldn't the Rangers atleast consider letting Lundqvist walk and let Talbot take over starting next season? It would give the team big time cap relief to keep their younger players long-term and add a player or 2 that could get them over the "hump".
Craig Custance That's such a tough call. I'm as leery as anyone about giving goalie any term in contracts but there's a small number of elite goalies in this league and Lundqvist is in that group. If Lundqvist would go for it, I'd much rather max out the salary and go shorter term like four or five years but I'm guessing his camp doesn't want to hear that. Talbot has looked good but how many times have we seen young goalies like good for short stretches only to fizzle out? You know what you're getting with Lundqvist.
Are the Wild legitamite contenders
Craig Custance Yes with a caveat. Any team that makes the playoffs in the West will be capable of winning the Cup but I'd still put the Wild in that second tier a shade below the Kings, Blackhawks, Sharks and Blues.
via Sportsnet, Randy Carlyle and Mike Yeo talk about Kadri's game last night...
Michael Russo of Russo's Rants...
Kadri received a match penalty for the hit.
If you missed the first questionable hit from Kadri tonight, watch it here.
Kadri received 2 for goalie interference and Backstom did leave the game.
gif added 8:50pm,
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
After the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated Minnesota in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, the Wild came to a hard realization about their style.
"We weren't going to take the next step, become a serious contender, unless we changed the way we played offensively," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said Sunday. "I have bit my lip a couple of times on the bench ... but we're going to live with the risk to get more reward."
Minnesota was the ultimate dump-it-in team in 2012-13, constantly trying to put it behind the defence and chase it down. It didn't really work. Its minus-5 goal differential was the worst of any playoff team and it didn't scare the Blackhawks at all in losing the five-game series.
Through 18 games this season, though, the Wild are plus-8. Goaltender Josh Harding's unreal start is a major reason. But so is the organization's decision to try and play more with the puck.
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is a believer in advanced statistics. Behind the scenes, there is a lot of research being done on how much of an advantage it is to gain the opposing blue-line as opposed to dumping it in.
continued plus 30 Thoughts...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“Two 5-on-3s, you don’t score, you don’t deserve to win the game,” said a bristling Parise, who didn’t score on 21 shots on the road trip – including eight Saturday.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout, while Parise and Koivu were stuffed by Tim Thomas as the Wild fell to 3-3-3 (nine out of a possible 18 points).
Coach Mike Yeo, who in search of offense mixed up his top three lines, told his team after the game, “We’re not a .500 team. We’re not built to be .500. We’re a better team than that. … I mean scoring chances on the season, we’re close to 2-to-1. So we could sit here and argue we deserve to be better, but the bottom line is we’re not.”
The Wild can’t ask more from Josh Harding, who made 21 saves. He leads the NHL with a 1.11 goals against average and has given up seven goals in seven appearances. Yet he’s only 3-2-1. The Wild has allowed a league-low five 5-on-5 goals (one by Harding) and league-low 21.8 shots per game.
“We’ve got to score more,” Suter said matter-of-factly. “Everyone has to contribute offensively. Everyone has to pick it up. Defense, offensive guys, everyone. When the goalie holds it to one goal against, you’ve got to get those wins for him. It’s a damn shame.”
I really do not enjoy pointing out stories regarding Kaleta, Lapierre and others and I do know the writers have a job to do, but I would rather pointing out names like Datsyuk, Crosby, Stamkos, etc.
There is so much good in this game but it seems the bad grabs the headlines.
Until the NHL, Owners, GMs, coaches and NHLPA start showing some real respect to the fans and the game itself, this is what we get...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Matt Cooke saw Patrick Kaleta waiting for former Sabres teammate Jason Pominville after Monday night’s game in Buffalo, so he decided to introduce himself.
The two players didn’t know each other.
But knowing that Kaleta faced an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan the next day, Cooke wanted to let Kaleta know that he knew how he felt.
"I told him, 'I’ve been there, it’s not fun.’ It’s hard," Cooke told ESPN.com Tuesday night after his Minnesota Wild lost 4-1 in Toronto.
The real reason Cooke wanted to say hi was he had a message for him.
"I laid it out there that if he wants to know what I did, I’d gladly talk to him about it," said Cooke, the NHL’s poster boy as proof former repeat offenders can reform....
“After every game, we look at our lines and we say what do we need to do going forward, and every game we’ll evaluate it. I’m not going to say he’s at his best right now. I’m not, for sure.
“But I also know that he’s capable of more, and I also know that we need him right now. It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s just take him out,’ but with who? Who do you put in instead? The easy thing to do is for us to just give up, but that’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep trying to push him and keep trying to get him better and keep trying to work with him because we know what he’s capable of.”
-Mike Yeo, head coach of the Minnesota Wild on Dany Heatley. More on Heatley and the Wild from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
Collars are tightening though. Anxiety will infiltrate this locker room if wins don’t start coming, yes, even though it is a long season. Fans tweeting me are already freaking and calling for heads.
-Michael Russo of Russo's Rants. The Wild have no wins, three losses and two loser points.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Recently, coach Barry Trotz has been exasperating the situation by saying he hopes Nashville always kicks the Wild’s butt because they “stole” Suter and calling on the fans to keep booing the Norris Trophy runner-up from a year ago.
To get him ready for tonight, Suter’s Minnesota teammates humorously booed him during the morning skate the first time he touched the puck.
Suter and Trotz ran into each other before the skates today.
“He said, ‘I thought you liked me?’ I do like Ryan. I just know Section 303’s not going to let him off the hook. So I’ve just played along with it,” Trotz said. “Ryan’s a big part of our history. He’s an exceptional defenseman, and we know it. One thing you’ll find out about the Nashville fans, they are passionate.
“Ryan is like one of our family, seeing him as an 18-year-old, but he’s the enemy now. So if they want to stay tough on them, that’ll be 303’s decision, not mine. But I read all the blogs. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be let off the hook for awhile.”
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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