Kukla's Korner Hockey
EASTERN CONFERENCE JOCKEYING
The Penguins, Islanders and Lightning each earned victories on Wednesday to move within one point of the Canadiens (16-6-1, 33 points) for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
* The Penguins (15-4-2, 32 points) maintain their spot atop the Metropolitan Division and have two games in hand on the Conference-leading Canadiens.
* At 16-6-0 (32 points), the Islanders are off to the best 22-game start in franchise history and remain tied with the Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, however, holds one game in hand.
* The Lightning (15-6-2, 32 points) have set new franchise records for wins and points through 23 games and have more regulation and overtime wins than any team in the NHL (ROW = 14)
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The San Jose Sharks lost their fourth straight game Wednesday – this one, a feeble 2-0 defeat at home to the Flames – which meant the heat on San Jose head coach Todd McLellan is only going to increase. And with the franchise falling back in the pack in the Western Conference (their 10-10-4 record has them fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the West), McLellan’s six-year tenure behind the Sharks bench could be at an end.
San Jose’s players had already spoken out in support of McLellan prior to Wednesday’s loss, yet in spite of that and Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s well-earned reputation as a man who doesn’t make rash decisions, he may have little choice but to fire his coach and continue the process of remaking this team in a newer, more playoff-productive mold. McLellan is a highly-respected coach whose services likely would be snapped up in short order, but his current team has dropped seven of its past nine games and its most recent five losses haven’t come at the hands of a murderer’s row of opponents (Columbus, Buffalo, Florida, Arizona and the Flames).
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Four games ago, general manager Ron Hextall tore into them for their listless effort in a 2-0 loss to the Rangers. After Monday’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Islanders and again after their latest defeat Wednesday, coach Craig Berube criticized some of his players’ effort.
Berube said some players are "not competing hard enough, and it results in goals against. It can’t happen. You need everybody on your team competing at the highest level, otherwise you will not win."
In addition, the players took turns speaking out in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that delayed the media from entering the locker room.
"You never want it to have to come to that, but at the same time... when you look at the standings, it’s pretty easy to see things slipping away," goalie Steve Mason said. "You see points up for grabs, and other teams are grabbing them and you’re not. You’re slowly falling behind."
If you missed the hit, watch it here.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
By midafternoon today, the Wisniewski residence in Dublin will be crowded, loud and festive. Since signing with the Blue Jackets four seasons ago, James Wisniewski and his wife, Nicole, have extended an open invitation to his teammates and their families each Thanksgiving.
The Folignos are regulars. So are the Dubinskys and Tyutins. The single guys come every year, too, and usually end up playing with the kids.
This year’s gathering will be special, though — not just for the bounty of food on the table, but for the littlest one among them.
One year ago, Milana Foligno, daughter of Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno and his wife, Janelle, was in a hospital in Boston, recovering from open-heart surgery performed when she was only 3 weeks old.
Her parents were fighting, too, trying to keep their life on track while a wide range of emotions — fear, worry, woe — weighed on them.
"The harder we try right now, it's like the worse it's going."
-Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks after losing 2-0 to the Calgary Flames Wednesday night. More on the Sharks from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News.
Some of the injuries, hits and penalties you may have missed last night.
Then we have a not so typical head-butt from Ben Bishop on Rick Nash...
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Set to Bastille’s “Pompeii,” the video began with a shot of St. Louis with his hands on the top of his stick, head down and shuffling his skates during a pregame introduction, which was followed by a quick montage of goal celebrations through the seasons. That was followed by a replay of the triple-overtime, series-clinching goal St. Louis scored against the Washington Capitals during the 2003 first-round series, the first playoff series victory in franchise history.
That cut away to “With our sincere gratitude” before a replay of the double-overtime goal St. Louis scored against Calgary during the 2004 Stanley Cup final.
Then “For 13 seasons’’ flashed up on the board followed by a picture of the center-ice scene when the Lightning won the Cup, with a zoomed-in shot of a bleeding St. Louis with a smile on his face....
As the video concluded, St. Louis came off the New York bench, raised his glove to the fans and touched the glove to his chest, which he did on two occasions as the applause turned into a standing ovation.
“I was very flattered by the ovation, and I wanted to give them the proper thank you,” St. Louis said. “It was great, it brought up a lot of memories, I felt I wanted to give them the thank you that they deserved.’’
Watch the tribute video below...
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Avs lose 3-2, on a late Bryan Bickell goal. I interviewed him earlier in the day, and told him to enjoy the goal he would score in the game, because almost every single time I interview an opposing player on the day of a game, they score a goal. I mean, it’s spooky. So, you can blame me for the loss I guess.
The Avs blamed the referees for the loss too. Patrick Roy and Alex Tanguay both verbalized their displeasure in the disparity in power-play time (almost 10 minutes to less than three minutes). Do I think the Avs got jobbed by the refs too? A little, yeah, but the best team won tonight. That’s the bottom line.
But the Blackhawks should have won. They were a rested, healthy team playing a team missing TEN regular players, one that played the night before on the road. So, congrats on a one-goal win I guess.
Watch Patrick Roy post-game below...
Just about 4 1/2 minutes of action from Wednesday night...
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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