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Category: NHL-Teams

JJ’s Three Cheers: 10/28/10

Time again to a tip a few back, honoring the best of the best from last night’s NHL action:

***Cheers to Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, whose highlight reel third period goal broke a 3-3 tie in Tampa and led the Lightning to a win over Pittsburgh by a final of 5-3. St. Louis also added an empty netter late to seal things and I’m fast becoming more and more convinced that the heart of the Bolts just keeps getting better all the time.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton, martin+st.+louis, michal+neuvirth, semyon+varlamov

Various Paths to Tampa Bay’s Early Success

It’s been said, time and again, that the truly great teams can beat their opponent on any given night with any particular style of play. While this year’s Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn’t be too quick to anoint themselves the NHL’s next great club - after nine games, that would just be silly - the results have been impressive to this point and wins are coming in a variety of ways.

Tonight’s triumph over visiting Pittsburgh was of the comeback sort, with the Lightning rebounding from a pair of first period shorthanded tallies by the Penguins, an early goaltending change with Dan Ellis replacing Mike Smith after three goals allowed on seven shots and a 3-1 deficit overall. While no team wants to get in the habit of having to battle back like that and, surely, it can drive a coach crazy, that the Lightning have already proven capable of doing so gives them immeasurable confidence and should pay dividends down the road.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, guy+boucher, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

Evening Line

“I would say he’s working real hard but obviously I think he can play a lot better than what he’s shown so far.

“We talked about puck management, and there’s a player here who we expect to be solid at both ends of the rink,” Vigneault said. “Most of the times where Mikael has got himself in trouble or the team in trouble it’s exactly because of that - puck management.

“Not making the right plays, at the right time, in the right area.

“It’s hurting his game and it’s hurting the team.”

-Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on the play of Mikael Samuelsson. Via Jason Botchford of The White Towel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Habs hold on for sixth win with Markov on the horizon

Carey Price started his ninth game straight in style, making a number of big saves early in leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders. The Habs managed to hang on in a dramatic third period in which the teams traded goals back and forth, and Benoit Pouliot missed on a penalty shot. Andrei Kostitsyn capped the scoring with an empty net goal, his fifth in the past five games.

Tomas Plekanec and PK Subban led the way for the Montreal offence, also benefitting from the strong bottom-six play of Jeff Halpern, Mathieu Darche and Benoit Pouliot. Halpern recorded a goal and an assist while Darche also tallied a goal, as Montreal’s checkers brought energy and presence against a gritty Isles offence. Montreal’s power play continued to struggle, lacking presence on the point and a big body down low. The good news: ranked 30th, it literally can’t get any worse.

In any event, the Habs will be back at it against the Islanders on Friday night, this time in New York. Alex Auld is likely to see his first start in net, handing back to Carey Price for a Saturday night tilt in Montreal against the Florida Panthers.

The return of #79

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov, carey+price, jeff+halpern, mathieu+darche

1000 Games For Conroy

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

There was Conroy, on the ice at the old Montreal Forum, attending his first training camp with the Canadiens, and performing a rudimentary shooting drill. Fuelled in equal parts by his trademark qualities – excitement and enthusiasm – Conroy launched a rising slap shot at net – and accidentally plunked goaltender Patrick Roy smack in the face.

Roy was the Habs franchise back in 1994-95, as temperamental as ever, and didn’t like a raw rookie using his noggin for target practice, even inadvertently.

“He stormed out and punched me in the head,” the now Calgary Flames centre recalled. “I mean, both teams came after me. There was a big melee at centre ice; everybody was yelling at me; and I’m trying to apologize the whole time. I’m thinking: ‘This is crazy, this is not the way I want to start my career.’ ”

Perhaps not. But from that inauspicious beginning, the sixth-round pick in the 1990 draft forged an unexpectedly successful career in which he will play his 1,000th NHL game Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Fifty-four days past his 39th birthday, Conroy will become the fourth-oldest player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+conroy

Hockey People Under The Radar

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

The Stealth List returns, the annual tribute to five people, who, while generally under the radar, make their teams—or hockey—better.

Steve Downie

Yes, Steve Downie. That wasn’t easy to type. Downie’s appearance here might be the biggest upset in the history of the Stealth List. A few years ago, the mere thought of including him on any list of people who do not receive appropriate attention would have been absurd. The winger received a ton of notoriety, even infamy. He was a one-man circus in junior hockey—you might recall his attack on teammate Akim Aliu—and he announced his NHL intentions in his first game when he sucker-punched Toronto’s Jason Blake. Downie also managed to pick up separate suspensions of 20 games, one for a deliberate attempt to injure Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond in a 2007 exhibition game and another in 2009 for slashing a linesman while playing for Tampa Bay’s minor league affiliate.

But Downie found a home last year on the Lightning’s top line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, scoring 22 goals—a total that approached his best output in junior—while picking up 208 penalty minutes.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Surgery For Anderson, But Out Indefinitely

from Terry Frei of All Things Avs,

Avalanche coach Joe Sacco this afternoon said Craig Anderson had seen doctors back in Denver and the verdict was that the Colorado goaltender will be out “indefinitely” with a knee injury, but that he won’t require surgery.

“It’s going to require some treatment and rehab, and we hope to have him back as soon as possible,” Sacco said after Colorado’s practice in the Saddledome.

Sacco wouldn’t give any more details, repeating his previous answer virtually word for word when asked about the specific diagnosis. But he left the impression the injury isn’t serious.

The Avalanche has recalled veteran goalie John Grahame, 35, from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League, and he will join the team in Calgary in time for Thursday night’s game against the Flames.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson

Will Backes Stay In St. Louis?

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

David Backes is another benefit of the collective bargaining agreement’s liberalized free-agent rules. The power winger will be eligible for unrestricted free agency July 1 and will turn 27 years old May 1.

There were preliminary talks between Backes’ camp and the St. Louis Blues before the season, but those talks have since been shelved ... for now. If I’m a betting man, I believe the Blues will pick up the phone again in 2011.

“It’s a dynamic situation,” Backes told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “Being an unrestricted free agent, they obviously can’t lose me for nothing and not get anything back. I need to have a good year to establish myself. I think they like me, and I love St. Louis. Hopefully something will get done during the season, but obviously there’s a business side to this game that if we can’t come to terms, then unfortunately we’ll have to maybe part ways.”

I don’t see this guy leaving St. Louis. My money’s on GM Doug Armstrong and agent Wade Arnott of Newport Sports Management figuring this out before July 1.

read on for some Leafs and Panthers talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+backes

Armstrong Out 4-6 Weeks

via Toronto Maple Leafs tweet,

The Leafs Colby Armstrong will undergo surgery on his finger and will miss four to six weeks

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colby+armstrong

Taking A Pay Cut To Play

from Jamie Fitzpatrick of Jamie’s Blog at About.com,

Here’s a look at the six bargain-bin specials, and how they’re doing this season versus last.

(Skater statistics are listed as games played-goals-assists-points. Goaltender stats are expressed as goals-against average and save percentage.)

$4.1 million pay cut: Marty Turco, goaltender, Blackhawks

2010-11: $1.3 million
As of October 26: 2.64 GAA, .921 SV PCT
2009-10 with Stars: $5.4 million
2.72 GAA, .917 SV PCT


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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