Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Certain NHL trophies are fairly easily to track using the wide array of statistics available at NHL.com.
Unfortunately, the Selke Trophy, awarded to the League’s best defensive forward, isn’t one of them. There are no definitive stats to track defensive awareness or own-zone reliability.
Without hard data to use, finding Selke candidates can become a difficult proposition. It’s beauty in the eye of the beholder; quite often, however, no two beholders have the same criteria for beauty.
“I think too often it is a subjective thing,” former Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster told NHL.com.
“There’s no way to quantify the best defensive player,” added Chicago Blackhawks Assistant General Manager Rick Dudley. “You’d have to break it down to where you watched every shift and watched them closely.”
read on and names mentioned are Mike Richards, Pavel Datsyuk and Ryan Kesler…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Will the Blues make the playoffs?
“We’ll make it. We’ll play well (in Phoenix), then have Columbus at home and then we go into Colorado. Obviously now we need help. But we’ll get there. Our guys actually play better from behind.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Even though it’s Darryl Sutter who will ultimately decide if Iron Mike gets to start the final season of his three-year deal, Brent’s future could very well play a large part in the equation.
Despite being in the second year of a long-term deal with the New Jersey Devils, Brent has hinted all year long his days with the Eastern Conference club may be numbered….
All that can be remedied if the following were to unfold:
Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named head coach of Canada’s Olympic team at the conclusion of the NHL playoffs. After all, the second-year Devils coach has a perfect record with Canada at the World Juniors and he’s already one of the premier coaches in today’s game.
Sutter could then resign and move back to Alberta, where he could work closely with Hockey Canada officials while living at home and scouting players coming through Western Canada.
Once the Olympics are complete, the door would be open for him to replace Keenan as the Flames next coach, bringing the number of Sutter brothers employed by the club to four. Darryl’s son is a club farmhand.
With knowledge of Brent’s imminent return to Alberta and desire to coach close to home, Darryl would be hesitant to fire Keenan prematurely and hire another coach to bridge the short gap until Brent is available.
With seven days remaining in the regular season, nearly half of this year’s 16 playoff berths have yet to be determined.
Nine teams—San Jose, Detroit, Calgary, Vancouver and now Chicago in the West; Boston, Washington, New Jersey and Carolina in the East—are assured that they’ll still be playing when the Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way. Only Boston knows exactly where it will finish within the conference standings.
Here’s a look at how the races in each conference shape up:...
The New York Rangers (89 points) got some company in the standings on Sunday thanks to Florida’s win against Pittsburgh. While the Blueshirts have more wins, one has to think the Panthers have the edge in scheduling.
New York, which was idle on Sunday, hosts Montreal on Tuesday and Philadelphia on Thursday before visiting the Flyers on Sunday.
Florida (89 points), which is desperately trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000, took a huge step with its win against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Tomas Vokoun earned his first win since March 19 with a 41-save effort, helping the Panthers bounce back after losing against Atlanta on Friday night.
The Panthers play at Philadelphia on Tuesday and Atlanta on Thursday before finishing at home against Washington on Saturday.
via Don Brennan of Off The Posts,
So much for any question as to the seriousness of the relationship.
Less than two months after Carrie Underwood dove to the floor so as not to be caught by TSN cameras at a Senators game in Nashville, the country singing superstar let the world know of her feelings for Mike Fisher.
In her speech moments after being named the Entertainer Of The Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Underwood thanked her family, thanked God and acknowledged the Senators’ centre.
“Mike baby, I wish you were here!” she blurted.
via NYI Point Blank,
With four games remaining for both, the Islanders have 61 points, Colorado now has 66. Tampa Bay also has 66 points and three games left. If the Islanders lose in regulation on Tuesday in Carolina and on Thursday in Pittsburgh - a big if - they “clinch” a top 2 pick and the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Excuse me, but Milan Lucic sticks out his leg and injures a defenseless Nik Antropov by going knee-on-knee midway through the second period on Saturday, and it’s Sean Avery who should be suspended for kind of stupidly using his stick to tap Tim Thomas on the back of his helmet during a TV timeout?
The absence of context is the crux of the issue here, just as always. Headhunters such as Chris Pronger and Gary Roberts, who historically injure opponents, are routinely deified, notably by the sanctimonious brigade north of the border, but Avery, who has never hurt anyone but himself, must be banned for the good of the sport?
Avery has been a better pure player this time around than he was in his first Broadway run, but he hasn’t had quite the same impact. That’s because he’s trying to figure out how far he can go without being hauled in for a strip-search.
more on the Rangers…
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
Among the NHL’s many mysteries is how the Ducks can be playing by far their best hockey of the season and yet, over the past three games, have drawn only four power-play opportunities.
The club’s frustration reached a breaking point at the conclusion of Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to the league-leading San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.
After a debatable holding penalty on Ducks left wing Drew Miller led to a power-play conversion by Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo that snapped a 2-2 tie at 13:19 of the third period, the Ducks spent the game’s final 80 seconds controlling the puck in the offensive zone, pressing for an equalizer that never came.
It might have been different had veteran San Jose winger Jeremy Roenick not mugged Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf in the slot during the waning seconds. There was no penalty call.
“I don’t think Ryan Getzlaf is going to miss a wide-open one-timer,” Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney said. “He’s going to at least get his stick on the puck unless he’s hooked. He’s not just going to whiff.”
Referees Dan O’Rourke and Chris Lee handed out a combined 64 penalty minutes, including four misconducts, to four players from each side following a ruckus after time expired.
continued and watch video below of the end of the game fracas…
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
“You make three mistakes on one shift at a very late moment in a game,” said Lemaire, bristling. “I just can’t understand it. It’s like we turn the lights off on three guys.
“You’ve got to think all the time, especially against a team like this. We didn’t touch the puck in the first period. So what does it tell you? You better be sharp, especially when you’ve got a chance to be [in OT]. Wake up, you know?”
Indeed, there were three mistakes, but it was Zidlicky who caused the 2-on-1. This is a mistake Zidlicky has made over and over again this season. He routinely gets enticed into stepping up in the neutral zone, and it almost always results in an odd-man rush.
“The only thing I can say is this is how you play in this situation,” an angry Lemaire said. “After that, you’ve got it in your hands. And then you don’t do it, I’m going to say it again. OK? That’s all I can do.”
more on the Wild loss to Detroit today. I thought I would point this out to Detroit fans too, which is included in the game wrap-
“Too bad we didn’t finish,” Gaborik said. “[Chris] Osgood was shaky out there. We could have scored a couple more goals on him.”
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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