Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Winning five of six games made yesterday’s “recovery day” all the more enjoyable before preparing for tomorrow’s date with the Dallas Stars.
More importantly, it’s how the Flames have swung their fortunes: Much improved defence.
“Having spoken out about it a little bit in the past, I’m very happy as a defenceman to see how far we’ve come in the last few games,” blueliner Robyn Regehr said after Saturday night’s 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. “I’m also very excited to see where we can go.”
Time will only tell whether the Flames ride this momentum to their goals—a Northwest Division title and a Stanley Cup.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
• Maxim Afinogenov likely is headed for the KHL at his earliest opportunity, a big reason the Sabres can’t move the disgruntled, one-dimensional winger this year.
• The San Jose Sharks have an all-black third jersey, which came in handy for them during video review on a Chicago goal by Martin Havlat. Unable to distinguish the puck from diving defenceman Dan Boyle’s uniform, officials waved it off.
• The Flyers will be scrambling to shed $2 million US and stay under the salary cap next week as Randy Jones prepares to come off the injured list. Demoting Lasse Kukkonen to the AHL Phantoms saved $875,000, but it might be as drastic as a trade, with Jones, Mike Knuble, Scottie Upshall or Joffrey Lupul involved.
more hockey talk including the greatest Burke quotes…
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
One quarter of the season is now in the books. It’s time we took stock.
• The Dallas Stars are the worst team in the league. And their leading goal-scorer is still Loui Eriksson.
• Marc Savard is the new Joe Sakic.
• Jeff Carter is the new Johan Franzen.
• Sidney Crosby is taking over the scoring race while Alex Semin doesn’t want to play through pain.
From a fantasy perspective ...
• Eric Staal is the 22nd best centre in the league. Not acceptable. He fixed the +/- issues but forgot how to rack up the points.
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Jack Johnson has been participating in full practices with his teammates this week, but he is wearing a yellow (non-contact) jersey. Johnson says nothing has changed and he won’t be back from his shoulder surgery until after the all-star break, but…I don’t know. Watching him skate, it’s hard to believe he’s going to stay out of the lineup for another two months.
We’re going to look at the whole situation, look at what we have, what we have in the minors and figure out what steps need to be taken.
“We’re not playing as good as we can play right now, and we’ve got to figure it out right away. It’ll get so far out of hand that we won’t be able to reel it back in.”
Sunday, a Blues team that should have been fatigued from having lost to Edmonton a day earlier in St. Louis instead showed all the energy.
“After maybe the 10-minute mark in the second period, we stopped competing down low,” Anderson said. “That was a team that played yesterday. They just dominated us down low in our zone.
“We’ve got to compete more. We stopped competing.”
-Thrashers coach John Anderson afer losing to the Blues today. Read more from Mike Knobler of the AJC.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Finally, though, it looks as if the Kings’ latest rebuilding effort is going to take. They have a general manager, Dean Lombardi, who did not panic when the youngsters did not immediately start winning. Unlike many of his predecessors, he did not start trading away some of them along with draft picks in the vain hope of selling more tickets in a fickle market.
Now that the longest-running problem — goaltending — appears to have been solved with the promotion of rookie Erik Ersberg, the Kings can think about the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They have 12 players 25 years old or younger and they are starting to show the consistency needed to turn an aggregation of talent into a forceful team.
Stan Fischler writes in his post-game column after the Rangers lost 4-0 to the Panthers today…
My theory is that the Rangers, for no particular reason, do poorly in day games.
“We’re paid to win,” is Renney’s answer. “Day or night.”
I also pointed out to both the coach and Lundqvist that, historically, home teams rarely win right after Thanksgiving. You know; too much turkey; too many family distractions.
“I’m Swedish,” Lundqvist shot back, “I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving!”
from Jeff Z. Klein & Stu Hackel of the New York Times,
A hockey cliché maintains that a two-goal lead is the worst lead a team can have. Still, the truth was that in the N.H.L., a team with a two-goal lead almost never lost. But not this season. Now it seems almost no lead is safe.
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Teams have regularly stormed back against big and small leads alike. Seesaw games are a regular feature and holding any lead is a risky matter. On the same night earlier this month, Pittsburgh and Calgary sprinted to 5-0 advantages, only to escape with one-goal wins that came down to the final buzzer.
FRISCO, Tex. - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Andrew Hutchinson from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for right wing Lauri Tukonen, who is currently playing for Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Elite League. Hutchinson is expected to join the Stars in time for their upcoming two-game road trip to Calgary and Edmonton.
Four games today, but only two televised. Still better than watching the Detroit Lions, even though they don’t play today!
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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