Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Grigg of the Hockey News,
This week THN takes a look at the NHL’s Cy Young candidates; the players leading the way when it comes to goals scored as a percentage of points totalled. For our purposes, we’ll call it the Wendel Clark Award….
Please note, only players with 12 or more goals this season — the top 60 — are eligible for the list and we only use one player per team. Ties are broken by the number of goals players would be on pace to score if they played a full 82-game schedule.
10. Bryan Little, Center, Atlanta, 19 goals, 12 assists
The super-sophomore is having a breakout season; he’s tied for sixth in goals, accounting for 61 percent of his points.
9. Patrick Sharp, Center, Chicago, 19-11
After a breakout season of 36 goals in 2007-08, Sharp’s is on pace for 45 this year, good for 63 percent of his offensive output.
from Mark Masters of the National Post,
He is the first to tell you that most of the criticism he has faced is fairly accurate. Through 35 games this season he has just four goals and 10 assists and is minus-10.
“It has probably not been the best start I had envisioned for myself and the team,” he said. “It’s definitely been an adjustment coming from the juniors and I have learned a lot so far. The NHL is the best league in the world and these guys are the best players around and it’s going to take some time to make that jump, but I’m starting to feel as comfortable as I can be right now.”
He even understands Melrose’s position that he is not ready for the NHL. He will not turn 19 until February and still has the body of a teenager.
“I’m going against men now and you know they’ve got 10 years of physical maturity over you and you kind of realize that when your battling in the corners. And that’s something I’m going to have to work on in order to be more successful.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY, USA TODAY hockey writer Kevin Allen offers 10 things to look for in the second half:
1. The Boston Bruins will choose one goalie: It’s always easy to talk about the benefits of a two-goalie rotation in the regular season, particularly when Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez are playing sharply. You’ve heard it all: Neither goalie will be worn out, each will be ready for the playoffs, they’ll push each other. But historically, coaches don’t like rotations in the playoffs, and only a few NHL teams have won a Stanley Cup with a rotation….
2. The Columbus Blue Jackets will consider a bold trade: The Blue Jackets have immensely loyal fans even though the team has never made the playoffs. Despite a major trade with the New York Rangers and the signing of Kristian Huselius, Columbus isn’t in a playoff position….
from CSN Philly,
Simon Gagne appears to have suffered nothing more than a mild, right shoulder strain and is expected to miss about one week.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com Wednesday morning that Gagne will be re-examined in Vancouver mid-afternoon Eastern time before the team heads for Los Angeles
The Vancouver Canucks placed Curtis Sanford on injury reserve Tuesday and listed the goaltender as week-to-week.
With star netminder Roberto Luongo (groin) still on the mend until at least the All-Star break, the Canucks acquired Jason LaBarbera from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 7th round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry draft.
Sanford suffered a groin injury in Tuesday’s morning skate but had hoped the injury would loosen up prior to the evening contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Boston Bruins have placed forward Patrice Bergeron on injured reserve.
“His headaches are always better as we move on. But they’re still there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Globe. “That’s the reality of it. He is feeling better, and certainly at a better rate than the first time it happened. It’s not even comparable. But the headaches are still there. They’re minimizing every day and hopefully, sooner or later, they’ll disappear.”
from Going Five Hole,
December 31, 1988. Penguins v. Devils.
A feat likely never to be seen again.
Mario Lemieux torches New Jersey for five goals…in all five possible ways.
continued with video….
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff after the Sabres 4-2 loss to the Capitals last night….
from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star,
In any case, it was a little bit of retro Leafs feeling in the building, with 19,000 fans chanting “Cu-Jo, Cu-Jo” in the second period as he withstood a barrage of Thrasher shots on back-to-back power plays, preserving a 2-2 tie. He was named the game’s first star and when he skated on to the ice, the love-in started up again.
“You block out the negative stuff, but you hear the good stuff,” Joseph said. “It’s a great feeling. They want you to do well for sure. This is my dream job and sometimes you don’t realize it till you’re gone.”
It’s funny he should say that. Was last night the beginning of an unofficial and brief farewell tour – without the parting gifts – for the popular 41-year-old?
Think about the unusual Leafs decision to start Joseph at all in the midst of a three-game losing skid and then announce in advance that he would also start versus the Sabres. It was a head-scratcher for many.
from the Star-Tribune,
If the “Team of 18,000” is actually a brainwashed “Cult of 18,000,” well, the normally trusting followers are beginning to revolt.
It’s not only the anonymous bloggers, talk-show callers, message-board fanatics and newspaper e-mailers who have a growing frustration toward the Wild.
If the Wild brass actually believes that—and it appears to—it needs to leave its press-box throne and actually tip-toe—and I stress, tip-toe—through the stands.
The paying customers are ticked beyond imagination with the state of the Wild.
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
Why they’ll make it
Sweet parity. The Stars are just four points out of eighth place in the Western Conference. How? Because outside of the Sharks and Red Wings, the West is a jumble of teams that just aren’t separating themselves much. There’s only seven points’ difference between No. 5 Vancouver and the No. 14 Stars.
Why they won’t
The hole’s too deep. The Stars have put themselves in a tough position. Now there’s no room for error, no room for a losing streak of any length from here on out. That kind of pressure can affect even the most resilient team, and the Stars could crack under the weight of that before they can make up enough ground to make the postseason.
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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