Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The unfortunate thing about the Flyers going into the Christmas break on a six-game skid is that they have found the level of consistency they have been searching for, but it isn’t good: They are consistently finding ways to lose games they would have won earlier in the season.
The surprise team in the East early in the year now sits tied for last in the Atlantic Division in points with the Islanders, and tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference. Some of this has to do with Simon Gagne being out of the lineup since Nov. 8, but more of it has to do with the fact that they are not the “Broad Street Bullies.” They need to play tougher and desperately need to play better in their own end.
more on the Flyers and some consistency talk regarding NHL refs. In case you want to see the video Moran is referring to, here it is…
via Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Through Sunday night, Western teams’ records vs. Eastern teams was 38-27 — a decisive winning percentage of .585.
Last year, Western teams won 82 and lost 68 vs. the Easterners, good for a .547 winning percentage.
And in the first year of the current schedule, 2005-06, it was the West 79, the East 71 — a .527 winning percentage for the Westerners.
It may pain those of us who have always preferred the Prince of Wales Trophy to the Clarence Campbell Bowl, but the numbers don’t lie: the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference. And getting so much better all the time.
from the Edmonton Journal,
With seven minutes left in the second period their star winger was drilled on his left knee by Blackhawks forward Martin Lapointe. Hemsky hobbled off the ice, in enough trouble that he was not able to return….
“It was a dirty hit,” said Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish. “He threw his knee out at him. It should have easily been (a five-minute major). It’s interference. It’s kneeing. How do you even brace yourself for that type of hit? There’s no need for a guy to do that. We have one of our best players taken out by a guy who plays 10 minutes a game.”
“I was just going to go around him,” Hemsky said. “I don’t know if he stuck out his knee or not but I hit it. It was knee-on-knee.”
watch the video of the hit…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
If there’s one gift Tom Renney needs before the Rangers resume their post-Christmas action, it is a new drawing board.
His club needs a revised strategy - nothing major, however, - to get back on track.
Surely Santa can afford that drawing board for Tom.
As it happens, the Rangers coach has until Wednesday night, December 26 - known in Canada as Boxing Day - to complete some serious brainstorming.
via the Mercury News,
(Doug) Wilson isn’t ruling out anything if the situation continues. But he wouldn’t set a timetable for action other than the obvious one - the NHL’s Feb. 27 trade deadline.
Wilson said his team’s success on the road overshadows its problems at home. It shows the Sharks are capable of winning in unfriendly environments where the other team gets the final move on line matchups. And in the playoffs, that matters.
In fact, Wilson said, he might be quicker to act on the current situation if the team were winning at home and losing on the road.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
A handful of Blue Jackets sat in a hush-quiet dressing room, trying to find the right words last night after a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
One player, out of sight from the media, broke the relative quiet by screaming: “We (expletive) choked!”...
“This is a brutal loss,” left winger Jody Shelley said. “(Nashville) played last night, and they were coming into our building.
“No excuse right now. We’re not happy, and we shouldn’t be.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the OTtawa Sun,
Senators coach John Paddock doesn’t want to hear any more whining after the holidays.
Just before the Rangers game and the two-day break, Paddock confirmed that Ottawa players have been complaining about their role and ice time.
Paddock’s had enough.
“Obviously there’s players, and everybody should want to do more, but they think that they should contribute more offensively or think they can play with certain players or they deserve more ice time,” said Paddock
I had a nice chuckle after reading this blog submission at the Sporting News,
In my world, and if I was GM of the following teams, these would be the trades I’d make to improve my team, and the reasons why:...
9. Toronto trades Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle to Vancouver for Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and a 1st Round Draft Choice.
WHY: Vancouver has to make this trade. They need OFFENSE.
8. Ottawa trades Antoine Vermette, Wade Redden and a 3rd Round Draft Choice to Phoenix for Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski and a 5th Round Draft Choice.
WHY: Phoenix has to make this trade.
2. Montreal trades Michael Ryder, Cristobal Huet, Saku Koivu and a 3nd Round Draft Pick to Tampa Bay for Vincent Lecavalier, Vinny Prospal and Marc Denis.
WHY: Montreal’s been a team on the bubble since their last Cup in 1993. What have they done? Is Koivu a top player in this league? Yes. Is he going to lead Montreal to a Cup? Not likely.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
Brent Sutter is home for the holidays. This area, this rink, is as familiar, as comfortable, as warmly accessible to him as a cherished old bathrobe.
“I’ve coached a lot in this building,’’ he reminds you, needlessly.
“Calgary and Edmonton are both so close to home. But I’ve been so focused on the task at hand I haven’t gotten too caught up in it.”
Clearly, though, he’s happy being back in western Canada, and particularly in Alberta. And later tonight, he’ll be climbing back on the old bus.
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
Cherry said on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada that he “understands” why Simon stomped on Pittsburgh Penguin Jarkko Ruutu’s leg during a game last weekend. The incident led to Simon’s 30-game suspension last Wednesday, the longest in NHL history for an on-ice incident.
“He broke the code, you never do anything like that, but you can understand it somehow,” said Cherry.
read on and/or watch the video…
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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