Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, I
n the immediate aftermath of Black Monday – a night in which the two Alberta teams combined to get clobbered 15-1 by the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche – the only thing they share in common is the experience of being an NHL punching bag.
That’s been going for some time in Edmonton, which is 1-13-1 in its past 15 games. Heading into last night’s NHL schedule, the Oilers were in 15th place in the Western Conference, 10 points out 14th and 20 out of the final playoff spot. Their fate is sealed.
The only race worth monitoring there is the one between the Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes for the right to draft Taylor Hall first in the June entry that – a consolation prize of some note. The Oilers, at least, can offer a reasonable excuse. They’ve been plagued by injuries and their talent level was only so-so to begin with. Without their top goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and their perennial scoring leader Ales Hemsky, they are too young and too small and too error-prone to compete this year.
Calgary, by contrast, has been extraordinarily healthy.
Sutton received five for boarding, a ten and game misconduct.
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
How many NHL coaches does it take to turn on a light bulb?
In this case, none.
“I wish I could tell you that I did, that I figured it out, because then I could have a job for life in any sport I wanted,” Pete DeBoer says.
No, sometimes, the light just goes on, even if the athlete it illuminates remains in the dark about that occurrence.
“I think it has for him,” DeBoer says.
Just in time.
You see, this is the time of year when I traditionally write a “Nathan Horton is underachieving” column, devoting ample space to Horton’s aversion to shooting and inconsistency of effort.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responds to a poem about the Flames, asking basically what is the problem in Calgary…
More was expected from Jay Bouwmeester given the contract he received this past summer, more than the two goals and 16 assists he has through 50 games. Dion Phaneuf hasn’t been much better (19 points) and Robyn Regehr, though not counted on for offense, has struggled overall.
Up front, Jarome Iginla has been hot and cold, and Olli Jokinen mostly cold. Then, there’s a player like David Moss. It was hoped his breakthrough, 20-goal season in 2008-09 would propel him to better things this season, but he has only seven goals. Hey, the talent is here, as shown for most of the season when the Flames were rolling. They’ll rebound. But if I was GM Darryl Sutter, I would give the Carolina Hurricanes a call about rental player Ray Whitney, a dependable winger with point-a-game talent who can also spark a power play.
read on for more responses from Pierre on different hockey topics…
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
Spent a few minutes with goalie Jonas Hiller and discussed if there have been any talks about a new contract between himself, his agent Allain Roy and Ducks general manager Bob Murray. Hiller said there have been conversations but that any progress on a new deal may have to wait until Murray makes some key decisions over the next few months.
“There is talk going on,” Hiller said. “I’ve let them know that I want to stay here … if the conditions are right.”
The biggest obstacle could be the fact that the Ducks still owe Jean-Sebastien Giguere about $10.6 million on his contract, including $7 million next season. But the 32-year-old veteran is virtually untradeable, given the money he’s owed next season and that he’s now relegated to backup status.
Even if a team were to show serious interest, Giguere doesn’t figure to get many opportunities to play as the Ducks will lean on Hiller in their desperate push to make the playoffs.
from Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts,
The Chicago Blackhawks don’t come to town very often.
Surely, there aren’t going to be empty seats.
The Senators announced Monday there are more than 2,750 tickets left for the visit by the Hawks to Scotiabank Place Tuesday.
That is surprising.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
There will be trades, mostly to change the culture of the team, which means veteran players beware…your time in Edmonton may soon be over.
This isn’t another run at the endless speculation that has followed with the Oilers continued disappointment.
There will be changes.
Trade is the most “friendly” way, but it is possible Edmonton will take a far more aggressive approach and bury players in the minors, or wait until the end of the season and buy out contracts, if necessary.
That’s a very harsh way to change the culture, but the team you see today will look much different by the end of the summer.
from Craig Simpson of CBC,
For years now, Henrik and twin brother Daniel have been very good players and by far the most productive Canucks, but until this season, they have yet to be recognized as superstar players league-wide. This season however, there is no disputing the fact that the Sedins are all that and more, and Henrik in particular, is well on his way to having a Hart Trophy worthy season.
It’s not unusual for much of the media attention to focus on the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Crosby (both are worthy recipients). Henrik Sedin, in this his ninth NHL season often flies under the radar. Maybe it’s the fact that he plays on the West Coast, or maybe it’s his quiet demeanour, but rarely does he get the respect that his play on the ice deserves.
All the best hits, goals and saves from the past week in the NHL.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
There is a certain chic to suggesting that little can be done at the trade deadline to help a team win the Stanley Cup, that successful franchises retain their draft picks – even acquire more – and that unsuccessful teams trade picks away in a misguided managerial stupor.
But we’ll take cold, hard stats over chic any day.
How else to explain that the NHL’s most successful franchise over the past 11 seasons, the Detroit Red Wings, has traded away more draft picks (13) in deadline deals than any other team.
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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