Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
As Paul Maurice said in his postgame comments, last night’s game in Florida was indeed unusual, but it wasn’t the first. The Canes’ two games there this season, both losses, have been statistically two of the strangest games in team history.
The first one, which Florida won by a 3-2 score, was the franchise’s first penalty-free game on the road since 1980. Last night’s game, a 4-2 win for the Panthers, was the first time Hartford/Carolina didn’t have a power play on the road since 1981. Each of this year’s games had just two total penalties.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski has been suspended for three games after shoving an offical Thursday night. Sources tell Hockeycentral the Leafs are contemplating appealing the league decision.
Grabovski received a game misconduct for shoving a linesman late in the third period of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
added 11:15am, via TSN,
The three game suspension for abuse of official is automatic, and the Maple Leafs have chosen not to appeal the ban.
from Empty Netters,
We’re always slow to call for someone to lose their job in any sort of sporting profession, particularly when they’ve enjoyed recent success, but how does anyone defend Michel Therrien and his staff at this point? We still think Therrien is a viable NHL coach, but he just doesn’t appear to be connecting with this current crop of players. And well, you can’t fire the players.
-If Scotty Bowman can be fired by this franchise, Michel Therrien sure as heck isn’t untouchable.
read on for a recap of the Pens loss to the Predators…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Craig Hartsburg accused his best players of costing the Senators the game last night.
At this rate, it won’t be long before they cost him his job.
Following a 6-4 loss to the Bruins, Hartsburg took direct aim at his top players after the Senators fought back from a two-goal deficit only to find a way to lose ... again.
The Senators limped home with just three of a possible 16 points on their eight-game road trip (1-6-1) after captain Daniel Alfredsson handed the puck to Boston centre David Krejci to allow a decisive go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Then, four mintues later, Jason Spezza was knocked off the puck by Chuck Kobasew, who set up Marc Savard with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Chris Neil vs. Shawn Thornton last night…
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
A team that bumped, ground and won has gone Fancy Dan, not dumping the puck regularly to make defenses retreat, the platform from which their game begins. They’re carrying, lugging, and losing, and foes don’t have to go 200-feet to attack.
“The players know what it is, and it well get resolved. They will have to be the ones to dig in and respond,” Sutter said, without declaring the team’s specific failure.
Comeback kids, the Devils aren’t. They have lost every game when they’ve trailed by two, an imperfect season-long streak of 13, unable to put even one past Kari Lehtonen, who notched his first shutout of the season.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres reach the halfway mark of the NHL season tonight when they host the New York Rangers in HSBC Arena. So far, they’ve been utterly average, with 20 wins and 20 losses (adding regulation and overtime/shootout defeats)....
Chief among the team’s trouble is its record at home.
The Sabres are 11-9-2 in the arena and the only team in the league with more regulation home losses is Atlanta (12). Buffalo led the NHL in home scoring last season but is just 13th this year.
Things are even goofier on special teams when looking at numbers entering Thursday’s games. The power play is just 17th at home (17.8 percent) but third on the road (24.7). The penalty killers are 10th downtown (83.5) but second out of town (89.5).
Early in the year, coach Lindy Ruff was able to brush off the numbers — especially the special teams ones — as statistical anomalies. Not anymore.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have partnered with AOL to create the first ever Capitals email domain along with a toolbar to keep fans up-to-date with the Capitals.
The AOL affinity email is free to sign up and the user can view their Capitals email from anywhere in the world. There are four different domains; CapsHockeyFan.com, MyCapitalsMail.com, CapsRed.com and CapsFanatic.com. The user can copy their address book and emails from another account, while sharing Capitals hockey with friends and family. Fans can find the email domain and toolbar at http://capitals.nhl.com/fanzone/caps_aol.htm.
A few weeks ago I wrote in my NHL.com weekly feature Bobby Ryan needed to start playing on a regular shift. Since that time, 6 goals, 5 helpers in 8 games. You see, the Ducks listened to me!
Ryan with the hat trick last night, and the 3rd goal was special.
The Staples Center in LA rocked a little last night. LA Kings broadcasting team of Jim Fox and Bob Miller talk about it.
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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