Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Michael Leighton, who has been a waiver-wire wonder, suffered a high sprain of his left ankle early in the Flyers’ 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Predators and is expected to miss at least a few weeks. His MRI won’t be taken until today, when the Flyers will learn the severity of the injury.
That means the Flyers’ drive to the playoffs could be in the hands of Brian Boucher, a capable veteran but someone who hasn’t started since Dec. 21.
Boucher, who will start tonight in Dallas, said he felt bad for Leighton but was “excited for the chance to play at this time of the year.”
If Leighton is sidelined for a considerable amount of time, can Boucher find the rhythm to take the Flyers deep into the playoffs?
That is, if they qualify.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
(Bryan Murray said he’s concerned, just as he is every time his team loses. But he’s also certain the woes won’t last.
“We’ll get back and play (well) again, there’s no question, but we have to get our best players to play to their ability a lot more,” he said. “Things will be fine, but we’ve got to find it on this road trip.”
Unless they go on a tear, the Senators are destined to start the playoffs on the road. If the season ended before Wednesday’s games, they’d be going to New Jersey. Dropping one spot would mean opening against Buffalo. Another spot and they’d face the defending champion Penguins. One more and they’d face the NHL-leading Capitals.
As they embark on a roadie against three teams coming off victories, the Senators are only five points up on the Bruins, who are currently eighth.
“We can all read the standings,” Clouston said when asked if his team fully realizes the situation.
“You hit a guy without the puck, you can kill a guy. It’s the most dangerous hit in the history of the game. And he tried to hurt him. If that’s not intent, that’s as bad a hit that you can ever have in the game.”
from Ron Borges of the Boston Herald,
What the Bruins should do instead is play their most physical game of the year. Contest every loose puck. Take Sidney Crosby down every chance they get. He, not Cooke, is the Penguins’ heart and soul. Make him bleed for the sins of his teammate.
Take him into the boards. Knock him down every chance you get. Bounce a puck off his nose if you can. If you get a blind side shot at him, put your body through his chest.
Same is true of Evgeni Malkin if he plays. He may not due to - as the insurance companies say - a pre-existing condition (he missed last night’s game against New Jersey). If he does try to skate, put a body on his already injured body every chance you get.
Touch the puck, eat a Bruin. Shoot the puck, eat a Bruin. Think about coming over the boards, eat a Bruin.
via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
What a cheap shot by Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski on Brent Seabrook in the second period on Wednesday night.
A high-stick/elbow/charge to Seabrook’s face, and all he got was a minor penalty for charging. Gutless no-call by referees Paul Devorski and Ian Walsh.
Wisniewski’s head shot knocked Seabrook out and he retired to the dressing room. The Hawks later announced that Seabrook wouldn’t be returning to the game.
watch two videos of the hit below… the first from the Ducks crew and the second is a bit raw and from the Chicago crew…
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Turco will play again for the Stars this season, but it’s probably not his team anymore. That’s a strange feeling. He will turn 35 in August, and my guess is he has plenty of good years left. As an unrestricted free agent in the summer, he could end up on a really good team in Detroit or San Jose or Chicago or Washington, and he could become a wonderful story in the NHL next season.
But it seems pretty clear there’s little chance he will re-sign with the Stars.
So he has to stand by and patiently watch a team that he has poured a lot of his heart and soul into embrace the new kid in town. It can’t be easy, but my guess is he’ll handle it with the class he has shown throughout his career.
You will see Wilson’s legs buckle about the 41 second mark…
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
When he got yanked after the second period of Tuesday night’s game against the New York Islanders, it marked the seventh time this season—and fourth time in his last 13 starts—that Luongo has been pulled from a game….
On Wednesday, Luongo blamed it on what he said is a more offensive style of play being employed by the Canucks this season.
“We are playing a different brand of hockey this year and it’s been more offensive,” said Luongo, who only got the hook twice last season. “We are not as conservative as we used to be.”
Vigneault took issue with that and said it is his team’s propensity for surrendering early leads to its opponents that is the real culprit.
“I think maybe what has happened, especially during this (recent) road trip, when you give up early goals you have to press, you have to try and make the ground up,” he said.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Every year, and sometimes several times throughout an NHL season, there are questions about which line is the best in the league.
I take a run at that question for the 2009-2010 season, to this point, examining any trios that has combined for at least 35 even strength points this season.
Setting that minimum benchmark leaves several lines out of contention, for a number of reasons, not least of all that an injury to a significant offensive contributor often prevents a team from keeping consistent lines long enough for a line to not only gel, but accumulate those points at even strength.
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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