Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
The Flyers could find themselves as playoff no shows if they don’t wake up and smell the steam coming from their new coach’s ears. The same mental errors that led to John Stevens’ firing were prevalent again Saturday night in front of Peter Laviolette.
Undisciplined penalties. Lost battles along the boards. Golden scoring opportunities gone awry. They all contributed to the Flyers’ 10th loss in 12 games and their fourth loss in five games under Laviolette.
“We stayed off the ice with the purpose of having jump tonight and we had none – zero,” Laviolette said of his decision to give players a day off the rink on Friday.
This was Bertuzzi’s first goal of the game tonight, he also had the game winner in OT.
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
Well, that was a dud. To put it lightly. The Caps just played the two worst teams in the NHL on back-to-back nights and needed overtime to beat one at home and self-destructed to the tune of six goals in the final 40 minutes against the other.
The Caps were terrible after the first period tonight. Almost all of them were. Here are the two quotes you need from the aftermath:
“Obviously I thought the last half of the game we played pretty badly,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I think outside of Shaone Morrisonn and Tom Poti all of our defense struggled tonight and they didn’t get any help from the forwards outside of Nick [Backstrom’s] line. So I guess it was basically a complete team letdown.”
from Mihira Lakshman of CBC,
The company that has just signed a letter of intent to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes is also reaching out to Wayne Gretzky as a potential partner, Hockey Night in Canada contributor Pierre LeBrun told Saturday’s Hotstove segment.
“I’m not getting the sense that he wants to do that,” LeBrun said.
It’s expected that Gretzky will also receive an offer from his former teammate and good friend Mark Messier to coach Team Canada’s entry at the world championships.
Since the NHL purchased the Coyotes from bankruptcy court this fall, Gretzky has remained silent on the situation and his future plans.
“He’s ticked off, and why wouldn’t he be,” HNIC analyst Mike Milbury speculated.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
The bulk of the post-game discussion centered on the 10 minor penalties the Ducks took which gave Detroit power plays each time. Having to kill off that many disadvantages proved too much in the end as they blew a two-goal third-period lead.
“We had four in the first period and thought that would be enough,” Carlyle said sardonically. “But we obviously committed more fouls in the referee’s eyes than … I don’t know. No comment on the officiating.”
It seemed like a return to the days when the Ducks were the most penalized team in the NHL. They’re still in the top half as far as total penalty minutes but they seemingly became a little more disciplined over time.
And then that discipline flew out the window at Joe Louis Arena, wasting an otherwise solid effort in which they didn’t allow Detroit to hog the puck all night. The Red Wings held a slight 31-27 shot advantage.
“I thought, other than the penalty kill, we did play well,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. “Even our penalty kill wasn’t bad. I thought guys skated well, forechecked, controlled the puck. Our overall game was good.
“But we shoot ourselves in the foot by giving them that many chances.”
from Sam McGaig of The Hockey News,
Here are 10 snapshots from around the league, from the rise of the Kings to a brawler named Konopka:
1. Who knew the two California-based teams vying for Western Conference supremacy would be San Jose and Los Angeles? And that Anaheim would be w-a-a-a-y at the other end, at the bottom of the standings in the West? Congratulations, Kings – you’ve got a great chance at finishing ahead of the rival Ducks for the first time since the NHL lockout. Not to mention, a great chance at making the playoffs for the first time since 2002….
10. Finally, Tampa Bay’s Zenon Konopka is on pace for 330 penalty minutes – he has 125 PIMs in 31 games so far – which would be the most in the NHL since Florida’s Peter Worrell terrorized the league with 354 PIMs in 2001-02. Konopka only has two assists this season, but he’s not without some skill, as evidenced by three consecutive 50-plus point campaigns in the American League from 2006-09.
read on for 8 more topics…
Slow day in the hockey world today whixh gave me about two hours to do some Christmas shopping.
I do about 90% of my shopping online and now I remember why, the malls are crazy this time of year.
I am glad to be back home and looking forward to the games tonight.
See the schedule below…
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
You thought the Hawks caught a break when Sabres coach Lindy Ruff decided to rest Ryan Miller and start Lalime with his 4.54 goals-against average and .836 save percentage. But the Hawks are in such a funk offensively that it didn’t matter.
The Hawks lost 2-1 a game they should have won. That’s 10 goals scored in the last seven games.
“That’s a team that’s beatable, in my opinion, and we just didn’t play well enough coming in here,” Jonathan Toews said….
I’m still willing to give Marian Hossa the benefit of the doubt, but are the Hawks paying him $7.5 million this season to cycle pucks? Hossa’s not going to score 30 goals from along the boards.
“I’m never embarrassed of my teammates, because they’re all great guys who play hard, but, the effort we put in that last period. ... I hate the word embarrassing, but it’s more of a disappointment, or if there is a worse word than disappointment, that’s what we’re feeling right now.
“We sit back and let a team skate all over us and make plays all around us while we watch (in the third period). They pretty much walked in the front door and took the two points off our kitchen counter and walked out, and we just sat at the kitchen table and watched them.”
-David Backes of the St. Louis Blues after they blew a 3-0 lead to Edmonton. More on the game from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Alexander Ovechkin, who leads the Caps into the Air Canada Centre tonight, has been coming under fire recently for his at-times careless play—an approach that found the talented Russian suspended for two games last week when he hit Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Tim Gleason knee-on-knee. Wilson, however, loves Ovechkin’s style.
“He plays hard and reckless,” the coach said. “He has done a few things. He slew-foots people, stuck his knee out on a bunch of people, so there is a body of evidence that indicates he does play reckless. But that is what makes him a great hockey player.
“He is fearless. I think it’s great he plays the game hard at both ends. He is physical and he is incredibly gifted offensively. I would say he is easily the most dominant player in our game.”
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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