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Category: NHL-Teams

West Continues To Dominate

from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

Roberto Luongo was trying to be polite.

Asked recently about why the Vancouver Canucks have such a stellar record against Eastern Conference teams, the goaltender paused before providing an answer. His career has been split almost evenly between the conferences — six seasons with the Islanders/Panthers and now in his fifth in Vancouver — and he clearly didn’t want to offend anyone.

“You do the math, I don’t know what to tell you,” said Luongo. “I can’t answer that for you without being cocky.”

It just so happens the math gives the entire conference a reason to be cocky.

Teams in the West have been downright dominant when playing those from the East this season, racking up a record of 40-19-9 through Tuesday’s games.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Friedman’s Hockey Points

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• George McPhee, asked what would happen if another GM called about Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth or Braden Holtby? “We’re not trading any of them.”

• Same goes for the Canucks and Cory Schneider - this season.

• Chicago’s in trouble because all of their Western Conference opponents marvelled at their depth last year and said, “We’ve got to do that, too.” So, all of these teams - especially Vancouver - bulked up while the Blackhawks culled down.

• One GM: “Chicago’s got a huge target on its back. It only makes me respect Detroit even more, to have that for 13 years.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gagne Returns To Practice

from Erik Erlendsson of the Bolts Report at the Tampa Tribune,

Injured left wing Simon Gagne returned to practice Tuesday, but is not quite ready to return to the lineup.

Gagne has been out since Oct. 22 with a strain in his neck suffered when he hit neck first into the boards on Oct. 21. He has undergone several tests since then to try to pinpoint the nature of some minor vision issues he was encountering when he would turn his head from side-to-side.

The final determination, Gagne said, was some swelling in the back of his neck constricted blood flow, which the medical staff believes caused the vision issues.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simon+gagne, simon+gagne

Canucks A Different Team With Malhotra In the Lineup

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The key acquisition was Malhotra, who signed a three-year, $7.5 million deal on July 1. One observer told ESPN.com the Canucks had actually listed Malhotra at the top of their free-agent shopping list, ahead of Hamhuis or any other players. They got him, but not before Malhotra made sure it was the right move. The story goes that Malhotra, no dummy, had as many questions for Gillis and the Canucks as the NHL club had for him.

“It was a very calculated decision on July 1,” Malhotra, 30, told ESPN.com. “We were talking with quite a few teams, all of them in various stages—some were contenders, some were rebuilding and some were turning the corner. We looked at a roster like this, we spoke with Alain and Mike and the role they saw me in ... everything worked out and it was the best possible place for me to go.”

His $2.5 million salary is a nice raise over the $700,000 he made in San Jose last season, also a calculated move on his part. He took less money than what other teams had offered so he could play with a contender and perhaps enhance his stock in the process. Did he ever. The hard-working Malhotra, a faceoff king, was an impressive force in San Jose’s run to the final four, enough for the Canucks to salivate at the thought of adding him as their third-line center.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manny+malhotra

Islanders’ Perpetual Failure Proves That, Sometimes, You’re Better Off NOT Being a Fan

For someone like me, who has covered the Tampa Bay Lightning for several seasons now, there has never been any shortage of rant-worthy material. The squabbles of previous ownership, atrocious on-ice performances, incessant (and often nonsensical) Vinny Lecavalier trade rumors and the curious case of Brian Lawton, if nothing else, made subject matter for the blog, wherever it has called home, easy to come by.

Starting with Steven Stamkos’ rise to NHL stardom last season and continuing with the breath of fresh air that new Lightning management has been, positive pieces have been writing themselves as well with increasing frequency.

All of this for me, of course, comes without any fan attachment, as I’ve never really had any rooting interest in the team to which I’ve been assigned by default. (I just sort of live here and have been able to eat a meal or two thanks to my hockey-related opinions being entertaining enough for someone to facilitate as much.) Granted, it’s far more pleasant to be around a team when they’re doing well so, maybe somewhere deep down, that’s what someone in my position might prefer but, really, so far as the Bolts go, I’ve always been of the take ‘em or leave ‘em mindset.

Whether they’re winning or not, however, doesn’t change the fact that I’ve grown quite comfortable on this particular beat – far more so, even than my first official go-round at this blogging thing, when I wrote, mostly for fun, about my childhood favorite New York Islanders. You see, I think that might be something that’s always played to my advantage with Tampa – there’s no fan mindset to skew my vision and little emotional attachment to provide any real blinders. (It’s also probably what’s helped find me trouble on occasion but that’s a story for another day.)

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charles+wang, garth+snow, jack+capuano, mike+milbury, scott+gordon

It Looks Like It Is In, It Could Be A Goal, It Is A Goal

Sharks against the Kings last night.

Ryan Smyth knows he scores but play continues and a shot by the Sharks looks like it could have gone in but play continues and the Sharks finally score a goal that everyone sees. 

Play stops, go to review and the Smyth non-goal is reviewed and it is a goal.

Score went from 4-1 Sharks to 3-2 Sharks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Carcillo Out At Least Two Weeks

from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,

The Flyers will anxiously await word today, as they prepare for the Canadiens, about the status of forward Dan Carcillo.

Carcillo, who left Monday’s 5-1 win over Ottawa just a few minutes into the second period, will miss at least two weeks with what appears to be an MCL sprain.

But it could be worse.

The Flyers don’t know exactly what is wrong with Carcillo’s knee, as only so much can be determined without an MRI. He will have that MRI of done today in Philadelphia if there is not too much swelling to try and determine the exact extent of his injury.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+carcillo

Top Shot

from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,

As a clinician and a professor of biomechanics who has worked with golfers and baseball players, Dr. Kevin Robinson was eager to apply science to a growing hockey legend. And that interest only grew after watching Shea Weber step into his first few slap shots after a recent practice.

It is a shot that ripped through an Olympic hockey net this year, leaving behind what one news agency described as “scorch marks” on the mesh. It moves with the ferocity that has reportedly broken bones in no fewer than four teammates while elevating Weber, a first-year captain of the Nashville Predators, into an object of childhood wonder.

“With that guy on skates,” Robinson said, “I was a dwarf.”

Robinson, who teaches at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., analyzed Weber’s shot last month with help from a digital camera and a computer program. He asked the 6-foot-4, 234-pound defenceman to take about a dozen shots in open ice, and asked the same of Predators teammates Jordin Tootoo and Cody Franson for the sake of comparison.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Would Praying Help The Leafs?

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Legendary goaltender Johnny Bower recalls that it was as ugly as anything Toronto fans are suffering through now with the Leafs’ run of losses at eight.

“I was fighting the puck. I depended on my defencemen so much and they had their problems too. And the forwards couldn’t score worth a hoot, just like they way they’re going right now,” Bower said Monday.

But those Leafs eventually won again. In a game against Boston in which Bower was supposed to back up, he was conscripted to start when Bruce Gamble couldn’t go because of a sore shoulder. Bower played the game of his life, stopping 30 of 31 Bruins shots en route to a drought-snapping 2-1 victory.

“I went to church, lit candles and we won,” said Bower with a chuckle. “Maybe our (current) players should do that. Get ’em to go to church and say a little prayer.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

I used to think it was a humiliating thing for a guy to lose a fight. That’s the way I thought of things in real life – if you lost a fight, you lost a piece of your manhood. That’s the way I thought of things as a kid watching hockey: if “your guy” lost the fight, so did you. It was gut-wrenching seeing your guy bloodied and knocked down. And it was throw-your-fists-in-the-air, primal-scream-therapy exhilarating when the other guy got his clock cleaned.

But gradually, you learn the wins and losses in a fight don’t really matter. What matters is standing up for yourself and fighting with honor. That’s it. Yeah it feels great if your guy wins, but it almost never really matters in a game. You learn that players just think of fighting as a “you win some, you lose some” thing, and the only thing that really matters is, again, fighting with honor and in the overall spirit of the competition.

-Adrian Dater of All Things Avs.  According to Dater, Matt Duchene snapped last night and got in a fight.  Read all about it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+duchene

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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