Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
The Red Wings’ success with Lidstrom is one of the best runs in league history.
If you do a quickie study of the won-lost record of NHL teams with individual players — estimating won-lost record using individual games played and leveling all seasons to 82 games — Lidstrom ranks third all-time in team wins over losses. In fact, the Red Wings have won approximately 402 more games than they’ve lost since Lidstrom joined the club.
That puts Lidstrom in the midst of 11 former Montreal Canadiens in the top 13 all-time in this statistic. First is Larry Robinson followed by Henri Richard. Then comes Lidstrom followed by Bob Gainey, Serge Savard, Yvon Cournoyer and Jacques Lemaire.
from Doug Fischer of the Ottawa Citizen,
By the time he arrived in New York last fall, however, Redden was only a shadow of that player. Everyone has a theory about why. The most popular suggests he’s never trained hard enough, relying instead on skills that eroded rapidly with age.
Whatever the reason, New Yorkers weren’t interested in anything except results. There is nothing they love more than a sports hero except, perhaps, the chance to excoriate a well-paid sports hero who is underachieving.
And that was Redden, whose Rangers play the Senators in New York tonight….
So when the team began to sputter in late November and New Yorkers went looking for a target, Redden was an easy bull’s-eye.
Led by (Larry) Brooks, said to be the most-read hockey writer in New York, the media began almost to delight in cataloguing his errors. By Feb. 15, and without a goal in 57 games, Redden was being referred to on radio and in print as GSF—Glen Sather’s Folly, Brooks’ shot at the general manager who signed him.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
These are the ones that get you in the end, the outcomes that keep you up at night and keep you from climbing the conference ladder.
On a night when you expected the Vancouver Canucks to grab the toothless Phoenix Coyotes by the neck, toss them to the ice and stomp the also-rans into submission, they come up with a clunker against the playoff pretenders, who had won just one of their last seven games.
A 5-1 loss on Saturday to end a four-game win streak isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a concerning look into the Canucks’ window of opportunity missed.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Canucks winger Alex Burrows, who foiled Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout bid by banging home a rebound with 1:45 remaining. “Too many penalties and we couldn’t get any momentum going. We say all the right things before the game, but we can’t sit back and see what’s going to happen.”
from Mike Organ of the Tennessean,
There was hope that Arnott, who is out with an “upper body injury,” which is believed to be a concussion, would be able to play again after Nashville finished its last road trip, which ended last Thursday with a 3-2 overtime loss at San Jose.
But Coach Barry Trotz said Saturday that Arnott is not recovering as quickly as hoped and remains “probably questionable” for Tuesday’s game.
“He hasn’t progressed as quickly as we’d like,’’ Trotz said. “We were hoping to get him back for the last game of the road trip or Tuesday, but I would say Tuesday looks a little unlikely at this point. We’re just staying very cautious.”
more on the Predators…
from Steve Zipay & Katie Strang of Newsday,
John Tortorella isn’t the only new face behind the Rangers’ bench. Assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld, who joined the coaching staff as an assistant for the rest of the season when Tortorella arrived, has been instrumental not only in helping Tortorella learn new personnel but in working with the defensemen, especially the younger ones, during the transition to a new system.
“It’s meant a lot because he’s played so many years in the NHL, he has so much experience and he’s been around the game for so long,” Dan Girardi said. “He really concentrates on the little things, the angles of your stick, the body positioning, things like that that really help you.”
Girardi’s defense partner, Marc Staal, said Schoenfeld’s vocal style has helped them adjust.
from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,
About a dozen current and former patients from The Children’s Hospital in Denver, along with family members, strolled through the room to pose for pictures with players who happily chatted with the youngsters and signed autographs.
Not surprisingly, forward Ian Laperriere’s locker was the most popular destination for the kids. A hard-nosed agitator on the ice, “Lappy” is a soft touch away from the rink, especially when it comes to children.
“Everybody stopped by and talked to the kids and put a smile on their face,” he says. “I just can’t imagine being in their shoes. For me and my teammates, we know we’re lucky in life, being in the NHL. If we can change these kids’ lives for even a minute ...
read on and nice to see Rick (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News) continue his hockey writing.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Speaking of talent, Dominic Moore misses (Jason) Blake and Blake misses Moore. The two were far more productive together than they are apart.
• Not coming up with an adequate backup goalie will cost the Buffalo Sabres a playoff spot.
• Some of their biggest names will tell you that whatever playoff success the Sharks have will come in direct proportion to how much Roenick can play and how healthy he will be by playoff time.
• Trying to put the lid on Alexander Ovechkin, the most entertaining player the league has seen in decades ... And yeah, I really care what Rick Tocchet, the former bookmaker, thinks of Ovechkin showing people up. Like his values make him a quality judge.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The future of Montreal captain Saku Koivu is in question. Among 10 looming UFAs on the roster, there’s a strong belief Koivu won’t be back—especially if the Habs miss the post-season. The talk is Koiuv could join brother Mikko in Minnesota. The Wild will need scoring help ... Former Islanders C Alexei Yashin could return to the NHL next season. He has been one of the top players in the Kontinental Hockey League and would be willing to accept a one-year NHL deal.
more and a look at a few coaches who soon may be out of work…
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers, boosted by Danny Briere’s return to good health, and the sizzling Pittsburgh Penguins will meet today in a nationally televised game that could be a first-round playoff preview and might factor into who gets home-ice advantage in that round.
The teams are tied for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with 86 points, though the Flyers have three games in hand.
“If we win this game, it’ll be a huge swing for us,” Briere said.
continued and below find the NHL schedule for today…
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
With 10 games left in the franchise’s eighth NHL season, the Blue Jackets need simply to hold serve the rest of the way—a 6-4-0 or 4-4-2 record, for instance—to finally reach the Stanley Cup playoffs.
If that happens, don’t be surprised to see the Jackets mentioned by analysts as a sleeper pick to pull off a first-round upset, or go deeper into the playoffs than most expect.
Even at this stage of the season, the Blue Jackets are popping up on teams-that-nobody-wants-to-face lists as the playoff picture starts to come into focus.
Why? Two reasons.
First, rookie goaltender Steve Mason.
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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