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Category: NHL-Teams

Pens Schooling of Sabres Shows What it Takes

After getting 9 out of 12 possible points in their last 6 games, and with Ryan Miller finding his groove again, you had to think maybe the Sabres were starting to get their swagger back.  What better time to take on a powerhouse red-hot Stanley Cup contender on an 11-game winning streak to see where you’re at?

As it turned out, the Pittsburgh Penguins came into HSBC Arena last night and gave a lesson on what separates the big boys from the lesser teams like Buffalo.  The Sabres came through with a pretty strong effort against a truly elite team.  They showed some heart and, for the first two periods anyway, went at the Pens pretty hard. 

But it still wasn’t good enough as Pittsburgh never trailed and scored a 5-2 win.  While Sabres big guns Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek were whiffing on their scoring chances, Pens lesser-knowns like Arron Asham and Mike Rupp were cashing in on theirs. 

For all of the positives that you can come up with about Buffalo’s recent streak, last night confirmed a disheartening truth about this group.  The Sabres fall way short when matched up against quality teams.  They’re now 2-12-1 against clubs that are seeded in the top 6 in either conference.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arron+asham, buffalo+sabres, mark+mancari, mike+rupp, nathan+gerbe, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby

Time Always Ticking Against The Leafs

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

In this Twitter-ized, knee-jerk reaction world of instant opinion without careful consideration, the only answers strictly forbidden are “Hmm, I’m not sure” or “This will take some time to play out” or the worst of all, “Let me think about that.” Bad ratings don’t turn into good ratings by being thoughtful.

That’s why after just two years some want to fire GM Brian Burke, and after two seasons and 29 games, some have reached the conclusion Wilson must be axed. Presented with a squad led by 25-year-old captain Dion Phaneuf, 23-year-old Phil Kessel and 21-year-old Luke Schenn, there is remarkably little patience for a team learning how to win.

A club heavy with former first-round NHL picks — Phaneuf, Kessel, Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Mike Komisarek, Colby Armstrong, J.S. Giguere, Freddie Sjostrom — is criticized for those being, we are told, not the right first-round picks. Every player the Leafs acquire is labelled as a player the other team in the deal simply wanted to get rid of, as though the only players that can make a team successful are those drafted and developed by that team.

more

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

Rallying The Team

Sharks GM Doug Wilson took part in a Q & A with season ticket holders yesterday…

from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

Wilson got the biggest laugh of the night when someone said he heard Todd McLellan say that it wasn’t his job to rally the team, that it was the captain’s responsibiity. What did Wilson think of that?

“First of all, if Todd’s telling you he doesn’t do that, he does. If you watched him in Detroit when he called a timeout, that friggin’ rooster hair goes straight up. . . .  He’s actually had to do it too many times this year.”

more questions and answers regarding the Sharks…

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

Living With Niedermayer

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Scott Niedermayer, who signed with the Ducks in 2005 and shared their 2007 Stanley Cup victory with younger brother Rob, lives here with his wife, Lisa, and their four sons, ages 2 to 11. It’s a happily busy place: During a recent visit the kids came home from school and dived into their homework before hockey practice, the cookies were at the mouthwatering stage and the dog was woofing for a treat from housekeeper/babysitter Veronica Bech.

Into this whirlwind Scott and Lisa invited rookie defenseman Cam Fowler, the Ducks’ first pick and the 12th overall selection in the NHL draft in June. They give him broccoli at dinner, company when he wants it, privacy when he needs it and a haven while he explores his new world.

“It feels a little weird for me sometimes, having a Hall of Fame guy take my car in for an oil change or something like that, but that’s just the kind of guy that he is,” said Fowler, who was born in Windsor, Canada, but grew up in Farmington Hills, Mich.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+fowler, scott+niedermayer

Semin Fined For Cross-Check

via TSN,

Washington Capitals sniper Alexander Semin was fined for his cross-check to the head of Colorado Avalanche defenceman John-Michael Liles on Saturday.

Semin was assessed a 5-minute major penalty for cross-checking and a 10-minute misconduct on the play.

Missed the play?  Watch the video highlights below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin

Would The Panthers Move Gudbranson?

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Things would look far sunnier in Sunrise, Fla., this morning had flashy prospect Erik Gudbranson signed his entry-level deal in September and joined the likes of soft-and-skilled Dennis Wideman and Bryan McCabe on the Panthers’ back line.

Gudbranson, the No. 3 pick in the June draft, returned to Kingston (OHL) after the Panthers balked at sweetening his deal with maximum bonus clauses. Now they are on course for a 10th straight postseason DNQ and could really use Gudbranson’s grit.

Some NHL clubs might have opted to select the 6-4, 195-pound Gudbranson as high as No. 2 overall. What happens next? In all likelihood, the Panthers give the kid the max dough prior to 2011-12 and he’s in uniform next October.

However, he is such a stud that some clubs, possibly the Bruins, are expected to approach Florida GM Dale Tallon about prying away Gudbranson’s rights this season, possibly tossing the Panthers a roster player now and swapping first-round picks.

more plus other hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+gudbranson

Shelley’s Dangerous Hit On McQuaid

from Douglas Flynn of NESN,

...first-year Flyer Jody Shelley doesn’t possess the reputation of a dirty player. A tough guy sure, his 1,420 penalty minutes in 569 career games in the NHL, most coming in five-minute chunks against willing opponents, attest to that.

But the last 15 PIMs were a little different. They came 5:08 into the second period Saturday night when Shelley appeared to shove Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind as they raced to chase down a puck behind the Boston net. McQuaid crashed face-first into the boards and remained down for several minutes before being helped to the locker room.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+mcquaid, jody+shelley

Bertuzzi Pays Tribute To Markus Naslund

Todd Bertuzzi could not be in Vancouver for the Naslund Celebration, but did make a video tribute…

Also, watch a tribute video the Canucks did to honor Naslund below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: markus+naslund, todd+bertuzzi

How Will Calgary Greet Phaneuf?

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, Phaneuf admits he is looking forward to being back in Calgary on Thursday. He hopes the Flames fans do not jeer him. Of course, that might be asking too much.

“I’m wearing a different jersey now, so if it’s boos, well, I’ve been booed in different buildings,” he said. “I won’t take it personally. I don’t think they’ll boo me because it’s part of the business. I did not ask to be moved.

“It will be a special night. I played a lot of games in that building. I played a lot of games for that organization. I’ll have lots of people to say hi to. But once the puck drops, I’m on a different team. I’m sure the guys over there would say the same thing.

“I had a lot of real good times there. There were a good years that went well. Being up for the Calder was very special. So was being up for the Norris. There were good times.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Quick Hitters

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• Time to send out an all-points bulletin for Patric Hornqvist. Last season, his 30 goals got him a $3-million US contract. He has one goal in his last 14 games for the Nashville Predators.

• Logan Couture, who has 14 goals and four-game winners, qualifies as a rookie if you’re thinking of Calder Trophy candidates, but barely. If you play more than 25 games in a season, you’re out of contention. The San Jose Sharks centre was right at 25 last year and also got into 15 playoff games. To me, he’s not a pure rookie. Getting in 15 playoff games is like playing 30 regular-season games, but that’s just me.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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