Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,
So, are the Stars out of the woods yet in this very strange season? Hardly. But if this team can play like this on a fairly regular basis, then they definitely can win a lot of games.
Dallas (24-18-7, 55 points) now touts the fifth best points percentage in the West. That’s what happens when you win five straight.
Of course, as Brad Richards reminded, this can also go the other way if they put together a bad week.
Buf you have to love the gumption this team is showing right now. Are they a playoff team? Probably. Should they just ride out the chemistry and not do a thing? Hmmm. Have they earned the right to add a key player at the trade deadline (or earlier)?
from Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice,
Not sick-in-the-head, though many would advance that theory. Sick as in “Man, I can’t get outta bed, it hurts so bad” sick. One wicked case of sinus infection, which seems to happen this time every year.
Stuck at home, feeling like I blocked an Al MacInnis slapshot with my forehead, until the drugs kicked in. Dragged myself to the basement TV room couch. Thankfully, there were a lot of NHL games on this particular Tuesday evening.
Started with Pittsburgh in Montreal. Talk about a game both teams wanted to win. The Penguins trying to claw their way back into an Eastern Conference playoff spot; the Habs trying to hang onto theirs.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The Jackets are as healthy as they have been in weeks – Steve Mason’s bout with mono aside—but they can’t seem to get their game back.
Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock was steamed and with good reason.
“It’s gonna have to change,” he said. “It’s going to change, immediately. We’re going to go back and play the way we did before, which was very successful. We have to get back to that. It’s going to be a drag for us to get it back to that. It’s the only way we can have success. If the players don’t recognize it now, they’ll recognize it by the time we go to Pittsburgh.”
Forward R.J. Umberger, who scored a power-play goal, and was the Jackets most noticeable player, had a similar take.
“We definitely waited,” he said.” We’re just not playing the style we were – aggressive, getting the puck in deep, just using our size and our speed to outwork them. We’re trying to play a skill game. In the third period we did everything right; we got it in deep, we got pucks to the net, we played hard, but sometimes you come up short when you just play one good period.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
After last night’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars, the Calgary Flames GM had the media shuffled out of the dressing room, closed the door and let his charges know losing—and how they were losing—wasn’t acceptable.
Especially away from the Saddledome.
“We’re pretty bad on the road,” said Flames centre Craig Conroy, after the doors were re-opened. “Who cares what we’re doing at home? We’ve got to do it on the road. Don’t kid yourself—we’re not where we want to be. We’ve got to be better, and to a man we believe that. Everything (Sutter) said was true.
“It’s one thing about Darryl, he tells it the way it is. We’ve won one game on the road in 31 days, and that’s not good enough.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
That the Devils played poorly in the first two periods of tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals wasn’t really debtable.
They still had a chance to win the game, however, after Jamie Langenbrunner’s shorthanded goal 41 seconds into the third period cut what had been a 3-0 deficit to 3-2.
The Devils controlled play after that until Mike Rupp was called for goaltender interference at 9:09 of the third by referee Bill McCreary. It appeared that Washington’s Tom Poti reached in with his stick, tripping Rupp as he drove to the net and causing him to slide into goaltender Jose Theodore.
Devils coach Brent Sutter said it was clearly a trip.
“No question the video showed he was tripped on the play,” Sutter said. “He’s driving to the net and a guy trips him. How do you stop? Not every time a goalie gets touched does it mean there’s a penalty. Sometimes there are circumstances leading into it that make it happen. It clearly shows he was tripped on the play. He’s cutting to the net and gets tripped by the defenseman.,.That’s a penalty and we get it called against us when it should have been called the other way.”
Also from Tom...
the Devils traded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
Owen Nolan plays his best when he’s a little miserable.
That’s an old-school hockey term for someone who plays with an attitude. Someone who is a bit grouchy and mean on the ice. Nolan laughed when that was mentioned after practice on Tuesday.
“It’s just something where I had that chip on my shoulder when I came up,” he said. “I’m too far along to change it.”
Nolan has been a good acquisition for the Wild. After early-season injury problems, he has hit his stride, scoring 12 goals in 31 games
via the Anaheim Ducks,
Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson has been diagnosed with a minor viral infection and will be a out minimum of two weeks.
Pahlsson was scratched from Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over Buffalo at Honda Center on Monday night after complaining of an illness. It was the first game he had missed all season. He was examined Tuesday morning and did not accompany the team to Minnesota for the start of its three-game road trip.
from Mike Halford at Orland Kurtenblog,
After a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Vancouver Canucks have lost eight in a row and are falling further and further down the standings. As you’ve no doubt read in this very publication, the Canucks’ struggles have left many passionate supporters in a state of crisis.
We went to our preferred mode of communication—internet messenger—to discuss the fallout….
Mike says: look at the red wings last year…they lost 10 of 11 in february and went on to win the stanley cup
Jason says: ya, we’re just like the red wings!
Mike says: no, we’re even better, because we have mats sundin!
Jason says: wow, denial is easy
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Alex Kovalev admits he has to start playing better hockey, especially with injuries mounting on the Montreal Canadiens.
The big winger, who led the team with 84 points last season, was benched for most of the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday for his listless play.
He then met with coach Guy Carbonneau to clear the air.
“He’s the coach, I’m a player, he does his job, I do mine,” Kovalev said Tuesday. “He’s not going to come on the ice and do my job, and when I do it better, everybody’s happy. So the important thing for me is to play better.”
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
Watched some of the Detroit-St.Louis game on Versus last night. The panel was gushing over the Blues’ kid line of Patrik Berglund between T.J. Oshie and David Backes. Can’t say I blame them….
Most telling, the young trio is a combined plus-11 (with Berglund leading the Blues at plus-13 and Oshie second at plus-6), while Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk – the team’s veterans up front – have combined for a miserable minus-38 rating (Boyes’ minus-25 puts him at No. 814 in the NHL, third-last overall, despite a team-leading 41 points).
With Tkachuk likely on his way out – possibly for good this time – around the March 4 trade deadline, Andy McDonald an unrestricted free agent come July 1 and Paul Kariya heading into the final season of his contract in 2009-10, the Blues will be handed over to the kids soon enough.
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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