Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What they’ve been, for the most part, is whatever Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal and the first power play unit have allowed them to be on any given night.
“I think we’ve shown that if we give our best we can be right up there, but that if we don’t it could be tough for us,” said Lundqvist, who was superb throughout Saturday’s 2-1 shootout victory in Ottawa. “It’s good that we’ve seen both sides already.
“We know that we have to be aggressive in order to be successful, but not to the point where we want to be going back and forth and trading two-on-ones all game or all year. That’s not the plan. We’re still learning. We’re still developing an identity. I don’t think we’ve established who we are yet. I don’t think we’ve figured it out. I know that I have to play better. I think our whole team can play better. But I think we’ve seen we can be a very good team when we’re at our best, and that gives us some confidence that we have something to build on.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The numbers really aren’t bad at all. 20 games for Paul Stastny this season, 18 points, and his team is in first place. Nearly a point a game in the modern NHL is good, no matter how you slice it.
But we all know it hasn’t quite been what we expected from No. 26. The heightened expectations that come with a guy getting the big dollars create these kinds of criticisms here. Yeah, 18 points in 20 games is fine and all, but for a guy making $6.6 million this year and the following four?
updated 2:55pm, As a KK member noted, story not there.
Dater has done this in the past and he should really explain why the story has been pulled, but he doesn’t.
from The Triple Deke,
Igor Larionov and the Statue of Liberty can sit this one out. These are the most underrated Wings goals of the 2000s—or in other words, five goals that I have somehow arrogantly determined you aren’t remembering enough. That’s what “most underrated” is, right?
My choice is Dan Cleary, game 7,
Semi, not WCF…
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, a member of the competition committee and a proponent of taking action on head shots, wasn’t too hopeful when the league announced it would create a study group on the issue to report back in March.
“It’s been the slowest reaction I’ve ever seen to anything,” Miller said. “This was brought up years ago. We asked for something, and we asked for their respect in looking into it. Players have asked for it to be taken seriously every year, and there’s no appetite for it. It’s never going to go through on a vote.”
Miller is good friends with David Booth of the Florida Panthers, who was concussed as a result of a hit delivered by Mike Richards last month.
more hockey notes…
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars’ start to the season has been a bit like the wave pool at Hurricane Harbor – there are times when the team is on top of the water and splashing around happily. But there are also times when it slips beneath the waves or gets battered against the walls.
“It’s tough to build momentum,” goalie Marty Turco said after a 3-2 loss to Phoenix on Saturday that followed a huge 3-2 win against San Jose a few nights earlier. “Things seem to happen a lot easier when you get on a roll. You don’t feel like you’re grinding it out. Some guys can get on a roll and carry a team, but that hasn’t been the case so far.”
The one player who can help the Stars get on a roll is Turco. The veteran goalie has produced impressive runs in his career and appears to be in the middle of a pretty good stretch. Turco is 5-1-1 in his last seven games with a 2.10 goals against-average and .928 save percentage. So how can the Stars take advantage of that?
“Play him,” coach Marc Crawford said. “I mean, that’s pretty much what we need to do.”
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
With teams starting to sort out in the NHL standings, there are folks in the hockey world that deserve more recognition for what they are doing:
5. NHL fans: Considering the uncertainty of the economy, the league’s attendance seems strong. Seventeen teams are playing to 97% or better capacity, and only four teams (Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta and the New York Islanders)
6. Detroit Red Wings coach Mke Babcock: GM Ken Holland usually, and rightfully, receives plenty of credit for keeping this franchise on to. However, Babcock’s coaching plays a big role. We can see that this season as the team has overcome defections to stay in the mix as one of the league’s best teams….
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
New Jersey’s trap is perfectly designed for winning on the road during the regular season — though having Martin Brodeur between the pipes is a nice part of the equation.
Watch how the Devils trap under head coach Jacques Lemaire, the godfather of its modern-day standing. His players are seemingly never out of position. They almost always know when to flip the switch from patient to aggressive. Opponents are left shaking their heads by midway through the first period — because the Devils’ trap not only denies time and space to force turnovers; it also causes frustration that leads to unforced turnovers.
In its own way, the Devils’ trap is a thing of beauty.
Full disclosure: Given the choice, I’d rather watch the Penguins play than the Devils, especially if I was a paying customer. Still, count me out of any discussion that begins with, “The NHL needs to do something about the trap ...”
from Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen,
Ten-year-old Yehya Eldidi arrived at Scotiabank Place yesterday wearing his new Ottawa Senators jacket, flushed with excitement about seeing his first NHL game.
But instead of watching his favourite player, Daniel Alfredsson, skate against the New York Rangers, Yehya looked on through locked doors as cleaners changed garbage bags and vacuumed the carpets in the lobby.
Like a handful of other ticket-holders who showed up Saturday night, Yehya and his cousin, Abraham Issa, didn’t learn until too late that the start-time of the game had been moved up from the 7 p.m. printed on their tickets to 2 p.m.
Free curly fries for everyone.
Henrik Zetterberg with the hat trick to top off a five point night and Wings fans are happy too. Arby’s offers free curly fries if a Wing gets a hat trick.
Lightning lose in shootout to the Kings.
The goal by the Lightning was waived off, goalie interference…
Team, player and NHL reaction on the non-goal can be found here.
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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