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Category: NHL-Teams

Do We Need More Goals?

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Goals per game through games played Nov. 10 were at 5.50, down slightly from the 5.53 teams scored in games played last season. It’s not the best comparison, looking at the results of 216 games this season against the 1,230 games played last season because trends can modify over the course of the season, but it is interesting to note scoring appears to be on the decline.

It’s not a dramatic dip, but it is an indication that defence is once again ruling the day in the NHL. Not only that, it is alarming how many players expected to be big producers for their teams, are having trouble finding the net.

Rick Nash, who led the NHL in goals in 2003-04 as a 19-year-old, has just six in 14 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Think that’s bad? Well, Michael Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez have a combined eight goals for the Montreal Canadiens. Ouch!

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

Ducks Respond To Wake-Up Call

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, T

he Ducks have won five straight games since their fiery GM spoke out, salvaging what appeared to be a second straight season headed to oblivion.

“Things have been going a little bit better,” star center Ryan Getzlaf told ESPN.com Thursday.

Players will often tell you they don’t read what’s in the media. That’s a lie, of course. And in this case, the Ducks players were fully aware what their GM said in the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times. In particular, he said the head coach wasn’t going anywhere and it was the players that needed to fix this thing. Or else.

“We were definitely lagging in some areas of our game and not necessarily playing the way we needed to play,” Getzlaf said. “For some guys, maybe that was a wake-up call. But hopefully guys weren’t waiting around for our coach to get fired because that means you’re not doing very well.

“I think we’ve done a great job turning it around so far and responding to those comments.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coyotes Assign Oliver Ekman-Larsson To AHL

(GLENDALE, AZ) – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have assigned defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the San Antonio Rampage, the Coyotes Amercian Hockey League affiliate.

The 6-foot-2, 190 pound Ekman-Larsson has played 14 games with the Coyotes this season, collecting three assists and 12 penalty minutes.

Last season, the 19-year-old native of Karlskrona, Sweden played 52 games with Leksands IF (Sweden 2), registering 11-22-33 and 106 penalty minutes.

Ekman-Larsson was drafted by the Coyotes in the first round (6th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: oliver+ekman-larsson

Duncan Keith Trying To Get His Game Back

from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,

Players who’ve won Cups before sometimes say that focus and intensity can lag in seasons following championships because of the subconscious comparison between regular-season games and playoff games. Keith was asked if that could be the case with him and the Hawks, but he’s not ready to accept that as a factor just yet.

“Obviously it’s different, but there’s no excuses,” he said. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be ready and focused and playing the way I can. Obviously, you’re going to go through a long season (and) you’re not going to play as good as you want. At the same time, I know I can play a lot better and have a lot less inconsistencies.”

Not to mention a better rating, which Quenneville said is better judged over a longer time span than 18 games. Though Keith’s play is a bit concerning, the Hawks and their coaches aren’t ready to hit the panic button just yet.

“The focus is on one guy, but Duncs is a proud guy,” Quenneville said. “Everybody has a stretch they want to get out of, whether it’s a game or two or a trend. He’s one guy who (playing) simple is probably going to make him more effective. That’s what we’re looking for.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: duncan+keith

Loss of Lecavalier Not Crippling but Lightning Now Face a Lofty Challenge

A tough stretch just got tougher for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Already missing forwards Steve Downie and Simon Gagne from their top-six forward ranks, the Bolts will now be without the services of Vincent Lecavalier, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right hand in Thursday’s 6-3 loss in Washington and will miss three to four weeks as a result.

Forwards Johan Harju and Marc-Antoine Pouliot are set to be summoned from AHL Norfolk today to help stabilize a now-hobbled Lightning offense.

For Lecavalier, who will miss at least ten games barring any expedited recovery, the setback marks another disappointing chapter in recent history. The Lightning captain followed up career bests of 108 and 92 points from 2006-2008 with 67 and 70-point campaigns the last two years and was off to an unremarkable start to this season with three goals and nine points in 13 games. All this, of course, after signing an 11-year, $85-million dollar contract extension in July of ’08 by former ownership…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin, dwayne+roloson, jeff+carter, johan+harju, marc-antoine+pouliot, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, vincent+lecavalier

Blue Jackets Want Their Crowd Behind Them

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Early in the second period Wednesday, with the Blue Jackets up four goals and cruising toward an 8-1 rout of the St. Louis Blues, an ordinary, weeknight game seemed to morph into a main event.

The Nationwide Arena crowd was sparse, announced at 10,265. But those on hand could surely feel the buzz in the air, a sense of electricity and passion that has been all too seldom seen since the first few years of the franchise.

“I remember it being sold out all the time and being really, extremely loud,” said left winger R.J. Umberger, who was a freshman at Ohio State when the Blue Jackets joined the NHL. “I remember thinking that it was a young crowd that still was learning hockey, but you could see and feel the passion. It was a football/sports/crazy/hockey environment.”

The Blue Jackets, who play the Colorado Avalanche tonight, hope Wednesday’s win was the first of many memorable nights to follow under new coach Scott Arniel and the new combative resiliency he’s trying to instill.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Penalties That Weren’t Penalties

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

When asked how he felt about handing the Kings’ five third-period power plays and watching Los Angeles score twice with the man advantage to break a 1-1 tie, Crawford said: “You watch the tape, and all of them aren’t penalties. We already talked to them, and the league told us not to say anything, so we’ll shut up.”

Los Angeles went 2-for-8 on the power play, and Dallas went 0-for-5. Fourteen of the Kings’ 29 shots came when they had the man advantage. And while the Stars had to take blame for chasing the play at times and getting caught for two hooking penalties, they had a problem with some of the boarding and interference calls.

“It’s a guessing game every night,” Stars center Brad Richards said. “You can handle emotion, but when people are going after heads and some of it’s called and some of it’s not, that’s when you get a little confused. The hooking, that’s pretty basic, but some of the other stuff makes you wonder ... if you lay on the ice, if you don’t lay on the ice, I guess there’s lots of ways to draw penalties now.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Leafs Are Still Horrible

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

What happened in Anaheim doesn’t matter much anymore.

What happened in Vancouver or Hartford, with the nifty manipulation that led to the drafting of the Sedin twins or Chris Pronger, is ancient hockey history.

The old records, frankly, have gotten old and stale.

Just weeks away from two years on the job of running the Maple Leafs, this much is now obvious: Brian Burke has been a grand disappointment as president and general manager of the Leafs. For all his sound and all his fury — and if you get to know him you can’t help but like him — the Maple Leafs are again a horrible hockey team.

continued

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

Lecavalier Out With Fractured Hand

via Tampa Bay Lightning tweet,

The Lightning’s Vinny Lecavalier will miss 3-4 weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his right hand suffered tonight in Washington.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Brett Sutter Jailed Briefly After Bar Fight In Scottsdale

The AP is reporting Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter was jailed on suspicion of assault after a fight in a Scotsdale bar.

Read more at FoxSports.

video added at 10:01pm,

added 10:27pm, from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Now there’s more ammunition to use in their case against the Sutters.

For the many who have been wondering what Brett Sutter is even doing with the big team, earning $2,688 per day despite the fact he hasn’t played a game since Oct. 16, the cries of nepotism will only grow louder.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+sutter

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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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