Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times, .
..if you look at Gaborik’s 24 goals as a percentage of the total goals the Rangers have scored so far this season. When you subtract the bookkeeping goals the league awards to teams that win shootouts (in the Rangers’ case, two) and use only those goals scored during regulation and overtime, the Slovakian wingman has accounted for 25.5 percent of all the Rangers’ goals. That is the highest percentage in the N.H.L., and only Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay comes close.
Below, the league’s top 10 through Sunday:
NEW YORK (December 21, 2009)—Goaltender Cristobal Huet of the Chicago Blackhawks, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and right wing Patric Hornqvist of the Nashville Predators have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Dec. 20.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
The Vancouver Canucks lost an unwinnable game. Really, the National Hockey League schedule-maker never gave them a chance on Sunday.
The St. Louis Blues were a last-place team. They were on the road. They play in the Central Division. And the Canucks were coming off a huge victory against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Friday.
Darn the NHL! How could the Canucks possibly compete amid these impossible circumstances?
The league – you know, it’s based in New York City and run by an American lawyer – surely knew an elite team like Vancouver, basking in the glory of Friday’s righteous win against Washington and busy planning a Stanley Cup, would be emotionally-spent and intellectually detached against the Blues.
Look what they are doing over at Abel To Yzerman.
I can’t think of a better Christmas gift and hopefully the Wings PR department will pick up on this and invite him to a practice and a meet and greet with the players..
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators heartthrob Mike Fisher and his country singer superstar girlfriend Carrie Underwood are engaged to be married.
Fisher confirmed their engagement just moments ago as the Senators prepared for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins at Scoriabank Place. Responding to questions, he said he popped the question to Underwood on Sunday, but declined to offer any other details at this point.
“It’s true,” said Fisher. “We’re both obviously excited and very happy.”
from Patricia Montemurri of the Detroit Free Press,
“Our tradition is we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve,” says Lidstrom, standing in his family’s two-story living room, its walls covered in a pebbled golden wallpaper that warms the room. “The kids are waiting by the windows for Santa and we watch him walking down the street with a gift bag over his shoulder.”
Says Annika: “I can still feel, you know, a little bit of the excitement over it from when I was a child.”
On Christmas Eve, Santa will chat with the boys.
Perhaps he’ll eat a Christmas confection prepared by Annika or Lidstrom’s mother, Gerd Lidstrom, who is visiting for the holidays along with Lidstrom’s father, Jan Erik Lidstrom. There will be ham and Swedish meatballs and herring.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Holmgren was desperate on Dec. 4, just 17 days ago, when he impetuously fired coach John Stevens after losing six games in 17 days. Where was the desperation this week? The Flyers have won just three times in 16 games.
This team needs a shakeup. The players are waiting for it. With that vote of confidence, the Flyers had as much jump on Saturday - against a team with an almost identical record in the Rangers - as a car battery left in the snow.
Knowing that all of their buddies were still in the lineup, the Flyers should have played to prove Holmgren right.
“I would have thought we would’ve ripped the hinges off the gate tonight to get out on the ice,” coach Peter Laviolette said after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Rangers. “I can’t think of one reason why we would come out flat, but we did.”
Instead, not making a move allows these players to rest comfortably over the holidays.
We know who isn’t leaving: Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger. All of those players have some sort of no-trade or no-movement clause in their contracts.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
With their losses mounting and the season slipping away, the Blue Jackets are taking a new approach to their goaltending.
Before practice yesterday, coach Ken Hitchcock informed the club that Steve Mason no longer is the club’s undisputed No. 1 goaltender.
Mathieu Garon will start at 9 tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. If he plays well, Garon will keep playing, too, not resort to the backup role he’s held up to this point.
“Win and you’re in,” Hitchcock said. “That’s just where we’re at now. If a guy wins, he gets to keep going.
“We can’t wait any longer to get going.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Wade Redden’s last chance to make a positive impression on coach John Tortorella and thus avoid exile to the AHL Wolf Pack begins tonight in Raleigh.
Tortorella, who is reinserting Redden into the lineup for tonight’s match against the Hurricanes after scratching the veteran defenseman the previous two games, will expect to see No. 6 bring the same emotion onto the ice as he brought into the coach’s office Thursday morning at Nassau Coliseum, where he complained about being benched.
At the same time, the coach will review whether 10 days and five games in Hartford taught Matt Gilroy how to compete at a consistent level, for the Hobey Baker winner also will be reinserted into the Blueshirts’ lineup following his recall yesterday morning.
from Josh Cooper at the Morning Skate,
At today’s morning skate, Blues players confirmed the team had a closed-door meeting following their 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. Sources have told the Post-Dispatch that in the meeting, general manager Larry Pleau laid into the club.
Defenseman Barret Jackman was not caught off guard, and in fact sensed something would be said sooner rather than later.
“Were not shocked that anything happened, closed door meetings or anything like that,” Jackman said. “It is something that has come to a boiling point and its everybody in our room that has to change things right now.”
Added forward Keith Tkachuk: “It had got to the point where something had to be said, and it was said, and now we move on.”
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