Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Avery got into the Flyers’ heads early in confronting Jeff Carter-What; touch Philadelphia’s 38-goal-scorer???-and the Flyers not only never got over it, they responded in their historical nature by trying to take off their opponents’ heads, witness the Braydon Coburn match penalty of a high stick across Nik Antropov’s face late in the second.
“We got emotional and used it the wrong way,” said Flyers’ head coach John Stevens. “I think [Avery’s] probation period is over and now he’s back to his old antics and we got sucked in, to be quite honest.
more and watch the Coburn hit on Antropov below…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Flames general manager Darryl Sutter made bold moves at the NHL trade deadline in landing centre Olli Jokinen and defenceman Jordan Leopold. He was hopeful the additions would push Calgary into the elite of the Western Conference alongside the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks.
But Sutter’s splash has barely resulted in a ripple in the win column. While Jokinen has swelled his statistics with eight goals and 10 points in six games with the Flames, including a three-goal, two-assist effort in an 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre last Saturday, Calgary has only two wins in the six games since the March 4 trade deadline.
Even Flames head coach Mike Keenan was scratching his head when queried as to whether his team was ready to challenge the Wings or Sharks for the conference title when the playoffs begin next month.
In his first NHL start and second appearance, Islanders goaltender Peter Mannino stopped 40 shots and beat the Black Hawks 4-2 today.
Red Wings, Sharks Could Clinch Stanley Cup Playoff Berths Today
The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks could become the first clubs to clinch a berth in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs today. The Red Wings need to earn to at least one point at Columbus, while the Sharks need a victory at Anaheim. The Red Wings are on the verge of earning their 18th consecutive trip to the postseason—the longest active streak in pro sports—and setting an NHL record with their ninth consecutive 100-point season, passing the Montreal Canadiens’ eight-season run that began in 1974-75.
Playoff Race Notes
* 23 of the 30 clubs are within five points of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.
* The six clubs ranked fifth through 10th in the Eastern Conference are separated by just four points.
* The six clubs ranked seventh through 12th in the Western Conference are separated by just four points.
* The three top clubs vying for first place in the NHL overall standings are separated by just one point.
* None of the 30 clubs has officially clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.
We have hockey today starting at 12:30pm and ending around 12:30am, Twelve hours of non-stop hockey, nothing better than that!
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The Calgary Flames head coach pulled No.-1 netminder Miikka Kiprusoff early in the third period of last night’s 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which should come as no surprise with the way the netminder was faring.
However, even though Kiprusoff allowed six goals on 22 shots, Keenan blamed himself for the goalie’s sub-par performance.
“He’d like to have a better game, I’m sure, but I think it was my fault for even playing him tonight because of what he had to go through and the work he had last game,” Keenan said.
“I take full credit for probably starting the wrong goaltender.”
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
In need of a boost to yank them out of their doldrums, the Blackhawks will turn to goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.
The veteran is scheduled to return to action Sunday when the Hawks host the New York Islanders at the United Center. Khabibulin hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Feb. 11 in Atlanta.
With six losses in their last nine games, including three of four, the Hawks are looking for any spark. But Khabibulin knows he alone can’t bring a turnaround.
“You can’t expect one guy to change something like that,” Khabibulin said after Saturday’s practice in Bensenville. “It’s still a team, and we still have to do our jobs. If we’re all going to do our jobs, we should be in good shape.”
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
Wade Redden, who either needs to have his attention caught at the end of the bench or simply can’t play in the NHL anymore, probably would be helping the Rangers best from Hartford, but there is no alternative to him in the system and, with five years to go in a depressing, cap-killing, six-year, $39 million deal, surely no takers. So what is a new coach to do besides what the old coach did?...
On Arron Asham’s back-breaking first of two goals, Redden, a defenseman of 12 years NHL experience, mindlessly put his stick blade to the outside, allowing rookie Claude Giroux’s pass out to go inside for a slam dunk.
Redden didn’t lose this game by himself, but do you need a full hand to count one he has helped the Rangers win?
Elliotte Friedman of HNIC did a great feature on Columbus goalie Steve Mason last night.
I can’t point directly (no youtube either) to the 5 minute video, but start here, then look to the right for Top Stories then scroll to the Inside Hockey: Steve Mason feature.
Note to Steve- time to update the bedroom!
from Mike Rucki of On Frozen Pond,
Last night’s win—while exciting, important, and offensively impressive—was an uneven and at times sloppy effort. The team played with heart, but were seemingly disorganized on defense and offensive back-checking. Theo yielded a few juicy rebounds, but also made some stellar saves. A balanced scoring effort managed to offset (barely) a weak defensive one.
Methinks Coach Boudreau will be putting the team through heavy defensive drills as they head back out on the road… because games like this one, while producing an important two points, won’t cut it in the playoffs.
So says Kelley Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC last night. Osgood talks starts at the 4 minute mark.
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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