Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
So here are four teams I’m ready to say are out of the playoff picture as of today – and the punishments I’m willing to accept if they defy the odds and continue to play once the regular season is done:
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
I feel awful for long-suffering Blue Jackets fans. But I cannot in good conscience put any faith in a team that currently has a 9.9 percent power play efficiency rating.
That’s right – nine-point-nine stinking percent. Is it possible to decline penalties like they do in the NFL?
If They Make The Playoffs, I Will: Attend a Blue Jackets game wearing a Civil War-era military uniform and sit quietly while Doug MacLean regales me with his draft record as Columbus’ GM.
read on for three more teams that won’t make the playoffs…
from Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Ducks know what it’s like to have the start that San Jose has had, because they tore through the first quarter of the schedule in similiar fashion during their Stanley Cup run two seasons ago.
Now the tables are turned. The Ducks will go into HP Pavilion on Wednesday night trying to take down a Sharks team that is 22-3-2 and 14-0-2 at home.
“The way they have been playing, I think we’re all anxious to see where we’re at,” right wing Teemu Selanne said.
San Jose has collected 46 points out of a possible 54, and it’s not reflective of a weak scheduling quirk: The Sharks defeated Stanley Cup finalists Pittsburgh and Detroit in consecutive games on Oct. 28-30.
from Ulf Samuelsson at the Hockey News,
The most successful teams I’ve been involved with have had a healthy balance of respect and humor. Obviously, you need to win a certain amount of games to have any fun. When you’re having fun, it allows you to relax and get away from those stressful times when you really need to focus and bear down.
You need to be respectful of your teammates who like to concentrate the whole day, especially on game day. While you let them be on their own, the guys who always mess around and have fun with each other do that somewhere else.
Boston Bruins VP Cam Neely will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
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from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
Roberto has been on his own schedule since the injury,” said Vigneault, not looking particularly upbeat. “He warms up, he practises, he takes what he can take and when he feels he’s had enough, he comes off. It was no different today.
“The timeline remains week-to-week. I can’t invent an answer for you. We originally said week-to-week. Some groins are quicker than others. That’s all I can say.”
Asked directly whether Luongo did tweak the muscle, Vigneault replied: “No, not to my knowledge. I mean, he’s been following a steady plan and the plan is for him to practise on Friday. Every day is steady improvement. Groins are tough areas for players, especially goaltenders so we’ll see how things progress.”
Based on Wednesday’s curious event, it now seems an almost certainty Luongo won’t be ready for this weekend’s back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
When Ryan Miller signed a five-year, $31.25 million extension during the offseason, his bank account soared. So did expectations. Miller was being paid like an elite NHL goalie, and now it was time for him to perform like one.
He hasn’t. Miller has been good at times, spectacular at others. But it’s hard to dispute the numbers, which suggest that Miller has been essentially the same player he was in his first three full seasons in Buffalo.
Now it’s one thing when a hit is dirty, but even when it’s clean, the result is often the same - a fight breaks out. And that could be a reason why fighting is up 25 percent over last season’s rate.
Sometimes it’s just plain obvious that a hit is dirty and sometimes it’s not. But if a hit in a game is within the rules and the referee doesn’t call a foul, why is it that players sometimes do?
“I think years ago the line was a lot clearer,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz told Vancouver’s Team 1040 on Wednesday. “You look at the old vintage games on the hockey channel and if you crossed the line, you knew you crossed the line. I think the line has moved more and more, there’s bigger hits, there’s guys wearing shields and helmets, and all that protective gear and people are coming at each other. I don’t think people in junior know where the line is, I don’t think people in the AHL know where the line is, and it’s starting to get gray in the NHL.”
from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,
Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality.
Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league.
This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either.
So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Left winger Simon Gagne yesterday pointed to a players-only meeting in October as a reason the Flyers turned around their season….
Gagne said that the meeting was “relaxed” and that players talked about taking responsibility for their specific positions.
“And from there, everybody has played better,” he said. “There was no panic. It might be better if [the losing streak] happened in the beginning of the season than the end of the season.”
Kimmo Timonen was extremely vocal at the meeting, and captain Mike Richards “kind of closed it,” Gagne said. “A couple of guys spoke up, and from there, things are going well. We didn’t have [another] meeting yet, so that’s a good sign.”
via NBCBayarea, Off the ice, Sharks forward Joe Thornton takes strategy to a whole new level with the computer version of the game Risk.
thanks to SanJoseSharks.com for the pointer…
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.
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