Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
I was talking to Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown before the game, and asked him about the Calgary Flames defense, one that I consider the best in the league (or at least I did until that Chicago meltdown). Brown made an interesting comment.
“For me, Calgary’s defense - I don’t mind as much as a Nick Lidstrom,” Brown told SportingNews.com. “A physical confrontation is okay, if I have to chase the puck all night, that’s when it gets frustrating.”
It’s not as flashy is a big Dion Phaneuf hit, but Lidstrom can drive opponents crazy by making them chase the puck all night.
“He can,” Brown said. “He’s good with his stick. He’s incredibly smart on the ice and that’s tough to play against.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Craig Anderson showed why he’s the absolute steal of the free agent season so far. He allowed two goals tonight – one on the power play and the other that should never have counted. A puck hit the mesh behind him, which should have nullified the sequence that led to Plekanec’s tying goal, and then there was the issue of Kyle Quincey getting his stick illegally knocked out of his hands right after that.
I still haven’t seen Anderson let in a truly soft goal yet. He’s just been very, very good.
more on the Avalanche…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Five games into the season, the pressure’s already mounting for a Wild team lacking confidence and cohesion, and parked on the Western Conference floor.
Three games into a five-game trip, the Wild has yet to win and faces its first Northwest Division meetings tonight and Saturday at the Oilers and Canucks.
If Martin Havlat misses tonight’s game because of a groin injury—he didn’t practice Thursday—the Wild will be without four of its top nine forwards—or arguably, four of its top six.
“There’s no excuses. We have to find a way. There’s a way [to win tonight],” coach Todd Richards said.
So much has been made the past few days about how youngsters James Sheppard and Benoit Pouliot must step up with so many injuries.
But the Wild needs much better play from its go-to guys as well: Havlat (one goal, minus-6), Mikko Koivu (one goal, minus-5), Brent Burns (one point, minus-7) and Kim Johnsson (minus-6).
Nicklas Lidstrom with 2 assists tonight becomes just the fourth player in team history to record 1,000 points in a Red Wings sweater:
1. Gordie Howe - 1,809 (786g-1023a)
2. Steve Yzerman - 1,755 (692g, 1063a)
3. Alex Delvecchio - 1,281 (456g, 825a)
4. Nicklas Lidstrom - 1,000 (229g-771a)
Nick also became the second Swede (Mats Sundin) to join the 1000 point club in the NHL.
added 10:24pm, Forgot to add this, but the Wings TV crew mentioned Nick was the fastest (games played) to reach the 1000 point mark for the Wings.
udate: If you read the comments here, the TV crew corrected their mistake regarding Nick being the fastest to 1000 points. That makes much more sense.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
...with the Stars boasting a lineup that typically features eight players who are 25 or younger, Dallas has entered a new era. And with the players buying into coach Marc Crawford’s system of aggressive skating, the Stars don’t look old and slow. What’s more, they seem to have forged an identity pretty quickly.
“It’s a fun way to play, it’s an effective way to play,” said center Mike Ribeiro. “What’s not to like?”
The Stars, after five games, rank second in the NHL in goal differential at plus-1.80 and fourth in shot differential at plus-7.6. In other words, they have been better than the opposition while putting up a 2-0-3 record (.700 in points percentage).
But the test of that identity will come this weekend, as the Stars play host to the Bruins tonight and travel to Chicago on Saturday. The games aren’t do-or-die, but they will give a better idea of what’s different about this team.
from Joe Haggerty of the Big Bad Blog at WEEI,
“We haven’t played Bruins hockey, and played the way that this team has grown its identity over the last couple of years,” said Mark Recchi. “We have to get back to it and realize how hard it is. Get our focus back. I really believe it’s not that far away. This is a little bit of a wake up call, and this isn’t a bad time to go through this.”
With that in mind, here are three things the Bruins can do turn things around just five games into their 82-game schedule:
1. Will the real Looch please stand up — The bruising 21-year-old winger might have been in too much of a light-hearted mood after becoming the B’s newest millionaire several weeks ago, and by his own admission lost some of his surliness over the last few games.
Anze Kopitar with a water bottle ritual.
from Brian Duff at NHL.com,
Have you noticed any changes at the NHL Network this season?
Yes, we have a new studio set.
Yes, On the Fly begins at 8 p.m.
Yes, I have less hair with each passing night.
Yes, Dan Pollard’s highlights—not the ones he’s talking about—appear to have a slightly different tinge to them.
And yes, we have an analyst who is changing the culture of the game whenever he graces us with his presence.
Often referred to as “deep” by his closest colleagues, former NHL goalie (yet still not officially retired) Kevin Weekes is putting a new spin on what seemed like the inevitable—bad hockey nicknames.
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
Huet is expected to start tonight in Nashville, the hockey equivalent of playing the Rams. They have seven goals all season, three by one guy. They’re coming off a 6-0 whipping by Dallas. Jeez, Nashville is the kind of team where forwards volunteer to play goal.
So, this is a must-win for Huet. This is a better-win. You shouldn’t give up a goal to these mopes. But more importantly, win the game so the coach, your teammates and the fans can at least fake some confidence in you. Because if you lose in Nashville, mon ami, stay there. ...
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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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