Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
The Caps and their fans are not just shocked by the losses, but by the combined 13-5 score, too. In one loss, they gave up six straight goals; in the next game, five in a row and, on Thursday, they trailed 2-0 entering the final minute. The last time the Caps lost three straight in regulation time at home, they fired the coach—last season.
“You can be told a little too often how good you are. I don’t know if ‘cavalier’ is the word, but you can be too cocky at times, not play as hard as you should, be more pretty than gritty,” General Manager George McPhee told me yesterday. Thursday night, he was so frustrated he went into his suite muttering, “I’m going back into my cave.”
Far better to experience such issues now than in April, when you can be dumped out of the playoffs before you have figured out your problems, much less fixed them.
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
There was symbolism when Bobby Ryan scored his highlight-reel goal in the third period against Dallas on Friday.
Ryan was playing his first game wearing jersey No. 9. The Ducks gave it to him per club tradition for players who have established themselves. Ryan also happened to have worn the number as a kid in homage to his favorite player: Modano.
The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer smiled when told that last tidbit.
“It gives you an idea of how long you’ve been around,” Modano said. “It’s kind of neat to see that he did that.
“He’s going to be a fun kid to watch. It seems like he’s going to have a great career. Great skill, great hands. Obviously, on that second goal he made a great move. It lets you know you’re kind of getting up there.”
read on and watch the highlight goal below…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If it’s impossible to know what the Rangers truly have surrendered for 18 regular-season games of Antropov, it’s nearly as difficult to know what Leafs GM Brian Burke sent Glen Sather’s way at Wednesday’s deadline, because Antropov has long been one of the NHL’s biggest mysteries, aside from his 6-foot-6 frame.
Tomorrow afternoon should provide a clue about what the Rangers have when Antropov goes against Boston’s 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara at the Garden in one of those nationally televised games that have been habitual debacles for Broadway’s team.
from Flames Insider,
In the aftermath of yet another fruitless start by G Curtis McElhinney — a 6-1 loss in Carolina — Flames coach Mike Keenan was at his cryptic best.
Note that there’s a certain reluctance to credit/blame McElhinney or even assess him in any way.
Feel free to decipher Iron Mike’s thoughts:
* The lack of goals on behalf of McElhinney, just a coincidence? “Well, (Cam) Ward played pretty well. We had five or six great chances in the first period. If we had scored the first goal, maybe it would have made the difference….
* In terms of McElhinney, are you concerned about the mental aspect of the game, knowing that his club has trouble scoring for him? “Well, I think our team has to really tighten up defensively and wait for opportunities. We weren’t as ready as we should’ve been.
via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
Sami Pahlsson will report to the Hawks on Sunday, but he won’t play for at least another week or two.
“He’ll be out for a little bit here,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think he’ll start skating soon and once we get him on the ice we’ll rehab him here.
“He’s training and working off the ice and building himself up at a better pace the last few days. I spoke to him (Thursday) and he’s excited about it, but I think we’ll get a better indication when we get him here.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
When the NHL’s 30 general managers convene in Florida on Monday for their annual meetings, the future of fighting in hockey will dominate the discussions.
Based on interviews with several GMs, there is at least one form of fighting most of them would like to see disappear, but no one knows how to do it without an outright ban on fights. And no general manager could be found who supports the complete elimination of fighting.
What most of them would like to see is an end to the staged fight, where two players whose only role on the team is to fight, drop their gloves and go at it.
“The sense I get is there will be a lot of discussion on staged fights,” said Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “I’m against that. But no, I don’t see an outright ban on fighting.”
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Before getting into a tour of the European leagues, and the more reconizable names to NHL fans, I did some digging at one of my favourite sites www.behindthenet.ca to examine some of the stats that go a little deeper than the standard goals, assists and plus-minus.
The site does terrific work pulling information from data feeds in order to measure what players do in 5-on-5 situations, so I pulled apart the numbers to come up with the following:
First, in an effort to see who has the puck in the opposing end most often relative to the opposition,
Top 20 in Shot Differential per 60 minutes (minimum 25 games)
1. Sergei Fedorov, C, Washington - 14.8
2. James Wisniewski, D, Anaheim - 12.4
3. Johan Franzen, LW, Detroit - 11.6
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Evgeny Artyukhin has been warned. Actually, warned might be too strong a word. He has been challenged.
“He’s a great kid, but his … learning curve has to start quicker,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “He’s had a full season here now; the (trade) deadline is past. He’s got nothing to worry about. We need him to get going this year quickly. I can’t put it any more bluntly with a guy like him. He’s got 18 games to get it.”
“The frustrating part with a guy like Artyukhin is he should have tip goals or goals around the net or chances every game.”
Figuring out how to shoot a one-timer would help, Tocchet said, and the big Russian tried during Friday’s skate but couldn’t get the hang of it.
“When he shoots the puck, he’s straight-legged,” Tocchet said. “If he could get a wide base and learn how to bend his knees, he could shoot the puck better and also tip some pucks for you. … He has to be an A- and B-type player, hit, go to the net. … We need a guy like that.”
more on the Lightning…
via TSN, The Philadelphia Flyers have nullified the trade they made on March 4 for defenceman Kyle McLaren. The 31-year-old did not pass his physical, according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.
McLaren had been sent to Philadelphia from San Jose in exchange for a sixth round pick at this year’s draft.
from the Detroit Free Press,
Colleen Howe, the wife of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, has passed away.
The Red Wings confirmed that Howe, who was known as Mrs. Hockey, died today in Bloomfield Hills. She was 76.
Colleen Howe had been battling Pick’s disease, a progressive dementia that alters a person’s personality, since 2002.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Gordie, Mark, Marty, Cathy, Murray and the entire Howe family,” said Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch. “Colleen was a pioneer hockey wife and hockey mom and devoted her entire life to the betterment of the game. She will be sincerely missed by us and all who knew her.”
Adam Kimelman of NHL.com has a story up too.
NEW YORK (March 6, 2009)—National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released this statement regarding the passing away of Colleen Howe, wife of Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe:
“The National Hockey League grieves the passing of Colleen Howe—a formidable woman, the wife and partner of our iconic player, the matriarch of a remarkable hockey family. On behalf of generations of fans, we send our deepest condolences to Gordie and his loved ones.”
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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