Kukla's Korner Hockey
Top 10 goals from the past week in the NHL.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
With more than five weeks to go, there are, not surprisingly, a lot of teams still in the Western Conference playoff picture, with eight teams within a nine-point span between sixth and 13th place in the conference.
That leaves Columbus and Edmonton as the most obvious sellers in the group, but there will be others to land in that position in the coming weeks as the playoff picture starts to get clearer.
Also from Scott Cullen of TSN,
As it stands now, in late January, only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes are more than three points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, so that leaves a whole lot of teams vying for a berth in the postseason.
If the top four spots seems securely in hand in some order for Washington, New Jersey, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, that leaves nine teams within seven points trying to get one of the next four spots.
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Was there a little gamesmanship in Toronto this morning? The Leafs had the practice ice first this morning, and when they left, the Zamboni came out to resurface. The driver stopped though, and came off the ice before the job was even half finished.
Why? Because Leafs coach Ron Wilson does his daily media session next to the rink, and apparently the noise from the Zamboni is too loud. So as the Kings filed onto the ice, they had to stand around and wait for Wilson to finish, so that the Zamboni could then come back out.
More than a little peeved, the Kings banged their sticks on the ice and glass in order to create as much noise as possible. Finally, Wilson finished, the Zamboni returned and Kings practice started after a 15-minute delay. Only in Canada, eh?
from Ben Kuzma of The White Towel,
The Vancouver Canucks hoped for the best but confirmed the worst Monday.
Willie Mitchell isn’t expected to join his teammates when the Vancouver Canucks open an eight-game road trip on Saturday in Toronto because the blueliner is suffering from post-concussion syndrome.
“I think we can safely say that Willie has a concussion,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “Right now, he’s close to symptom free and he’s day-to-day.”
continue for more on the Canucks…
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
There was all kinds of good injury news coming out of Monday’s Detroit Red Wings practice:
—Defenseman Niklas Kronwall will return to the lineup Tuesday against Phoenix. He has been out since Nov. 21 with a sprained left MCL.
—Defenseman Andreas Lilja said he has been headache-free for 13 days and that he was told by doctors needs to be symptom-free for 14 days before being cleared. Unless he has a setback in the next day or two, he will meet with team officials this week and could return from a concussion that has kept him out since Feb. 28 of last season.
NEW YORK (January 25, 2010)—Ottawa Senators goaltender Brian Elliott, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 24.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
• In a perfect world, he’d (Souray) go to Los Angeles or Anaheim. (His children live in the area.) Not sure the Kings are a fit. They have cap room (18 players signed for next year at $46 million), but the temptation to spend it on a high-impact forward will be great. The Ducks are interesting, also having space (15 players at $32.5 million) and a need for defencemen after this season. (I am assuming a Scott Niedermayer retirement, not that anyone will replace him.)
• Any other Western teams with cap freedom and cash who need a bomber? Calgary (28th on PP)? Enough cash already tied into the blue-line. Nashville and Phoenix (27th and 24th)? No way. St. Louis (29th)? Minnesota (21st)?
more including would Gainey trade Carey Price….
from Mike Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential,
Either Niemi or Huet should beat Edmonton. But the bigger point is what statement Q makes in picking who wins, since both guys know they are likely to a notch an easy W if Q just lays the finger of fate on them rather than giving one guy the finger.
Maybe it’s true the Hawks are blessed to have two dependable goalies. Maybe it’s also true a team without a clear-cut No. 1 goalie won’t win the Stanley Cup, as Jeremy Roenick contended recently.
Q has to start cutting through the haze of what ifs with his goalies and decide what now and what will be. I know he isn’t likely to name his Stanley Cup championship starter today. But Tuesday would be a hell of a time to start parting the fog so we can see clearly.
from Chuck Gormley at NHL.com,
Kyle Okposo knows what some folks around the NHL are saying about his New York Islanders—that they’re too young, too inexperienced and too short on talent to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race much long.
“What we did in the first half, I don’t think anybody expected us to do outside of the group we have in the locker room,” Okposo told NHL.com. “We play hard for each other every night and we know if we keep going the way we can, anything can happen. We want to stay in the hunt and be playing in April.”
Okposo understands the reason for the skepticism. The Islanders haven’t been in the playoffs since sneaking in on the last day of the 2006-07 season, back when Okposo was a freshman at the University of Minnesota.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
* The Senators would be interested in Carolina LW Ray Whitney, but there’s now talk he may re-sign with the Hurricanes. It’s believed the Senators like Hurricanes C Matt Cullen, who has a cap hit of $2.8 million and is being shopped by GM Jim Rutherford.
* Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is willing to move just about anybody. Naturally, W Dustin Penner would interest the Senators because they had him included in the failed Dany Heatley deal last summer, but Penner has been one the few players who has been consistent for Edmonton this season.
* The Thrashers are expected to deal RW Colby Armstrong, who is making $2.4 million. If the Senators are interested, they won’t be alone. The Flames have been trying to acquire Armstrong for weeks, but haven’t been able to get a deal done.
* Toronto GM Brian Burke wants to deal LW Alexei Ponikarovsky, C Matt Stajan and LW Niklas Hagman before the deadline, but it would be difficult for him to deal with one of Leafs’ top rivals.
* Flames GM Darryl Sutter said publicly Sunday he believes in the group he has. What else is he going to say? Sutter has been trying to wheel and deal. Underachieving C Olli Jokinen is being shopped, as is C Craig Conroy. Both can become UFAs on July 1.
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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