Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
...OK, puckheads, now that we’ve wasted a few seconds of your time, we draw your attention to tonight’s game between Backstrom’s Capitals and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
The last time these two teams met was Dec. 20, when the Flyers pasted the Caps, 7-1. That was their first encounter since last spring’s first-round, seven-game playoff victory by Philadelphia. Needless to say, the Caps were looking forward to tonight.
“We had like 50 shots on them that night [48 to be exact],” Backstrom said of the Dec. 20 game. “It was a weird game. Everybody on the team is very much excited about this game [tonight].”
We like Washington’s chances. The Caps are an Eastern Conference-best 17-1-1 at home.
...Now, who knows. Also, at the end of the interview, “Hockeytown is back here (Washington), that’s for sure.”
I normally refrain from posting vulgar language, but this one is funny. It happens about the 40 second mark but watch from the beginning to understand what happened.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Before answering postgame questions, Gordon spent a few minutes reviewing tape of the key calls, especially the Oilers’ tying goal. “It was definitely a kicking motion,” Gordon said. “Beyond that, I don’t know what the decision was as far as if it went directly in or hit something else or what the rule was, but it was definitely a kick at that puck.”
Asked if he’s beginning to sense a lack of respect from the refs for the NHL’s last-place team, Gordon said, “It just seems like the last three games it’s kind of hard to believe that we only have four power plays.”
more and watch video of the controversial goal below…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
On a day when Weight and Guerin reminisced about old times with the Edmonton media, the trade winds that have been swirling around Weight flared up again with rumors of a possible deal with Columbus. Weight said he has been told during the course of this road trip that no deal is in the works….
“Well, you cross that bridge when you come to it,” said Weight, who will turn 38 this month. “Right now, I have to get myself playing. I was hurt about two weeks ago, and I haven’t liked how I’ve played since….”
Guerin, 38, has a “no-move” clause in his deal. Asked if he would invoke it, the Isles’ captain said: “Right now, I’m focused on this season. If something like that comes up, we’ll deal with it.”
At the same time, he said no one from the Islanders has approached him about a contract extension. “I haven’t had any discussions yet,” Guerin said. “I don’t know what to expect.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
A lot of money remains on the sidelines these days for the Bruins. Marco Sturm, on the books for $3.5 million a year, will have knee surgery this week, the timeline unknown for his return. Patrice Bergeron’s cap number is $4.75 million, and he is now two-plus weeks beyond another concussion, his second in 14 months.
As of today, no one knows whether either will be back in uniform for the second half of the season, or the postseason.
What is Peter Chiarelli to do? Is the time at hand for the third-year general manager, with what amounts to $8.25 million in shopping money, to dress up his roster by adding a veteran free agent for what appears to be a legitimate run at a Cup?
Truth is, it’s not that easy. Chiarelli said yesterday that if it were determined, say, this week or next that neither Sturm nor Bergeron could make it back before the playoffs, bringing in another high salary now could prevent him from making moves around the March 4 trade deadline.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly said players are ready to discuss the possibility of allowing the league to schedule two showcase games on Christmas Day….
Having completed his fall tour with players, Kelly said he came away believing the majority of players are open to the idea of having one early game and one late game that could be featured on national television.
Kelly said he would envision having two close-proximity rivals play each other to cut down on the travel time for the visiting team.
“We certainly see the importance of this from a marketing standpoint,” Kelly said.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“Playing against a team like San Jose will give us an idea of what our development has been since we last played them and what we have to do now to improve,” said head coach Mike Keenan, who believes that even though the Flames are now a top-six team in the league, they’re not where they want to be — yet.
“We’ve had a good stretch,” acknowledged centre Craig Conroy, who registered his 500th career NHL point on the weekend, “but we’ve got to start beating those top teams.”
Thus far, in six matches against the Sharks, Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, the Flames have just two overtime losses to show for their efforts and no victories. So Tuesday represents a statement game of sorts: a chance to show they can compete with the conference’s elite teams.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Tonight there will be no homecoming for Chad Kilger, the hockey player who has mysteriously disappeared.
He played his last National Hockey League game on Feb. 25 in Ottawa. The Maple Leafs won 5-0 that night. The next day, knowing nothing of the future, the Leafs traded him to the Florida Panthers.
In the hockey world, that was the last anyone saw of Kilger.
With more than $1 million US still owing on his contract, and without warning, “playing the best hockey of his life” Kilger never reported to the Panthers.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Daniel Alfredsson is standing by his men.
The Senators captain said yesterday that GM Bryan Murray doesn’t need to make changes, despite the team being 12th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference….
“I think we’ve shown lately that we’re playing really hard. I feel (change) is not the way to go. It’s up to us to find a way to win games. We play pretty good, but then we find ways to lose instead of finding ways to win.
“It can be the power play one day, the penalty kill another or if we need a big save one day, it’s just not happening for us. Obviously, the easy thing is to make changes and hope for something that’s going to work. We tried that last year. It didn’t go much better. It’s up to us to make it work.”
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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