Kukla's Korner Hockey
NHL Network profiles one of the NHL’s signature voices, play-by-play man, Rick Jeanneret, of the Buffalo Sabres, tonight at 7:30pm ET.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
I’m not arguing that a Toskala move needs to be made today or even before Burke’s self-imposed Christmas no-trade zone (beginning Dec. 9). I’d even argue having him stay on until the Leafs establish an identity and where they are likely to finish this season, but at some point down the road, if Burke follows his game plan, goaltending has to be the No. 1 issue.
Burke knows that. His coach, Ron Wilson, knows that. Anyone who has watched Toskala’s total contribution in a Leafs uniform can at least suspect it.
He’s good; but not Stanley Cup championships good.
Toskala’s goals against average, including a solid effort Monday night in Los Angeles is 3.02, good enough for 34th on the NHL stats list. His save percentage a paltry .891, a not so good 38th place. But if teams are going to go big in this league and be a true Cup contender it can’t have goaltending that’s just good, it has to be great.
from Kevin Sylvester of BuffaloSabres.com,
There are too many regular season games in the NHL.
The evidence was Monday night at HSBC Arena when the Sabres and Predators trudged through the first two periods. Neither team had any legs because they were each playing their third game in four nights and for the Sabres, their fourth in six nights.
The result of the compact week is uninspired hockey and a poor product. It’s not fair to the owners, coaches, players or fans.
Lisa Freedman of Time Out New York interviews NY Islander organist Paul Cartier,
There is an unofficial exclusive Web ring, where the NHL organ players exchange ideas and stories and some even play in a fantasy hockey league. How can you break in? “You need to be persistent without being a pest,” he warns. Call the team’s office and ask who’s in charge of music. “Introduce yourself and let them know that you’re always willing to help out in any way.” And don’t overlook the minor-league teams—they’re good experience and a great way to get your name out there.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Major Le-Brownie points for those of you who can guess off the top of your head which goaltender leads the NHL in save percentage with a sparkling .948 and is second in goals-against average at 1.87.
Tick-tock, tick- tock ...
That would be Craig Anderson, who tonight is making his third consecutive start for Florida as the Panthers play host Washington.
“You just have to seize the moment when it comes and be ready for it,” Anderson told ESPN.com last night, explaining his recent success. “If you’re not ready when you get your opportunity, you’ll look foolish.”
from Mike Milbury of Blogs and Colums at CBC,
Those of you who are old enough to remember the television comedy show, Dennis the Menace, are sure to recollect the grumpy old next door neighbour to the mischievous Dennis.
Somehow, someway, Dennis always found a way irritate the fastidious Mr. Wilson. Still, in the end, Dennis would somehow find his way back into his good graces.
The Toronto media can only hope for that ending with the Maple Leafs’ own grumpy head coach, Ron Wilson. It seems there is nothing the media can do that won’t ignite the man. Be it dumb questions, the inability to listen or perhaps thinking that they might know the game a little, the media always seem to get it wrong with Ron.
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
While some markets aren’t booming with success, it’s fun to have different teams in different markets to draw all sorts of people into the fray who will hopefully, one day when their team is frequently competitive, form a new rivalry with another, distant fan base.
The way we have it now, you see a variety of characters involved in any given game. Such as…
In the front row, behind the coach: in Toronto, a guy in an Armani suit distracted from game action, typing business matters to an associate on his BlackBerry, brandishing his ‘bling bling’ – a gold Rolex watch…
In Nashville, a lady in a green sweater smiling and laughing with her friends and/or family, enjoying the action of the game in front of them and amazed they are so close to the players on the bench, brandishing her ‘bling bling’ – a heavy-duty gold cross necklace…
From Jason Botchford at The Province:
“A week ago we were talking about how great the room was, how great the leadership was, how great everything was,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Same players, same game on the ice.”
But much different results.
“When we were on that roll, we were finding ways to win at key moments. At 2-1 [Monday], we should have been able to shut it down and we didn’t. Is that making a defensive play? Is that making a save? I think it’s a combination of everything. Right now, we have to find a way to win.”
from Empty Netters,
Having two players at the top of the league’s scoring race is obviously a pretty impressive feat, especially when you consider the Penguins’ power play has been having so much trouble as of late.
But in all reality, Crosby’s and Malkin’s point totals have benefited a great deal from the team’s misfiring power play. Compared to the top 15 scorers in the league, Malkin and Crosby generate a pretty high percentage of their point totals with a man advantage:
read on for a chart, which shows Jarome Iginlia leading the way with 48.3 of his points coming while the Flames are on the PP.
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,
Sign Mats Sundin.
In the last two weeks, it’s become even more clear that the Rangers need a legit top six forward or center to capture a ready-to-win, weakened East, in which six teams seem already out of the playoffs: Panthers, Islanders, Leafs, Thrashers, Lightning, Senators. The Sabres and Flyers will battle for eighth.
If you penciled in Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan for 30 to 40 goals between them, well…and Henrik Lundqvist—-while on track for a Vezina—-cannot be expected to carry this current roster past the first round of the playoffs.
Sundin, who is working out in California, was paid $5.5 million by the Maple Leafs last season, $2.1 million less than he made in 2006-07.
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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