Kukla's Korner Hockey
Twelve games today, starting at 2pm ET when the Canucks take on the Penguins.
Some great match-ups and don’t forget about the pre-game ceremonies in Toronto and Montreal, where the Leafs will honor Wendel Clark and the Canadiens will do the same with Patrick Roy.
View today’s schedule below…
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
The NHL reaches the quarter pole this weekend, with nearly every team reaching the 20-game mark, our first logical milestone to see how things are developing.
Let’s take a look around the League and see how everyone is shaping up.
San Jose Sharks—Short, sweet and to the point—the Sharks have been brilliant to this point at 16-3-1 entering the weekend. It’s all good.
New York Rangers—A strong start has vaulted the Rangers to the top of the Eastern Conference, but the team has lacked crispness of late. Overall, however, an excellent start for a team that is changing its core from Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan to Chris Drury and Scott Gomez.
On Friday, SJSHARKS.com sat down with Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan to discuss his thoughts on the team as they hit the 20-game mark of the season.
It was stated in training camp that Joe Thornton was going to have to adjust with the new system and it seems that he has his line rounding into form and that he’s made the adjustment in style.
He’s done everything he’s been asked to do and I feel confident in what he’s doing. He’s backchecking, adjusted on the power play and trying to shoot the puck more. He’s also been a team leader.
Patrick Marleau has reemerged from a tough regular season last year. How proud of Patrick are you for turning it around?
I only know Patty from how I know him now. Stats wise he’s proven he is back. He is a great player and a better person. He’s being rewarded for his play and he’s smiling and enjoying the game.
“We did a great job of making their goaltender look good. We missed, by my count, four wide-open nets. [Drew Stafford] missed a wide-open net, missed two of them. [Jaroslav] Spacek missed a wide-open net. [Jason Pominville], wide-open net. But when you haven’t been going good, you don’t get breaks.”
-Sabres coach Lindy Ruff after losing their 4th game in a row. More on the game from John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins will be in Montreal tonight to face Les Glorieux, and it’s a good bet big Georges Laraque, all 6 feet 3 inches and 253 pounds of him, will fill the role of Maitre’d pugilist at Bell Centre.
“Yes, come right in,” he might say to Messrs. Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton. “How nice to see you gentlemen from Boston again. Might I find you a . . . seat?”
When Laraque and the Canadiens were in the Hub Nov. 13, he was equally as accommodating and gracious in the minutes after Lucic smacked elite Habs winger Alexei Kovalev with a hit near the Montreal bench that Laraque found, shall we say, objectionable.
Soon thereafter, Laraque asked Lucic to fight. Lucic wasn’t interested.
via Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
As part of the budget crunch, we have cut back on our coverage of the NHL _ with the belief that you would rather us dedicate our space to coverage of the local team.
But in the interest of providing what we don’t, I thought I’d direct you to ESPN.com’s coverage of the NHL at the quarter pole. It’s very comprehensive, and they even have some Stars references.
Anyone else find this kind of strange, not sure if Mike is doing this with tongue-in-cheek.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While Murray has been doing a lot of talking, indications are he’s not being offered a whole lot in return for the likes of Christoph Schubert and Antoine Vermette.
Sources say several teams—including Florida, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, Minnesota, St. Louis, Anaheim and Vancouver—are looking for blueliners.
Schubert is an attractive commodity, but teams don’t offer much in return when the other side is losing and looking vulnerable.
If the Senators fail to halt their six-game skid today, the pressure to make changes will intensify with the Senators at the bottom of the Eastern Conference nearing the quarter-pole.
You will notice I avoided the Sundin talk from this story, but you can read more about it if you wish…
from Jeremy Ruthherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Just seconds from snapping a three-game winless streak at home, the Blues allowed a disputed power-play goal to Niedermayer. With Blues defenseman Jay McKee in the penalty box for hooking, a flurry in front of goalie Manny Legace, who had Anaheim’s Corey Perry draped over him, ended with the puck bouncing in off Legace.
“Perry, from what the guys were telling me, just lands on my head, pushes on my head,” Legace said. “You’ve got to be able to call that. You’ve got to give the goalie at least a chance to play. It shouldn’t have (gone) to overtime.”
more and watch the game tying goal below…
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
The Phoenix goalie was Brian Boucher. He volunteered his role in the play when we were talking after this morning’s skate and I brought up Ovechkin’s name in the context of Saturday night’s game.
“What are you going to do? It was a one in a million play? He was on his back and he just whacked at the puck,” Boucher said. “At the time I didn’t realize how unreal the goal was.”
“I couldn’t believe how far I had to keep moving and I still didn’t get,” Boucher said.
more and Boucher will be facing Ovechkin again tonight, this time as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
No one would have been surprised if Gordon threw the 6-8 Fritz on the ice at that point even though he had played just one second-period shift and a total of 2:30 in the game. But Gordon didn’t light the fuse to Fritz’s cannon then, and even after the Devils put the game out of reach at 5-2 with a five-on-three power play goal, the Islanders’ coach refused to fire his big gun in what he apparently regarded as a vain attempt for payback….
Why not use him when the game was out of hand to send a message to the Devils? “No, I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” Gordon said. “You jeopardize your own players’ safety if you put a player out like that. It kind of gives the impression that you’re trying to create or do something. I didn’t want to put Mitch in that situation or the rest of the players on the team in that situation where the other team thinks this is what we’re going to do.
more with expanded comments from Bill Guerin regarding the league must get tougher when dealing with cheap shots…
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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