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The Bolts Beat, 10/19/10: Lightning on the Road and a Look Ahead, Plus NHL Officiating Issues & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first road swing of the season and preview the week ahead for the Bolts, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” segment brings up an interesting debate on replay, major penalties and the like, Mike defends referees (a sure sign of the apocalypse) and much more.


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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+hall, andrei+kostitsyn, blake+comeau, brad+richards, brett+clark, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, headshots, instant+replay, josh+bailey, kris+letang, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ritola, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, t.j.+brodie, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Brad Richards Is Not Joe Thornton

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News answers some emails…

“Why don’t the Stars just offer Brad Richards an extension for the same amount that the Sharks just gave to Joe Thorton (three years at $7 million a year)? It wouldn’t increase their overall payroll from this year and besides, what are they going to do with the cap space if he leaves?”

HEIKA: ...my guess is that Richards would not take that.

Thornton suggested getting the extension done and said he wants to stay in San Jose for the rest of his life. As such, he didn’t mind giving up the possibility of free agency and also lowering his salary from $7.2 million a year.

Richards (who makes $7.8 million this year) could be the biggest fish in free agency in the summer and also could get the chance to choose where he plays. Why would he give that up when we don’t even know if this team will have a new owner or what that new owner will want to do?

more Q & A regarding the Stars…

If you were in his shoes, would you sign for three years, $21 million? I can assure you that your agent would not recommend it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

JJ’s Three Cheers: 10/19/10

Today’s salute to the performances of yesternight, honoring those who shined in leading their clubs to victory:

***Cheers to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who is showing marked improvement early this season and who was named first star in Tampa’s 5-4 win over the visiting Dallas Stars last night. Hedman managed a pair of assists and led all skaters in ice time, sparking an offensive rush on several occasions and, most importantly, playing adept defense in his own end. It is early, as we must continue to note for all who have had fast starts, but Hedman’s growth in year two will play a major factor in the Lightning’s fortunes. So far, with few hiccups, they must be pleased. (Note: They are. Coach Guy Boucher singled Hedman out with post-game praise after the Dallas game.)

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, dwayne+roloson, joe+thornton, john+tavares, justin+peters, marian+hossa, michael+neuvirth, patrick+sharp, phil+kessel, semyon+varlamov, victor+hedman

Versteeg Not Used To Losing

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Kris Versteeg hadn’t lost a real game since winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago, and the taste of defeat was much different than champagne.

But Leafs Nation did find out their new first-line winger truly hates to lose.

“It’s crappy,” Versteeg said after his goal was taken away on a controversial call, he was given a rough ride and took a retaliation penalty and, especially, after he lost control of an overtime breakaway on bad ice, all in the course of a 2-1 loss to the Islanders. “We controlled the game the whole way, it wasn’t even close.”

He didn’t take the gracious way out either, when it was suggested that New York’s 41-year-old fountain of youth, Dwayne Roloson, was just too much for his team.

“I don’t care about how Dwayne Roloson plays. I care how we play,” Versteeg snapped.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+versteeg

Canes Looking For Some Jump

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

If the Carolina Hurricanes were a pretty happy bunch a week ago, the smiles have vanished.

The glow of the Canes’ 2-0 start in Finland quickly has been replaced by more of a grim reality on their first road trip in North America. The October travel load has taken a toll, it appears, but some weaknesses and trouble areas also may have been exposed in two losses….

The Hurricanes, who face the San Jose Sharks tonight in the third game of the five-game trip, are searching for cohesive, productive lines. They’re trying to decide if rookie Jeff Skinner should play center or left wing. They’re trying to decide where Patrick O’Sullivan should be - in the press box watching or on the ice playing.

Several defensive combinations have been tried, and none has really clicked. Maurice went back to the Tim Gleason-Joe Corvo pairing for the Canucks, but the two veterans struggled along with everyone else in a Canes sweater.

Corvo said he felt sluggish and indicated the travel - to Russia, on to Finland, back to the U.S., then to points west - had robbed the Canes of their jump.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Exposed

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The season isn’t yet two weeks old and yet over the course of the final 10 minutes of the Rangers’ 3-1 defeat to the Avalanche last night, the Garden had the feel of late winter with the Blueshirts already out of the playoff hunt.

“I can’t tell that,” said Henrik Lundqvist, blameless yet not brilliant. “But maybe everybody was just waiting for something to happen to get them going.”

Lundqvist, who has allowed 15 goals in the Blueshirts’ 1-2-1 getaway that includes three straight losses since the Oct. 9 opening victory in Buffalo, was talking about the fans, not his teammates.

At times, though, it seemed as if the Rangers were waiting for someone else to make something happen, especially on the power play that rarely threatened while going 0-for-5 over 10:00 and is now 2-for-17 overall.

The team lacks a shooter from the point and, without the injured Marian Gaborik, lacks a one-shot finisher from the slot and the circles. Unable to get the puck through from the top and lacking a quarterback to run it from the half-wall or down low, the Rangers unfortunately seem to be exactly the sum of their parts on the man-up unit that hasn’t manned-up.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Head Shot Talk This Season

Sportsnet reviews the head shot calls this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Plan To Send Taylor Hall To Juniors

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

Four games ago, the Edmonton Oilers’ first-round draft pick was the wunderkind who could do no wrong.

In his NHL regular-season debut, he was creating chances, fuelling hope. Now there are suggestions from the a segment of fans that the 18-year-old may be better served returning to junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires for another season.

That’s not likely to happen, said Oilers head coach Tom Renney, who figured Hall played his best game on Saturday against the Flames in Calgary.

“He’s going to be here all year unless somebody tells me otherwise,” said Renney. “That’s a conversation you’d have down the road if, in fact, there was something that seems consistent in his game that really prevents him from moving forward. I’m not there.

“I think he’ll just get better (and) that’s an assimilation we’re prepared to work with. And not just with him but others in our lineup in a year where we think we can afford to do that and, quite honestly, we need to.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall

The Flames Up And Down Season

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The victory over Edmonton momentarily quelled the panic in Calgary city streets. If the first four games are any indication, it promises to be a yo-yoing up-and-down year for the Flames. The axe may be hovering in the deep background over the current Sutter regime, but it is not poised in the imminent, we-need-to-win-tomorrow’s-game-or-else way that you see in Minnesota with Todd Richards.

General manager Darryl Sutter convinced the team’s ownership to stick with his vision, and ownership, unwilling to make a change that would probably involve dumping not just a highly paid executive but also a well-compensated coach, gave the brothers the reins – for another year, anyway. The Sutters have a decent amount of rope to show that their way is the right way – and if it all goes off the rails, as so many think it can, changes will come in the off-season.

In the meantime, the Flames are 2-2, not an especially fast start compared to last year, where they roared out of the gate to a sparkling 12-4-1-1 record and then limped home the rest of the way.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tom Gilbert Fined For Hit On Stajan

via Joanne Ireland tweet,

Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert has been fined $2,500 (the maximum allowed under the CBA) for the hit he laid on the Flames Matt Stajan.

I tried to find video of the hit when it happened and again right now, nothing.  If you have a link, please post it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+gilbert

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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