Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
He’s been practicing with the team for months, but Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja hasn’t had any contact. Now that he sees a light at the end of the tunnel—he has been headache-free for 14 days—he wanted to see how he would react to a hit.
So he asked Johan Franzen to run him after practice.
“I had Mule run me yesterday in practice. He picked up all his 230 pounds and threw it at me,’’ Lilja said. “My body hurt, but my head was really good. It felt real good.’’
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Gordie Howe retired from the NHL in 1980 as the all-time leading scorer with 801 goals and 1,850 points. He led many other statistical categories but one he surely didn’t lead is the unofficial one that came to bear his name, “the Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” which is a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
We’ll never know for sure because no one kept that statistic until The Hockey News started in 1996. For awhile, the leader was current Tampa Bay Lightning coach Rick Tocchet—like Howe, a rugged customer with good hockey skills.
Then Tocchet was overtaken by Brendan Shanahan, who retired earlier this year to become NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development. According to the weekly’s records, Shanahan had 17 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks. The “honor” took Shanahan by surprise.
“I’d never heard of it until I’d had quite a few of them,” said Shanahan, whose NHL career began in 1987. “It didn’t get media attention until four or five years ago. They started counting in my 10th year. One list had me at nine and then they went back and counted and found more. No teammate ever mentioned it to me until my last one….”
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
Eaves got a spot in the Detroit lineup by default. He has played in 40 of the Red Wings’ 51 games this season, including 23 of the past 24.
“It’s unfortunate that we had some injuries, but that got me into the lineup, got me going with (linemates) Helmer (Darren Helm) and Drapes (Kris Draper),” said Eaves. “It’s such a long season, something is going to happen.”
Although injuries got Eaves into the lineup, performance has kept him in. Eaves is now averaging 14:17 of ice time per game, more than Draper or Justin Abdelkader or Drew Miller.
A right-handed shot playing on the right side of Helm and opposite Draper, Eaves is fourth among Detroit forwards with 90 shots on goal, trailing only Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk.
He came to Detroit with the reputation of a scorer, but Eaves is playing on a checking third line and is one of the team’s top penalty killers. In fact, the PK gave Eaves his first opportunity to prove himself in Detroit.
from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
They could fall off the map just as quickly as they could climb the standings. Nonetheless, as the team rides a six-game winning streak that has taken them to a comfortable fifth place in the Eastern Conference, you would have to think that coach Cory Clouston is beginning to attract notice as a coach-of-the-year candidate.
He’s on a long list that includes Jacques Lemaire of the New Jersey Devils; Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals; Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres; Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks; Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks; Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks and Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes.
To merit serious consideration from broadcasters across the league, who vote on the Jack Adams Award, the Senators would have to stay at least where they are, or even move up in the standings
Flames Coach Brent Sutter after losing to the Blues 2-0, their
seventh loss in a row.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Both Lindy Ruff and Paul Gaustad said a controversial call by referee Kerry Fraser did not cost the Buffalo Sabres a game against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
But the Sabres head coach and centremen were nevertheless appalled by a disallowed goal late in the second period, a key play in a 3-2 Canucks victory.
“I understand it, but I don’t like it,” said Ruff, who went crazy on the bench, yelling and gesticulating at Fraser and co-referee Mike Leggo.
What was the official call?
“That Gaustad had cross-checked their player,” Ruff said. “I just felt it was more incidental contact. If you’re going to call that, you better call about 75 cross-checks in the game around the front of the net.”
continued and watch the play in question below…
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…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org