Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News,
Cam Talbot has not dethroned Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers say, but Alain Vigneault's decision to start Talbot Monday night for the second straight game has the unmistakable makings of a potential goalie controversy at 33rd and 7th.
"Cam's playing extremely well right now," Vigneault said at the Garden before the Blueshirts (14-13-0) took on the Winnipeg Jets (12-12-4). "He's got a lot of confidence in his abilities, and for tonight's game, I just thought that was the right call. Henrik is definitely the number one goaltender on this team. He's proven that over the years: That he's one of the best, if not the best, in the National Hockey League. But for tonight's game I feel that it's the best thing for us to go with Cam."
Lundqvist, 31, the Rangers' Team MVP for the last seven consecutive seasons and the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie, has not been a healthy scratch in consecutive games since Feb. 5-7, 2011, when now-retired backup Martin Biron played two in a row under former coach John Tortorella....
"This game is not about what you did last year or the last eight years or last month; it's about now," Lundqvist said. "And tonight, this is the best decision for the team, and I stand behind that. I just have to see it as a challenge for me to really reach my top level. I'm not satisfied by being OK or (that) I played a solid game. I want to be great. And if I'm not, I'm not gonna be satisfied. So I just need to push myself even harder here."
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
My take is that an attacker is given a distinct and unfair advantage over the goalkeeper on most of these "stop and go" type maneuvers. While it might be entertaining for fans during an All-Star Game Skills Competition where there is little on the line except bragging rights, a regular season shootout is worth a point in the standings. Shootout wins can make a huge difference in the final standings for playoffs.
The integrity of the final standings is being compromised by circumventing the spirit of Rule 24 through unfair advantages shooters are being given over the goalkeepers. Short of a rule change, the referees should be empowered to kill the play whenever they determine (with their naked eye) that the puck has not been kept in motion towards the goal as the current rule states.
It would take a large measure of courage on the part of the refs to make that call, in addition to support offered from a Hockey Operations Dept. that has set the existing standard.
NEW YORK (Dec. 2, 2013) – Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 1.
A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER
The second month of the 2013-14 season featured record-setting performances by teams and players, a thrilling race for the NHL goal-scoring lead, and many milestone moments.
HOT STARTS CONTINUE
Several clubs continued their hot starts to the season, setting franchise records and posting club firsts:
* The Blackhawks (20-4-4, 44 points), the defending Stanley Cup champions, have earned at least one point in 24 of their first 28 games to move to the top of the League standings. Their 20-4-4 record is the second-best start in franchise history; the club went 23-2-3 (49 points) through the first 28 games of 2012-13, including an NHL-record 24 consecutive contests with at least one point to begin the season (21-0-3).
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
2 - Or fewer goals surrendered by Rangers rookie goalie Cam Talbot of Caledonia, Ont., in each of his first seven NHL starts. Talbot is the first goalie since Frank Brimsek accomplished the feat in his first 12 stars with the 1938-39 Bruins.
9 - Times in 27 outings the Senators have scored first this season. Only Florida (eight), Carolina (seven) and the Buffalo Sabres (five) have scored first in fewer games this fall.
21 - Assists in November for Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin. The last player to register that many assists in a calendar month was Wayne Gretzky for the Los Angeles Kings in January 1996.
1, 178, 426, 682, 1,108 - Games played, goals, assists and points - all franchise records - for Daniel Alfredsson during his time with the Senators.
12-0-1 - Record for the San Jose Sharks with Brent Burns in the lineup.
6-3-4 - The Sharks' record when Burns was sidelined with a facial injury.
more hockey topics...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Goalie gaffes seem to be all the rage these days and on Saturday, there were two more faux pas that played endlessly on the highlight reels and profoundly affected the outcome of games. When did this Keystone Cops routine become so commonplace?
Here at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens – who has been exceptional filling in for the injured Jonathan Quick – stumbled trying to play the puck during a five-minute power play and fell flat on his backside. His fall permitted the Flames’ Paul Byron to scoop up a loose puck and feed it to Blair Jones for a shorthanded goal, which broke a scoreless tie in what finished as a 2-1 Calgary victory.
Up the coast in San Jose, in a showdown for first place in the Pacific Division, it was more of the same, this time with Jonas Hiller in the featured role. The Anaheim Ducks were on a second-period power play when Hiller skated out to the right face-off circle to move the puck up to his defence. A routine play usually except this time, he turned it over to the Sharks' penalty killers, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, who played pitch and catch with each other before Marleau eventually deposited the puck in the empty net. The Ducks would tie the game in regulation to earn a point, but ultimately lost the game in a shootout.
According to Flames’ goaltender coach Clint Malarchuk, the evolving nature of the NHL game is the reason you’re seeing so many of puck-handling errors.
“Teams are so pressed and pressured for offence now that when the puck goes in deep, they want it turned around right away the other way,” said Malarchuk. “I know what we tell our goalies: ‘Play the puck. Play it and play it well.”
continued plus more NHL talk...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Scrivens lost his first game in regulation in nine starts on Saturday when he lost an edge and fell on a short-handed goal and then the Calgary Flames’ Mike Cammalleri was left alone in the last 25 seconds to tuck the puck in, but stuff happens.
He was supposed to be a caddy for Quick, playing every fourth game or so. But he’s got a 1.52 goals-against average and .944 save percentage and he’s playing every night, with two Shakespearean quotes on his mask — one from MacBeth, the other from King Lear. Both are famous kings in literature, of course, and Scrivens has a painted quill on top of his head gear for an added touch..
The eclectic goalie can’t keep up with all the media calls for his time, which eats into his current reading — a physics book, The Elegant Universe: Hidden Strings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene and The Self-Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood.
He has also read Ken Dryden’s wonderful book, The Game, too, because the goalie (along with fellow Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk) is the most illustrious hockey alumnus of Cornell University, where Scrivens went to school.
Ryan Garbutt of the Dallas Stars was involved in a collision with Ilya Bryzgalov which forced the Edmonton goaltender to leave the game.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
The game-winning shootout goal by Joe Pavelski featured a nifty move where he applied the brakes in front of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, then fired a quick shot that he couldn’t stop. The puck never stopped moving forward, but whether Pavelski did was subject to debate.
As was whether that mattered.
The Ducks were unhappy, but they weren’t exactly sure whether they were entitled to be.
“We don’t [know the rules]. That’s the problem,” Ryan Getzlaf said afterward. “Everything’s interpretation. I can’t even make a comment on it because I don’t really know what the rule is. Whatever they think is the rule that night.”
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau knew the rule – puck must keep moving forward, but not necessarily the player – but allowed as to how his view of it would change based on what side of the shot he was on.
“I thought he stopped,” Boudreau began. “It’s not a vague rule but it’s a weird rule that you are allowed to stop but the puck is not allowed to stop. He came to a dead stop, but they OK’d it in Toronto.”
more on the game... and watch the shootout goal below...
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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