Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toront Sun,
- Still waiting for a hockey fancy stat that can measure gap control by a defenceman, stick positioning, angling, and players who are or aren’t on the proper side of the puck. All of those are essential in every game played.
- more Poile: “Every couple of years I make a trade for a Forsberg. This time (Filip) it seems to have worked out well. Last time, (Peter) it didn’t work out so well.”
- I was convinced Dallas Eakins would fix the Edmonton Oilers. Really, I was.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Teams which are looking for goaltenders — including the Edmonton Oilers — have a limited crop to choose from at the moment. Minnesota sent down Josh Harding and would like to move him but is not sure if there are going to be any takers there at the moment. If nobody wants to sign UFA Martin Brodeur, then teams could look at the likes of Carolina’s Cam Ward, Vancouver’s Jakob Markstrom and Winnipeg’s Peter Budaj. A check with some NHL teams in the last couple of days indicates that the pickings are pretty slim. The Arizona (don’t call me Phoenix) Coyotes aren’t looking to replace Mike Smith, but they do need him to play better than he has. Backup Devan Dubnyk got a couple of starts this week because Smith just hasn’t performed the way the club expected.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Boston Bruins are irate at the altercation between forward Milan Lucic and Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout at the end of overtime on Friday and are vowing revenge when the teams meet on Dec. 27 at Nationwide Arena.
Lucic told the Boston Herald that he let Prout know he wasn’t going to fight, and he let his guard down just before Prout buckled his knees with a heavy right to the chin.
“It’s the end of the game,” Lucic said. “I let him know I wasn’t going to fight him. I wasn’t prepared, I let my guard down, and that’s what happens sometimes when you let your guard down. I’ve been in over 100 fights, and I never took a shot like that. Like I said, we get two opportunities to play the Blue Jackets, and I’ll be ready.”...
“There’s many a times when I could have done the exact same thing, and I held off because the guy’s refusing to drop his gloves,” Lucic said. “I find it to be gutless, and that’s my thoughts on it.”
Watch the incident below if you missed it earlier, video includes feed from both teams.
Here is a recap of the 13 NHL games from Saturday in under six minutes.
Old-fashioned hip check by Demers on Jarret Stoll.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
This collection of players doesn’t have the right stuff to succeed under the glare of the Toronto spotlight. Maybe they would be able to make it in Raleigh, Sunrise or Newark, but they don’t have the hide to take on the challenge of being Maple Leafs — certainly the alleged leaders don’t.
Maybe Dion Phaneuf would be the right guy to lead a small-market U.S. team, but his endorsement/approval of the infantile, tone-deaf stunt his team pulled on Thursday makes it pretty clear he should not be captain of the Maple Leafs.
It is as if general manager Dave Nonis and his immediate predecessor, the bombastic, never ignored (even if always to be ignored) Brian Burke, somehow put together the hockey equivalent of a team of Eddie Lee Whitsons, the one-time Yankees pitcher whose personality was not made for New York.
more plus numerous NHL related topics...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean disussed the Toronto 'stick-gate' issue along with a few other topics.
Tonight Sportsnet showed this segment during their pre-game and although it was probably recorded earlier this week it is still worth the watch especially if you are a Blues or Wings fan.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Red Wings GM Ken Holland sit down with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk about the craft of being a general manager.
I wouldn’t call us friends, but there aren’t many athletes with whom I’ve had a better professional, working relationship. When speaking to kids or doing question-and-answer sessions, you get asked who the best guys are to deal with. He was always on my list.
-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on Daniel Alfredsson. Read more on Alfredsson from Friedman.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The Sharks practiced what they've been preaching Saturday, putting veteran forward Adam Burish on waivers in their effort to become a younger team.
Burish, 31, has one goal and two assists in 20 games. More significantly, he is a minus-6 playing an average of 11:08 per game in a limited fourth line role.
"It's where we are as an organization," Coach Todd McLellan said after his team's Saturday morning skate. "We made a commitment to brining some younger players in, and at this point with Adam's position and where he is in the lineup, we are exploring some younger possibilities there."...
"Somebody could use that type of player in the league," the coach said. "He'll get an opportunity to move on and play somewhere else."
a bit more
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citzen,
In 2013-14, Ottawa were to play 17 afternoon dates. They wound up playing 18 because a Jan. 24 game in Carolina was re-booked to noon on Jan. 25. Nearly every one was a disaster.
The overall record: 4-12-2. The Senators were equal opportunity daytime pushovers, losing in multiple U.S. states, in three different time zones, in Western Canada and on home ice.
Staff and players tried everything to change the mojo: Arrived at the rink sooner. Altered the warmup routine. Drank extra coffee.
“We changed everything down to the music,” said centre Kyle Turris at one point. To no avail.
It’s a new season and, the Senators hope, a new storyline on afternoon starts. To boost it along, they have delayed their home afternoon start times by an hour, hoping it’s a better match for players’ circadian rhythms.
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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