Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Al Montoya, making his first start in almost three weeks, left Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Kings after apparently being hit in the head while trying to stop Nick Shore from scoring.
Roberto Luongo came in to play facing a 1-0 deficit with 11:19 left in the period and made 20 saves in relief.
“All I know is he left the game,’’ coach Gerard Gallant said of Montoya. “They were driving the net trying to score and something caught him in the neck or the head. He was pretty sore, obviously couldn’t come back.”
more on the game...
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
For the first time in franchise history, the Predators were shut out for the third consecutive game, this time in a 3-0 loss to the Rangers on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
“We’re getting quality chances," Predators defenseman Seth Jones said. "We’re moving the puck well, we’re shooting pucks. The past (three) games we’ve probably outplayed the teams and (we're) just not seeing results. There’s nothing much more to say.”
The Predators haven't scored a goal in 213:47, the longest scoreless stretch in team history.
also from Vingan,
"We’ve got to find a way to stick with it," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "You can’t get frustrated. It’s tough to say that when you haven’t scored in three games, so it’s tough to sit here and say we’re not going to get frustrated. Obviously it is, but we can’t let our play show (it).”
In the past three games — which includes 4-0 losses to the Blue Jackets on Friday and the Wild on Saturday — the Predators have a 158-86 shot-attempt advantage at even strength and a 64-40 edge in scoring chances, according to war-on-ice.com.
Those efforts, despite the lack of goals, is enough for Predators coach Peter Laviolette to mine positives from these recent letdowns.
“If it happens, you try to work through it, but when it happens three times in a row, you’re getting pretty frustrated," Laviolette said. "I always think you go back to the game. If you don’t think your team is competing the right way, if you don’t think we’re generating, you don’t think you’re playing a game that can be successful, I guess you go back and look at it, try to really bear down and fix things and make major changes. Again, we’re on the attack all night, we didn’t give up, we generated a whole and didn’t go our way.”
Game highlights are below...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Everyone is on notice. The Islanders will make an ownership transition in July, with Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin taking the majority reins from Charles Wang. The team's partner/landlord at Barclays Center wants to sell more tickets.
Those are the pressures on Snow and the coaching staff, as tight-knit a group as the players say they are in the room. Those same players, who have benefited from an extremely player-friendly coach in Capuano, can't abuse that situation by not being tough on one another after games such as Sunday's 4-2 loss in Montreal, when the players were more upset about borderline penalty calls than their 0-for-5 night on the power play and 2-for-5 night on the penalty kill.
Thanksgiving is coming, the most important family time of the year. If the Islanders don't treat this week with the proper importance, their own family may be fractured.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
As a team shopping perhaps the most desirable trade bait in the NHL, it’s no surprise the New York Islanders asked the Calgary Flames for T.J. Brodie in exchange for Travis Hamonic.
However, a far more interesting question thrown Calgary’s way makes for a delicious debate amongst Flames fans.
A source close to the team told the Calgary Sun that Islanders GM Garth Snow also inquired about the services of Flames newcomer Dougie Hamilton as part of a trade for Hamonic....
For the record, the Flames aren’t.
Very few front office-types believe the Isles will find a suitor anytime soon as the asking price for Hamonic is sky high -- as it should be for a highly sought-after commodity who shoots from the right side, eats up 23-plus minutes nightly, relishes the physicality of the sport and is proficient at both ends of the ice.
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
What value do blocked shots actually provide?
Which is different than asking the value of having players willing to block shots. It’s a dangerous game and having more players on your roster prepared to take a hit to be first to a puck or fight their way to the front of the net to have a chance at tucking in rebounds likely translates into team success.
Blocking shots is a highly visible example of an overall ethic that likely correlates strongly with winning hockey, that’s hard to argue.
But it wasn’t long ago that having players willing to fight on your roster was an important element of building a winning culture. As recently as a couple of years ago, former Leafs coach Randy Carlyle explained to me that when someone like Colton Orr was willing to trade punches with John Scott, it was a handy example to use when demanding other players to make physical sacrifices in different ways. But we’ve seen that way of thinking proven wrong as teams across the league have embraced the value of having quality skaters throughout the bottom of their lineups.
Does actually blocking any given shot (outside of goal mouth scrambles and the like) really help the cause of winning? And is it worth the risk of injury to presumably hard-to-replace talent?
more, using the Brendan Gallagher shot block/broken fingers as an example...
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
"We're certainly not happy about the way we've been playing all year," Roy said, despite the fact the Avs began their seven-game road trip 3-0. "We're not happy to be dead-last in the NHL. This is something we talk about and we're certainly not proud of that."
He added: "We should not try to find excuses."
Roy was then asked about goalie Semyon Varlamov, who will return from a seven-game absence and start at Winnipeg. Varlamov missed the last five games with a groin injury. He is 3-6-1 with a 3.26 goals-against average and .890 save percentage — three of the league's worst numbers for a No. 1 guy.
Varlamov is making $5.9 million annually.
"Varly needs to be the Varly of two years ago. For us to win games he needs to be our best player," Roy said. "This is how we view our team."
from Stan Fischler at The Hockey News,
DENY THIS IF YOU CAN:
1. The Hockey News pre-season annual listed Carey Price, Jonathan Toews, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Duncan Keith as its best five NHLers. My update is: Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, P.K. Subban and Lundqvist.
2. The biggest individual disappointment in the West has to be Carl Hagelin who has done minus-the-radical-50 for Anaheim compared to the buck he’s making. Runner-up is Cam Talbot, latest in the long line of flub Oilers goalies.
3. Enough already, with the Hall of Fame Selection Committee keeping Eric Lindros in limbo instead of in Hockey’s Pantheon. As a former HOF Selection Committee member, I know a bit about inside politicking. Lindros belongs. Period!
4. There are no big-leaguers I respect more than the Islanders’ Travis Hamonic. So, when the defender says he wants to leave the Isles for “personal reasons” I believe him. But, GM Garth Snow should wait until he gets full return value in any deal.
5. Should the NHL decide to trim the size of goalie pads no one will be more challenged than Ben Bishop who depends more on his size than any top puck-stopper. His mobility is questionable and his level of athleticism would be tested more than most.
more topics of interest...
Below, watch how the injury happened.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
The Islanders host the Flyers on Wednesday, and you sure have to wonder if steady Travis Hamonic will be on the Long Island/Brooklyn blue-line for that one.
Two losses in two games since Hamonic’s request to be moved to the Western Conference became public won’t exactly force GM Garth Snow’s hand on their own. But keeping the unhappy Hamonic around for much longer seems awkward for one and all, even if it seems somewhat unclear where he wants to go, and for what reason.
Originally, it seemed that Hamonic preferred Winnipeg if at all possible, and if not, Edmonton or Calgary. Perhaps Minnesota. A few teams — Detroit, L.A. — called to investigate and were told flatly there was "no fit."
But then there’s Anaheim. GM Bob Murray has been poking around the Hamonic situation for months — some GMs seemed to know more of his impending availability than others — and there are those who believe Hamonic would accept a move to the Ducks. With young defencemen like Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler on the roster, plus Shea Theodore in the organization, the Ducks would definitely seem to have the necessary pieces, with Snow looking for a young rearguard he can use now in exchange for the 25-year-old Hamonic.
continued plus many more hockey topics...
NEW YORK (Nov. 23, 2015) – San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin and St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 22.
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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