Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sports Illustrated,
Welcome to the latest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. We've passed the first quarter mark of the season and there have surely been some surprises, most notably on Long Island, in Nashville and out west in Calgary and Vancouver.
Once again our three scribes—Allan Muir, Sarah Kwak and Brian Cazeneuve—have submitted their choices for the league's Top 10 teams....
#1 NEW YORK ISLANDERS
LAST WEEK: 7, RECORD: 15-6-0
MUIR (1): Coach Jack Capuano says his Islanders have a bit of swagger in their game right now, and who can blame 'em? They may not be the best team in hockey, but they're the best team in hockey right now. Their home-and-home weekend sweep of Pittsburgh and a thoroughly dominant performance on Monday night against the Flyers made that abundantly clear. Jaro Halak has been lights out, stopping 180 of the past 188 shots he's faced while posting seven consecutive wins.
KWAK (2): Isles fans shall hail the shootout! Indeed, their team is an impressive 5-0 in the skills competition this season, picking up valuable points and joining the Penguins at the top of the rather dumpy Metropolitan Division. Those points have come on the sticks of Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, who are each 4-for-5 this season.
CAZENEUVE (2): It has been refreshing to see the Islanders reaching for new glories. They've won four straight, but more important, with that home-and-home sweep of the Penguins, they are positioning themselves very well should they happen to meet Pittsburgh in the playoffs. They then beat the Flyers, 1-0, in a shootout, proving that this emerging young team can play high- or low-scoring contests and survive the tests.
read on for the rest...
via the Tampa Bay Lightning...
Lightning coach Jon Cooper gives his opinion on the return of Marty St. Louis to Tampa Bay on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.
added 1:56pm, Pierre LeBrun talked with St. Louis...
No penalty on the play, thoughts?
Anyone recall seeing a save in this fashion?
from Daniel Friedman of CBSNewYork,
Just as the wheels appeared to be falling off, the New York Islanders pulled over to the side, brought out their toolbox and, sure enough, got back on the road.
All you had to do was look up and down that roster to see that, as I said last week, their wounds were self-inflicted. The Isles were beating themselves and were capable of a lot better.
Well, they showed that by taking two of the best teams in the NHL past regulation and then beating them in overtime and a shootout, respectively. Those wins were much needed, considering they were coming off three straight losses, but getting them was a daunting task. To the Isles’ credit, they took care of business.
“We were tired there in the third, but we hung with it, stuck with the game plan and we really just kind of gutted it out and got a gutty win,” winger Kyle Okposo said following the 2-1 shootout win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. “The last two games were huge for us. We got a big win last night, and to come in and play back-to-back in Southern California is not an easy thing to do.”
The Hockey writers at ESPN participated in an online chat today...
How does Jack Capuano still have a job? There is no way he can be considered one of the top 30 coaches in hockey.
scottdburnside To me the Jack Capuano situation is among the most interesting of the NHL coaches. New ownership coming in, moving to a new building and they need to make the playoffs. Yes, Jaroslav Halak looks like an early bust but there's no way this team misses the playoffs without ownership demanding blood. The question is whether that demand comes sooner or later. Isles on a stretch where they play seven of eight on the road.
many more questions and answers...
from Gary Craig and Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle,
Federal authorities are investigating whether National Hockey League star Thomas Vanek was the target of an extortion attempt by members of an alleged local gambling ring, sources say.
In debt to local bookmakers, Vanek paid $230,000 to partly cover what he owed. That payment, made when Vanek played for the New York Islanders, is central to the allegations of extortion, according to three sources close to the investigation.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Remember those halcyon days of mid-October when the New York Islanders were everyone's darlings? Seems like only yesterday. After a 4-0 start that had everyone raving and talking playoffs the Islanders have landed with a thud, and it's the same old issues that plague the Isles. They were beaten 5-0 Thursday night by the Avalanche, putting them at 2-4 in their last six games having allowed 24 goals in that stretch.
Jaroslav Halak, the big offseason acquisition in goal, hasn't been very good and has lost three in a row, and backup Chad Johnson hasn't been much better. It's not all the goaltending (or team defense), either.
The Islanders are 3-for-27 on the power play in their last six games. And here's where it gets interesting: Thursday's loss in Denver was the first game in a stretch during which they will play seven of eight on the road. Oh, and their next three stops are San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles. A trip like that has the potential to make those recent glory days seem like a hundred years ago.
read on for notes on the Blues by Custance, the Avalanche from LeBrun and more...
via tweets of Gary Craig, a reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle,
Thomas Vanek has been linked to gambling with alleged Rochester ring.
Over next few Tweets I'll detail gambling allegations that could point to hockey superstar Thomas Vanek.
Records seized from alleged bookmakers show payments from Vanek, sources have said. He testified before grand jury in Rochester.
Read more from Craig's recent timeline...
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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