Kukla's Korner Hockey
Katie Strang of ESPN hosted an online chat today...
Were you surprised by AVs response to the question about his roster after the game last night ? And does it send a shot across Sathers bow ?
Katie Strang I think it was designed to send a message to his players more than anything honestly. I think he's becoming increasingly frustrated/exasperate with how to motivate them. I honestly did not interpret that as a veiled plea or slam of Sather in any way. But I am skeptical that the Rangers are capable of playing the type of offensive-minded game he wants. This team thrived under Tortorella because of a defensively-structured, blue-collar grinding style. They have no discernible identity now, it seems.
It's clear that the Islanders, owned by Wang and run by Snow, have no interest in winning nor will anyone be held accountable for repeated failures within the organization. Is a sale of the team the only way out for Islanders fans?
Katie Strang Honestly? Yes, I think so. It's easy to call for Capuano's head or pile onto the players but ultimately, the problems begin at the top and the onus falls on Charles Wang. He's never shown the true commitment to providing the team with the necessary funds and supports necessary to build a franchise in the right way. Snow isn't off the hook, either, for he has mismanaged his fair share and committed some costly gaffes, but he is handcuffed by Wang to a certain degree. I truly believe it will be continue to be Groundhogs Day for this team until ownership switches hands.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The 3-0 defeat was the Islanders' ninth straight loss in regulation on the road, matching a total not hit since the 1998-99 season. They are winless (0-7-2) in their last nine, six points away from seventh in the Metro Division and 10 points out of the last playoff spot.
The players kept the locker room door closed at the Staples Center for 10 minutes after the game, throwing the floor open to anyone who wanted to speak. "It was just guys talking, trying to talk some things out," Colin McDonald said. "We're just looking for anything to get us out of this."
Islanders owner Charles Wang was on hand, flying in to see his team play before attending the NHL's Board of Governors meeting Monday in San Jose. There are no indications from Wang or general manager Garth Snow that a coaching change is imminent, but something has to change for this team.
"It's a broken record right now," Matt Carkner said.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The cities change, the arenas and the opponents change, but the Islanders' inability to play well on the road has stayed constant.
The Islanders allowed the game's final four goals in a 5-1 loss to the Blues, the Isles' eighth straight loss away from home (all in regulation) and their eighth straight game without a win (0-6-2).
"There should be some pride in here," John Tavares said after another exasperating night dropped the Islanders to 8-16-5, the furthest they have been below .500 since finishing the 2010-11 season at 30-39-13.
"We need to have a lot more pride," Tavares said. "You're playing in the NHL . . . We proved a lot last year, but that doesn't mean you're going to just keep climbing. We're not earning it."
Bob McKenzie of TSN made his weekly appearance on NHL Live today and discussed Canada's WJC roster, the future of Jack Capuano and the health of Tylyer Seguin.
A short-handed goal too.
ESPN Hockey Insiders express their views from last night...
@ESPN_Burnside: Folks have been predicting one form or another of a Detroit Red Wings collapse for a decade now. These dire predictions often accompany a period of tepid play, a lack of scoring and poor goaltending that seem (to some observers) to portend a long-term disaster. All the Red Wings do in the face of such murmurings is right the ship and move on. So it was Wednesday night in Detroit, where the Red Wings had been brutal all season, that they jack-hammered the hottest team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins, 6-1....
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: The bloom is officially off the rose for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who blew 4-1 and 5-3 leads in Pittsburgh while failing to register a single shot on goal in the third period and overtime en route to a demoralizing 6-5 shootout loss on Wednesday night....
@KatieStrangESPN: One thing I am thankful for? That I am not in Jack Capuano's shoes. No doubt his seat has to be getting pretty toasty after the Islanders' fourth straight loss, 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night. Capuano is regarded as a passionate coach, but I'm just not convinced he has the experience necessary to mold the Islanders into a consistent playoff team....
more on each topic...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Must-win on Saturday night? You bet.
It’s come to this for the Islanders, playing their 25th game of the season against the Flyers. They have lost six straight on the road, are 2-7-0 in the last nine and come into play tonight in last in the Metro Division -- they are four points out of third, but still.
Nearly everyone around them is headed upwards, most of all Saturday’s opponent -- the Flyers are 5-0-1 in their last six after a dismal start that included the firing of Peter Laviolette.
And the Isles, as close as they’ve been on several occasions over the last few weeks, are not coming away with loser points when they’re playing poorly and not winning games they need to. They’ve lost two games with goals inside of two minutes to play in the last four, the penalty killing is a 50-50 proposition and now the power play disappeared at key times on Friday in Pittsburgh.
First we have Nikolai Khabibulin scrambling on his knees to make a save after he suffered a lower-body injury.
Below, Evgeni Nabokov appears to have suffered the same type of injury...
The Buffalo Sabres will pick up part of forward Thomas Vanek's salary as part of the deal they made with the New York Islanders in Sunday's trade.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the Sabres will retain approximately $1.4 million - or roughly 20 per cent - of what's left of the $6.4 million Vanek is still owed in the final year of his contract.
The Islanders acquired Vanek from the Sabres in exchange for forward Matt Moulson, a first round draft pick in 2014 and a 2015 second round pick.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reported Tuesday that if the first round pick ends up a top-10 player in the June Entry Draft, the Islanders would have the option to defer the pick to 2015. LeBrun said that it would be the Islanders' option to either have the Sabres pick this year or next if it's a top-10 selection.
There are many ways to evaluate the New York Islanders’ controversial addition of Thomas Vanek in a blockbuster deal Sunday night, but let’s start with this one: Why, in the name of Billy Smith, did they not also insist on getting goaltender Ryan Miller in the deal? Vanek, playing with John Tavares, will be a potent scoring combination, but Tavares, playing with Matt Moulson – who went to the Buffalo Sabres in the deal, along with a 2014 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round pick – was already a potent scoring combination.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this plus other NHL topics...
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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