Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,
I’m not at the rink today – nor was I with Senators on their weekend road trip – but something has been bugging me ever since I saw on TV Kevin Westgarth ram Mark Borowiecki’s head into the boards from behind Sunday in Raleigh.
That something, of course, is the fact nobody went after Westgarth.
I know he’s a mountain of a man at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. I know he is also one of the toughest guys in the league. And I know that the softer Senators were on the ice at the time of the incident.
But seriously, somebody should have done something. Fight him, stick him, grab him … anything. If not at the time, then at least later in the game. And if not to Westgarth, then to one of the Hurricanes’ smaller, more skilled players.
I have a problem with guys – Borowiecki being a prime example – having to fight when they deliver a clean, hard, open ice hit. But intentional or not, that was a dirty play. Is there another team in the league that would have watched one of its own get injured like that without retaliating at some point, in some form? I don’t think so.
Instead, the Senators sent a message to every other player in the NHL – it’s okay to take liberties against them. You may or may not have to answer the bell.
Watch the hit here if you missed it earlier and Westgarth does have a meeting today with the NHL Safety department.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators have certainly shown an interest in Rangers’ blueliner Michael Del Zotto, but if GM Glen Sather is asking for Chris Neil or defenceman Marc Methot in return then that’s likely a non-starter.
It’s believed the Senators have spoken with the Panthers about defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, but the asking price is high and there’s talk the 23-year-old is headed back to Russia a the end of this season.
Making $2.5 million, he will be a restricted free agent. He’s expected to get huge cash thrown at him by a KHL club which means it could be difficult for any team to give up a lot of assets to get a young player for the balance of the season.
The Hurricanes have been offering around rugged defenceman Tim Gleason, who hasn’t played very tough this year and was a healthy scratch against the Senators Sunday night. He has a ‘no-trade’ clause and two years left at $4 million per-season so he’d have to approve any deal.
“You’re not going to get a defencemen without giving something up. You’re going to have to part with some assets,” said the executive.
via Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
After making the initial kick save on Derek Grant’s snap from the wing, Ward flashes the paddle and lunges cross-crease, knocking Colin Greening’s sure rebound conversion away and stamping out Karlsson’s point streak at five games.
“I had goosebumps after that one,” Ward told reporters after the victory, admitting the rebound was a bad one on his part. True, the struggling Greening (24 GP, 0 G) should’ve buried that puck, but Ward deserves props for the desperate paddle.
“We play this game for a living, but when you make a save like that, I turn into a little kid,” he said. “It also was a sigh of relief to get that save because that was a big part of the game in the first period.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
...as the Senators have struggled defensively, so has Karlsson. He is minus-4 in his last two games, minus-2 on the season. He has made bad decisions that have resulted in odd-man rushes the wrong way. He has committed a number of glaring errors in his own end. Twice in the past half-dozen games he has allowed an opponent to step out from the corner to score — most recently, Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen, for the winner.
He has also taken considerable heat for his mistakes.
When he was an intermission guest on TV Tuesday, Karlsson was commended for a fine defensive play earlier in the game. He chuckled, and feigned surprise that something positive he did in that end of the ice would actually be noticed.
Clearly, he’s aware of all the criticism. But he’s also able to shrug it off.
“The way I play the game, I’m never going to get credit for anything but my offence, putting up points,” said Karlsson. “That’s what people are going to write about and people are going to notice. The other stuff is just kind of ... (people) gotta have something to complain about.”
What helps make Karlsson so good offensively is the same something that is presently hindering him defensively. He’s a risk-taker, a gambler. And these days, he’s losing a few too many of his bets.
MacArthur with the great pass to Kyle Turris for the shorthanded goal.
added 8:45pm, TSN (YouTube) version is below...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
As Dany Heatley made his way back to the city where he enjoyed his greatest NHL successes, it was impossible to ignore the fact that he had become a shell of his former self. Twice a 50-goal man with the high-flying Senators teams of the mid-2000s, Heatley returns to Ottawa Wednesday as a fourth-liner for the Minnesota Wild. The only thing more dramatic than his drop in production this season is a $7.5-million cap hit that makes him arguably the highest-paid role player in the league.
Heatley scored just three goals during the opening 22 games and none were of much consequence for the up-and-coming Wild. The first was into an empty net, the second provided insurance during a 4-0 victory and the third came Tuesday in Montreal with just 1.3 seconds remaining in a 6-2 loss.
Yet, despite that slow start, during a recent visit to Minnesota it was hard to find anyone around the Wild who didn’t have praise for the 32-year-old.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
While it "appears" that Kyle Turris' shot "quite possibly" crossed the goal line based on the heel position of Nicklas Grossmann's skate, various angles of video do not provide the necessary conclusive evidence to overturn referee Paul Devorski's initial call on the play and allow a goal.
While it is more probable than not that the puck crossed the goal line, the fuzzy depth perception that we gain once the puck deflected off Grossmann's left skate and went airborne provides a lack of conclusive evidence that is required to allow a goal through video review. The men in the NHL's Situation Room cannot make their decision based on any "logical assumptions" but must clearly see the puck enter the net. Even with various camera angles that are available, that process is made much more difficult once the puck leaves the ice surface and takes flight.
continued and watch the play below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Blanked at home by Philadelphia, a stirring comeback win over Boston, followed by a clunker Sunday against Columbus.
Will the real Ottawa Senators please stand up?
The inconsistencies that have plagued the team since the beginning of the season are continuing.
"We can't start games, to begin with," Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Monday. "We don't move the puck nearly as well as I thought we did last year. We're not playing with the same energy. We played hard every night last year. We’ve kind of lost that identity right now."
The Senators have given up the opening goal in 14 of their 20 games heading into Tuesday night's game at Philadelphia. It's tough enough to win in this league without having to play from behind all the time.
read on plus notes on the Oilers and Flames...
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
According to reports, the Ottawa Senators yesterday had their worst-attended home game since 2004 when their afternoon 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets drew an announced crowd of 15,535.
The weak turnout comes on the heels of a piece by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch that analyzes the downturn in seats sold at Canadian Tire Centre. The Sens, according to figures assembled by espn.com, rank 20th among the 30 NHL clubs in terms of percentage capacity, by far the lowest of the Canadian franchises....
Similarly, the St. Louis Blues’ attendance numbers are a red flag. THN’s pre-season pick to the win the Stanley Cup, the Blues have lost just once in regulation at home and have the league’s second best goal differential at plus-20 (behind only San Jose). They play a high-tempo, physical style that should engage spectators, yet they are averaging just 16,547 at Scottrade Center, filling the building to 86.4 percent capacity. That’s eighth-worst in the league. And they didn’t sell out any of their three playoff games last season.
Mark Borowiecki also received a game misconduct for this hit on Jared Boll.
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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