Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Aedan Helmer of the Ottawa Sun,
But just as the warm and fuzzy feelings were returning — with the Senators now winners of four of their last five, and earning points in six of their last seven — it soon turned to concern as Bobby Ryan left the game with under four minutes remaining after taking a questionable hit from Dennis Seidenberg.
"When I saw it, to me its reviewable by the league,” said Paul MacLean. "There is an injury there. How severe it is we won't know until tomorrow.”
Seidenberg shrugged off the incident.
"The puck was in the corner, we were both going there. I want to be strong on the puck and he's kind of reaching for it, I think. I don't want to go after a guy's head or anything... people were kind of seeing it that way but I would never do that."
more on the Sens win and watch the hit below...
from Ian Mendes of TSN,
In terms of actual money, no member of the Ottawa Senators is being paid more this season than Milan Michalek.
The winger is making $6 million in 2013-14 – although his cap hit is only $4.3 million. He is in the final year of a back-loaded deal he signed with the San Jose Sharks prior to the 2008-09 season.
Michalek has only three goals in 18 games so far this season and is sporting a team-worst minus-seven rating. Prorated over the course of a full season, this would translate into just 14 goals and mark the worst offensive output of his NHL career.
In the 2011-12 campaign, Michalek led the Sens with a career-high 35 goals and was one of their most consistent players. But this year, Michalek is like many other players on the roster who is struggling to find his game.
"I know I haven't been good. I have to be better and everyone is expecting me to score," Michalek told a handful of reporters on Thursday. "It's frustrating right now and hopefully it's going to turn around soon."
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Senators,
While every Senators' practice and morning skate starts with them retrieving the puck, the 43 minutes the club spent on the ice Wednesday was made unique by the fact the players did the same drill over, over, over and over.
MacLean was trying to send a not-so-subtle message.
"We need to get better at it," said MacLean. "The games that we struggle in we don't get out of our end. A lot has to do with the opposition and the way they come after us, but it's also on us in that don't execute with the puck.
"We don't make the right reads at the right time, lots of times we have people in the right spots and we don't find them so we're not talking and we're not listening or we're lying to one another saying we are talking and listening.
"Those are issues that we have when we don't play well so it's something that we have to continue to work on every day. It's a whole team thing. It's incumbent on all six guys on the ice to have a good plan and find a way to get out of our zone. You can't just play the game in your zone because bad things happen."
Centre Jason Spezza said the club has to dictate the play.
Paul MacLean on the limited ice time Erik Karlsson saw in the first period..
Karlsson played just over four minutes in the first period but did end up with 21:04 of total ice time for the game.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Ottawa Senators have hosted six games so far this season at the Canadian Tire Centre and not one of them has sold out. By comparison, the other NHL teams based in Canada have combined for 1,662 home games since the 2004-05 lockout and not one of them has had an empty seat.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the good people of Ottawa, perhaps more than any other city in Canada, are doers rather than watchers. Second, whatever they’re calling the arena this week is 18 miles from downtown with no rapid transit system in place. Third, both the tech and government sectors, two of the biggest drivers of the Ottawa economy, have taken a beating in recent years, which has created a drag on both ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.
But none of those could have prepared these eyes for what they saw – or didn’t see – in Canada’s capital Friday night. With the New York Islanders in town, the Senators drew an announced crowd of just 15,589, but there were at least 5,000 empty seats in the 19,153-seat building. Some press box observers said it was the smallest crowd they had ever seen in Ottawa, although there have been documented games where fewer people have showed up.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org