Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the primary drivers behind the success of the Philadelphia Flyers one season ago was, surprisingly, strength between the pipes. Dave Hakstol’s team conceded just 126 goals at 5-on-5 (sixth best in the NHL) despite a high volume of shots against. I think there was a fair argument to be made at season’s end that the Steve Mason/Michal Neuvirth combination was worthy of team MVP honors.
The goaltending uptick has been a peculiar strength of the Flyers for a few years now. Ever since the Mason era began, the Flyers – an organization often victimized by substandard netminding in the past – have enjoyed a reasonable advantage over competitors.
In the past three seasons, the Flyers have stopped 92.9 per cent of the shots they have faced at even-strength, a number only bested by the likes of the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. That kind of goaltending advantage has meant a lot of additional goals in Philadelphia’s pocket – and a good handful of wins above expectations.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
There were some raised eyebrows on Canada Day when Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced he was bringing Alexander Radulov back to the NHL after a four-year absence.
But the gamble appears to be paying off, with Radulov earning the respect of his teammates and the adoration of the fans.
Radulov had a hand in all three Montreal goals Monday night as the Canadiens squeaked past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at the Bell Centre.
Radulov’s last full season in the NHL was in 2007-08; a comeback in 2012, with Nashville in the playoffs that year, was aborted after he and Andrei Kostitsyn missed a curfew.
“When I was younger, I made mistakes and I don’t want to step in that again,” Radulov said. “Time flies and you learn. That’s why I give 100 per cent. It wasn’t easy for me to come to this league and I appreciate the GM gave me a chance and I can’t play bad.”
Below, watch Radulov post-game and also game highlights...
Patrick Burke with the explanation.
Dale Weise will have a hearing today with the Department of Player safety for this hit last night.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers' dynamic defenseman was accidentally sliced in the face by Kyle Clifford's skate early in the game. He has an ugly gash but didn't need stitches.
"I got really lucky it didn't get me too bad," Gostisbehere said. "I'm just thankful it wasn't worse. I'll take this any day over whatever could have happened. God was with me on that one. I thank him for that."
more on the Flyers 4-2 win over the Kings...
Below, watch game highlights of Philadelphia's 4-2 win over Los Angeles...
Six games for Radko Gudas, here is the explanation.
He will forfeit $245,121.96 and the money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
I spoke with Gudas on Thursday after his hit on Vesey and before he lowered the boom on Czarnik. He seems like a likeable man, and he's highly regarded by those he's played with and played for in Tampa and Philadelphia. They believe his good traits far outweigh the bad. He's had more than one discussion with the National Hockey League about his aggressive style and while he knows he's crossed the line with certain hits, he also says he understands where the line is and refutes the notion his game is based on delivering a physical message.
"I think playing more of a defensive role is more of a focus," he explained to The Dreger Report. "It doesn't mean I have to plan on the line all of the time to look for those hits on the line all of the time.
"Obviously, I do have a lot of hits throughout the season, so if you have three or four questionable hits out of 250 or 300 hits per year, I think that's a pretty good number. Accidents happen and everything isn't always perfect, but I'm never targeting a guy to get him hurt or anything like that.
Hockey is a tough sport and accidents happen, if the guy has the puck he's available to get hit, so it's tough to choose sometimes where to hit or not."
To this point, it appears like Gudas is making poor choices. But when asked on Thursday if he had any intention of changing his game or adjusting his style of play, he says he feels he's done that.
If you missed the hit, watch it here...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
And if he is suspended for Saturday night's third-period shoulder-to-the-head hit on Boston rookie center Austin Czarnik, it would leave the Flyers in an unwanted position for Friday's regular-season opener in Los Angeles _ being short an extra player in case of an injury.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety is expected to rule on Gudas on Sunday, and it would not be surprising if he was suspended.
Then again, the NHL has been so inconsistent in its rulings that nothing can be assumed.
The burly Gudas delivered the hit with 14:13 remaining in regulation of the Bruins' 1-0 overtime win, and he received a two-minute boarding penalty. Unlike Vesey, the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik did not return to the game.
That won't help Gudas' case.
Afterward, Boston coach Claude Julien criticized the 6-foot, 204-pound Gudas, calling the hit "late."
"Somehow, he seems to have a knack of getting himself in trouble every game," he said.
Watch the hit below...
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