Kukla's Korner Hockey
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...
I tell people when I was selected winner of the Elmer Ferguson Award to make it into the writers wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame, that Gordie Howe came to the luncheon to hear me make my speech.
He was there all right. But that was the year Mark was inducted into the Hall of Fame. And Gordie was there to honour Mickey Redmond, the former Red Wing who was the inductee as winner of the Foster Hewitt Award as broadcaster and was the other guy making his speech at the luncheon.
At the hotel Gordie talked with my son and would walk up to my wife, who had found herself briefly standing alone again, and start up a conversation.
Wayne Gretzky always maintained Gordie Howe was the greatest player in the history of hockey. He may have been the greatest guy.
Before he goes, we all should let him know.
-Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun on Gordie Howe. Read more from Jones on Gordie Howe.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Canes coach Bill Peters shut down Semin’s ice time soon after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the forward. After Thursday’s practice, Peters talked more about Semin, whose slow start – no goals, two assists, a minus-seven rating in eight games – mirrors that of the Canes and is a factor in it.
“He’s not moving his feet, not playing with the pace the league is at,” Peters said. “The league is at a very good pace, there’s guys with trap pressure, there’s no time and space, so if you’re not moving your feet you’re going to get caught from behind. If you’re going to make a slow-developing play, guys who were open are going to be covered eventually and everything closes off. So you have to play quicker.”
Asked why Semin had not gotten up to speed, Peters said he wasn’t sure and said he and Semin had discussed the issue.
“We’ve talked. We’ve talked a lot. We’ll see,” he said.
more on the Canes...
4 1/2 minutes of highlights...
via Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Replays from multiple angles showed the puck long gone from Emelin’s stick when Burrows, coming cross-ice, belted the Canadien who never appeared to see him coming. Emelin left the ice with assistance from head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend.
“Instead of having a five-minute power-play, the puck was in our net,” head coach Michel Therrien said.
There was no penalty called – linesman Darren Gibbs, working his 1,001st NHL game, was feet away – and incensed Therrien discussed the matter during a TV timeout with a referee. But Emelin returned to take a regular shift in the third period.
Therrien called it “a dirty hit to the head” but said that Emelin visited the dark room and passed all the tests, cleared by the doctor to return to action.
Watch the hit below...
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6-1, 200-lb free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Colaiacovo, 31 (1/27/1983), is a veteran of 401 NHL games over 11 seasons. He most recently was with the St. Louis Blues, where he posted a goal and three assists for four points in 25 games last season. Colaiacovo played a total of five seasons with the Blues, who acquired him from Toronto on November 4, 2008 with Alex Steen in exchange for Lee Stempniak. He spent the 2012-13 season with Detroit, appearing in six games, before re-signing with St. Louis before last season.
In those 401 games with Toronto, St. Louis and Detroit, Colaiacovo has posted 31 goals and 133 assists for 144 points, along with 211 PIM. He was drafted by Toronto in the first round (17th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle's Mark Craig, as a follow-up to Craig's Tweets about Thomas Vanek possibly being involved with the gambling ring ran out of a restaurant he was an investor in:
A bookmaker pleaded guilty Thursday to laundering a $230,000 gambling debt — a payment his attorney said was made with a New York Islanders check.
That payment — apparently a salary check that was endorsed and handed over to cover wagers — was made at the same time hockey superstar Thomas Vanek played for the Islanders, said local attorney James Wolford.
Wolford declined to say whether the payment came from Vanek, who has been linked to the alleged Rochester-based gambling ring. Vanek has acknowledged testifying before a grand jury and sources say his name turned up in records seized from the alleged bookmakers.
Still, Wolford said he was surprised that Vanek's agent said in an interview that Vanek was not involved in any wrongdoing.
And it gets worse from there:
Wolford said after the plea that the $230,000 was a small portion of the overall debt owed by the gambler who paid with an Islanders check. The total of the debt was more than $1 million, he said.
When I hear the combined words 'hockey lottery', I not only think of the teams at the bottom of the NHL standings but also think of teams which have benefited from a past lottery pick.
For those teams who have made the right choice after winning the draft lottery, their future looks much brighter than those who some how missed with the pick.
The TSN Insiders discussed the no-goal in the Wings/Capitals game last night and also mentioned Scott Stevens may join the Department of Player Safety.
Also discussed was the cap issue with the Kings and NHL Safety meeting with NHL teams.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It’s not a matter of if, but rather when the Buffalo Sabres flip pending UFA Chris Stewart.
There’s nothing imminent as far as we can tell. We reported earlier that the Boston Bruins have him as one of their targets and another Atlantic Division team the Ottawa Senators had talks earlier this month with the Sabres. The Senators tried to trade for him before the trade deadline last spring. They spoke again to Buffalo a few weeks back but nothing came of it for now.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have been hammered on defense by injuries, so perhaps their need would be best served there, but a source said Thursday that Boston’s plan right now is to ride this out, knowing that within a month or so most of their injured blueliners will be healthy. No panic trade in store.
more hockey topics including the Kings' salary cap issues and the Carolina Hurricanes...
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