Kukla's Korner Hockey
Martin St. Louis scored his 379th career goal to reach the 1000 points milestone.
from Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona,
The Coyotes will not tank the 2014-15 season. Not going to happen. Not a chance.
"I don't think that's something I would ever accept under any circumstance," Maloney, the Coyotes GM, said. "Tanking is not in Tip's DNA, it's not in my DNA, it's not in ownership's DNA and it's not in the players' DNA.
"Just that idea destroys the whole credibility of an organization. We would all love a franchise player -- or two or three -- but that's not how you go about it."
The idea of tanking overtakes fans wherever you find teams withering while franchise players are ripening on the amateur vines. But you'd be hard pressed to find an instance (cough, 2011 Indianapolis Colts, cough) where the team actually played along with this approach.
"Players are paid to win, coaches are paid to win and I'm paid to win," Maloney said. "If we tanked in order to rebuild, I wouldn't be around for the rebuild."
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
It’s a fairly common belief in hockey circles that if you’re in the playoffs by American Thanksgiving, chances are you’re going to be in the post-season dance five months later.
So how does that notion hold up to scrutiny? Not badly, actually. But it would be very, very dangerous for the 16 teams that are in the playoffs to think they can basically put in on autopilot for the rest of the season. According to numbers crunched by thn.com over the past 10 years when they’ve actually been playing hockey on American Thanksgiving – something they didn’t do in 2004 and 2012 – teams that are currently in the playoffs have a 77 percent chance of keeping their spots in the top eight.
When you remove the two seasons from the past 10 that did not include the extra point for a shootout win, the probability of making the playoffs goes up to 78.9 percent.
FLYERS TO HOST RANGERS IN THANKSGIVING SHOWDOWN
The Flyers and Rangers will meet in the first half of a home-and-home series when they face-off in Philadelphia for the 2014 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown at 1:00 p.m. ET (NBC, SN). The Rangers have won 14 of their last 18 regular-season matchups versus the Flyers dating to March 6, 2011, though the home team has won each of the past six contests. In their only meeting this season on Nov. 19th, Cam Talbot posted 31 saves in a 2-0 Rangers win. Flyers forward Jakub Voracek sits second overall in the NHL with 30 points (8-22—30), just one behind League leader Sidney Crosby while Rangers forward Martin St. Louis remains two points shy of 1,000 in his NHL career. The two clubs will complete the back-to-back set on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
ICYMI: Hockey Hall of Famer and former Ranger Pat LaFontaine and recent Flyers Hall of Fame inductee John LeClair were aboard the Discover/NHL “Frozen Fall Fun” float in Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,
“We were outshot and outchanced last year and that hasn’t been the case at all this year,” Trotz said. “But we’re not producing more goals at this point. We can have a little more of an interior presence.”
The real positive difference this season has been where many believe it matters most -- shots allowed and goals against.
Last season the Caps allowed an average of 33.5 shots per game, which ranked 27th in the NHL, and 2.79 goals against, which ranked 21st. This season they’re allowing 27.2 shots, which ranks fourth in the league, and 2.62 goals, which ranks 15th.
“If you look analytically, we’re much better,” Trotz said. “But we need more goals 5-on-5. That’s the process. You fix one thing and something else goes. You fix another thing and something else goes. You’re always chasing that, no matter what team you have.”
Perhaps the best judges of the progress made under Trotz are the players themselves. Jay Beagle, who has been with the Capitals through four coaching changes the past four years, says the change has been more significant than the standings may reflect.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
- ...do you think Minnesota and Dallas were both hoping for a little more production from off-season signings Thomas Vanek and Ales Hemsky? Vanek has one goal (11 points) in 21 games for the Wild, while Hemsky is still goal-less, with just five helpers in 21 games. Both are on three-year deals, with Vanek making $6.5 million per, Hemsky $4 million. And they have just one goal between them in 42 combined games.
- It’s a great story being penned in Nashville, where the Predators have jazzed up their play, and sit atop the Central. Plus, they’ve got Calder Trophy favourite Filip Forsberg who came over in that trade for Martin Erat, a deal that GM David Poile didn’t even want to make.
“Martin asked to be traded. He didn’t believe in us anymore,” Poile told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. “I had several conversations to try and talk him down. If Martin never came to me, we wouldn’t have traded him at all.”
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Deals that Hextall surely would love to make but can't include trading unproductive/expensive forwards Vinny Lecavalier (2 goals in 14 games, $4.5 million cap hit through 2017-18) and R.J. Umberger (1 goal in 21 games, $4.6 million cap hit through 2016-17). No team is taking on one of those contracts.
But here are a few thinking-outside-the-box possibilities for Hextall to consider:
1. MATT READ TO DEVILS FOR ADAM LARSSON
2. SCHENN BROTHERS, HAGG TO OILERS FOR PERRON, SCHULTZ
3. TRADE COBURN TO KINGS
more on each trade scenario...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Seguin leads the NHL with 17 goals in 22 games. If he continues that pace and stays healthy for all 82 games, he would score 63 goals. The Stars’ franchise record is 55, shared by Brian Bellows and Dino Ciccarelli. The last time a Star hit 50 was Mike Modano in 1993-94.
“That’s an incredible pace when you look at where the league is going,” center Jason Spezza said. “It’s impressive to get 40 goals in a season now. To get 50, you win scoring titles with 50.”
It’s heady stuff when you think about it. Seguin last season tallied 37 goals among 84 points in 80 games played. He was moving back to center after three years at right wing in Boston, and there were some growing pains. This season, he is moving effortlessly between right wing and center, and finding ways to get open no matter where he is on the ice.
“He’s a real challenge to defend,” said new Stars defenseman Jason Demers, who faced Seguin while playing for San Jose. “He’s got great speed, and he can really find the open ice. And he has that shot.”
"It's too early to get too tied up in the standings, but it's not too early to say, 'Where are we at as a group?' and we're under .500. That's not going to cut it. We need to be better.
"We're a better team than our record shows, and I think the biggest issue we've had is consistency. You're never going to be totally consistent. We all get that part. But our consistency, our highs and lows, have been just too extreme, and, within a game, within a period, there's just been too many down parts, whether it's 10 minutes, 8 minutes, 6 minutes. The way the game is now, as close as it is, you can't afford it. You really can't."
-Ron Hextall, GM of the Philadelphia Flyers. More on the Flyers from Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Tonight, the Jackets play the Vancouver Canucks at Nationwide Arena. The Canucks (15-6-1) have the second-best record in the Western Conference. They have found something. The Jackets (6-13-2) have the second-worst record in the league. They have lost something.
“When you’ve done something, it becomes an expectation and a standard, and we haven’t been up to that standard,” coach Todd Richards said after practice yesterday. “We have to expect that standard every night.”...
What the Jackets are missing, though, is who they are.
“We haven’t been able to find our identity,” Foligno said. “It comes from the players. Not management, not coaches. It comes from the players, and it has to change.”
The Jackets are fast and physical, and they have an aggressive forecheck. At least that was their identity last season, and the half-season before that.
“I don’t know if camouflaged is the right word,” Richards said. “It’s there, but sometimes we can’t find it.”
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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