Kukla's Korner Hockey
Brent Seabrook took a skate to the face in this scramble in front of Chicago's net. He did return to the game.
In Chicago's 4-2 win over Minnesota, Thomas Vanek put this hit on Marcus Kruger and received a major for boarding.
First up is the tribute video for Roberto Luongo by the Vancouver Canucks...
Luongo was also name the first star of the game and the Vancouver fans react accordingly...
By Michael Gergiou,
Dewar’s is one of the worlds’ premier Scotch whisky brands, and one that has earned a reputation for celebrating the lives of extraordinary people. These include individuals such as Hilary Knight, who is a two-time silver medallist in female hockey and an Olympian who has achieved almost every personal accolade that the sport has to offer. Rather than treating this success as finite and rating her achievements as the pinnacle of a stellar career, however, she has decided to utilise it as a platform for helping others and inspiring a better world for all.
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
The Flyers won't be close to holding a playoff spot when they reach the halfway point to the season after playing the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
Bad first half, right?
"I think our progress is really good," captain Claude Giroux said. "We've been getting better."
Progressing good? Getting better?
The Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in a shootout last Tuesday, but they were 0-4-1 in five games before that and currently are nine points out of a playoff spot with a 15-18-7 record.
Maybe our record doesn't show, but I think the last month or so we've been playing some good hockey. We've playing the way we want to, but at the end you've got to find a way to win games and that's one thing we need to figure out."
Ah, figuring out how to win would be a good idea.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Hands up who figured Buffalo Sabres centre Zemgus Girgensons would be 141st in NHL scoring but first in player votes for the NHL All-Star Game?
The Latvian has garnered more than 1.5-million nods because it seems everyone in Riga, population 700,000, voted twice.
How many figured more NHLers would be on injured reserve the first three months with the mumps than sprained knees, with Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby looking like Alvin, the most famous of the singing Chipmunks?
Did anybody see Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek leading the league in scoring at the halfway point? Or Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano having more points than New York Islanders captain John Tavares and San Jose Sharks centre Jumbo Joe Thornton?
How about the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Tyler Johnson, the undrafted centre who is third in league scoring, with only nine of his 45 points on the power play and leading in plus/minus (plus-26)?
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's efforts to find a replacement for chief executive Tim Leiweke have stalled in recent weeks, with some board members musing that the company should try to convince Leiweke to stay on board.
The board has spent months interviewing possible replacements for Leiweke and has been collectively surprised that some qualified candidates haven't been interested in even interviewing for the job.
MLSE is jointly owned by Bell Media, TSN's parent company, and telecom rival Rogers Communications. The perception that those companies are often at odds has made some sports executives contacted by MLSE wary.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
“I think it’s going to be emotional,” Luongo said on Wednesday shortly after the Florida Panthers practice. “I’m flattered they’d do that. I told (the organization) it wasn’t necessary but I’m happy there’s some sort of recognition. I think it’s good for both sides.”
Especially if it’s shorter than Ben Hur.
As Luongo suggests, the Canucks-Panthers encounter will be emotionally charged for all parties involved, and it’s fitting the organization has chosen to recognize his importance to the franchise and this province. But, really, how do you sum up Luongo’s Canucks career with one short video? How do you capture all the twists and turns, the high drama and low comedy, that took place here? Obviously, whoever put the tribute together will have to paint with some very broad strokes or the fans will be in their seats until 1 a.m.
But whatever they come up with, you know it won’t tell the whole story of Luongo’s career with the Canucks because, well, we’re just not sure if that’s possible.
It’s been 10 months since the former face of the franchise was dealt to the Panthers, and this week he returned, bringing with him all those delicious storylines for one final review.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Just like the Rangers, the Washington Capitals remain hot as well, racking up yet another victory with a 6-2 decision in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Since a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Dec. 2, the Caps have gone 11-1-3. No wonder the equally hot Columbus Blue Jackets can't gain any ground in the Metropolitan Division with the Rangers and Caps refusing to lose games.
Speaking of the Metro, we were hard on the division earlier in the season because it appeared to be a weak outfit aside from Pittsburgh and the Islanders, but not so much anymore. The Rangers and Caps both sit in playoff spots now, giving the division four teams sitting pretty.
read on for Custance on the Bruins, Strang on the Rangers and Burnside on Ilya Brygalov...
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the most interesting questions that the hockey analytics community has dealt with in recent years has concerned the old Ryan Suter and Shea Weber defence pairing in Nashville. When that pairing existed, both players were individually recognized as elite defenders, with Shea Weber being received as the slightly better of the two. The pairing eventually broke up in the summer of 2012, when Ryan Suter left Nashville for a $98-million contract in Minnesota.
Though both are still great players, I think it’s fair to say that the reputation of each has taken a slight hit since the break. Part of this is tied into the fact that their underlying numbers have never been as impressive as some of the other game-changing defenders around the league at even-strength, who generally post quality on-ice Goal% rates and on-ice Corsi% year after year. This, of course, is because most every team is usually moderately to significantly better with their first pairing on the ice, with performance depreciating as lesser pairings and players replace them.
Suter was the first to go through this. Last year, talk about Suter’s performance wasn’t critical, but appropriately focused on whether or not the team was simply playing their top-defenceman too many minutes.
NASH, RED-HOT RANGERS KNOCK OFF LEAGUE’S TOP TEAM
Rick Nash scored his 25th goal of the season, the eventual game-winner, to power the Rangers past the Ducks in the opening contest of their three-game California road swing.
* At 22-11-4 (48 points), the Rangers remained one point behind the Capitals (21-11-7, 49 points) – who also won on Wednesday – for third place in the Metropolitan Division. New York, however, holds two games in hand.
* The Rangers improved to 11-1-0 in their past 12 games dating to Dec. 8. It marks the first time the club has won 11 contests over a 12-game stretch since Oct. 30 – Nov. 24, 1993, when they went 11-0-1.
* Nash ranks second in the NHL with 25 goals, one behind League leader Tyler Seguin. He also shares 12th overall with 39 points in 37 contests.
* Nash registered his 60th career game-winning goal and fourth of the season; that is tied for fifth in the NHL, one behind League leaders Matt Beleskey, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Lars Eller and Patrick Kane.
* Nash extended his point streak against the Ducks to six games (5-2—7). He has 19-16—35 in 35 career appearances vs. ANA.
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 email@example.com