Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
While center Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman won't play tonight in Boston due to lower-body injuries suffered Monday night, the Lightning is encouraged to know that both key players aren't expected to be out for the long-term.
Coach Jon Cooper said this morning that Johnson and Hedman could return sometime before next weekend's All-Star break. Johnson is considered closer, at day-to-day, with Hedman a little behind, at "dayish," Cooper said.
"They were freak things," Cooper said. "They weren't dirty plays, they weren't anything like that. It was the grind of the season, getting caught in the wrong place, wrong time. It sucks."
continue for more on the Lightning...
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
There’s on-ice business and off-ice business. In Los Angeles, nothing is more important than the latter, with the organization trying to win its third Stanley Cup in four years.
This season is a little different, as Dean Lombardi works to solidify the roster while the players work to handle the puck. Two important defencemen — Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin — are now locked-in long-term. They are trying to find common ground with Justin Williams, the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Still to come are negotiations with the likes of Kyle Clifford, Martin Jones, Tanner Pearson, Jarret Stoll, Tyler Toffoli…
And Anze Kopitar.
Kopitar is under contract for one more year at $6.8 million. The Kings can extend him come July 1 (just like Tampa with Steven Stamkos), and he’s just as important to Manhattan Beach as Stamkos is to Clearwater. No one expects this to be a problem, as Kopitar is happy in Los Angeles and the team recognizes his exponential value.
continued plus 30 Thoughts...
Last week I sat down with Daily Bracket to discuss their app and inform readers about a KK group on DB, with the winner receving $100 (contest ends after games on January 31st). Here’s a quick update:
Justinus is currently in front with 14 correct picks (and the inside track to $100), but Alzy and TheMeal are close behind. After an 0/5 showing yesterday, I’m currently in fourth place.
Good news for anyone who didn’t know about this: you can still join! The group doesn’t reset until February 1st, and 14 correct picks (out of the five games every day) really isn’t much of a lead. Just remember when signing up on Daily Bracket (dailybracket.com) (mobile users, dlybr.ac/dl) to enter the referral code: 6RG-W5.
Follow Marian Gaborik on the play...
Read what Kerry Fraser of TSN thinks of the goal...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Monday was another loss, but you wonder if the Toronto Maple Leafs are beginning to show some change under interim head coach Peter Horachek. Remember, Horachek spent all those years as an assistant coach on the Nashville Predators' bench, so teaching defense comes naturally to him.
The question, of course, was whether anyone can find a receptive audience in that Toronto dressing room. So far he seems to have, although time will tell if the Maple Leafs revert back to their old ways.
The Leafs limited the Kings to just 20 shots and not many scoring chances in a 2-0 defeat on Monday night, including an empty-net goal. The Leafs got style points, if not any real points, in the standings. They remain three points out of a playoff spot behind the Boston Bruins.
continue for more topics from the ESPN hockey writers...
BIG SECOND PERIOD POWERS FLYERS
Knotted at 1-1 late in the first period, the Flyers scored six consecutive goals – including five in the middle frame – to pick up their third victory in their past four outings.
* Six Flyers posted multi-point games: Mark Streit (1-2—3), Brayden Schenn (1-1—2), Chris VandeVelde (1-1—2), Jakub Voracek (1-1—2), Claude Giroux (0-2—2) and Wayne Simmonds (0-2—2).
* Streit matched a career high for points in one game, last accomplished April 6, 2014 vs. BUF (0-3—3). He has 1-8—9 in his past eight contests and shares fourth among defensemen with 5-26—31 in 43 appearances this season.
* Voracek, who leads the NHL in assists (35) and points (52), equaled a career high with his 16th multi-point performance of the season (43 GP).
note- moved to top of page so all can see and play, original post was 1/12/15 at 11:59am
20 NHL teams are in action Tuesday night so you have many roster options to choose 1 forward, 1 defenseman and 1 goalie and make sure your roster is set by 7:00pm ET on Tuesday.
$50 to the winner too at the BoltDraft/KK free fantasy game and use passcode kukla14 if needed when registering.
Easy to join, and even easier to pick your roster, it should take no more than two minutes.
Good luck and I am shooting for a win tomorrow with a few surprise roster picks, can you beat me?
Scoring rules are below and if you have any questions regarding the game, the Rules/FAQ page at BoltDraft should be of help.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Vancouver Sun,
Dominik Hasek used to set up a puck machine, aim it to fire just under the cross-bar and lie down in the crease. With pucks coming as fast as they could fly, Hasek would kick one of his legs in the air with perfect timing and stop the shots.
The hockey world is full of similar stories of Hasek's unique training regimen, and there's a seemingly unending highlight reel of show-stopping saves he made during his NHL career.
Call him crazy, but also call him one of the best goaltenders in history.
"There was definitely a method to all of his madness," former NHL goaltender John Davidson said. "(He could) make saves you're not supposed to make. He was quick, but he knew how to read plays and he could find a way to get it done by twisting his body and rolling over. Whatever it took, he got it done."
A six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the top goaltender and two-time Hart Trophy winner as league MVP, Hasek was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. On Tuesday night the Buffalo Sabres, with whom he had his best years, will retire his No. 39 before their game against the Detroit Red Wings, with whom he won the Stanley Cup.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
When you’re at the bottom rung of the National Hockey League ladder, it’s pretty obvious you’re a seller at the trade deadline — especially with guys who can walk away on July 1, no strings attached.
Which brings us to Jeff Petry. The Edmonton Oilers defenceman is in the prime of his career, but he’s due to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.
The clock’s ticking loudly on Petry — if there’s no traction on a long-term deal from his side or from Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish, he’s out the door by the trade deadline March 5, 21 games from now.
Chances are he’ll head to the Detroit Red Wings or to the Pittsburgh Penguins or to any team looking for one of those rare birds: a right-handed shooting defenceman who can skate and who has lots left on his odometer at age 27.
Rentals, outside big names such as Jarome Iginla when he left Calgary for Pittsburgh, normally bring back second-round draft picks or prospects at the deadline, but if a team feels they can sign a player before July 1, often they’ll give up more than one piece. Petry doesn’t want to think about the trade deadline, though.
from Neil Best of Newsday,
It's hockey season, New York!
"I am pretty excited about it," MSG analyst and former Islander Butch Goring said of the Islanders-Rangers game, which will feature two of the best teams in the sport so far this season. "It's been a long time since the game had some meaning. We always talk about the rivalry, but the standings dictate it wasn't nearly as important for so many years now."...
There is no more objective measure of sports interest than TV ratings, and they tell a stark story. Through 36 games on MSG, the Rangers are averaging 1.54 percent of area homes -- up 27 percent from this point last season -- and the Knicks are averaging 1.71, down 24 percent....
The Islanders are averaging 0.53 percent of area homes, up 26 percent from this point in 2013-14.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
How big can a hockey game be in January?
Big enough that Rangers coach Alain Vigneault already had a name for it, just a day before his team was to play host to the first-place Islanders at the Garden on Tuesday night.
“It’s going to be a New York classic,” Vigneault said after Monday’s practice. “It should be a lot of fun for both teams. They’re the best in our division, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
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