Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Exactly one month ago, they were down to a prayer and a miracle.
The Senators had more points than just two teams in the entire conference, and they trailed the Boston Bruins by 14 in the wild-card standings.
Impossible ground to make up, almost everyone agreed. Ottawa was going to miss the playoffs in consecutive springs for the first time since 1996....
Then suddenly, the Bruins started to slip. From Feb. 8-20, Claude Julien's squad earned just one point while losing six games in a row.
Almost simultaneously, Dave Cameron's club rallied around The Hamburglar and began to work its way up the ladder.
Since losing to Carolina Feb. 16, the Senators have grabbed 17 of a possible 18 points and now trail the Bruins by five, with a game in hand.
And now there's one month left in the season, and no denying the magnitude of the B's visit to Canadian Tire Centre Tuesday night. "Up to this point, it's definitely our biggest game of the year ... it might end up being one of our biggest games all year," defenceman Mark Borowiecki said after Monday's optional practice.
via the Calgary Flames,
Relive the action and watch behind the scenes moments from the Flames longest road trip of the season.
TAVARES POWERS ISLANDERS LATE IN OVERTIME
John Tavares scored with 21.8 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Islanders to their fifth victory in their past six visits to Air Canada Centre (dating to March 20, 2012) and their fourth straight game overall with at least one point (2-0-2).
* At 43-21-4 (90 points), the Islanders moved three points ahead of the idle Rangers (40-17-7, 87 points) for first place in the Metropolitan Division. They also tied the idle Canadiens (42-18-6, 90 points) – in terms of points – for first place in the Eastern Conference.
* The Islanders are 22 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1983-84 season (50-26-4). Their 43 wins are tied for the second-most through 68 games in franchise history, behind only the 1981-82 squad (47-14-7).
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Romasko was so excited about his NHL debut, he couldn’t take a pregame nap. Devorski asked if he was going to sleep.
“No,” he said. “I read rule book.”
Joe Louis Arena was the perfect venue. The Red Wings were among the leaders in bringing over players from Russia. They had the Russian Five. They had the first Russian winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, Sergei Fedorov. Romasko’s first hockey coach used to tell the team he once had a young player named Vladimir Konstantinov.
Romasko dropped the first puck, with Russian star Pavel Datsyuk lined up for the draw. He called that first penalty – high-sticking on the Wings’ Marek Zidlicky. Then he called the second penalty – roughing on the Oilers’ Ryan Hamilton. Devorski reassured him, telling him those were the kinds of calls he had to make.
As the game went on, Devorski was impressed. Man, the guy could skate. He could sprint forward and glide backward effortlessly, keeping up with the play, finding angles to view the action.
“I’m watching him tonight like, ‘Oh, geez. No wonder I’m leaving’,” Devorski said.
original post was 3/9/15 at 6:05pm, Moving this post back into focus so all can see and hopefully participate.
You will have eight NHL games to choose from on Tuesday for another round of the free BoltDraft/KK Fantasy Game with the winner receiving $50.
By now you should now how it works but if you don't, pick one forward, one defenseman and one goalie, then sit back and watch how the games play out. (Make sure your roster is set by 7:00pm ET on Tuesday.)
New participants are always welcome to play. Use passcode kukla23 when registering, then pick your lineup.
Very simple and quick to play, let's have some fun on Tuesday.
Scoring rules are below and if you have any questions regarding the game, the Rules/FAQ page at BoltDraft should be of help.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
As far as Ted Nolan is concerned, it seems that Mikhail Grigorenko is running out of chances to make any sort of impression to impact his future with the Buffalo Sabres.
Grigorenko was called up from Rochester Thursday, installed as Buffalo’s No. 2 center for Friday’s loss in Ottawa and was back in the AHL on Saturday.
After Monday’s practice in HarborCenter, the coach made it clear why.
“I didn’t like his play,” Nolan said bluntly. “For him to play at this level, especially with that much skill, he has to bring a little bit more than what he had. You don’t really want to sit back and hope for things to work. You’ve got to make them work like everybody else. I just felt his play on certain parts was very lackadaisical. Didn’t have any energy or urgency in his game whatsoever.”
While Grigorenko is still only 20 years old, his ability to show something at the NHL level in the final quarter of the season looms large for a variety of reasons.
This season marks the end of Grigorenko’s entry-level contract, and it will be interesting to see what tact the Sabres take with him going forward. The team could simply extend him his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent (roughly $975,000) and not negotiate a higher amount, or try to package Grigorenko in a trade.
There’s not a lot of hope, emotion, belief. This team is unaware enough to get mad at the outsiders, but not themselves.
This is what happens when you hit rock bottom. You become numb. You become emotional. You lose your will. And you stop playing for a coach who has no future.
The word “disgraceful” works here. For everyone involved.
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
So where do the Flyers go from here, and does coach Craig Berube have 15 games left in his tenure?
Barring a miracle, the Flyers will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. They have regressed in their second year under Berube, who is not the most beloved figure in the locker room.
Respected, yes. Beloved, no.
Some of the defensemen are still perturbed at the Blue Line Carousel that has had players yanked in and out of the lineup. Vinny Lecavalier, a center primarily used as a fourth-line right winger when he wasn't a healthy scratch, is fuming at the way he has been handled, and it's fair to wonder why he wasn't given a shot at being the second-line center for a few weeks to try to get him on track.
After Berube replaced the fired Peter Laviolette early last season, the Flyers went 42-27-10 under the new coach's defense-first style, reached the playoffs, and took the eventual Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers to seven games in the opening round.
This year, the Flyers are 28-26-13, and the biggest indictment of Berube is this: With a playoff spot in sight, the Flyers have lost their last five games against teams that are not in playoff positions: Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto, and New Jersey.
First up is John Tavares scoring the game winner in OT for the New York Islanders against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Followed below by a great individual effort by David Booth...
All in 4 1/2 minutes...
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