Kukla's Korner Hockey
Is the NHL better or more entertaining than the NFL?
Scott Burnside: If Lady Gaga never performs at an NHL game, does that mean the NHL is a lesser product? Uhm. No. Listen, the Super Bowl has in many ways become bigger than the game itself. Maybe that's what the NFL strives for. Maybe it covers up multiple flaws in what is a pedestrian, often plodding game. Love the NFL, but it's not the NHL, and when we get to April and the Stanley Cup playoffs begin, then the best tournament in sports begins. Nothing is better than the first round of the NHL's playoffs, the most demanding of any pro sport, bar none. In terms of emotion and the will to win, the NHL stands alone, it stands the test of time....
Pierre LeBrun: After a Super Bowl like we had Sunday night, the timing for this question isn't exactly perfect. My goodness! How do you ever top that Super Bowl? What I would say, though, in the NHL's defense is that the playoffs over two months offer almost nightly gems. It's an incredible ride over four rounds. In fact, other than the amazing Super Bowl on Sunday night and the terrific Packers-Cowboys game (which still hurts), the NFL playoffs had a lot of duds this year. The NHL playoffs rarely have many duds.
more from Burnside and other ESPN hockey writers with their opinion...
Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 5, Los Angeles 0
Edmonton 1, MONTREAL 0 (SO)
NY RANGERS 4, Calgary 3
CAPITALS KEEP CRUISING AT HOME
T.J. Oshie scored his 20th goal of the season and Philipp Grubauer made a season-high 38 saves as the League-leading Capitals earned their ninth consecutive home victory and improved to 21-5-1 at Verizon Center this season.
* Washington (36-11-6, 78 points), who have recorded four shutouts and outscored opponents 45-12 during their home win streak, also extended their home point streak to 11 games (10-0-1). They hold a seven-point cushion atop the Eastern Conference standings.
* Grubauer recorded his third shutout of the season to improve to 10-3-2 in 15 appearances this season (1.98 GAA, .931 SV%). He had a 15-15-6 record in his first 42 career outings before this season.
(Feb. 5, 2017) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that forward Robby Fabbri (FAB-ree) is out for the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury to his left knee last night against Pittsburgh. Fabbri is expected to be ready for 2017 training camp. In addition, the club has recalled forwards Kenny Agostino (a-goh-STEE-noh) and Magnus Paajarvi (pay-YAR-vee) from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.
Fabbri, 21, has dressed in 51 games for the Blues this season, posting 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) and 27 penalty minutes. Overall, the 5'10, 195-pound forward has accumulated 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) and 52 penalty minutes in 123 career NHL regular season games.
Saturday Headlines crew discussed the 2018 Winter Olympics, coaching options for the Vegas Golden Knights, the changes to the goalie pants and talk of Brandon Davidson being available via trade.
Watch at Sportsnet.
On Coach's Corner, Don Cherry said it doesn't make sense for the NHL to go to the Olympics but he feels they will and Cherry points out the play of Connor McDavid, plus more topics.
"I'm tired of looking at good numbers and not winning games. That doesn't help us in the standings. There are good numbers, but the numbers don't describe the real bad plays you make in the game. The numbers don't mean anything if you make a real bad play that costs you the game. A play that you don't need to make. And we have done this a couple times through this homestand and tonight we really hurt ourselves. When we took the lead, I would want them to earn it. They didn't earn it."
-Lindy Ruff, head coach of the Dallas Stars after a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has more post-game quotes from both sides.
Below, catch the game highlights...
from Tim Campbell of NHL.com,
There are no line changes for officials -- they are on the ice 60 minutes, or longer, per game - which is why their pregame preparation is as important as what they do once the puck drops.
On most game days, Devorski follows a set routine.
He'll usually choose a later flight the night before, check into his hotel room and go to sleep. Then he'll have breakfast, often with the officials who will also be working that night's game, and work out for up to an hour.
"Nothing hard, just to wake the body up," the 6-foot-4 Devorski said. "Always lots of stretching."
He gets together with the other officials for lunch to discuss the upcoming game and go over their homework.
"Things like personnel, what happened last time they played," he said. "We like to keep our minds refreshed about the circumstances of any game."
Minds fresh and bodies in shape -- the days of pasta and beef for lunch are long gone for Devorski and many of his colleagues.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- The NHL apparently anticipates the cap to remain flat next season, with little if any increase projected over this year’s $73 million ceiling. That would mean an increase of a paltry 3.998 percent of the players’ pot since 2012-13, the year before the 50/50 formula went into effect.
So the major-market franchises that drive NHL revenue and successful clubs that habitually are cap teams get hammered again in attempting to maintain — or improve — their personnel while the small market clubs go along for the ride.
- We report: Tony Esposito, 886 games, 418-302-147, 2.93 goals-against-average, 2.57 adjusted GAA (thanks Hockey-Reference.com), 74 shutouts; no Stanley Cup after having allowed perhaps the worst goal in NHL playoff history, the Game 7 90-footer to Jacques Lemaire that tilted the 1971 final on its head; Ed Belfour, 963 games, 484-320-125, 2.50 GAA, 2.60 adjusted GAA, one Cup.
You decide: Whether Tony O, rather than Belfour should have been a Greatest 100.
more topics including why certain sweaters were worn by a few of the Top 100...
Home Team in Caps
Washington 3, MONTREAL 2
Los Angeles 1, PHILADELPHIA 0 (OT)
COLORADO 5, Winnipeg 2
Toronto 6, BOSTON 5
BUFFALO 4, Ottawa 0
TAMPA BAY 3, Anaheim 2 (SO)
Carolina 5, NY ISLANDERS 4 (OT)
New Jersey 5, COLUMBUS 1
Pittsburgh 4, ST. LOUIS 1
Detroit 1, NASHVILLE 0
Chicago 5, DALLAS 3
Minnesota 6, VANCOUVER 3
Arizona 3, SAN JOSE 2 (SO)
CROSBY SCORES 30TH GOAL, NEARS 1,000 CAREER POINTS IN WIN
Sidney Crosby (2-1—3) scored twice to become the first player to reach the 30-goal mark this season and lead the Penguins to their seventh win in their past nine games.
* Crosby, who was playing in his 45th game of the season, reached the 30-goal mark for the eighth time in his NHL career. Elias notes that Crosby has scored 30 goals in 45 or fewer games once before – in 2010-11, when he reached the mark in only 37 contests.
* Crosby ranks second in League scoring with 30-29—59 this season, one point back of Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (18-42—60 in 54 GP). The Penguins captain also sits three points shy of becoming the third player in franchise history to record 1,000 career points (368-629—997 in 752 GP).
Down goes Antoine Roussel.
A good bout and it is not often you see Matt Martin on the losing end.
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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