Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post,
Before the Washington Capitals hired Barry Trotz as coach this May, the outside noise surrounding Mike Green had reached him in Nashville. A disappointing 2013-14 season created questions that blared like sirens across the league:
Should Washington trade its highest-paid defenseman, with one year left on his contract? How about exercising a compliance buyout? Would he even be around long enough — or play well enough — to negotiate an extension?
“You shouldn’t assume things,” Trotz said after practice Friday morning. “What you hear and what you think are you hear are two different things.”
During Washington’s recent trip to western Canada, Green quietly ignited a scorching start. His seven even-strength points lead all NHL defensemen, despite missing the season-opener. His even-strength shot differential — Corsi-for percentage, it’s called — ranks sixth. He regained the confidence and form some worried had been lost.
via the NHL...
Arley Londono with the call of Scottie Upshall's game winning goal as part of Hispanic Heritage Night at the Florida Panthers vs. Arizona Coyotes game...
St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock tells Hockey Central at Noon how his club is dealing so well with the bacterial infection that's been working through the team.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report at TSN,
- As our video shows (click here to watch the video), L.A. Kings forward Jarret Stoll was tagged for tripping as Pittsburgh's Brandon Sutter went down inside the blue line. Stoll argued the call, but was swiftly directed to the penalty box by Greg Kimmerley who eventually waived Stoll out of the box after consulting with fellow referee Steve Kozari.
It's clear a mistake was made and this isn't the first time on-ice officials have rescinded a penalty. However, a similar scenario almost always includes a high-sticking infraction when a teammate has caused the foul, as recognized by one of the game's four officials.
This wasn't that case. This was a tripping call the Penguins might argue shouldn't have been called back.
As it turns out, Pittsburgh won the game and this isolated play had no impact on the outcome. However, while NHL officials shouldn't be beaten down for getting it right, some around the league worry about the precedent of this overturned call from now on. ...
- We're just over four months until the NHL trade deadline, so there's plenty of time for the Washington Capitals and veteran defenceman Mike Green to work on a contract extension. However, with the offseason signings of blueliners Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, many believe Green may be viewed as the odd man out given the $6.08 million cap space he takes up.
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
Be honest: Who really got under your skin?
DVM: Claude Lemieux. [laughs] We just couldn’t get along on the ice. I gave him two 10-minute misconducts in one game, which I had never done to any player.
Did the emergence of video replay ever make you second-guess yourself?
DVM: No. Most our guys, I think, would tell you it’s been an asset to get the call right. We just knew it was there to be used to help us. You just have to react to what happens, and if the review shows it was different later, it’s not because you intended to be wrong. Mistakes happen.
18 more questions and answers...
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
The goal totals aren’t yet pushing Nashville into the upper echelon of the NHL’s offensive clubs, but for the first time in a long time, at least the Predators seem to be eagerly trying to score rather than simply preventing goals. Their defence pinches harder now than they ever did under Barry Trotz, and they’ll be a little more aggressive now on the forecheck....
So the Preds, after missing the playoffs the past two springs following that massive post-season disappointment in the 2012 Stanley Cup tournament, are trying to change their image, trying to put their most offensive skate forward. Poile says shoring up the team’s appeal in the Nashville market by making the style more entertaining wasn’t really part of the motivation.
The club averaged 16,600 in attendance last season, 20th in the NHL while operating out of a building that doesn’t have the capacity of many of the league’s larger rinks. Hosting the NHL All-Star Game in 2016 will bring some glitz to Music City.
“The people have been very loyal in Nashville. They understand what has happened,” he said. “But our goal is still to sell out the building, and we have a ways to go. That said, business has never been better.”
The Hockey Central at Noon guys wonder why Leaf fans are quick to jump all over his mistakes, but not credit him for his positives and for still being the club’s best defenceman.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
While the National Hockey League said Friday it will continue to keep an eye on a federal illegal gambling and money laundering case in Rochester, N.Y., that Thomas Vanek has testified in as the government’s prime witness, the Wild forward likely won’t face league discipline unless he faces criminal charges or bet on hockey.
Vanek’s agent, Steve Bartlett, told the Star Tribune Friday that “Thomas is not in any way, shape or form involved in any illegal activities or in trouble here.”
Vanek bet on football and was paying off a gambling debt, according to Bartlett.
Vanek’s in the news again because a defense attorney for a man who pleaded guilty to illegal gambling and conspiracy to launder money Thursday alluded to the fact that the check his client helped launder came from Vanek while he played for the New York Islanders.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Jarmo Kekalainen sits in a suite high above Nationwide Arena and manages a smile when his Blue Jackets make it through a practice without adding another player to the walking wounded.
That’s just how it is right now in Columbus: You have to take your victories where you can get them.
The star-crossed team has been on an unparalleled run of bad luck. In the last week alone, it has seen forward Nick Foligno stretchered off the ice after a freak collision with a linesman, franchise goalie Sergei Bobrovsky suffer a fractured finger during practice and defenceman James Wisniewski suffer the exact same injury in a game.
If that was the extent of the issues, a team could cope.
But then you remember that there are serious questions about Nathan Horton even playing this season because of back issues and that Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert are also on the shelf.
from Mike Shackil,
Since 1930, the Ice Hockey World Championships have been held as an individual event to determine the top hockey team in the world. In that inaugural year, only 12 countries participated, but now the tournament features a minimum of 40 teams in at least three different groupings. With such massive global participation, Ice Hockey World Championship tickets are demanded all over the world on the secondary market.
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