Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Captain Henrik Zetterberg said the Red Wings have no concerns about Mrazek taking over for Howard and won't play any differently.
"No, not really," Zetterberg said. "I think every time Petr's been playing, he's been playing really good. He plays with confidence. He plays the puck. Obviously we want to get Howie back as soon as possible but Petr will do his job."
Mrazek will be making his second start of the season against the Sabres. He made 13 saves Dec. 23 in a 6-3 victory at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings erupted for a season-high four power-play goals....
The Red Wings recalled Tom McCollum, a 2008 first-round draft choice, to serve as their backup goaltender but it appears as if they're going to ride Mrazek until either Howard or Gustavsson return.
"He's got to handle it," said coach Mike Babcock. "The biggest thing is to just be calm and poised and don't worry about what goes in, worry about the next save. To me that's what the best goalies do."...
He also doesn't know when Howard will return.
"I can give you an update but we don't know," Babcock said. "How is that? We're just going to go week to week and pretty soon it'll be day to day."
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that forward Simon Gagne has decided not to return to the team this season due to personal reasons. Given his decision, the Bruins have changed Gagne’s status to “suspended player”.
“At this time Simon feels that he has to be home with his family and he has the complete support of the Boston Bruins organization with this decision,” said Chiarelli. “Given Simon’s decision not to return to the team, we have to change his status to maintain a full roster. I spoke to Simon about this, and he assured me that we have his full support with this status change.”
4 1/2 minutes of slow motion action from the past week in the NHL.
While most of us stayed hibernating indoors as the temperatures plummeted to -30 C, the Bunton family of Grimsby spent their week out in the backyard.
Southern Ontario's cold, cold week finally froze the Bunton's backyard hockey rink, welcoming the first skate of the season.
What started off as a tiny, 13 x 30 “patch of ice” in 2008 has grown over the last seven years into a massive, 34 x 98 hockey rink, complete with four foot boards, flood lights, a penalty box and change room with a wood burning stove inside to keep warm.
“It’s growing every year until it can’t go bigger. I think I’d have to move to go bigger,” said Mike Bunton. He spent 750 hours building the rink this season.
continued with more pictures and a video too...
I cannot believe that people raise a stink about who’s in and who’s out. WHO CARES? I’ve been saying for years that the All-Star Game should be cancelled, and perhaps one day they’ll listen to me. Many of the veteran players would rather be in Jamaica that weekend than at the actual event. But there is no question that it still matters to the younger guys who have never been.
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. LeBrun and Scott Burnside debate the ASG and it you can read more about it.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Hot topic for GMs in March: It seems certain the use of video review for goalie interference is coming, and a call in the Nashville-Dallas game last Thursday has Preds GM David Poile convinced it can’t come soon enough.
Nashville forward Filip Forsberg seemed to have scored a goal in the third with Craig Smith tangled up with Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen outside the crease on the other side of the net. The officials huddled, and the goal was wiped out. It sure seemed as if there was a decision that something unfair had occurred, but they weren’t sure what. Problem was, replays showed Smith was clearly crosschecked into Lehtonen by Jason Demers.
The GMs are likely to make a decision on this at their March meetings.
This D is well-rested: It was good to see Carlo Colaiacovo get one more chance at the NHL when the Flyers signed him in the fall after a slew of injuries to their blueline.
Turns out, however, it was more to watch than play. Colaiacovo has now been scratched for 25 straight games.
Coming to life: Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon’s scoring woes have been peculiar this season, and the Avs have shifted him to right wing from centre in an effort to get his production moving.
After scoring just two goals in 22 games, MacKinnon now has two in his last three games, bringing him up to eight on the season.
many more notes...
NEW YORK (Jan. 12, 2015) – St. Louis Blues center David Backes, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 11.
Katie Strang of ESPN looks at the Eastern Conference trends...
New York Rangers: It’s not just that the Rangers have won five straight, it’s how they’ve done it and who they’ve done it against. The Blueshirts return home after posting an unblemished 3-0-0 record on their California road trip, besting the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks despite a grueling three-games-in-four-nights stretch. A well-deserved All-Star nod for Rick Nash, we might add, for what has been a sensational first half of the 2014-15 season.
Gerard Gallant: Let’s give credit where credit is due, here: Gallant has done a fantastic job with a young, relatively-inexperienced Florida Panthers squad. The Panthers recently rattled off their third consecutive win with a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, and sit just one point behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings. Goaltending has been good, scoring has been balanced, and the development of the Cats’ young stars has been a major plus.
Western Conference trends...
Colorado Avalanche: The Avs have been arguably the most disappointing team in the first half of the 2014-15 season, though Patrick Roy and Company are making a push in the new year, with three straight wins heading into this week’s action. The Avs recently rallied back from a two-goal deficit to dispatch the Dallas Stars by a 4-3 score on Saturday, their fifth win in six games, which was highlighted by a 37-save performance by goaltender Semyon Varlamov and a slump-busting two-point effort from Matt Duchene.
The St. Louis offense: The Avs are not the only team on a roll. The St. Louis Blues have looked like an offensive juggernaut of late, scoring a glut of goals during their current four-game winning streak. The Blues have outscored opponents by a 25-8 margin during that span. Gives you a real sense of just how competitive the Central Division is right now, considering St. Louis is still back in third place with 55 points.
RAKELL, VATANEN POWER DUCKS’ COMEBACK
On a night when his club honored Teemu Selanne, fellow countryman Sami Vatanen (Jyväskylä, Finland) scored in the sixth round of the shootout – on his first career attempt – to lift the Ducks to their third victory in their past four outings.
* At 27-10-6 (60 points), the Ducks tied the idle Predators (28-9-4, 60 points) – in terms of points – for the top spot in the NHL standings. Nashville, however, holds two games in hand and owns the ROW tiebreaker (NSH: 24, ANA: 21).
* Down 4-2 after 40 minutes, Rickard Rakell (2-2—4) earned the primary assist on Kyle Palmieri’s goal at 6:25 of the third period and then scored the tying marker with 2:03 remaining in regulation. He added another goal in the fourth round of the shootout to keep the game alive.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
You just keep waiting for the turnaround to happen for the Minnesota Wild, that string of 10 games or so when those shots currently hitting the post start going in or all that offensive zone time they generate actually translates into goals. And yet, here we are on Jan. 12 and the Wild are in last place in the Central.
In fairness, you have to consider the division they play in and point out that last in the Central is kind of like being right in the middle of the Metropolitan, but still. It's bad.
The Wild's 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday was their fifth straight. After the game, Mike Yeo put it this way according to Wild beat writer Mike Russo: The clock is ticking. It's ticking on their chances of getting in the playoffs and it may be ticking on the time Yeo has left on the job.
read on for Burnside on Ducks/Jets and Strang on Jimmy Howard injury...
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.
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