Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Don’t call me a quack just because The Maven smiles at the prospect of Ducks flying into The Garden on Tuesday night.
No matter that the Blueshirts otherwise successful road trip ended with a 3-0 defeat on Sunday at The Igloo.
The Rangers have endured 3-1-1 in their last five games and return to Seventh Avenue respectably atop the Atlantic Division. There’s no point sitting in the corner and sulking about that, is there?
from Empty Netters,
Also, with NBC doing the game, prepare yourself four quite a few “Staals are brothers” references. Even more than an FSN Pittsburgh broadcast. Network television is generally geared towards the most broad, generic mentally dull audience available. So instead of actually explaining the Penguins’ power play, they’ll just bring up the Staals 902 times.
more on today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired goaltender Mathieu Garon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Dany Sabourin, forward Ryan Stone and a fourth round draft pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
I had the opportunity to speak with Mike Milbury this morning to discuss the NHL on NBC game this Sunday at 12:30pm ET.
We talked about the upcoming game and a few other hockey topics. Also note, I got my Pierre’s messed up, referring to McGuire as LeBrun in the interview. Hey, it is Friday morning and -16 right now. That is my excuse!
If you wish, you can download the interview in mp3 format here.
From Slava Malamud, contributing at Tarik El-Bashir’s blog in the Washington Post:
And here is what we could learn about the assorted feuds of the Alexes, the Kid and Malkin. You can believe me when I say that Russian journalists would much rather write about goals and wins, but since this story is apparently a gift that keeps on giving, we deemed appropriate to get further into it.
For one, Alex Ovechkin apparently speaks to Sidney Crosby. Loud and clear at that, to the point where all the teammates of both players and a couple of officials would like to gather around and partake in the exchange. And here is another thing: Alexander Semin also speaks to Crosby. At least, according to Evgeni Malkin, and that is a bit of a surprise, to say the least. And here is the third thing: Ovechkin and Malkin - nope, still not talking to each other, presumably, because both are so busy talking to Crosby.
Sheesh. This story is turning into some sort of odd Russian love triangle/feud, with a stray Canadian tossed into the mix. Read on for quotes after last night’s Pens-Caps game.
I always give big hits, so if I have a chance to hit him, why not? We both play in [the] Russian national team, so it’s not a rivalry. We’re not friends [but] we can still talk to one another.”
-Alexander Ovechkin talking about Evgeni Malkin. Much more at Capitals Insider as the Penguins and Capitals prepare to meet tonight…
‘‘We’ll stick up (for Malkin), like you would for any teammate. They’re intense, physical games and as long as that’s the way they stay, that’s safe. But if there’s deliberate intent to hurt someone, you kind of step outside the line a bit, you have to make sure you stick up for your teammate.’‘
-Sidney Crosby speaking about the game tomorrow against the Washington Capitals. More from the CP via TSN.
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Delaware County Times,
It’s a good thing for the Penguins that the Steelers are in the AFC Championship game, keeping the spotlight off of them.
Making matters worse are reports that there is an internal rift between the players and coach Michel Therrien and that the Pittsburgh coach might not be around if it matters get much worse.
Speculation is that former Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette could replace Therrien at a moment’s notice.
It’s not just the coach.
Malkin and Crosby are still scoring points — they are the league’s top two scorers — but they are getting little help from teammates and finding that play has gotten a lot more physical compared to last season.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins (20-19-4, 44 points) probably need to earn at least 60 percent of their remaining available points to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
They’ve earned only 51 percent through 43 games.
“We need to pick it up,” defenseman Ryan Whitney said before losses last week at Nashville and Colorado. “We needed to pick it up a while ago.”
They haven’t, of course, hence their status as one of the NHL’s worst teams for going on about two months.
Some of their putrid statistics from their 8-15-1 stretch dating to Nov. 22:
• 15.5 percent on the power play (16-for-103).
• 76.4 percent on the penalty kill (81-of-106).
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but the Penguins could stand to acquire a scoring winger to play along side Sidney Crosby. But how does Ray Shero and company go about getting one?...
What about drafting and developing players? While selecting all-world talents like Alex Ovechkin or Ilya Kovalchuk first overall takes the brain power of a piece of toast or even Don Waddell, unearthing gems like Henrik Zetterberg (above) in the seventh round takes a sharp mind like Ken Holland’s.
In that regard, the Penguins have stunk dating back to the Craig Patrick regime….
How inept have the Penguins been in finding scoring wingers through the draft? They’re one of four teams which currently don’t have a winger who scored 20-goals in 2007-08 or are on a pace for 20 goals this season on the roster which was acquired through the draft. The others are the Hurricanes, Islanders and Lightning.
read on and check out the imformative chart…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org