Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks (.736), Los Angeles Kings (.714) and San Jose Sharks (.706) were all top five in points percentage through Wednesday morning, signaling perhaps one of the greatest seasons ever for California teams since the three have been in the league.
Right now, all three are vying for the Presidents' Trophy; all three are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Put some hockey tape on those surfboards, dudes.
"It's been great," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf told ESPN.com this week. "We haven't played a lot against each other yet, that's the thing that's going to be real exciting down the stretch is having all three of us right in the hunt and playing for big positions going into the playoffs.
"I think California has done a great job backing these hockey teams and the fans getting on board and creating the buzz around here."
All together, the Cali clubs are a combined 68-22-15 this season. Gulp.
"We're all pretty experienced teams," veteran Kings center Jarret Stoll said. "San Jose has had a big, core group of guys there for a long time, Anaheim same thing, and I'd say same with us. So it's experienced guys, big, physical teams.
"We're all similar teams in a lot of ways and all three of us playing pretty consistent hockey right now. And all three teams are getting contributions from everybody. I'd say more or less the same thing going on with all three of us."
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The Wild paraded to the penalty box and the Sharks capitalized with three power-play goals on seven chances to send the Wild off into the chilly North California night reeling after a 3-1 loss at the Shark Tank.
“It must be nice to draw penalties like that,” coach Mike Yeo said, sarcastically, “when the other team goes stick on puck and you kind of hold your head.”
Yeo was referring to Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart, who whipped his head back like he was shot when checked by Justin Fontaine in the first period. Yeo felt replays showed Fontaine’s stick was at Stuart’s waist.
“To me that’s embarrassing,” Yeo said. “I don’t know. I guess we’ve got to ask our players to embellish more.”...
Wild center Zenon Konopka was nailed for a double-minor high-stick even though his lumber didn’t come close to hitting defenseman Jason Demers. It was actually Sharks center Freddie Hamilton who clipped his teammate.
Yeo said the referee “just shrugged.”
“I told him it was not my stick. It’s their stick,” Konopka said. “I don’t him, ‘You’re making the wrong call. It wasn’t my stick.’ Of course they score on it.”
more on the game...
added 9:21am, You have to think Yeo was not happy with this hooking call on Matt Cooke either, scroll to the :19 mark of the video below...
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The Sharks were denied a win over the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 10 when an overtime goal by Marleau was waived off by a referee who said Tommy Wingels made incidental contact with netminder Ondrej Pavalec.
But when Parise fired in a rebound at 3:55 of the second period to give the Wild a 1-0 lead, the goal was allowed to stand even after Minnesota forward Jason Pominville fell on Niemi.
"Completely different interpretation of what was explained to me in Winnipeg," McLellan said of the response he got after complaining about the goal. "I'll be looking for an explanation before we lose our third point now."
Niemi said he expected that goal to be disallowed.
"Yeah I think I was bumped. I'm not sure where it happened or if they did it on purpose or not, but it affected the play, for sure," said Niemi, who added that the official told him he was outside the crease at the time -- something that usually isn't a factor.
more on the game and watch the Parise goal below...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
My take is that an attacker is given a distinct and unfair advantage over the goalkeeper on most of these "stop and go" type maneuvers. While it might be entertaining for fans during an All-Star Game Skills Competition where there is little on the line except bragging rights, a regular season shootout is worth a point in the standings. Shootout wins can make a huge difference in the final standings for playoffs.
The integrity of the final standings is being compromised by circumventing the spirit of Rule 24 through unfair advantages shooters are being given over the goalkeepers. Short of a rule change, the referees should be empowered to kill the play whenever they determine (with their naked eye) that the puck has not been kept in motion towards the goal as the current rule states.
It would take a large measure of courage on the part of the refs to make that call, in addition to support offered from a Hockey Operations Dept. that has set the existing standard.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
The game-winning shootout goal by Joe Pavelski featured a nifty move where he applied the brakes in front of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, then fired a quick shot that he couldn’t stop. The puck never stopped moving forward, but whether Pavelski did was subject to debate.
As was whether that mattered.
The Ducks were unhappy, but they weren’t exactly sure whether they were entitled to be.
“We don’t [know the rules]. That’s the problem,” Ryan Getzlaf said afterward. “Everything’s interpretation. I can’t even make a comment on it because I don’t really know what the rule is. Whatever they think is the rule that night.”
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau knew the rule – puck must keep moving forward, but not necessarily the player – but allowed as to how his view of it would change based on what side of the shot he was on.
“I thought he stopped,” Boudreau began. “It’s not a vague rule but it’s a weird rule that you are allowed to stop but the puck is not allowed to stop. He came to a dead stop, but they OK’d it in Toronto.”
more on the game... and watch the shootout goal below...
Hiller, to Marleau, to Thornton back to Marleau...
The Vancouver Canucks were 01:05 from shutting-out the San Jose Sharks, but with the Sharks goaltender pulled, Hertl scored to tie the game at 1.
In OT, Henrik Sedin was called for a hook, if you want to call it that, and the Sharks scored to win the game.
John Tortorella post-game and highlights (nice standing O too for Gordie Howe) below....
“Tonight, if I had a red flag, I would have thrown it as far as I could. I think that’s a good case for that type of situation. I’m sure everybody had a chance to watch it again, and I think the official knows he erred on it. We’ll leave it at that.”
-San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan on an interference penalty given to Justin Braun. More from David Pollak of Working the Corners.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
You want to wear a sandwich board that blares, “I Don’t Know Jack About Hockey?” Go tell an NHL player that Thornton is the reason why the Sharks have not won a Stanley Cup. “Winning is never about one guy,” says Mike Cammalleri, who puts Thornton in the same league as Pavel Datsyuk and Sidney Crosby when it comes to dictating the pace of a game. Lee Stempniak wonders aloud if there’s another guy in the NHL who is more dangerous on his backhand than his forehand or, at least, Thornton’s equal....
Hockey in general loves its labels. In Thornton’s case, it’s the big, slower-moving player who gets the “lazy” tag. Or the, “he-doesn’t-want-it-bad-enough” label. It goes back to Frank Mahovlich, runs through Tim Kerr and Dave Andreychuk, and settles on the plate next to Dustin Penner’s pancakes. “The debate that exists out there is because of his personality,” says San Jose coach Todd McLellan, who was an assistant in Detroit, where true leadership was everywhere. He compares the Thornton we never see to Steve Yzerman in Detroit, whose intensity was more palpable to those on the outside. “Every now and then the door shuts, and Jumbo is able to bring things to order.”
Then the door opens and Jumbo is smiling again, talking about the weather. Nothing to see here, folks. Just two or three playoff rounds every year for nearly a decade, like clockwork, and a point per game for 15-plus seasons.
The Canucks did win the game 4-2 over the Sharks.
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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