Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,
The NHL’s Stadium Series swung through California for the second time, with the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks facing off in what was the most important outdoor game yet. This one had very real playoff implications, with both teams hanging on the playoff bubble.
And just like the first outdoor California game, the second one was a huge success. The 70,205 in attendance made up the third-largest crowd for an NHL outdoor game. Here are some of the best photos from the 2-1 Los Angeles victory.
continue for some great pictures from the outdoor game
Here are the game highlights...
from Dan Robson of Sportsnet,
The part that’s hard to let go of, though—the thing that hurts much more than the loss of a letter—is his team’s chronic disappointment in the playoffs. The constant feeling that the team is good enough to get there but just can’t find its way. “It doesn’t matter if it’s five years ago or this year,” Thornton says and sighs. “They all sting the same.” Those who have seen how the losses wear on Thornton aren’t fooled by the smiling front he tends to put on. Chris Bailey, a police officer in London, Ont., played novice hockey with Thornton in St. Thomas and the pair have been close friends since. He’s never seen Thornton go easy on the idea of winning. “Everything he does is game seven to him,” says Bailey. “Whether we’re playing golf, cards or rock, paper, scissors—he wants to win. That’s the only time he shows his emotion.”
As the trade deadline nears, Thornton’s name is bound to hit the headlines again. There are several teams that would happily add him to their roster in exchange for some fresh talent to bolster a Sharks core built around young stars Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. The speculation that Thornton would agree to waive his no-trade clause is just too juicy to ignore. But he insists it won’t happen: “I don’t know how many years I can play, but I want to retire as a Shark,” he says. Thornton still believes that this team—his team—is his best chance at breaking a playoff curse that’s followed him through nearly two decades and finally getting to raise the Cup. But anything less, and it’s one more season of scapegoating Joe.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
An NHL idea that may have seemed like a gimmick when it was launched in 2003 has turned into a special event. Nearly three-fourths of a million people have turned out for 14 similar games in the United States and Canada.
"I can't say we would have predicted it," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, "but we were confident it would be well-received by our fans."
Daly thinks of it as an opportunity for fans to celebrate hockey on a grander scale, "in an environment that is really, in some respects, endemic to the sport."
Yet it goes beyond a chance to see the game in an updated, high-tech version of where it all began.
There's something about outdoor hockey that gets to the romanticized character of the relationship between the game and the frigid climate of Canada where it became popular before spreading south into the U.S.
NEW YORK (February 18, 2015) – On Saturday, Feb. 21, the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor matchup between the host San Jose Sharks® against the Los Angeles Kings® at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. will feature a pre-game celebration of the growth of hockey in the Bay Area and throughout California and a salute to Sharks alumni. The outdoor game also will feature performances by rock legend and Bay Area native John Fogerty, Grammy Award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter Kris Allen, and Symphony Silicon Valley. The game and performances will be broadcast live nationally on NBCSN in the U.S., and on CBC and TVA2 in Canada at 7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET, with pre-game coverage set for 6:30 p.m. PT. SiriusXM Satellite Radio will provide radio coverage.
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan joined Hockey Central at Noon to talk about his team’s missing identity, improved leadership, and ugly loss to the league-leading Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Sharks got crushed 5-1 in Nashville on Tuesday night, and they are lucky the score wasn't worse. It was men against boys.
The Sharks have won only twice in nine games in February (2-5-2) and are very much opening the door for the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars to catch them for the last wild-card spot in the West. San Jose (66 points) has played three more games than the red-hot Kings (64 points) and Wild (63 points) and two more games than the Stars (62 points), who picked up a huge win at St. Louis on Tuesday.
The Sharks, who have gotten younger over the past two years while GM Doug Wilson tries to rebuild on the fly without bottoming out, just don't look like a playoff team right now. They have not missed the postseason since Wilson took over as general manager in May 2003, an impressive run, but it feels like the streak might be ending.
read on for more hockey talk from the ESPN hockey writers...
You have to think the linesman feels pretty bad after this...
SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov today formally announced his retirement from the game of hockey, completing 14 stellar seasons in the National Hockey League – ten of which he spent as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
Nabokov, 39, holds nearly every major San Jose Sharks franchise goaltending record, including: games played (563), wins (293) and shutouts (50).
“Growing up in Kazakhstan in the 1980’s, I never could have dreamed of making it to the NHL and playing against the best players in the world,” said Nabokov. “I’m really proud to be able to finish my career where I started in San Jose and where I had my best years. This is my home and this is where my heart is.”
Nabokov finishes his remarkable career ranked 18th on the NHL’s all-time wins list (353), 17th in shutouts (59) and 25th in games played by a goaltender (697).
SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has acquired goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for future considerations.
Originally drafted by San Jose in the ninth round (219th overall) of the 1994 NHL Draft, the 39-year old Nabokov holds nearly every San Jose Sharks franchise goaltending record, including: games played (563), wins (154) and shutouts (50).
Nabokov will make an announcement regarding the future of his hockey career on Wednesday, February 11 at SAP Center at Noon. More information to follow.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks weren’t very good at Rogers Arena Thursday night — but then neither was referee Chris Rooney.
You see, his ‘game management’ wasn’t very good, judging by what NHL referee Tim Peel has been saying when he chats with bloggers on the record.
According to Puck Daddy, Peel says that the NHL evidently tells it’s referees when certain penalties are appropriate and when they’re not. And while we are not privy to these ‘game management’ guidelines or whatever they might be called, we would assume that when the home team is down 2-0 late in the second period having had only two scoring chances in 38 minutes, calling an unsportsmanlike penalty on one of the most sportsmanlike captains in the history of the NHL from afar to put them down two men for a full two minutes wouldn’t be recommended.
What could Henrik Sedin possibly have said to bring about such a severe, game-impacting call? We’ll let your imagination run with it while you consider the ramifications of what Peel really said to Greg Wyshynski in a story that went largely unnoticed around the league. Instead, everyone got all excited about a picture of Peel with Wyshynski hoisting a drink which went viral, something the officials and media have done for years, albeit without the pictures and quotes.
While the NHL referee wasn’t quoted directly in the story other than the ‘game management’ reference, the pretty clear implication from the piece was that there are times in certain games when a penalty should be called, but not in others. You know, flexible rules depending upon who is winning and what the game situation is. No word on whether that ‘management’ stretches as far as which teams are playing but there are certainly no end of fans who might think it does....
“I was surprised he called it,” said Henrik, who indicated he didn’t think he had ever received an unsportsmanlike penalty in a similar situation in the past. “I used the “F” word but I’ve said a lot worse things to a referee than that. As I said, I was surprised.”
Watch the game highlights below...
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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