Kukla's Korner Hockey
frtom Scott Burnside of ESPN,
An important night for the St. Louis Blues Thursday on a number of levels. First, beating the Nashville Predators 4-3 vaulted the Blues past the surprising Preds into first place in the Central Division.
Perhaps more important, though, was the fact the game featured the return of T.J. Oshie, who had missed seven games with a concussion, and Oshie scored his first goal of the season early in the first period.
The game marked the first time this season Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock had a full range of players at his disposal, with Oshie back and offseason free-agent signee Paul Stastny back in the swing of things after missing much of the first month of the season with injury. Stastny scored his second goal of the season late in regulation to send the Blues to their 9th win in 10 games. Backup (or 1B netminder if you prefer) Jake Allen was terrific for a Blues team that might now be as good a team as there is in the league.
read on for Custance on Avs/Rangers, LeBrun on Bruins/Habs and Strang on Kings/Stars....
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Not long ago Vladimir Tarasenko was a boy in Novosibirsk, living with his grandfather while his father played hockey in another city in the Russian Superleague. His grandfather had a friend at an outdoor rink. They would take the bus 10 or 15 minutes, five stops, to take advantage of an open dressing room and endless ice.
They would skate for three or four hours in the subzero Siberian night – minus-20, minus-30, sometimes even minus-40 degrees Celsius. Yes, the temperature could plunge that low. They could skate, Tarasenko said, “forever.”
Now Tarasenko is a 22-year-old winger starring for the St. Louis Blues, ranking among the NHL leaders with nine goals and 19 points in 15 games. He has a wicked shot, deft passing touch, keen hockey sense, strong drive and humble attitude. He is a case study of nature and nurture, DNA and development, talent and commitment.
The Situation Room in Toronto has no control of plays like this since the referee ruled incidental contact of the goalie.
Agree or disagree, the final say on a play like this should be made by the Situation Room where they have access to replays like this.
If the NHL wants to get as many calls right as possible, things have to change. We are seeing these types of calls on a nightly basis.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Earlier [Monday] when you were talking to the media here you said to be good on special teams you want the percentages on the power play and penalty kill to add up to 105. Why 105? And why has the Blues penalty kill this season been problematic?
"The old number used to 100, but 100 doesn't get you in the top-10 now in the League, especially because the PK numbers are so high. To me 105 is a goal, that if your number reaches there you're winning that game within the game. So that's the goal every 10 games to get to that 105 number. That means special teams are helping you, not hurting you. When the 5-on-5 play is even, either your PK is helping you win the game or your power play is helping you win it. When you get close to that number, you're going to win the special teams game in most games...
read on and four more questions for Hitchcock too...
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.
via Jeremy Rutherford tweets,
Backes and Oshie both have concussions.
Lindstrom is out with the bacterial illness.
Plus Paul Stastny is still on IR.
Below, watch a Legends of Hockey feature on Glenn Hall.
His consecutive game streak ended at 502 and one which will never be broken.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Head coach Ken Hitchcock is at a bit of a loss to figure out just what he's got with his bacterially challenged, banged-up squad as the Blues try to scramble their way through the opening stages of this still-young season.
In spite of a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday that saw the Blues battle back three times from one-goal deficits, Hitchcock wondered aloud if this was going to be a season of challenges after last season saw the Blues go most of the season with a consistent lineup.
"We have no idea what type of team we have," Hitchcock said after Tuesday's win.
"This might be one of those years where we're just going to have to scramble to stay afloat. You don't know. We didn't have any adversity last year until the last two weeks and then we just got bombed with it. But this one is different. We've had nothing but an unsettled roster both at practice and games since the second game of the season."
Ken Hitchcock only said Backes would be re-evaluated today.
The acual hit did not look bad but notice Backes's head did hit the ice.
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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