Kukla's Korner Hockey
"I thought their shot clock was screwed up. When we hit the net it's supposed to count (as a shot), when they miss the net it's not supposed to count. We (won't) worry about that. The NHL can figure that out."
-Mike Babcock, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings on the Florida Panther's shot clock. More on the Wings and their pnealty kill problems from Ansar Khan of Mlive.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Florida Panthers, to me, anyway, began the post All-Star schedule as the only Eastern Conference team currently on the outside of the playoffs looking in with any chance of making it into the postseason. I still feel that way, but the Panthers wasted a chance right off the hop Tuesday night, rallying from a 5-2 deficit but still losing 5-4 to the visiting Detroit Red Wings despite outshooting them 41-27.
I say "wasted a chance" because the Washington Capitals dropped their fourth straight game (0-3-1), this time a 4-3 road decision to the injury-riddled Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Panthers still have two games in hand on the suddenly struggling Caps, but they have to make them count. They remain seven points back of the Caps for a wild-card spot, when they could have cut into that lead with a win Tuesday night. Yes, the Panthers have three games in hand on Boston as well -- the Bruins are also seven points up and holding the other wild-card spot -- but I think the Bruins are going to take off now and aren't a realistic target for Florida. I still think the Panthers have a shot, but they've got to get on a roll very soon.
continue for more NHL topics from the ESPN hockey writers....
Some fans might yearn for the days of a strong coach, a Mike Keenan-type, or a John Tortorella-type, a guy that got attention by cracking the whip. There isn't a coach like them in the NHL these days. And if there were, his time would be short.
-Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star on today's coaches. Read more on this interesting topic.
Two days late with this week's game. Due to the weather warnings in the northeast, we decided to postpone this week's game until Thursday, so here we go.
Here is your chance to win $50 in this free fantasy game presented by BoltDraft. Just register and/or play, use passcode kukla17 if needed, then pick one forward, one defenseman and one goalie from the 22 NHL teams in action on Thursday.
Then sit back and watch how the games play out.
Easy to play and fun to compete against other KK members and readers.
Scoring rules are below and if you have any questions regarding the game, the Rules/FAQ page at BoltDraft should be of help.
HALAK LIFTS ISLANDERS INTO TOP SPOT IN EAST . . .
Jaroslav Halak stopped 40 shots – and was 10 seconds away from posting his fifth shutout of the season – as the Islanders improved to 3-0-0 against the Rangers and 16-2-0 versus Metropolitan Division opponents in 2014-15.
* The Islanders (32-14-1, 65 points) moved past the Lightning (30-15-4, 64 points) – who lost in regulation at Carolina – into top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings (28-11-9, 65 points) also have 65 points but the Islanders have one game in hand.
* The Islanders’ 32 wins through 47 games equal a franchise record set in 1978-79 (32-6-9). Their 17 home wins in 21 games at Nassau Coliseum also match a club record set in 1978-79 (17-0-4); twenty of their remaining 35 games are at the Coliseum.
* Halak, who played in his first career NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, improved to 26-9-0 in 35 appearances this season. He also stopped 40 shots in a 6-3 win over the Rangers on Oct. 14.
from David Goldman of CNNMoney,
Reebok's 2015 NHL All-Star uniforms featured fluorescent green stripes -- a standout for a typically conservative league. Unsurprisingly, Reebok said it had young fans in mind when designing the uniforms.
"To showcase the heroes of the game, we thought we could have a design more targeted towards a younger demographic," said Dom Fillion, Reebok's lead designer. "We think it will get them excited about the game."
Since none of the NHL teams feature neon colors on their uniforms, Reebok is turning to team-licensed apparel such as t-shirts and hats to feature the popular color.
"Demand for these colors has definitely gone up," said Keith Leach, Reebok's director of NHL merchandising.
more, includes many sports...
from Curtis Zupke at NHL.com,
The Kings play 20 of the remaining 35 games on the road, where they are 5-9-6. The only teams with fewer road wins are the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres.
"It's big," Jeff Carter said of their upcoming stretch. "We're not in the position we'd like to be, and we're running out of games."
Several factors have contributed to the Kings' slide, which includes a 2-4-5 finish before the break. The most glaring is their record away from Staples Center, which contrasts their 23-14-4 road record last season.
"If it doesn't [anger you] as a player, you shouldn't be playing at this level," Brown said. "But as individuals, as teams, as coaches, you pore over video and stats and this and that. We need to figure it out. Again, it's something we're going to have to figure out very quickly here because of the situation and how many road games we have.
"But ... historically, our team, when our backs are against the wall, we dig down and find a way. It's one of those situations. It's going to be an important 30-or-so games left."
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
A Calgary Sun source confirms GM Brad Treliving has discussed the possibility of acquiring the 29-year-old centre from the team he helped to win two Stanley Cups in the last three years.
Make no mistake, it would be a long shot for the Kings to be able to peddle the fourth-liner who still has five years left in his contract at a cap hit of US$5.75 million annually.
Given Richards’ decline in speed and productivity, Kings GM Dean Lombardi will have to be plenty creative to free the club of Richards, who cleared waivers Tuesday morning and was assigned to Manchester of the AHL to save the club $925,000 in salary-cap relief.
Given how much room the Flames have in salary-cap space they are one of the few teams in the league who may have the palate to stomach the contract, but only if it makes sense on other levels.
Essentially, any team that takes on Richards would be doing the cap-strapped Kings a favour.
from Steve Dangle of Sportsnet,
Some players just look weird wearing certain jerseys. Jarome Iginla has gone around the league a bit now, but do you remember the first time you saw him in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey? Ew, right? It was like seeing Bobby Orr in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, which actually happened. It was like seeing Darryl Sittler in a Detroit Red Wings jersey. Yes, that also happened. Mats Sundin in a Vancouver Canucks jersey? I do my best to pretend that never happened.
With Martin Brodeur announcing his retirement from playing in the NHL today, he joins a special list of players who randomly played with the St. Louis Blues. The best part about this list is that I probably forgot some players because their time with the Blues was so forgettable.
CHRIS OSGOOD – 76 Games (plus 12 in the playoffs)
You probably remember Chris Osgood as the Detroit Red Wings goalie who everyone argues about on Twitter and wore a tiny helmet. You might even vaguely remember him as a member of the New York Islanders if you’re a Leafs fan from that time the Leafs injured pretty much all the Islanders’ better players en route to a game seven victory. Guess what? He played in 76 games for the St. Louis Blues between the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. His one full season with the Blues in 2003-04 was actually one of his better ones with 31 wins and a save percentage of .910.
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
If Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, their fourth straight defeat bridging the all-star break, had not sobered the Washington Capitals enough, context delivered from Coach Barry Trotz inside Nationwide Arena’s visiting locker room certainly hammered it home.
“Trotz came in here after the game, we’ve given up 17 goals in our last four games, and a lot of them five-on-five,” forward Troy Brouwer said. “Those are issues we need to address as far as being better in our D-zone, having more communication, making sure that we know our assignments. We can’t keep giving up four or five goals a night and expecting to win. Coming off a break isn’t an excuse. The guys should be fresh, lively, heads clear, ready to play hockey and ready to have a good push here.”...
The Capitals will now return home to host the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of three teams ahead of them in the Metropolitan Division standings, without the benefit of practice to correct their mistakes.
“I’d like to [practice], yeah,” Trotz said. “But it’s not the case. Guys are professional. They should know it. We’ve gone over it many, many times. It’s got to start in the dressing room. It starts with me telling them what they need to do, and I have been. Now they’ve got to take ownership of it. They’ve got to own that shift that they’re out there. Too many guys are getting on the wrong side of pucks and some lines are good with the puck and without it they’re not good. There’s too much cheat in their game.”
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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