Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sports Illustrated,
Welcome to the latest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. We've passed the first quarter mark of the season and there have surely been some surprises, most notably on Long Island, in Nashville and out west in Calgary and Vancouver.
Once again our three scribes—Allan Muir, Sarah Kwak and Brian Cazeneuve—have submitted their choices for the league's Top 10 teams....
#1 NEW YORK ISLANDERS
LAST WEEK: 7, RECORD: 15-6-0
MUIR (1): Coach Jack Capuano says his Islanders have a bit of swagger in their game right now, and who can blame 'em? They may not be the best team in hockey, but they're the best team in hockey right now. Their home-and-home weekend sweep of Pittsburgh and a thoroughly dominant performance on Monday night against the Flyers made that abundantly clear. Jaro Halak has been lights out, stopping 180 of the past 188 shots he's faced while posting seven consecutive wins.
KWAK (2): Isles fans shall hail the shootout! Indeed, their team is an impressive 5-0 in the skills competition this season, picking up valuable points and joining the Penguins at the top of the rather dumpy Metropolitan Division. Those points have come on the sticks of Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, who are each 4-for-5 this season.
CAZENEUVE (2): It has been refreshing to see the Islanders reaching for new glories. They've won four straight, but more important, with that home-and-home sweep of the Penguins, they are positioning themselves very well should they happen to meet Pittsburgh in the playoffs. They then beat the Flyers, 1-0, in a shootout, proving that this emerging young team can play high- or low-scoring contests and survive the tests.
read on for the rest...
If you missed the hit or want to review it, watch below...
The My Story series profiles Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and his perseverance against odds to make the NHL
A blue-chipper in Big D, Landeskog coming on for Avs, and a rare puck possession night for an enforcer; Fantasy tips and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
Tyler Seguin – The Stars’ game-breaker scored another pair of goals in a 3-2 win over Edmonton, giving him 10 goals in the last nine games, and a league-leading 17 goals on the season.
Since arriving in Dallas last season, Seguin ranks third in the league with 52 goals and is tied for second with 110 points in 101 games and he does a lot of his damage at even strength, with 38 of his goals coming at even strength (tied for second) and Seguin and linemate Jamie Benn are among the league’s most efficient even-strength scorers.
Among players with at least 500 5-on-5 minutes since the start of last season:
continue to TSN for much more...
...are trades the answer right now? As another rival executive suggested, is the smartest thing at this point not just to take a knee and get in the lottery chase given this year’s draft class?
On the surface, it’s probably what makes the most sense. But eight years of hockey hell has also eroded some of the goodwill (loyalty?) of the fan base in Edmonton. Can you afford to take a knee and not risk further brand alienation? Or would fans in Edmonton, a pretty savvy hockey community, understand that it would be worth it given the draft class?
-Pierre LeBrun on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from LeBrun on the Oilers at ESPN.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wednesday marks NHL Founders Day. On this date in 1917, the National Hockey League was formed in Montreal following the suspension of operations by the National Hockey Association of Canada Limited (NHA). The first NHL games then were played Dec. 19.
NHL FLOAT IN MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
In celebration of the 2014 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown – which pits the Rangers against the Flyers on Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET (NBC, SN) – Hockey Hall of Famer and former Ranger Pat LaFontaine, recent Flyers Hall of Fame inductee John LeClair, and musical duo The Madden Brothers will ride aboard the Discover/NHL “Frozen Fall Fun” float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday in New York.
The 36-feet long by 20-feet wide float will feature a synthetic ice rink (with kids skating), a 12-feet tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal plus an assortment of colorful fall decor.
from Jamie McLennan of TSN,
I've noticed - more than ever this season - that there's been lots of goals and scoring chances created by pucks missing the net, off the end boards and coming back in front of the net (video link here).
With the nets being more shallow and blocked shots and lanes getting to the net, teams - particularly their defencemen - are looking for set plays and ways to get the puck down low for a scoring chance.
Earlier this season, I watched Cory Schneider allow a goal where the shot went wide and the puck hit the yellow dasher. It came back so fast that by the time he reacted, he actually knocked it into his own net.
Now those plays happen, especially if the goaltender isn't sharp that night. But in today's game, it's becoming more of a normal play.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We've asked before, but is this finally the turnaround the Colorado Avalanche have been waiting for?
The Avs rallied from a 3-0 first-period deficit to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night, their fourth win in five games. For the second straight game, goalie Reto Berra was pulled in favor of Calvin Pickard, and just like Saturday night versus Carolina, Pickard backstropped the Avs to the comeback win.
Daniel Briere's overtime goal was a lucky one, his centering pass going off Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, but you figure the Avs are due a few breaks after what has been an incredibly tough opening two months. Are they on the road back? We shall see.
read on for Burnside on the Stars and Strang on Flames/Ducks...
via Sporstnet's YouTube channel,
Check out some of the most memorable, amazing, and of course hard hits from the 1995/96 – 1999/00 NHL seasons.
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 email@example.com