Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- My favourite Scotty Bowman line: “We have two goalies, Osgood and no good.” ... My second favourite Bowman line, after making the Danny Gare for Mike Foligno three-for-three trade in Buffalo. As his new players walked onto the team bus after their first game, Bowman looked at them and said: “Nothing for nothing.”
- Joe Bowen said it in jest, but he’s right. NHL penalty killers should consider using wood sticks for those shifts. Too many composite sticks are breaking on the PK, turning one-man advantages into two.
- A well-known former NHL player, a star who does not wish to be identified, is dying of cancer. But that’s not the story here.
The story is the one-time hockey great had to borrow $20,000 to pay for recent medical expenses. He didn’t have the money. He may need more in the months to come, assuming he lives that long.
He couldn’t find immediate support of any kind from the NHL Players’ Association or the NHL Alumni. He played 13 years in the NHL — most of it at a very high level, before the real big money kicked in for players — and he has a pension, I’m told, that pays him just over $1,000 a month. That, by itself, is troubling.
Athletes, just like the rest of us, make bad investments, poor financial decisions, don’t always end up in the right kind of situation. But unlike us, their sport should take better care of them....
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- Just a horrendous and all-too typically arrogance-based missed call from an NHL referee on Friday night in Newark with 1:08 to go in a one-goal game, when Frederick L’Ecuyer cited Cory Schneider for playing the puck outside the trapezoid when everybody else in the building could see the goaltender had done no such thing.
That’s a no-judgment call that should be subject to video review, as should be delay of game for shooting the puck into the stands inside the defensive zone and a double-minor for drawing blood.
These aren’t calls open to interpretation, such as goaltender interference. These are he-did-or-he-didn’t issues that could be resolved almost instantaneously and without intruding on the game’s flow. That’s assuming there is a flow, which is a leap of faith in many rinks.
- Yes, it’s true, many general managers had no idea how the NHL playoff format would work prior to their league meeting a couple of weeks ago. When they learned the structure, many were aghast.
Expect the GMs to push for a change over the summer, but the format is part of the three-year realignment agreement the NHL has with the NHLPA, and it was the union that insisted on the wild-card/crossover as a means to achieve some sort of math-based equality between seven- and eight-team divisions.
“If that’s what the players wanted, there couldn’t have been any players involved in the decision,” one prominent player said this week.
more topics including Laviolette/Islanders talk...
It’s that time of year where curling up next to the fire, or even just with a nice warm blanket, is a great way to end a hectic day. What would be better than a great seasonal book – and by season hockey season would be preferred.
Kicking off the book reviews I am going to start with a copy of Greg Oliver and Richard Kamachen’s Don’t Call Me Goon: Hockey’s Greatest Enforcers, Gunslingers, and Bad Boys.
Early in the first period this afternoon against Dallas.
01:15 Philadelphia Zac Rinaldo: 5 minutes, fighting
01:15 Philadelphia Zac Rinaldo: 2 minutes, instigator
01:15 Philadelphia Zac Rinaldo: 10 minutes, game misconduct
01:15 Philadelphia Zac Rinaldo: 10 minutes, misconduct
from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,
Montreal blueliner P.K. Subban won the Norris Trophy as the National Hockey League’s best defenseman last year playing mostly with Josh Gorges and Francis Bouillon. However, that hasn’t stopped everyone from debating whether or not he should be on Team Canada for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. What shouldn’t be debated is that he and new defensive partner Andrei Markov now form the league’s best defensive pairing.
Subban and Markov only shared 73 minutes of ice time during even strength last year, but they made the most of it, helping Montreal outscore opponents 6-1. This season they have shared almost 400 minutes and each skate more than four minutes per game on the power play. In addition, ignoring special teams and lead-protecting situations, the Habs see more than 54 percent of shots in their favor. When they are on the bench those same linemates drop down to 48 percent. And it should be noted these aren’t soft minutes, as Subban and Markov are often matched against the opposition’s top scoring line.
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Fleury made 44 saves Thursday in a 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks at Consol Energy Center. That was a season-high and three saves shy of his career best.
After that game, Sharks second-leading scorer Logan Couture suggested that Fleury's save total wasn't reflective of his performance. "He gave up a lot of rebounds, and on a lot of shots, he looked shaky," Couture said. "We weren't able to score on second chances."
San Jose's Joe Pavelski suggested that Fleury "was fighting it all night. It felt like we could have had five [goals]."
Those words didn't sit well with the Penguins, particularly Couture's assertion that Fleury was "shaky."
"I think that's kind of a stupid comment," defenseman Matt Niskanen said Friday after the Penguins practiced at Southpointe. "Sure, they had a lot of chances. They didn't bury them because he competed really hard.
"I'm assuming he's talking about ones where [Fleury] is rolling around on the ice trying to make saves. Those are second opportunities that we didn't clean up. He had to make consecutive saves on several occasions. To say he looked shaky, that's just stupid."
MacKINNON, LINDHOLM NOTCH GAME-WINNERS
Two players selected among the top five picks of the 2013 NHL Draft tallied game-winning goals in the third period Friday:
* Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon, the top pick last June, scored the decisive goal at 2:28 of the final frame in a 3-2 win at Calgary. MacKinnon, 18, notched his second game-winner in the last four games and third overall in upping his season points total to 6-11—17, second to San Jose's Tomas Hertl (14-9—23) in the rookie scoring race.
* Carolina's Elias Lindholm, the no. 5 pick overall in 2013, notched 1-2—3, including the game-winner with six minutes to play, in a 5-3 victory over San Jose. Lindholm, who turned 19 on Dec. 2, recorded his first NHL multi-point game and has 3-3—6 in 18 games this season.
Would the review room in Toronto overruled the call on the ice if this type of ruling would be reviewable?
And how about this call from the Colorado/Calgary game...
Did Cory Schneider play the puck illegally?
The Wings put the game out of reach by making the score 3-1 with a Tatar goal just off the faceoff.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org