Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Honrby of the Toronto Sun,
Jonathan Bernier had to work a lot harder for his third consecutive shutout.
With the Utica Comets having seven power play chances on Friday against the Toronto Marlies, Bernier turned aside 26 shots by Vancouver's farm team in an intense game that wasn't settled until a pair of late third-period goals gave the Marlies a 2-0 victory.
Bernier has now turned aside all 70 shots he has face3d since accepting a 10-day conditioning stint in the American Hockey League, designed to restore confidence after he lost his first nine NHL decisions this season (0-8-1 with a .888 save percentage).
The organization's plan is likely to use Antoine Bibeau in net Saturday in Syracuse and go back to Bernier Sunday at Ricoh Coliseum vs. the Comets.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
While NHL TV ratings are down across the board on average for Rogers for the first seven weeks this season, as expected the worst news concerns the Maple Leafs, the team that drives the numbers because it is in the largest broadcast market in Canada.
The combined ratings for the Leafs on all the Rogers-connected networks that carry them, CBC, Sportsnet and City, are down 30 per cent from Oct. 7 through Nov. 21 according to Numeris, the only company in Canada that compiles broadcast ratings.
In 16 games carried on the CBC, Sportsnet or City networks, the average audience for Leafs games was 863,825 viewers, down from 1,226,264 in the same period last year, when 14 games were shown. The difference is that in the first seven weeks of the 2014-15 season, the Leafs were still a playoff contender, unlike this season when they are in rebuilding mode and in last place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division by Thursday night.
The drop in viewership also means a corresponding dip in advertising revenue for Rogers, which gambled heavily on NHL hockey by grabbing the league’s Canadian national broadcast rights in 2014 for $5.2-billion over 12 years.
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the Toronto Star,
Nazem Kadri, a Canadian and a Muslim, was asked about Donald Trump on Wednesday, two days after the bombastic Republican presidential candidate urged the United States to undertake, in the name of national security, a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the country.
As a centre with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kadri often travels to the U.S. for business. A Trump spokesman told The Associated Press the proposed shutdown would also apply to tourists. It was not immediately clear if it would apply to professional athletes, as well.
“I think he’s hurting his own campaign, to be honest,” Kadri said. “I mean, I think he’s pretty delusional. But his opinion’s his opinion.”
Please if you wish to comment, don't make this a political battle.
The Hockey Central at Noon panel debate how much Tampa Bay and Toronto can offer free agent Steven Stamkos.
More like Nick Kypreos.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Following this screen shot, Myers continued to provide back pressure which forced Winnik toward the centre of the crease where he gingerly removed his stick with his left hand.
There appeared to be considerable dialogue between the two referees and via the headset, presumably to the situation room in Toronto. While it was referee Martell’s call to make, if I was dialoguing the ref through the various video angles, I would be quick to draw the referee’s attention to the following:
• Was the attacking player (Winnik) pushed or shoved by a defending player (Myers) so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper (Hellebuyck)?
• Did Winnik make a reasonable effort to avoid such contact or was he unable to avoid contact?
• Did Winnik have a reasonable opportunity to vacate the crease given the actions of both Myers and stick contact with Hellebuyck?
The correct answer to these three rather academic questions should have resulted in a goal being awarded to Spaling and the loss of a timeout for Coach Paul Maurice.
Watch the play below...
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Garret Sparks has now seen both sides of the NHL spectrum in just 72 hours.
But he vowed not to let the hellish side of the sport get in his kitchen after a 6-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. The Marlies call-up, who got all the kudos in a 3-0 debut shutout Monday, wanted to take most of the blame Wednesday, but it was a true team effort in that regard for Mike Babcock’s club.
The Leafs’ most lopsided loss of the season came down to an inability to handle the hard-charging, hard-hitting Jets and coming apart at the seams in the third with Winnipeg up only a goal. Dion Phaneuf was a minus-4 and the hot line of Nazem Kadri, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk totalled three shots as part of an 0-for-3 power play.
But say this for Sparks, he’s a quick learner.
“I’m not going to dwell on it, I’ll take it for what it’s worth,” he said after facing 35 shots. “It was my second NHL game, a new experience. It’s a difficult league, you ask anyone who comes in and they’ll take their lumps at some point. I got it out of the way early, I guess.”
Catch the game highlights below...
You may recall pictures of the Leafs using them in practice earlier this year.
Now the Rangers....
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Unexpected and unscripted. It happened just that way. The best way.
Young goalie, chubby and seemingly exiled to the low minors less than a year ago, gets a chance out of the blue to start an NHL game for a very famous team fallen upon hard times. Few imagine this as a solution to anything.
Goalie’s parents sit in the stands watching. Goalie gets a shutout. Makes history.
Goalie cries when interviewed.
Rocky Balboa did something along those lines after being pummelled by Apollo Creed the first time, and I seem to remember Todd Gill weeping a bit after the Toronto Maple Leafs upset the Detroit Red Wings in the 1993 playoffs.
But this was just simple and perfect — certainly too perfect for Toronto’s rarely-anywhere-near-perfect NHL franchise.
Below, watch Garret Sparks when told he was the first Toronto goalie to post a shutout in his first start in Leafs history...
from Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star,
For the season so far on Sportsnet, the Leafs are delivering an average audience of 478,000, a decrease of eight per cent from last year’s average or 518,000. Regular season regional numbers for the Leafs have long hovered around the half million mark. Sportsnet recorded its best numbers of the year (515,000) with Toronto versus Carolina on Nov. 20.
“While the ratings haven’t been where we would like them to be, they certainly are ahead of where they were at the end of last season,” said Sportsnet president Scott Moore. “I think the hardcore fans are buying into a plan, and they haven’t given up the way the fans did at the end of last year.”
“We’d always be happier to have the Leafs in contention and vying for a Stanley Cup, but I think the team was very clear with the fans with what to expect. I’m not personally all that surprised that they’ve had some success, as it’s not such a bad idea to lower expectations and then hopefully exceed them.”
via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Colaiacovo was still in the hospital when the Sabres left Bridgestone Arena.
"Carlo's doing OK," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He got the cross-check to the throat. He did go to the hospital, is there now. I guess they're saying he's got a dented trachea right now but OK.
"I don't think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check, but they kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it's a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo's neck."
Two more videos 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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