Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Strang: What are your thoughts on this team and what sort of run you can make in the playoffs?
Kadri: I think the sky is the limit, really. I think we could be a bit of a sleeper team. Not many people expect us to get out of the first round but, especially the way we've been playing lately, we can surprise a lot of people, for sure.
Strang: Can you imagine what the city would be like then?
Kadri: I have no clue. I think the last time we were in the playoffs I was 12 years old, so I've never really gotten the opportunity to see what it's like around here when it's going well. So, I'm definitely going to tune in.
from Bruce Dowbiggin at the Globe and Mail,
It was widely agreed (okay, we suggested it) that the Red Wings would be the only attraction for HBO’s cameras in the four-part run-up to the game. Detroit in the postseason every year for two decades. Pavel Datsyuk. Henrik Zetterberg. Mike Babcock. Gordie Howe. The octopus.
Toronto? They haven’t lifted the Stanley Cup since 1967. The Brian Burke circus. Dion Phaneuf and the goofy Red Bull hat in the dressing room. C’mon, how are they going to put this Duck Dynasty on HBO, home of Boardwalk Empire?
If the lockout had one saving grace, it was keeping this mismatch out of America’s homes.
Yet as we now point the telescope at the 2014 Winter Classic, it’s the Leafs (who won 4-3 last night over the Rangers) that are suddenly in the ascendancy. In transition from Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings might miss the 2013 postseason while Toronto seems assured of its first playoff trip since Stephen Harper became PM. The blue team: arrow up. The red team: arrow down.
from Michael Grange of Sportsnet,
Joffrey Lupul’s day was a short one.
The Toronto forward came out on the ice early for the Maple Leafs’ game-day skate at the Air Canada Centre, skated a few gentle laps, lined up for some shooting drills and that was it.
After about 15 minutes he glided over to the Leafs bench and disappeared up the tunnel. Lupul would miss his second straight game, Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle announced later without acknowledging it was because he had suffered a concussion.
Like all of us, Lupul is now officially day-to-day.
The question of course, is why?
Why so vague? Why so evasive? Why is one of the most visible pulpits in hockey — head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs — the place where an informed discussion of concussion and its significance for the sport falls on deaf ears?
from Mike Brophy at NHL.com,
The local reaction to Nazem Kadri's breakout NHL season for the Toronto Maple Leafs has varied, ranging from, "What took you so long?" to "Wow, I thought you'd have to be traded to finally make it here."
The reality, though, is after a few false starts, the 22-year-old is proving beyond any reasonable doubt he belongs in the NHL. Entering their game Monday against the New York Rangers, Kadri leads the Leafs with 17 goals, and his team-best 39 points place him 11th in the League. There have been times in the past few weeks when he has been comfortably inside the top 10, and it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest he ultimately will finish there.
Not bad for someone who, only a few months ago, was a healthy scratch with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. While Kadri has not yet earned the role of No. 1 center on a team trying to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004 -- that spot belongs to Tyler Bozak, who skates between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk -- he has become a main cog in Toronto's blossoming offense. When they are in the lineup together, Kadri and left wing Joffrey Lupul have shown signs of becoming a dynamic duo.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
Whether Lupul’s injury is significant or not is a matter for another day. He wasn’t available for comment after the game. And while Leafs coach Randy Carlyle reported that Lupul felt “fine,” pronouncing him “50-50” to participate in Friday’s practice, it was difficult to know what to make of the coach’s assessments. Though no one in Leafland uttered the word “concussion,” Lupul has previously suffered at least a couple significant head injuries during his NHL career. Teammate John-Michael Liles, who missed time last season with a concussion, acknowledged the obvious concern.
“It’s definitely scary, just because it’s such an unpredictable thing,” Liles said. “But you hope for the best.”
Lupul’s well-being, of course, is inextricably linked to that of his team. The Maple Leafs had been clearly enlivened in the previous six games in which he had been in the lineup since he returned from a 25-game absence with a fractured forearm. They hadn’t lost a game in regulation during the run, going 4-0-2 with Lupul on board. Though he’d also served a two-game suspension, until Thursday night Lupul had scored in every game since his return from his broken arm, racking up eight goals and five assists in those six games. The club had been singing the praises of his contagious presence.
“When you’ve got players like Lupul who play at that level, everybody jumps on board,” Claude Loiselle, the Leafs assistant general manager, was saying the other day. “Those are the types of players that bring out the best in other players.”
Keep an eye on Adam Hall as he skates out from behind the net on this Sean Couturier goal which put the Flyers up 4-2 late in the 2nd period.
There will be more videos on this, the overhead shot really shows wht Hall did and I will post when available.
update 8:54pm, Damn, NHL.com pulled the video, will try to find it so when you see this removed, the video is working.
update 8:58pm, The goal is now being awarded to Jay Rosehill, that is why it was pulled, but no video of it yet.
updated 10:23pm, Found a video at CSN Philly but it really doesn' show Hall grabbing the top of Reimer's stick and pulling and throwing him off-balance, hopefully the video will pop up soon.
Watch it below and audio auto play is
on off, figured out how to turn it off.
added 8:05am 4/5/13, you will see the stick hold.
Lupul found himself between Adam Hall and Jay Rosehill and you can see Lupul's head snap back but I don't really see anything flagrant on the play and no penalty was called.
Lupul went to the dressing room and has not returned.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Thankfully, there is a way that it could happen and the best way to illustrate it is in the context of the Toronto Maple Leafs interest in Kiprusoff’s services (although the St. Louis Blues better be in their bidding for him as well, given goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s uncertain health status).
The Leafs, who have permission to speak to Kiprusoff’s camp, could offer him a choice of two options if he were to accept a trade to Toronto and played well for them for the remainder of the season. In exchange for that the Leafs could promise to either a) buy him out at that point, if that’s what he wanted; or b) extend his contract and pad the deal with a big signing bonus.
Either way, Kiprusoff wins. If he accepted the Leafs’ buyout, he could then go on to play wherever he wants – for any of the other 29 teams in the NHL, in Russia, back home in Finland, or some small village in the Swiss Alps. The only team he couldn’t sign with would be Toronto.
If Kiprusoff played well and happened to like it with the Leafs, they could go the other way – sign him to a new deal and make it worth his while financially by paying him a lot of cash up front in the extension.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It is believed Nonis already told Flames GM Jay Feaster he will not cough up a first-round draft pick for the 36-year-old Kiprusoff. And Nonis also said he is not interested in giving up a young roster player or highly-regarded prospect for someone like Kiprusoff, who is entering the last lap of his career. If Nonis could land a young goalie with promise like Jonathan Bernier that would be a different story but it looks like the Los Angeles Kings will hang on to him until the summer.
This leaves considerable doubt about the wisdom of getting Kiprusoff, from the price tag to his disturbing numbers this season and what they say about his future, to his family situation.
After getting pulled in the first period Monday night for allowing three goals on six shots, Kiprusoff has a 3.64 goals-against average and .868 save percentage, which are ranked 48th and 47th, respectively, in the NHL. Considering the state of the Flames and their defence, these numbers should not be blamed solely on Kiprusoff, but they do raise other questions.
For example, no one has ever accused Kiprusoff of being a fitness fanatic. It is not unknown for players like that to fall off suddenly once the inevitable decline with age sets in.
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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