Kukla's Korner Hockey
The KK upgrade is running a bit behind schedule but should be ready to go within two weeks.
It has not been a very healthy summer for me but with a recent change of medication, I feel much better and have much more energy.
Many of you who have followed KK over the years know I have always concentrated on the game played on the ice and will continue to do so.
Many new KK members and followers on Twitter seem to appreciate the hockey talk and I have always assumed most people interested in KK are a little bit older, knowledgeable and don't want/care about some of the outlandish, off-ice stories which happen to appear every so often.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Current eight playoff teams: Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings
Predicted eight playoff teams come April: Canadiens, Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Rangers, Capitals, Penguins, Islanders, Red Wings
The skinny: Just one switch, and that's putting the Stanley Cup finalist Lightning back in the mix. They've won three in a row and there's zero chance they don't make the playoffs; there's just too much talent there. I think they've turned the corner, too.
Tough choosing a team to take out from the current eight, but I think the Bruins will fall just short, as they did last season. The Penguins and Islanders are vulnerable, too, but I like their chances just a bit more than Boston's.
Another team I would have liked to have the courage to say will make it back into the mix is Florida, but the young Panthers are just too inconsistent, and while there's plenty of time to figure things out, I just think that's how it's going to be this season for them, some highs and some lows but not quite enough yet to make it in -- the growing pains of a young team learning how to win.
read on for the West...
CANADIENS TAKE CONTROL OF TOP SPOT IN NHL
Leading 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Canadiens added three unanswered goals in the third period to earn their third consecutive victory, pull into sole possession of top spot in the NHL standings and halt the Rangers’ home winning streak at nine games (its longest such streak since 1971-72).
* At 17-4-2 (36 points), the Canadiens lead the League in wins (tied w/ DAL) and points. The victory propelled them ahead of the Rangers (16-4-2, 34 points) and idle Stars (17-5-0, 34 points), who share second place in terms of points.
* Carey Price made 22 saves before being replaced by Mike Condon (11 SV) to start the third period. Price earned the decision to improve to 12-5-1 in 19 career regular-seasonappearances against the Rangers (1.74 GAA, .943 SV%, 7 SO).
* Devante Smith-Pelly (2-0—2) registered his first career multi-goal game and first multi-point effort since Oct. 31, 2013 at BOS (1-1—2).
* Tomas Plekanec (0-3—3) registered his ninth career three-assist game and second this season (also Oct. 23 at BUF). He paces the club with 7-16—23 this season (23 GP), including 0-6—6 in his last four contests.
* Alex Galchenyuk (1-1—2) and Max Pacioretty (1-1—2) also registered multiple points for the Canadiens, who scored at least five goals in a game for the sixth time this season. They lead all NHL clubs with 83 goals in 2015-16.
* The Canadiens improved to 11-3-0 in their last 14 regular-season meetings with the Rangers dating to Nov. 19, 2011 (NYR: 3-10-1).
To all who will be meeting with family and friends today, enjoy the day and be safe.
The NHL is dark today which means I may go into hiding too but will be checking in throughout the day for any hockey news.
I am staying at home on this Thanksgiving Day. The stuffed cajun turkey is in the oven, the pumpkin pie has been made along with the garlic mashed potatoes and a glass or two of vino is awaiting too.
Have a great day everyone and I will be back in full force tomorrow morning.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers ended their franchise's fifth-longest scoring drought earlier in the week, but their offensive funk continued Wednesday night in Brooklyn.
They scored an early goal but didn't generate many quality chances the rest of the night and fell to the New York Islanders, 3-1, at the Barclays Center.
The Flyers haven't scored an even-strength goal in 257 minutes, 58 seconds, more than four games ago. Their last even-strength goal was scored by Claude Giroux on Nov. 17 in a 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles.
They have scored one goal, total, in goalie Steve Mason's last three starts.
"It's been a struggle, obviously, the last few games to get the puck in the net, and for the goaltenders there's no room for error right now," said Mason after making 33 saves. "It just puts that much more emphasis on trying to be as perfect as possible. Just go out and focus on stopping the puck, and you just hope that the goals will come."
Watch the game highlights below...
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
It wasn’t pretty. It rarely is against the trap-happy New Jersey Devils.
But the Blue Jackets felt plenty fortunate — maybe even lucky — to have emerged with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night before 13,567 at the Prudential Center.
And, even in victory, it appears that coach John Tortorella is wearing thin on patience.
“A number of things is maddening about our club right now,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about individuals. It was a team effort in sloppiness. We’re lucky we won.
“We have zero habits right now.”
Well, zero good habits, maybe.
Game highlights are below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Historical rivalries are shaped over time. For so long, the Rangers resided in Shantytown and the Canadiens in a palace. And so within NHL context, Boston has the rivalry with Montreal. Toronto has a rivalry with Montreal. Detroit has a rivalry with Montreal borne from those long-ago battles through the days of the Original Six.
But the Rangers?
Well, there’s a rivalry now.
Isn’t there? Hard to tell after these two, uh, stinkers.
Paul Devorski and NHL players talk about the dialogue between referees and players on the ice during play, and how heated moments can seem tense to outsiders but are just part of the relationship.
“What happened was that we came out and played with half speed, half intensity, made hope plays, just threw the puck to them. We weren’t really willing to work and play honest and try to create. Mentally we were not sharp. Things that we draw up on the board and talk about, then we come out and we’re not ready.
“The intensity part is the main thing, because when that’s not there everything else is following suit.”
-Mike Yeo, head coach of the Minnesota Wild after a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. More on the game from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Here’s what you need to know about the Ducks’ 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night:
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“I’ve got to believe it’s the six inches between your ears. To be consistent mentally, you’ve got be focused for the whole game. You can’t just come in there, whether you play six minutes or 26 minutes … you have to come to play and be a pro. Right now we’ve got some guys that don’t come to play all the time. So coaches don’t have a lot of confidence in them. And consequently, they probably don’t have confidence in themselves.”
- Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau
- The Ducks have invested a lot of money in a number of players who aren’t delivering much of a return. It is beyond the lack of offensive production as that has run throughout the entire roster, save for the recently hot Corey Perry and the consistent Sami Vatanen. Veteran defender Kevin Bieksa simply has to be better, whether with decision-making in terms of moving the puck or his work in front of the Ducks’ net. Patrick Maroon’s ice time has plummeted behind his ineffectiveness and his turnover that turned into Anthony Duclair’s third-period goal blunted a comeback attempt. One positive sign is Ryan Kesler getting a good bounce off him for goals in consecutive games. But the chemistry that Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg created in the second half of last season and the playoffs has mostly been nonexistent in the offensive end. The team continues to show it's not nearly close to being a finished product.
Game higlights are 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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com