Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/02/12 at 12:01 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Right now Tambellini’s club is coming off three wins in 12 games in December. They’ve lost seven in a row away from Rexall Place and have the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars next, on what is turning into more of a death march than a road trip. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall — who was very good against the New York Islanders on Saturday with three goalposts and 10 shots directed at Evgeni Nabokov’s net — and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are a joy to watch. But they aren’t getting nearly enough scoring help. Or leadership help, in some cases.
Where does Tambellini want to finish? If they get 45 points in their last 45 games, that’s 78 points, a 16-point improvement over last year.
“I’m not going to put a number on it. I want to finish as high as possible,” he said. “Again, I don’t want a lottery pick.”
They’re 10 points out of eighth spot, but more importantly have four teams — Dallas, the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes — to climb over.
“I think our team knows they have the skill, but the mental toughness to bring it every night is a lot of work. I certainly want to see the group commitment back (from the 8-2-2 start). I want to see our veteran players express themselves and contribute,” he said. “I think they’ve worked hard, but we can be better.”
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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.
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