Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/23/13 at 09:56 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
- (Pekka) Rinne’s absence certainly puts his place in the Olympic pecking order for Finland in question. At the start of the year, Rinne was the favorite for the starting role in what could be a crowded crease – lots of good Finnish goalies dot NHL lineups. Right now, the Boston Bruins Tuukka Rask has moved to the front of the line, though the Finns will likely place Rinne on the roster just because teams can name three goalies and can change their rosters if needed up to 24 hours before their opening games.
- Sweden is likely still going to start Lundqvist in goal, but he is struggling through one of the toughest seasons of his NHL career, with only 10 victories in 27 decisions and not playing with nearly the same consistency that saw him win 30 games or more in his first seven NHL seasons and lead the league last year with 24 wins in the shortened 48-game season.
- Of late, the New Jersey Devils, behind a series of record-setting performances by Jaromir Jagr, have vaulted back into playoff contention, something goaltender Martin Brodeur will acknowledge has a lot to do with the NHL’s new divisional alignment. “We feel that we’re playing some decent hockey and we have the luxury of being in the weakest division,” said Brodeur, in giving the woeful Metropolitan Division a little love. “We have to take advantage of it. We can’t just say, ’We’re in the weakest.’ We’re got to start putting points on the board, and the last four games we just dropped one point. If we continue to do that, good things will happen for us.” The ageless Jagr had three points in Saturday’s comeback win over Washington, including the 694th goal of his career, tying him with Mark Messier for seventh on the all-time NHL’s scoring list. Jagr has 11 points in his last seven games.
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