Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets’ desire for a No. 1 center is well-known, but the free-agent market is short on top-flight centers, so they might need to explore the trade route. Could the Jackets and Sharks be a match? Maybe. The Adam Foote deal gave the Jackets another first-round draft pick (assuming the Avs make the playoffs), so it’s possible they could package one pick with a good player or two and come out with someone to play next to Rick Nash.
Marleau, 28, has struggled this season, with 14 goals and 22 assists and a minus-16 rating, but his track record is impressive. He had 87 and 78 points the previous two seasons.
Do remember, Marleau has a NTC kick-in this summer, so he will have to approve any trade.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
...Perhaps it was that Adams’ offense was committed against a player from a Canadian team.
A News & Observer analysis of NHL discipline since the 2005-06 season found that almost one-third of the suspensions handed down were assessed for offenses committed against Canadian teams, which represent only six of the league’s 30 franchises—but are the six most visible.
“We don’t try to look at a pattern here,” Campbell said. “Maybe we should. It’s not who’s in first and who’s in last. We try to look at it as an independent, individual situation: Is a player wronging another player? We don’t care what team it is. All we care about is, did he cross the line and is he a repeat offender?”
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
The Sharks are among the best in the West, but not by so much that they don’t have teams they want to avoid come the playoffs. And toward that end, they have some standings manipulations to consider between now and that start of the real regular season in four weeks.
Here’s what they want to do. Finish second. Not first, or third, or anywhere else. Second. And only if they can somehow be confident that Calgary won’t try to finish seventh just to spite them.
San Jose is in an interesting stage of its season - the one in which it wins about 170 percent of its games and looks as good as a team possibly can.
from the NY Daily News,
Asked after practice on Thursday about Sather’s comments - including the GM’s pronouncement that he wants to re-sign Jagr and expects to do so - Jagr sounded neither relieved nor convinced.
What’s more, given yet another of many recent chances to merely spout the easy line that he would love to be back with the Rangers if everything could be worked out, Jagr wouldn’t bite.
“I know where I’m going to finish my hockey career - in my hometown,” he said, smiling. “I know that for sure - because the league is not (as strong as) the NHL. I know I can play there longer than here. That’s one I know for sure.
“If nothing bad happens, I’m going to finish my hockey career in Kladno (Czech Republic), that’s for sure.”
But when pressed upon whether he wanted to end his NHL career in New York, Jagr replied: “I’m not sure. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.”
from the Vancouver Province,
The Sedins, Markus Naslund and Taylor Pyatt have now gone 11 games without a goal. But it is the Sedins’ production that will be the focus in the days to come. The twins are arguably the most important players on the Canucks. Vancouver is now 2-13-5 when they are held scoreless. Though they haven’t scored, they have played many strong games in the past few weeks. Thursday was was not one of them.
more on the Canucks…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Focus. Focus. Focus!
Focus on defence, focus on position, focus on your opponent. Whatever it is — and we are not suggesting for a moment Ritalin is involved — it’s working. After months of fishtailing all over the track, Murray’s Ottawa Senators have their groove back.
To watch the 3-0 pummelling of the Montreal Canadiens last night was to puzzle as to how the one team, Montreal, could enter the 72nd game of the NHL season in first place in the Northeast Division and Ottawa, a once-first-place team that had recently gone into freefall, could appear to be battling to save its season.
But then panic, as Murray pointed out after the game, “seems to be a tendency” where the Senators and their fans are concerned.
I mentioned to a friend last night that I would not be surprised to wake-up this morning to find this game was in the 150th round of the shootout, with the score still tied 0-0.
from Fire & Ice,
That was one of the strangest games of the season. It reminded me of the Devils’ 3-2 shootout win in Buffalo on Jan 12. They fell behind 2-0 in that one too and probably had no business winning and found a way to pull it out.
This time, the 4-3 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild was good to put the Devils back in first place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of Pittsburgh, Montreal and Ottawa.
“It means we control our destiny in the last 11 games,” said Jamie Langenbrunner, who scored the shootout winner. “We’ve got to play better first periods coming down the stretch here. We’re not going to get away with that, but we took the positive in the big game and we were able to get the two points out of it.”
more on the Devils…
from Lew Serviss of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Every game is huge. The final order in the East is a tossup, with five teams having a good shot at finishing first in the conference. In the West, eighth place is thisclose, and five teams that are now on the outside – including Edmonton! – have a prayer at making the playoffs. Here’s a look at what’s happening as the season ticks down.
much more a great picture how the standings could shake-out.
Georges Laraque has been suspended 3 games for his elbow on Buffalo’s Nathan Paetsch.
More to follow.
added 7:07, from TSN (same link as above),
The incident occured during the second period of Wednesday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins’ and the Sabres. Laraque appeared to deliver an elbow to Paetsch’s face as he skated past the Buffalo defencemen. Laraque was given a five-minute major for elbowing and was ejected from the game.
from the CP via TSN,
Ryan Smyth and Peter Forsberg were both kept out of the Colorado Avalanche’s lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Smyth skated effortlessly earlier in the day and showed no signs of the concussion and shoulder injury that forced him to miss five games. Forsberg, out with a strained groin, didn’t take the ice at all in the Avalanche’s morning skate.
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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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