Kukla's Korner Hockey
Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed defenceman Chris Tanev to a five-year contract extension that will run through the end of the 2020.21 NHL season.
“Chris has developed into an excellent NHL defenceman and is an extremely important part of our team,” said Vancouver Canucks General Manager, Jim Benning. “He’s a player you want on the ice in the most critical points of a game and we’re excited about having him with our group as we continue to play to win today, with an eye to the future.”
Tanev, 25, has recorded 16 points (2-14-16) and 10 penalty minutes in his sixth season with the Canucks. He currently ranks second on the team with a +10 rating, first on the team in shorthanded time on ice per game (2:46) and second in even-strength time on ice per game (17:55). Tanev also leads the team and ranks 13th in the League in blocked shots this season with 153.
SENATORS WIN SEVENTH STRAIGHT TO REACH WILD CARD SPOT
Facing a 2-1 deficit in the third period, the Ottawa Senators scored four unanswered goals – including two in a span of 1:12 – to defeat the San Jose Sharks and earn their seventh consecutive victory. The Senators, who have earned points in 16 of their last 17 games overall (15-1-1), improved to 37-24-11 (85 points) this season and leapfrogged the idle Boston Bruins (36-25-12, 84 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Senators have recorded points in 16 of 17 games for the first time since Feb. 20-March 24, 2007 (11-1-5). Elias also says that Ottawa has won 15 of 17 games for the first time since Oct. 3-Nov. 15, 2007 (15-2-0).
* Andrew Hammond made 29 saves to improve to 14-0-1 in his first 15 career starts and push his personal winning streak to nine games. According to Elias, Hammond is the first goaltender to earn points in each of his first 15 career starts since Patrick Lalime went 14-0-2 in his first 16 career starts for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996-97.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
At the recent GM meetings, there was some discussion about All-Star Weekend.
“It’s a good event,” one of them said. “Until the game starts.”
There’s an understanding it is never going to be competitive. And, after polling several of the GMs, they don’t want it to be. The season is taxing enough on the players, so no one wants to see them injured when it doesn’t matter.
Chicago’s Stan Bowman was one of those who suggested a small March-Madness like tournament. After thinking further about it, here’s how it could work.
Currently, the NHL invites 40-ish players to the event, six of whom are goalies.
Increase the total to 48 skaters and keep the same number of goalies, bringing the total to 54. You can still do the draft, picking six teams of nine. We go four-on-four. The NHL and NHLPA determine the length of each game (it should be no problem getting them to agree on things, right?), creating a 15-match round-robin, with each group facing the others once.
The top two teams get a bye to the semis. The next four go head-to-head in the quarters in single-elimination until we have a winner. There would be ties in the round-robin and shootouts in the “playoffs.”
more plus 30 Thoughts...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You have to love late-season jockeying in the playoff race. The Los Angeles Kings made their move Monday night, and the Calgary Flames responded a few hours later.
With Mike Richards back from the AHL and in the lineup, the Kings opened their five-game road trip with a much-needed 3-1 win at New Jersey, temporarily tying the Flames for third place and the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
But Bob Hartley's men said "No problem" later in the evening, disposing of the visiting Colorado Avalanche 3-2 to go back up two points on the Kings.
The defending champs have a tough one at MSG on Tuesday against arguably the best team in the NHL right now, the New York Rangers. And you'd better believe the Blueshirts wouldn't mind delivering a tough blow to the Kings after losing to L.A. in last year's Stanley Cup final.
The Flames host the Stars on Wednesday before heading out onto their own five-game road trek. It also happens that the Kings visit Calgary on April 9 in the second-to-last game of the regular season for both teams. Got a feeling that game is going to matter.
read on for more from the ESPN hockey staff including Strang on the Senators, Custance on the Wild and Burnside of the Jets...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
That should just about do it.
After allowing four goals in the third period on Monday at Canadian Tire Center to lose 5-2 to the Senators, the Sharks playoff odds went from remote to virtually impossible.
A seven-game road trip that began in Winnipeg with a confident group has now devolved into a funeral procession for the 2014-15 season. There are still nine games to go and three more stops on the trip, but for all intents and purposes the Sharks’ 10-year streak of making it to the postseason died in the frosty Canadian capital.
No one would say it in those words, of course, but there was a palpable sense that the players and coach are now reserved to their fate as a team....
Logan Couture was particularly sincere.
“We’re not good enough right now to compete against good teams in the NHL,” he said. “It’s disappointing. We’re a better team, I think, than what we’ve shown in the last couple months.
“Every night we go out there, we just haven’t been good enough on a consistent basis. It’s so disappointing because we believe in this room that we’ve got a good enough group of guys to make a push and to compete past the regular season. Consistently, we just don’t get the job done.”
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
The Leafs don’t always get these things right, but the pre-game tribute to honour veteran Eric Brewer for playing in his 1,00th career NHL game was a nice, well-deserved touch. Sure, he has only played 10 games with his latest team, but any NHLer who makes it to the thousand mark should get his due — and the traditional silver stick that goes with it. The video tribute was first class, playing tribute to a defenceman who has represented Canada eight times in his career, including a member of the gold medal winning squad at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
more on the Leafs and watch the ceremony below...
from Allan Kreda of the New York Times,
Pat LaFontaine has always been a popular Islander, though in recent years he has not been seen much at Nassau Coliseum.
Since he left the franchise during the turbulent summer of 2006, after the abrupt departure of Neil Smith as general manager, LaFontaine, the team’s gregarious former center, has primarily concentrated on his charity work and, more recently, working for the N.H.L. as vice president for hockey development and community affairs after a brief job as an executive with the Buffalo Sabres.
Before the Islanders leave for Barclays Center, however, LaFontaine will finally return to Nassau Coliseum, which he called home from 1984 to 1991. A Hall of Famer, he was happy to be invited back by the team owner Charles B. Wang and General Manager Garth Snow to greet fans and be recognized on the ice before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
“I haven’t been in the building for a long time, so I’m excited to see it again,” LaFontaine, 50, said. “I cherish those times and the players I played with. And the Islander fans have always been great. I’m honored to come back to where it all started for me.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Overall, his legacy is cemented. In addition to starring on two Olympic gold-medal-winning teams, Iginla has won a case full of trophies – an Art Ross, two Rocket Richards, a King Clancy and the Mark Messier leadership award.
What he hasn’t won is a Stanley Cup, though he of course came achingly close when Calgary pushed Tampa Bay to Game 7 in the 2004 Cup final. More recent playoff runs fell short in Pittsburgh two years ago and Boston last year. Finding the right landing place as a free agent, in what he hopes is his final NHL stop, was critical to Iginla for personal and professional reasons.
“It’s hard to pick, especially now with how the cap works,” Iginla said. “If you try to predict what the final four are going to be, maybe you can do it, but for me, it’s hard to tell. They’re all so close. There are no teams you play now where you feel they’re so much ahead of you – and that wasn’t always the case.
“Right now, we’re playing some good hockey and getting better and we’re missing some impact players [Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon]. That should – and I believe will – only get better. So absolutely, it was more than just about this year. It was about being part of a team that’s trending positively in the right way. And even though we had a step back in the beginning, overall, we’re going to keep getting better and better.”
Every time Iginla returns to Calgary, it gets a little easier for him, he said. His family is enjoying life in Denver, from his three kids’ schools to their minor hockey. He sees a lot of similarities to Calgary – “a lot going on, but not too busy. Maybe a little warmer.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators will wake up Tuesday morning where they wanted to be.
And, where so many never believed they would be.
There may not be any stopping Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond and the Senators now as they bit back at the San Jose Sharks by scoring four unanswered goals in a third period comeback to move ahead of the Boston Bruins for the final wildcard playoff spot at No. 8 in the East with a 5-2 win.
The Hamburglar made 29 stops and is an incredible 14-0-1 as the Senators extended their streak to seven straight wins to move one point ahead of Boston as Mika Zibanejad scored twice while Mike Hoffman, Alex Chiasson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also chipped in front of 18,193 at Canadian Tire Centre.
Yup, the burgers were flying with Ottawa 15-1-1 in its last 16.
Fourteen points out of a playoff spot on Feb. 8, the Senators have done the unthinkable in this remarkable run.
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.
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