Kukla's Korner Hockey
Yes, the Detroit Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg their top two scorers on Wednesday night against Philadelphia, but the outcome, a shocking 6-3 loss that saw the Red Wings cough up 3-1 lead allowing four third-period goals, highlighted what is a burgeoning problem for head coach Mike Babcock: his goaltending. Specifically, Babcock is faced with the reality that what is supposed to be his best goaltender is not his best goaltender. Jimmy Howard took the loss Wednesday allowing five goals on 33 shots. Yes, the four third-period goals the Flyers registered included two power-play markers and an empty-net goal, but the fact is that Howard has just one win in his last eight appearances and six times over that stretch has allowed three or more goals. Jonas Gustavsson, meanwhile, has won four in a row for the Wings and is a sparkling 7-0-1 on the season. Maybe it's just a bump in the road for Howard but right now he's in danger of playing himself out of contention for the U.S. Olympic team and out of the starter's role in Detroit.
-Scoot Burnside of ESN where you can read more opinions from the hockey experts at ESPN.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Booth’s commitment to regain his powerful stride and balance after knee, ankle and groin injuries the last two years wasn’t just talk.
Before the Canucks departed on their last road trip on what was a travel day, Booth and Aidelbaum had a 7 a.m. skating session at Rogers Arena. During the four-game trip, teacher and pupil exchanged technical analysis, and when the club returned Wednesday, Booth and Aidelbaum had another session.
The results have been quick and quite remarkable.
Booth scored in successive games on the trip, but his bold move out of the corner and powerful cut to the net to bury a backhander on Nov. 30 at Madison Square Garden was an eye-opener. He looked more like that 30-goal scorer with the Florida Panthers in 2008-09 than someone who has struggled to score three times in 18 games this season and has been in the Tortorella doghouse.
That goal against the New York Rangers was beyond encouraging. It was an epiphany.
“That was technical,” Aidelbaum said Wednesday. “With the skills comes comfort, and with comfort comes confidence, and it works directly in that order. If the skating is sharp, the mind is sharp and they feel they can conquer the world.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs fans across the nation unexpectedly had their breath stolen for three minutes and three seconds last Saturday night, even before the puck had dropped on the 721st regular-season game between the two storied clubs.
Tuned to Hockey Night in Canada, they were overwhelmed by a pregame video montage that was a magnificent cross-section of a rivalry more than eight decades old, stunning black-and-white and colour footage of the players of yesterday and today, their skating and battling and celebrating at full speed and in slow motion sewn through grainy film and razor-sharp images of buildings and broadcasters and diehard supporters of both clubs.
If the images alone were enough to weaken the knees, their drama soared higher still with the accompaniment of the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti, singing the Puccini aria Nessun dorma (translated: None shall sleep) from the 1920s opera Turandot.
It was the latest and, many say, the greatest montage in more than six years of Hockey Night in Canada telecast-opening work by Toronto’s Tim Thompson.
continued and if you missed the montage, you can watch it below...
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Is Lightning star Steven Stamkos targeting a Feb. 6 return from the broken right tibia he sustained Nov. 11 at Boston? That was the report this week from Darren Dreger of Canada's TSN.
Asked if he is targeting a specific date for a return, Stamkos on Wednesday would not say but offered this: "It’s impossible to tell, really. I mentioned in my press conference I’d love to come back and play a couple games and be able to play in the Olympics. That’s my goal. You have to have a goal and you work towards your goal."
If Stamkos does return by Feb. 6, he could play two games for the Lightning before the Olympic break. On playing for Canada at the Sochi Olympics, he said it won't happen "unless I am 100 percent."
Watch how Bobrovsky was injured here.
via George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers had their smallest announced attendance in six seasons on Tuesday against Ottawa.
An estimated 500 fans were in the building for warmups. Approximately 8,000 watched the game in an arena that holds close to 20,000.
Florida's official announced attendance of 10,074 was just a handful more than reported for a Halloween game in 2008 against Carolina.
"In Florida, if you have a good team, people will come,'' defenseman Mike Weaver said.
"We're not winning at home right now. Now is the time to move forward.''
During the recent Rangers/Canucks game, both Tortorella and Vigneault were mic'd up.
Boy, when AV gets loud, his voice gets higher...
via the Detroit Free Press, Pavel Datsyuk talks about his health...
Datsyuk may just become the star of 24/7...
from Craig Custance of EPN,
WHAT WOULD NHL LOOK LIKE IF FIGHTING DISAPPEARED?
I'm not sure I can even envision the premise. I'm not sure, regardless of what rule changes may over time be made, I'm not sure if fighting is ever eliminated from the game. I think fighting will continue to be part of the game regardless of what your rules are and it is parts of other games as well.
I really can't envision it from that perspective but I'm also not in a position [to] really hypothesize it. It's something that's been part of the game for a long time. Regardless of what our rules are, it's going to remain part of the game in some form or fashion. It's not a question that's easy to answer.
HOW WOULD FANS RESPOND? DO YOU POLL?
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.
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