Kukla's Korner Hockey
Things are getting dire for the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, though their remaining six games include two against the also-ran Edmonton Oilers and one against soon-to-be eliminated San Jose. Their best hope was to finish third in the Pacific and face the Canucks, who flinch at the Kings' physical game, but the Kings now trail third-place Calgary by three points and by three in the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker. The Kings have overcome daunting odds before, but this might be their toughest task.
-Helene Elliott of the LA Times.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
A key stat of yours that jumped out to me was ice time. You exceeded 20 minutes of ice time in 10 of your first 19 games, but only in 11 of the past 46. Now some of these games you're in the 19:50s range so take that for what it's worth, but it's not around 22, 23, 24 or 25 as it had been for you in the past. Has playing fewer minutes been better for your overall game?
"Well, I definitely enjoy playing a lot of minutes and sort of a more prominent role, but in this case this is my role now for this team and I think it's helped me in the sense of being able to stay healthy throughout the season. When you log a lot of minutes and you are an offensive defenseman you can get targeted at times, and in that case you can sustain injuries. It's been a good balance. I'm comfortable with my role right now. Sometimes you've gotta put your ego aside for the betterment of the team."
Do you think this team is better suited to win a championship this season than even the team that won the Presidents' Trophy in 2009-10?
"Oh absolutely. It's feelings. I think we're definitely more structured than we've ever been. The whole team has bought into that structure. The relationship and camaraderie outside the rink is the best it's ever been. I think we're getting older and a little more mature in the sense that we're all focusing on the same thing now."
Should he have received more for this?
All the highlights from the NHL games on Monday night.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
It seems like the Rangers have been trying to solve this problem forever, and they can never quite find the right solution.
The power play has been close to a decade-long bugaboo for the Blueshirts, seemingly never a strength and always a source of frustration. If it has had its moments this season — which it has — right now, at the most critical time with the playoffs approaching, it has gone absolutely dormant.
“It’s not nearly good enough, without a doubt,” coach Alain Vigneault said after Sunday’s 0-for-5 performance over 7:21 of man-advantage time during a 5-2 loss to the Capitals at the Garden. “We’re going to take a look at some tape and make the adjustments we need to make.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference is apparently over.
The Senators have lost.
At least, that's the message being delivered by the Boston Bruins, who late Monday afternoon gave notice on Twitter that tickets for the B's first round Stanley Cup playoff games go on sale Friday at 11 a.m.
With the Bruins holding a three-point edge on the Senators, and having played one more game, some of their fans were unimpressed.
"We haven't made it yet," tweeted one of them.
"I almost feel like this is tempting fate," added another.
"Thanks in advance for jinxing us," stated a third.
John Shannon of Sportsnet with the report...
ROW, or regulation and overtime wins, is a statistic that doesn’t make much of an impact in the NHL standings except once, at the end of the NHL season, when it becomes the first tiebreaker for teams in the playoff hunt.
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
Last week, he went out with some people close to him, including his son, who is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, for a pastime Howe carried with him from his childhood in Saskatchewan.
He went fishing.
"I was down there last week," said Mark Howe, the director of pro scouting for the Red Wings, whose career as a defenseman put him in the Hall of Fame in Toronto with his father.
"We took him out catfishing a couple of days on a couple of ponds and did some walks and everyday things. Overall, he did pretty well."...
"My brother Murray and I were there last week," Howe said. "I had four days with him. He did pretty well when I was there.
"This week, my brother Marty's down there, and he struggled a little bit more this week. But I guess he's doing a little bit better today."
The story by Kruppa was probably meant for tomorrow, which is Gordie Howe's 87th birthday.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The drive to bring an NHL franchise to Las Vegas is entering a second phase with the league's blessing, prospective owner Bill Foley said Monday.
Although Foley would not discuss numbers with ESPN.com, several sources said the trial season ticket drive that had been green-lighted by the NHL late last year and began in early February had exceeded its original target of 10,000.
"We've done really, really well," Foley said.
Down payments on those tickets reflect grassroots buyers, individuals and small businesses throughout the Las Vegas area. Now, Foley is reaching out to larger corporations in Las Vegas, including major casino operations. Large banking institutions, telecommunications companies, food services operations and logistics enterprises like UPS or Federal Express also are in Foley's sights.
The group will continue to take down payments on season tickets from individuals even as they move into discussions with these larger entities, many of whom have already reached out to Foley and his group, he said. It's possible that along with the sale of suites, which are at about 750 seats, the ownership group that includes Foley and the Maloof family, former owners of the Palms casino and resort in Las Vegas and the NBA's Sacramento Kings, could top the 13,000 mark for season ticket deposits.
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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