Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The St. Louis Blues Cannot Win In Los Angeles

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Sometimes we talk in terms of Superman and Kryptonite when we're talking about the effect the Montreal Canadiens have on the Boston Bruins. The same dynamic is at play when the St. Louis Blues visit the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead at Staples Center Thursday night only to have the Kings outscore them 6-1 the rest of the way en route to a wild 6-4 win. According to the Kings' PR staff, the win was the sixth in a row for the Kings over the Blues on home ice.

The Blues have not won in Los Angeles since March 2011. More importantly for a Kings team just hanging around in the Pacific Division, the win marked an explosive night for the team's top players as Anze Kopitar had a five-point night (1 goal, four assists) and Marian Gaborik extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with a pair. He has five goals and one assist over that period. Both Gaborik and Kopitar have been beset by injuries and their production has been uncharacteristically tepid through the first 30 games of the season. If Thursday is any indication, though, look out Blues and look out Western Conference.

read on for Custance on Mike Green and the Capitals, LeBrun on Saku Koivu and Strang on the Jets...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Friday Morning Thoughts On Hockey

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- With the Holiday Trade Freeze rapidly approaching, Boston and St. Louis are two interesting teams to watch, not just because they’ve been talking to each other. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is contacting teams with space, seeing what it will cost for them to take players off his roster, so he can free up room to do what he wants. Curious to see if those second-round selections he acquired for Johnny Boychuk are in his plans. For both Chiarelli and Blues’ compatriot Doug Armstrong, it’s not just about this year. Boston, in a tight spot, must deal with Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith in the summer. Armstrong knows the next two years mean extensions for Jake Allen, Jori Lehtera, Jaden Schwartz and breakout sensation Vladimir Tarasenko. With all of the cap uncertainty, you’ve got to be careful.

- If your team is looking for defencemen, watch Anaheim. Ben Lovejoy’s return gives them eight blueliners, with Eric Brewer (expected to be back in January) making nine. That gives Bob Murray some flexibility. Winnipeg added Jay Harrison to stop the bleeding, and Minnesota is another team looking for depth there.

- If there’s one thing Arizona needs, it’s young forwards who can score. That’s the key to Keith Yandle (A nice, high draft pick wouldn’t hurt, either). But Don Maloney is making it clear that he will not do anything with Yandle unless it provides a long-term solution. It’s also possible some teams who don’t desperately need a centre take a look at Antoine Vermette. He can play the wing, and versatility never hurts.

more including Cory Sarich wants one more shot at the NHL...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Praising Mike Green

from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,

Here was the Mike Green everyone knew, or at least the one everyone remembered, revived and tearing through all three zones, while everyone else tried to catch up. He zipped across the defensive blue line. He caught one opponent flat-footed and blew straight past. He faked a slap shot and raced by another. He bolted through the right faceoff circle, curled parallel to the goal line, angled himself and, with a simple nudge, slipped the winning pass back into the middle as the Blue Jackets stared.

“He looks slow, but he’s buzzing pretty fast,” forward Michael Latta said. “Hell of a player.”

“Ghost-like,” Coach Barry Trotz said later. “You might not notice him, might not notice them, then – bang – he’s there on offense and he creates something.”

continued

Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- John Scott

“You know players in the league who dive a lot and embellish a little bit. It’s good to single them out. Maybe they’ll be a little embarrassed.

“We don’t need that in the game. We don’t need it to turn into soccer, where it’s embarrassing and where you get rewarded for it.

“Nobody wants to be known as a diver. I hope it stops, it’s a garbage part of the game and it should be out.”

-John Scott of the San Jose Sharks. More diving reaction and some Edmonton Oilers notes from Robert Tychkowski if the Edmonton Sun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+scott

Starting All Over Again In Edmonton

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This phenomenon – of starting over again – is not something teams want to acknowledge, because it makes everybody look bad; and really amounts to the hardest sell in professional sport.

Teams genuinely believe they cannot turn to their fan base and blurt out the painful reality – that Plan A didn’t work and so now, they’re off to Plan B. Just trust us, this one will work better. Really, it will....

f the Oilers continue to struggle, they’ll have a chance to land a Toews-like piece in either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL entry draft. The question they’ll need to ask – and this is why MacTavish is behind the bench right now – is which of the players from spinning-their-wheels stage of the team’s rebuild survive, and which ones move on?

more and Duhatschek uses the Chicago Blackhawks as an example...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Dwight King Hits The Water Bottle From Center Ice

I am not going to blame Martin Brodeur here, bad bounces happen but the Blues did blow a 3-0 lead in the 6-4 loss to the Kings

 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dwight+king

Video- The Major Action From The Seven NHL Games Last Night

3 1/2 minutes of highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Intriguing observations from the ‘Hockey World’ and ‘Three Periods’

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:

- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.

...

- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?

- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.

This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:

-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.

Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko

Canadiens fete Koivu

As NHL.com's Sean Farrell notes, the Montreal Canadiens honored former captain Saku Koivu for his service to the team on Thursday night:

 

Watch the full 30 minute ceremony below...

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: montreal+canadiens, saku+koivu

Clayton Stoner hit sends Max Pacioretty to the hospital

Clayton Stoner hit Max Pacioretty during the third period of the Montreal Canadiens' 2-1 loss to Stoner's Anaheim Ducks...

And this is not good, nor is...Well...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, clayton+stoner, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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