Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
After subtracting the NHL’s top two teams (the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators) and its bottom one (the Washington Capitals), there were 27 teams separated by 10 points as of Thursday morning, when the first quarter had officially concluded. In the West, only eight points separated the bottom-dwelling Los Angeles Kings from the No. 2 team in the conference, the San Jose Sharks. In the East, 10 points separated the 14th-place Buffalo Sabres from the second-ranked New York Rangers — and the Sabres held three games in hand.
In the old way of measuring a .500 record, in which a team earns as many points as games played, 20 clubs were above that mark and a 21st, the Calgary Flames were right at it, or until they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks later that night. The Capitals may turn it around now with a new coach behind the bench, but at nine points out and with six teams to leapfrog, their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.
Mathematically, however, the other 29 teams could all legitimately argue that they’re still in midst of the playoff race.
From Scott Cullen at TSN,
As we move past the quarter point of the season, teams are starting to have a good idea what they have and what they’re lacking on their current roster. Here’s a look at team needs throughout the NHL.
Around the Rinks:
Anaheim: Need a decision from Scott Niedermayer and could use second-line scoring help, whether it comes from Todd Bertuzzi, Teemu Selanne or someone not currently on the Ducks roster.
Atlanta: Now that the offence appears to be clicking, the Thrashers could use at least one more reliable defensive defenceman.
From the Phoenix Coyotes,
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have loaned goaltender David Aebischer to HC Lugano of Switzerland National League A.
Aebischer, 29, appeared in one game for the Coyotes this season and stopped 30 of 33 shots in a loss at Columbus on Oct. 10. The Fribourg, Switzerland native signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on July 19, 2007.
Updated 3:16pm ET: Some comments from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail.
via the AP,
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has a groin injury and isn’t expected to play Saturday against Philadelphia.
Ottawa’s top scorer was injured during Thursday’s shootout loss to Pittsburgh. He had three assists in the game, but wasn’t able to take a shootout attempt.
Senators coach John Paddock says his captain is day-to-day, but “I don’t think that day-to-day includes playing tomorrow.”
In our “Friday Faceoff,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: The Vancouver Canucks’ Mattias Ohlund slashed Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild, and Koivu suffered a cracked bone in his left leg. For his actions, Ohlund received a four-game suspension. Was the suspension enough?
Damien: So, back to suspension. Here are my two ideas. First, no suspension should ever be less than 10 games. If somebody’s been a bad boy, that’s the only way you’re really going to get his attention and spread the gospel of deterrence. Second, coaches serve half the suspension time or maybe sit out the same number of games.
from Brad Holland at NHL.com,
Nashville’s Game Presentation: I had a chance to sit low in a very good seat last night, and watched the game with an ice-level view instead of a bird’s-eye. Outstanding! The Nashville fans were energetic, into the game, and right on top of the action. They were courteous, asking questions of me and even weren’t shy to give a few tips on how to make NHL.com better (I spent the third period sitting next to a young Predators fan and youth Nashville hockey player who knew as much about hockey-at-large as any Canadian kid…
more on Brad’s hockey weekend… and I think I may have to have a sit-down with young Bradley!
from the Ottawa Citizen,
No one wants to return to the pre-lockout days, when players water-skied off opponents, particularly grievous in the neutral zone. Still, must the NHL call the love taps on shin pads?
In some games, officials do.
On Hockey Night In Canada’s Coach’s Corner last Saturday, Don Cherry showed a set of highlights to illustrate the dubious nature of many slashing and hooking calls. On any given night in the NHL, a player brushing his stick against another player’s shin pads or pants can result in a penalty.
...and settle in for a day/night of NHL hockey!
TV coverage can be found at NHL.com...
added 11:35am, Watch a video preview of today’s games…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Afterwards, Hanlon conceded that he’d never undergone anything quite like the current meltdown at any other stage in his career, as a player or a coach, and sounded as if he were out of answers. So Boudreau gets the first chance to pick up the pieces and in a month or so, McPhee will start to get his answers: If this were really a coaching issue, or if the team that he’s rebuilding isn’t quite ready to turn the corner just yet.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Hitchcock ambled in with a smirk-smile on his face and a massive monkey wrench in his belt. The cast-iron wrench is a good tool. It can twist a nut. It works as a hammer or a back scratcher. Sometimes, it’s handy just for show.
Hitchcock installed his system. Now, hockey systems can be overrated, as one does not differ much from another. The important thing is consistency, and Hitchcock was consistent: “Do this, do this because it works, and if you do not do this, you will not play.” Then, he held up the monkey wrench.
Critical point: Nobody interfered.
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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