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The Magic Number

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Forty-one victories. That’s the target.

Because even as the loser’s point and the three-point game have combined to produce the appearance of convoluted standings, the number under the “W” column doesn’t mislead.

And since the introduction of the shootout, the loser’s point and the three-point game in 2005-06, 135 of the 149 teams to win at least half of their games have made the playoffs.

In the East, it’s 65 out of 71, 36 out of 37 over the past five years, and 28 of 28 in the past four full, 82-game seasons, including all seven last year following realignment.

As of Saturday morning, seven teams in the East and nine in the West had won at least half of their games.

more topics including Theo Fleury and the Calgary Flames...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Falling Ruble And The KHL

from the CP at TSN,

The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League saw itself as the oil-rich rival to the NHL, offering a tempting, if less prestigious, alternative to playing in North America.

As the league planned to expand as far as Britain, the money on offer even attracted Russian stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov, who walked out on lucrative NHL deals to return home.

Then came the crash of the ruble this week.

The financial crisis has threatened the plans of players like former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Curtis Sanford, who came to Russia to save for his retirement.

"It's just really happened all of a sudden," the 35-year-old Sanford told The Associated Press. "These are some things that you don't expect when you sign a contract. Right now, you just have to ride the rolls of how it's going and hopefully it stabilizes and gets better."

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Ilya Bryzgalov’s Bad Night

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Some notes, quotes and other musings from the Ducks’ 6-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Friday night …

Let’s look at Bryzgalov. The Ducks are paying him some real good money to be a No. 3 option who has to be the No. 2 for now as they opted to have John Gibson get well in Norfolk. General Manager Bob Murray was watching his investment ($2.88-million salary cap hit, $1.9-million actual money) blow up in his first start from high up in Canadian Tire Centre.

Every shot began to look like an adventure after a while but this was the wild ride Murray signed up for in the mercurial Bryzgalov when his goaltending beyond Frederik Andersen was either on the training table (Gibson) or wrapped up in a bandage (Jason LaBarbera).

Suddenly LaBarbera didn’t look so much like a feared option if or when things get desperate. And Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, when asked if it was a tough spot to put Bryzgalov in at the end of a nine-day road trip, didn’t jump in defend the dismal outing even when the rest of his tired team disintegrated around the netminder.

“It’s a tough spot but Freddie played 20 games in a row and it’s not like Bryz is a first-year player,” Boudreau said. “He knows what he’s done. He’s been practicing for two weeks. He’s played two games in the minors. Played the third period or more than a period and a bit in Toronto.

“He’s practiced. He should have been ready. And he should be ready.”

Ouch.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

More Injuries For The Pittsburgh Penguins

via the Pittsburgh Penguins twitter account,

Coach Johnston: “Craig Adams won’t play tonight. He’s had an injury. Unfortunately, he will be out of the lineup."

Coach Johnston on Christian Ehrhoff: “We are still getting some test results back. He will be out at least 3 games."

Coach Johnston: “Paul Martin will be out tonight."

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

HUTCHINSON BACKSTOPS JETS TO VICTORY OVER BRUINS
Michael Hutchinson made 30 saves as Winnipeg collected its 10th win against Eastern Conference opposition, the most among Western Conference clubs. The Jets, who improved to 17-10-6 (40 points), hold the first Wild Card position in the West standings and are within five points or fewer of each Central Division rival ahead of them (Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville).
 
* Hutchinson improved to 7-2-2 on the season. The 24-year-old rookie leads the League with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.
 
* The Jets lowered their team goals-against average this season to 2.21, third in the League. The only clubs with a superior mark are Central Division rivals Nashville (1.93) and Chicago (2.00).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Boone Jenner Out 1-2 Months With A Stress Fracture To His Back

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Boone Jenner on Injured Reserve and recalled center Sean Collins from the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Jenner, 21, has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of his back and is expected to miss one to two months. He has posted six goals and six assists for 12 points and 10 penalty minutes in 20 games with the Blue Jackets this season, including 5-1-6 in his last eight contests. The Dorchester, Ontario native was the club’s first pick, 37th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft and has registered 22-19-41 and 41 penalty minutes in 92 career NHL games, including 16-13-29 and 45 penalty minutes in 72 games as a rookie a year ago.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boone+jenner

Morning Line- Bruce Boudreau

"Not a great effort, all the way around. I'm not going to say we were content and [were thinking], 'Let's just get home.'

"I know we've been on the road 13 of the last 15 days — that doesn't hold anything. That bar's pretty high on our team and when you don't get what you reach for, you get pretty upset."

-Bruce Boudreau, head coach of the Anaheim Ducks after a 6-2 loss to Ottawa.  More on the game from Lance Pugmire of the LA Times.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Here Comes The Tyler Seguin And Taylor Hall Comparison

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Tyler Seguin is off to Edmonton on Saturday morning, and you know what that means: Another round of Tyler-Taylor questions are coming – and these ones will be more pointed than ever, given their current career trajectories.

Tyler Seguin is on the rise. If he were a stock, it would be on the verge of a split. Seguin currently leads the NHL in goals and points, a rare feat in today’s game. Since the NHL introduced the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy in 1999 to reward the NHL’s goal-scoring leader, only one player has managed to win both goal- and point-scoring titles in a single year, and that was Alex Ovechkin in 2008. Before that, you have to go back to 1996 and Mario Lemieux for the last time it happened.

Taylor Hall’s stock, meantime, is flat. In fact, some of the NHL’s so-called insider traders put Hall’s name on the sell list this week, after the Oilers fired coach Dallas Eakins and replaced him, on an interim basis, with the tandem of Craig MacTavish and Todd Nelson. MacTavish is the Oilers’ general manager and after reluctantly removing Eakins he promised a top-to-bottom review of the organization on the grounds that the team’s current struggles reflect a deeper problem than just coaching.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall, tyler+seguin

What Happened To Steve Mason?

from Fran Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

According to general manager Ron Hextall, Mason is ruled out for at least this weekend's games in Toronto and Winnipeg with an "upper-body" injury, but the team would not commit to any timeline after that.

That doesn't necessarily mean Mason will miss only this weekend. Hextall said the team will provide an update on Monday and would not comment further.

The scene yesterday was ominous. With the help of the training staff, Mason was flipped over to his back - where he stayed for a period of time - before sitting up and finally making it to his feet. He was then helped off the ice, unable to skate off under his own power....

R.J. Umberger said Mason's injury "looked like" a back issue, noting Mason "grabbed something behind him" when he "reached for a puck" to make a save.

Luke Schenn saw Mason go down and had his own theory.

"It looked like he was going into a spasm or whatever it was," Schenn said. "I'm not even sure. You never know if it's dehydration or anything like that.

more

update 12:06pm, via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

“He sees the specialist on Monday and we’ll find out more,” Hextall said. “I talked to him and the doctor does not have a hands-on [feeling] for Mase yet. He’s talked to [trainer] Jimmy [McCrossin].

“I’m optimistic is won’t be long. Until you get the information you don’t know for sure. I don’t anticipate it being a long time but it could change.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Video- Mark Scheifele Interfered By Milan Lucic

 Mark Scheifele forgot about keeping his head on a swivel and paid for it last night.  Two minutes for interference on Milan Lucic.

Short video...

 

 

A little longer video below, but not as easy to see the hit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+scheifele, milan+lucic

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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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