Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The 3-0 defeat was the Islanders' ninth straight loss in regulation on the road, matching a total not hit since the 1998-99 season. They are winless (0-7-2) in their last nine, six points away from seventh in the Metro Division and 10 points out of the last playoff spot.
The players kept the locker room door closed at the Staples Center for 10 minutes after the game, throwing the floor open to anyone who wanted to speak. "It was just guys talking, trying to talk some things out," Colin McDonald said. "We're just looking for anything to get us out of this."
Islanders owner Charles Wang was on hand, flying in to see his team play before attending the NHL's Board of Governors meeting Monday in San Jose. There are no indications from Wang or general manager Garth Snow that a coaching change is imminent, but something has to change for this team.
"It's a broken record right now," Matt Carkner said.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
It took less than five months for Tuukka Rask’s eight-year, $56 million contract to look like a bargain.
On Wednesday, the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist agreed to a seven-year, $59.5 million extension. Lundqvist’s annual average value will be $8.5 million, fifth-highest in the NHL after Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Corey Perry. Lundqvist will carry an annual cap hit $1.5 million richer than Rask and Pekka Rinne, now the second-highest-paid goalies in the league.
Rask will be 34 when his deal expires. There’s a good chance his current contract will not be his last. Lundqvist will be 39 in 2021, the final season of his new deal.
This will almost certainly be Lundqvist’s last contract. Given his age, Lundqvist might not even fulfill its term. Even so, the Rangers had no choice but to fatten Lundqvist’s bank account.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The NHL and its many fighting and violence zealots must be so, so proud. Over the next few days, you’re going to hear from them that Shawn Thornton is one of the good guys. They’ll talk about how much character he has and how he visits sick kids in the hospital and what a great team guy he is and how out of character this attack was.
All of which may be true, but Shawn Thornton proved that on the ice, he’s nothing but a bully and a punk and someone who deserves to have the privilege of playing hockey taken away from him for a long, long time. Kudos to him for coming out and answering for his actions after the game and taking responsibility for them, but that was the only thing he did all night that had even a shred of integrity. What Thornton did was no different than what almost killed Steve Moore and forever changed the career of Todd Bertuzzi more than nine years ago. In fact, Brooks Oprik should be saying, “There but by the grace of God go I,” or something like that right now because it could have been much, much worse for him. Initial reports had him conscious and alert at a Boston hospital, which means those who enjoy this kind of nonsense have just dodged another bullet.
(Thornton received a match penalty, which carries an indefinite suspension, and has an in-person hearing with the NHL. Wouldn’t you just love to see the NHL throw him out for 25 games then see if Thornton has the gall to appeal it?)
Those who defend fighting in the NHL will tell you this had nothing to do with fighting. And that’s a bunch of unadulterated bunk. It had everything to do with fighting. Why did Thornton attack Orpik in the first place? Because Orpik refused to fight him, that’s why. So Thornton took it upon himself to force Orpik into a fight. And that has nothing to do with fighting? Who are these people trying to kid?
Neal was certainly no better with his accidental-on-purpose knee to Marchand’s head.
Cassie Campbell and Kevin Weekes chime in too...
via Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
After the game, one in which his team rallied from behind on Chris Kreider's game-tying goal with less than 22 seconds in regulation, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was unable to shed much light on what happened to one of the team's top defenseman.
But what he did say is, at the very least, cause for concern.
Vigneault revealed that Staal "didn't feel quite right" after sustaining a hit from New Jersey's Reid Boucher during the third period.
"He took a shoulder to the chin there and didn't feel quite right," Viugneault said. "They're evaluating him now. We'll have an update [Sunday]."
When pressed further about whether there was concern Staal had sustained a concussion, Vigneault did not confirm.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- As Florida GM Dale Tallon tries to unload contracts, the word amongst his peers is he’s getting heat from new owner Vince Viola. Tallon is on shaky ground because “the new owner wants some answers.” Moving defenceman Dmitry Kulikov might be a nice start but teams are concerned he may head back to the KHL as an RFA.
- We’ve been told Nashville GM David Poile has difficult decisions to make. If his club can’t stay in the playoff race, then the speculation is he’ll be putting up the dreaded ‘For Sale’ sign. That doesn’t have to happen until the Olympic break but the issue for the Preds is a balance of the team has time remaining on its contract. Changes will be tough for Poile.
- As reported in this space, Islanders GM Garth Snow is continuing his search for a goalie. This club was expected to make the playoffs and one of those targeted is Buffalo’s Ryan Miller. The goaltender has submitted a list of 10 teams to the Sabres where he doesn’t want to be dealt and it’s not known if the Islanders are among those. Many expect the St. Louis Blues to make a push for Miller and the talk around the league is they might be willing to move right wing T.J. Oshie. The 26-year-old has a $4.175 million cap hit through 2017 and if he’s available he would be an attractive option for a lot of teams.
Don Cherry opens Coach's Corner with the Thornton/Orpik incident. Cherry and Ron MacLean then discussed the 1st period between the Leafs and Senators. The next topic was regarding the selection process of Team Canada for the WJC.
Topics include what does Wayne Gretzky do now, the contract talks regarding Subban and Phaneuf and Kulikov trade talk.
No excuse for what Shawn Thornton did there. Looked to me like he completely lost it after couple borderline hits from Penguins. Cant happen
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 8, 2013
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
With play stopped, Orpik and Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton were in a confrontation, and Orpik remained injured on the ice.
Penguins players immediately called for medical assistance.
Thornton and Orpik became involed after Bruins forward Brad Marchand, while on the ice, took a knee to the head from Penguins forward James Neal.
Thornton was assessed a match penalty; he appeared to pull Orpik down and punch him while he was on the ice.
Neal was assessed a two-minute penalty for kneeing.
Bruins forward Loui Eriksson left the game after his first shift following a hit from Orpik.
Watch the incident below... added 8:36pm, both Boston and Pittsburgh broadcasts can be viewed below...
added 8:40pm, Orpik hit on Eriksson added below too...
Tonight's montage set to 'Save Us'...
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.
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