Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
Game highlights are below...
“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.
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...
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
3 1/2 minutes of highlights...
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:
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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...
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...
Holiday roster freeze in effect:
For all players on an NHL active roster, injured reserve, or with non-roster and injured non-roster status as of midnight (local time) Dec. 19, a roster freeze shall apply through midnight (local time) Dec. 27, with respect to waivers, trades and loans, subject to the exceptions provided for in CBA Article 16.5.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org