Kukla's Korner Hockey
Markov is in the final season of a three-year contract that pays him $5,750,000 per season — a much-maligned deal when he signed that now looks like a bargain. Given his level of fitness and his stellar play, he has surely earned at a two-year deal that will likely be signed in the off-season. Markov has made it clear in the past he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, and the Canadiens don’t want him playing elsewhere, not with Mikhail Sergachev a couple of seasons away from top-pairing duties and Nathan Beaulieu still wildly inconsistent.
At the end of that contract, Markov should be a solid contender for a spot in the Hall of Fame. And I, for one, can’t wait to hear what he has to say the day he’s elected.
-Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette where you can read more on Markov.
No penalty on the play and Dumoulin went the the dressing room but did return.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
If Henrik Lundqvist wanted to be tested in order to prepare for the playoffs upon returning from a seven-game absence covering nearly three weeks, The King surely was that here on Sunday in a 6-3 empty-net abetted defeat to the Ducks.
“It was a challenging game,” Lundqvist said with a wry smile after surrendering five goals on 33 shots in 58:37. “You hope for maybe a little easier game, but there are no easy games in this league.”
It is impossible for there to be an easy game with the Rangers making it as difficult as possible on themselves and their goaltender. Despite being tied 3-3 entering the third, the Blueshirts were guilty of a multitude of bleeps, bloopers and blunders in their decisions, puck-movement and coverage all night long.
“Too many guys brought their ‘C’ game and that’s not good enough,” coach Alain Vigneault said following the defeat that prevented the Rangers from clinching a playoff spot. “It was not an easy game for Hank, but if I know him the way everyone does, he’s going to get better.”
Below, watch Corey Perry and Brendan Smith go at it...
Home Team in Caps
DETROIT 3, Minnesota 2 (OT)
Dallas 2, NEW JERSEY 1 (OT)
Philadelphia 6, PITTSBURGH 2
WINNIPEG 2, Vancouver 1
ANAHEIM 6, NY Rangers 3
DUCKS CLAIM SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST PLACE IN PACIFIC DIVISION
Ryan Getzlaf collected a season-high four assists to help the Ducks extend their point streak to seven games (6-0-1), including four straight wins. Anaheim (41-23-11, 93 points) moved ahead of idle San Jose (42-26-7, 91 points) and Edmonton (41-25-9, 91 points) to claim sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
* Getzlaf, who leads the Ducks with 14-52—66 this season, eclipsed the 50-assist mark for the seventh time in his NHL career (all w/ ANA) to extend his franchise record.
* Patrick Eaves (27-18—45), who was acquired by the Ducks on Feb. 24, scored twice to extend his single-season career highs for goals and points.
* Jonathan Bernier (25 saves) improved to 8-0-1 in his last nine appearances dating to March 7 (1.64 GAA, .944 SV%, 1 SO).
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
It never really occurred to the kid teammates call “Paddy” that he might do anything but play hockey. He claims to come from “a normal hockey family,” but there’s nothing normal about one that has produced — so far — a pair of first-round NHL picks, in his dad, Steve, who played 250 career games, and uncle James, now an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars after a more than 20-year career in the league. A second uncle, Rich Chernomaz, played 51 games in the NHL. Patrick’s older sister, Madison, 21, just won a national collegiate bronze medal with her UBC Thunderbirds, and younger sister, Amy, 14, plays Bantam AA for the Titans in Winnipeg. And then there’s the contingent outside of hockey: Patrick’s mom, Carrie, played volleyball for Team Canada, and Grandpa Stephen played in the CFL. So, you get what Patrick means when he says, “I didn’t know anything different.”...
Patrick’s hockey career began a very flat two-and-a-half-hour drive from Brandon, first on the backyard rink Steve made every winter for his three kids, and then on his first team, the Heritage Victoria Hawks, where he played alongside Madison and other eight-year-olds when he was only six. “Even then you could tell he could keep up with everyone,” says Madison, a defenceman for the Thunderbirds. “And he knew where to be.”
That’s saying something for a six-year-old. The year before that, at his first NHL game — to see the Buffalo Sabres, because Uncle James was on the coaching staff — Patrick remembers being curious about plays and players, a first hint of the cerebral quality and playmaking ability that define his game today. “I always watched more closely than the other kids,” Patrick says. And he had sounding boards for all his questions in his dad and uncle, who, when it comes to hockey, taught him “just about everything I know,” he says. That includes how to train. Patrick’s dad turned the family garage into a heated indoor shooting area (there was no space for cars; in the winter, those stayed outside in the snow). It’s now a gym for the whole family, and there’s a shooting pad in the backyard. Patrick also worked out with his uncle every off-season starting at age 13.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
On Saturday, he pulled 24 minutes, 24 seconds of ice time as the Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 at Nationwide Arena. On Thursday, he pulled 26:47 and scored a goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Capitals in Washington.
It's not the ice time or the offensive aplomb or any other single facet of Jones' game that grabs attention. It is his burgeoning hossification. Jones is showing he has the ability and the desire to take control of games. That makes him a special defenseman, especially as the calendar turns from March to April.
"Our last two games, some guys just haven't played well and haven't been totally there," coach John Tortorella said. "I think it's probably the two best games I've seen (Jones) play. ...
"I cannot explain how many things he has done well, especially these past two games. It goes very unnoticed. He's also in charge of the kid next to him. But, man, the past two games, some of the things he has done ... it's really encouraging as we look forward to the real stuff."
Saturday Headlines topics include the injury to Frederk Andersen, an injury update on Marc Methot, should Sidney Crosby been disciplined, the Rasmus Ristolainen hit, John Tavares contract situation and NCAA free agents.
Coach's Corner talked about a few recent hits, Mike Babcock on "the empty penalty box" on a major penalty to the Leafs, Sidney Crosby and a few more topics.
Monday evening, the Islanders host the Predators and Blackhawks visit the Lightning.
The Kings are now 9 points behind in the wild card race with 8 games to play.
from Helene Elliottt of the LA Times,
The Kings’ 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night summed up their season in one flawed performance, perfect only in exemplifying why a team that supposedly has so much talent and heart is all but certain to be watching on TV when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin next month.
With their playoff hopes dwindling by the hour, the Kings couldn’t muster enough urgency to crash the net. They couldn’t fight for rebounds in front of goaltender Antti Raanta. They couldn’t finish the few top-notch scoring chances they managed to create among their 30 mostly harmless shots on goal.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Has it really been 20 years since the Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche ignited one of the best rivalries — or feuds — in professional sports with a game on March 26 that will likely live in infamy?
“I have people all the time come up to me and say they were there,” Kris Draper said.
March 26, 1997.
You mention that date to Detroit sports fans of a certain age and they’ll tell you where they were when the Red Wings and Avalanche went after each other that evening, or what they were doing, or how they were going bonkers.
The entire evening can still produce endless goose bumps just thinking about it. The fights, the goals, the craziness of what was happening on the ice and in the stands — oh yes, and the fights.
Below, watch 15 minutes of fight highlights from the game...
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