Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,
On Monday morning, the city was in a state of euphoria after the Canadiens swept that playoff-like home-and-home, weekend series against the Ottawa Senators to seemingly take firm command of first-place in the Atlantic Division. People were saying things like “bring on the Rangers” and laughing about how we didn’t need to worry about the Sens.
Then came Tuesday night, the most boring game of the year. The sad-sack Detroit Red Wings shuffled into town, put the crowd to sleep (with a little help from the drowsy Habs) and before you could say “this is a familiar scenario,” Longueuil hockey hero Anthony Mantha was laughing in the faces of Alex Galchenyuk and Shea Weber, and scoring the winning goal in overtime. Oops.
But that was nothing compared with Thursday night’s nightmare on Avenue des Canadiens. The Carolina Hurricanes, also way down there in the Eastern Conference standings, taught the Canadiens another lesson in hockey, hammering Les Boys 4-1.
Around the same time, former Hab Mike Condon, deemed to be expendable last year by Habs management, was stopping Sidney Crosby in a shootout to give the Senators a 2-1 victory over the Penguins and pull Ottawa to within one-point of the Canadiens atop the Atlantic Division. Oops, Part III.
In short, all is not right in Habs Nation. So why is our team so inconsistent? Well in fact, they’ve been inconsistent all year. This is, as is so often the case with recent Canadiens squads, a Jekyll and Hyde team.
NY Islanders 4, PITTSBURGH 3 (SO)
Tampa Bay 2, DETROIT 1 (OT)
DALLAS 6, San Jose 1
ANAHEIM 3, Winnipeg 1
EXTRA TIME VICTORIES FUEL WILD CARD RACE
The Islanders (35-26-12, 82 points) and Lightning (36-29-9, 81 points) earned victories in the shootout and overtime, respectively, to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race:
* John Tavares (0-2—2) recorded the 300th and 301st assists of his career and netted the shootout winner as the Islanders overtook the Bruins (38-30-6, 82 points) for the final Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. Tavares – who became the first member of the 2009 NHL Draft class to reach the 300-assist plateau – extended his point streak to five games (2-4—6). New York and Boston will conclude their season series on Saturday.
* Nikita Kucherov (1-1—2) recorded his fourth straight multi-point game – including his first overtime goal of the season – to help the Lightning move within one point of the Islanders and Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Kucherov (38-40—78), who has recorded 17-12—29 in his last 16 games, moved into sole possession of second place in the Rocket Richard Trophy race, four goals behind Sidney Crosby (42). Per Elias, Kucherov is the first Lightning player to record four consecutive multi-point games since Martin St. Louis posted 3-5—8 from Jan. 20-31, 2012.
Dough Weight not a happy coach.
Do you want the NHL to participate in the Olympics? Why or why not?
Ben Bishop, Los Angeles Kings: "Yes, I think they should go to the Olympics. Fans and players get so excited for it. If we didn't go, it would be a big letdown to both."
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks: "I think so. Firsthand experience, it was a great experience for myself. I was in Torino and then in Vancouver. I think it's good for hockey, I think it's good for hockey worldwide. It definitely promotes players going and representing their countries and I know players really enjoy it."
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: "I can only speak for myself, but my answer might be a little different just because I didn't get a chance to play [in Sochi] because of injury last time, so I really want to go.
continue for more from Stamkos and many more players...
Melnyk says he is sure the Methot issue is being taken up with the league this AM on TSN 1200
"You hammer these guys, you take away their money, and you say you know what you are done for 10 games," says Melnyk on incidents.
Melnyk doesn't name Crosby but "we all know who he is. The guy is a whiner beyond belief." Says no matter who it is he should be suspended
Missed the incident last night? Watch here.
184 seconds long...
NEW YORK/TORONTO (March 24, 2017) – The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will face off in a pair of regular-season games in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series™, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today. The Avalanche and Senators will play each other at the Ericsson Globe on Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11. Tickets to the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series™ will go on sale to the public starting on Wednesday, March 29.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You can forgive Taylor Hall if he tunes out next month when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.
"My first couple of seasons in the league, I probably watched every playoff game I could," the New Jersey Devils star said Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.
"Now that I'm seven seasons in, it's tough to watch, knowing that I haven't experienced a playoff game yet. In saying that, as the playoffs go on and I get more time away from hockey, I indulge more so in the games. You can't help but watch and learn and see what these guys are doing at the highest level."
You're not human if you don't feel for this guy. The 25-year-old winger is seeing his former team, the Edmonton Oilers, looking playoff-bound for the first time in 11 seasons.
He was bitter about the trade to the Devils last summer. He's over it now, but that doesn't mean he's going to be cheering for the Oilers next month.
"No, I won't be rooting for them," he smiled.
from Matt Kalman of CBS Boston,
For a team that’s not thinking about its late-season collapses of the past two seasons, the Bruins sure look like a team going through déjà vu.
Here’s a scarier thought than the Bruins missing the playoffs again: what if they’re not thinking about the past two years? What if they’ve forgotten how easily their season can end in mid-April?
That could explain why they lacked urgency and focus — words that came directly from coach Bruce Cassidy after a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay at TD Garden.
“At the end of the day I think it is a focus and it’s urgency and it’s understanding time and score,” Cassidy said after the Bruins lost their fourth in a row. “We did not have a good comprehension of that tonight, and of late. We’ve let games get away.”
The Bruins are three points up on the Lightning with Tampa Bay holding one game in hand. The lead on the idle New York Islanders stayed at two points, with the Islanders holding two games in hand.
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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