Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
There were two games on the schedule last night that definitely felt more like games in April than late January.
The first was in the East, where the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers played to a scoreless tie until a late Max Pacioretty shot finally beat Henrik Lundqvist in the third period. It wasn't a great goal for Lundqvist to allow, but until that moment the goalies were perfect and the tightness of the game was a reminder of just how entertaining another playoff series between these two teams would be.
In the West, watching the St. Louis Blues battle back against the Nashville Predators definitely looked like another matchup we might see in the spring. The Blues won in a shootout, and there was nothing cooler than seeing the dads celebrate their sons in the stands when Brian Elliott pushed aside a James Neal shootout attempt to seal the win. After the All-Star break, the games definitely take on a different flavor. You can tell the playoffs are starting to creep into the minds of these players.
read on for reports on the Ducks, Bruins and Lightning...
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
Ten games into the Peter Horachek era, the Maple Leafs have one win. They’re averaging a meagre 1.4 goals a game.
And after Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, they should have zero delusions about the reality of another squandered season. Fifty games into the campaign, Toronto’s NHLers find themselves 10 points removed from the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Going back to 1993-94, when the NHL moved to a conference-based playoff format, no team has overcome a double-digit deficit this late in an 82-game season to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup tournament.
Given the Leafs’ current list of problems — they only can’t score a goal and also can’t stop enough — it’s difficult to imagine them becoming the first.
Brendan Shanahan, in other words, can feel free to unveil the Shana-plan. Everything that’s done from this day forward should be about building for the seasons ahead, not the season at hand, even if more than three agonizing months lie ahead before the local heroes can count themselves free to take the ceremonial playoff-time fishing trip.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The Ducks (32-11-6) concluded their season series with the Sharks by never finding an answer against them, losing four of the five meetings. There may now be a need for a better answer in addition to Andersen in their goal crease.
Bryzgalov stopped 19 of 25 shots, with just 11 coming in the 16-shot avalanche against him. Boudreau said he opted to go with him after deliberating over two days, choosing someone who had a career 2.35 goals-against average in 28 prior games against the Sharks.
“We looked at the records of the goalies against San Jose,” Boudreau said. “We’ve got a lot of games (upcoming). We played Bryz against a tough team instead of just sort of guiding him through. So that’s what we thought. Obviously it didn’t work.”
The numbers are grisly. Bryzgalov’s five appearances and four starts have resulted in a 1-3-0 record, with a 4.68 goals-against and .832 save percentage. Those don’t often keep a goaltender employed, but the Ducks have about $1.9 million of real money invested in him as well as a $2.88-million salary cap hit.
more on the game, a San Jose 6-3 win over Anaheim...
Watch the highlights below...
Oliver Ekman-Larson with a 'blooper' of a goal...
Voracek received two minutes for an illegal check to the head.
fom Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
The Kimmo Timonen saga took a bizarre turn Thursday night with Flyers coach Craig Berube saying during his pre-game meeting with reporters that the former All-Star defenseman was returning to the team.
A little over an hour later, general manager Ron Hextall, who hinted Wednesday that things were “moving along” in a positive manner for the Timonen's return, said Berube was wrong.
“There’s no definitive decision on Kimmo coming back,” Hextall said.
He said he hoped to have a final answer later this weekend and that Timonen still had not been medically cleared to play.
“There’s still a process going on and quite frankly, since I last talked to you guys, it has not moved forward,” Hextall said. “It’s at the same spot.”
— Is the NHL done with the Olympics? Depends on whom you ask. The owners don’t want to go, and league officials seem pessimistic. The players do want to go, and union officials seem optimistic. They agree on one thing: A lot depends on whether they receive concessions in Pyeongchang like they did in Sochi – insurance costs, travel costs, access, et cetera. Serious talks have not even started with the IIHF and the IOC, but most expect a decision to be made sooner than last time.
— NBC has paid billions for NHL and Olympic rights in the United States. It certainly would prefer NHL players go. But it might not pressure the NHL to participate in Pyeongchang. It might not care as much as you might think. If NHL players stay home, NBC could air other events – say, more figure skating – or hockey in whatever form it takes. One TV perspective: “It’ll still be Olympic hockey, and it’ll still outdraw the NHL’s ratings.”
-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo where you can read more hockey topics.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has formally and unanimously approved the steps necessary to create a Pacific Division within the AHL beginning with the 2015-16 season.
The Board has approved the following:
from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet,
It seldom ends in a nice, neat package any more, because we are in sports Viagra era.
We live longer and our idols tend to perform at passable or better levels for longer periods of time because of better training, nutrition, medicine, travel — and, drug-testing often being half a step behind the cheaters, sometimes chemical intervention.
Go hard, don’t worry about going home.
It’s still said that if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, than anyone can be traded. True. The addendum is that if Gretzky can play out the string with the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, than anyone ought to be able to play out the string for whomever and for however long they want.
Still, watching Martin Brodeur retire from the NHL on Thursday surrounded by the logo and colours of a team for which he’s played all of seven games seemed a little much, even by todays standards of disposability.
He’s a New Jersey Devil — no, he IS the New Jersey Devils.
continued which includes an interview Elliotte Friedman did with Brodeur today...
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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.
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