Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Lightning lost to the Penguins 4-2 on Monday night and has dropped four of its past five.
But its biggest loss might have been goaltender Ben Bishop, who left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury. The severity of the injury is unknown, but with two back-to-backs this week, including tonight in Philadelphia, the Lightning could call up touted prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy or Kristers Gudlevskis.
Veteran Evgeni Nabokov replaced Bishop to start the second and gave up two goals to the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins, who have beaten the Lightning 10 straight times (8-0-2) since 2011.
Back to Bishop. Losing him for any period of time would be a big blow. A Vezina Trophy finalist last season, Bishop entered Monday 16-6-2 with a 2.34 goals against average. Calling up [Andrei] Vasilevskiy could make sense, as he's coming off AHL player of the week honors after back-to-back shutouts with Syracuse.
Update: Uh oh, the groin:
The only time they (Edmonton Oilers) contend is in the draft lottery.
-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal talking Oilers on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports tonight.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Melnyk’s media availability touched on a range of topics, including his new head coach, Dave Cameron, and the always popular discussion of team payroll.
On the latter, Melnyk happily defended his club’s 30th rank in team payroll (about $56 million) and suggested that will grow quite naturally.
“Look, everybody keeps talking about money, money, money,” Melnyk said. “I keep telling everybody, take a look at all these big signings that have happened in the last couple of years. We’re looking like the smart ones.
“I’m not the least bit embarrassed at us spending at the bottom,” Melnyk added. “I’m happy about it because we’ll be able to spend more in the future. Some can’t. Some are stuck.”
from Nathan Fenno of the LA Times,
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Monday that there’s enough evidence for the felony domestic violence case against Kings defenseman Slava Voynov to proceed.
The lone witness during the preliminary hearing, Redondo Beach Police Officer Gregory Wiist, testified that Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, was distraught when he met her at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance after the alleged incident in the early hours of Oct. 20.
Wiist said that Varlamova told him during two recorded interviews that Voynov punched her in the face during a Halloween party, then the alleged altercation continued at their home.
“He threw her to the ground multiple times,” Wiist said. “On the ground, he repeatedly kicked her all over her body in addition to choking her approximately three times.”
added 4:19pm, from Rich Hammond of the OC Register,
Voyonov faces a count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury and, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison. Voynov, a Russian citizen, also might face deportation.
Judge Hector M. Guzman ordered Voynov to stand trial after he listened to lengthy, detailed testimony from Officer Gregory Wiist of the Redondo Beach Police Department. Wiist testified that he interviewed Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, after an incident at the couple’s Redondo Beach home on Oct. 19.
One of Voynov’s attorney’s Craig Renetzky, made two requests to the court: that the case be dismissed or that the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor. Both were denied by Guzman, who ordered Voynov to return to court Dec. 29 for arraignment.
Five minutes of highlights from the last week in the NHL, slowed down so all can see.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
His greatest success came not with the Flyers, but with the Colorado Avalanche, with whom he won two Stanley Cups.
While Peter Forsberg had just a brief stay here -– a mere 100 games where he registered 115 points -– it was nonetheless remarkable that the player they lovingly called “Foppa” was still amazing on the ice, even though he had a congenital deformity in his right foot....
On Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers will recognize Forsberg’s 22-year hockey brilliance on North American and European ice, as well as his inclusion into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The rope-a-dope thing gets old after a while. Because one of these times it might burn them. One doesn't imagine that general manager Dean Lombardi is overly pleased. The veteran GM has done a lot of research over the past few years, talking to executives and former players from championship teams in other sports, trying to give his Kings every edge in maintaining their top-level ways. This is a franchise that wants to be a dynasty-in-the-making.
This wasn't the opening three months the GM had in mind. Lombardi hasn't been with the Kings on this road trip, instead he's been with his AHL club Manchester over the past two weeks getting a close eye on his prospects. No doubt he's liked what he's seen down there, as the Monarchs have the second-best record in the AHL led by a number of kids who are going to be good NHLers, like center Nick Shore, 22, who might get a look up top before the season is out.
How the rest of this season plays out for the Kings will determine just how many roster spots open up for some of those youngsters in Manchester.
Does Lombardi start re-tooling with youth just a bit this summer or does his veteran, championship core once again give him proof not to tinker too much?
The press conference is scheduled to start at 1:45pm ET.
Hopefully you can watch it below, if not, Sportsnet has a live stream ready to go.
added 1:49pm, Well that did not go well, no stream below and the Sportsnet link is not showing the presser either, maybe geo blocked?
Sorry for this but was unsure if we could get it.
added 2:50pm, video of the presser is below...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So Eakins is out – he leaves Edmonton with a 36-63-14 record – and MacTavish is in, on an interim basis.
The Oilers have most of four months to play out the string and perhaps most importantly, the goal now is to shed the team’s losing culture and make hockey fun again - if such a thing is possible. The playoffs are not possible and the line the Oilers need to walk is to regain their credibility as an NHL market, but perhaps not win an excessive number of games from here until the end, because it would jeopardize their chances of drafting first overall next June. In the year of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, projected by scouts to be franchise-altering players in the mode of a Sidney Crosby, it isn’t easy. Your heart says one thing – win as much as possible, and let the lottery ping pong balls fall as they may. Your head says, someone’s going to land these two kids; why not us?
Of course, the likelihood is we wouldn’t even be discussing the Oilers in the context of the McDavid sweepstakes if MacTavish had left well-enough alone and just kept Ralph Krueger on as his head coach. Krueger coached the Oilers in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and they were showing signs of becoming competitive. They were 19-22-7, third in the old Northwest Division, and 12th in the conference, their best showing in six years. But MacTavish was convinced that Eakins was an upgrade; and was a hot commodity that would have gone elsewhere if he hadn’t been offered the head-coaching position. So he made an unnecessary change; handled the fallout badly; and it exploded massively in his face.
NEW YORK (Dec. 15, 2014) – Buffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 14.
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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