Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Boston Bruins,
Officiating Director Al Kimmel explains how the NHL scouts future referees and linesmen throughout the minor leagues.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
In order to offer some clarity and opinion from those who have their fingerprints on the pulse of the league, Postmedia approached four governors for some insight.
The panel includes:
Kevin Lowe, Vice Chairman, Oilers Entertainment Group, Jim Nill, General Manager, Dallas Stars, John Davidson, President of Hockey Operations, Columbus Blue Jackets, Doug Armtrong, General Manager, St. Louis Blues.
ZEISBERGER: Coming out of the World Cup, goal scoring was up by a significant amount. But that trend has quickly reversed and now offence has dried up again, with the average being about five goals per game between the two teams. Is this reason for concern? Are changes required, whether it be expediting measures to shrink goalie equipment, make nets bigger, penalize zone defences, etc.?
NILL: A 2-1 game can be better than a 5-4 game. I think the game has never been better, never been faster. And almost every game is exciting. I think that’s because every team has a chance to win. I think everyone knows whoever makes the playoffs has a chance to win. Every night’s a playoff game. There was one coach at the start of the season who was asked: 'When do you think you have to start getting ready for the playoffs?' Well, the playoffs start on Day 1 of the regular season now. I think that’s great for the fans, great for the league.
ARMSTRONG: One of my thoughts on why the scoring was up early was that a lot of the top coaches in our game were away for training camp. By the time they got back and got things the way they wanted defensively, it took a bit of time. But I’m not surprised it came down. It’s the coaching, and because of the players who weren’t in the World Cup have now caught up competitively with the players who were.
Then a frustrated Kane delivered a high-stick...
Home Team in Caps
Washington 4, BUFFALO 1
Columbus 4, DETROIT 1
St. Louis 4, NEW JERSEY 1
MINNESOTA 3, Edmonton 2 (SO)
NY Rangers 1, CHICAGO 0 (OT)
ANAHEIM 3, San Jose 2
WESTERN CONFERENCE CLUBS CLIMB DIVISION STANDINGS
The Blues (16-8-4, 36 points) and Ducks (14-9-5, 33 points) earned wins to gain ground in the battle for first place in their respective divisions:
* Vladimir Tarasenko (0-3—3) collected three assists and Robby Fabbri (2-0—2) scored twice as the Blues handed the Devils their first regulation home loss of the season and improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. With the win, St. Louis moved within two points of Chicago (17-8-4, 38 points) for top spot in the Central Division. Tarasenko ranks second in the NHL with 13-18—31 (28 GP), trailing only Connor McDavid (12-26—38).
* The Ducks surrendered a 2-0 lead, but Hampus Lindholm scored his first goal of the season with 5:38 remaining in regulation to power Anaheim to a 5-1-1 record in their last seven games. The Ducks leapfrogged the Sharks (15-11-1, 31 points) and Flames (15-13-2, 32 points) to move into a tie with the Oilers (14-11-5, 33 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
(Bill) Foley paid a steep price to get into the league, one that has had two major work stoppages in the past 13 years, once canceling an entire season and once half a season. There is also unrest on the horizon: The current collective bargaining agreement can be opted out after the 2018-19 season. That looming deadline is being used as a bargaining tool for the players’ possible involvement in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
And, oh, now there is “strong negative sentiment” about Olympic participation coming out of the Board of Governors meeting in Florida? Shocker, right? The owners would never start trying to gain early leverage…
But in terms of Vegas, the league and Foley are taking a big risk, and they know that. They’ve rewarded each other with what might turn out to be the best expansion team debut season in sports history.
-Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post where you can read more on this topic plus more NHL talk...
NEW YORK (Dec. 9, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the Los Angeles Kings have introduced a rendering of the NHL® Centennial-themed float that will make its debut in the renowned 128th Rose Parade presented by Honda in Pasadena on Jan. 2. Titled “A Century of Greatness (1917-2017),” the float will serve as one of the key elements celebrating the official launch of the NHL’s year-long Centennial festivities, which will commence on New Year’s Day.
from the New York Islanders,
The New York Islanders announced today that Cal Clutterbuck has agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension.
Clutterbuck, 29, has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 25 games with the Islanders this season. The Welland, ON, native was named an alternate captain at the start of this season, his fourth with the Islanders and ninth in the National Hockey League.
Last season, Clutterbuck scored 15 goals with eight assists in 77 games with the Islanders. He added three points (two goals, one assist) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Islanders advance to the second round.
from Jed Ortmeyer at The Players' Tribune,
I sat up in the exam room at the hospital and stretched my arms, trying to get my brain to relax. It was only chest pains. Our team trainer had told me the night before that they were probably being caused by dehydration or a pulled muscle, and I told myself over and over again that he was probably right.
I was fine … right?
I mean, I played in the NHL. I was a New York Ranger. Injuries are part of the game. No matter how I was feeling inside, I was going to be cool. The nurses ran their tests, and I was sure that soon they’d be back to tell me that everything was going to be fine.
Except I couldn’t stop thinking about the blood.
The day before, I had woken up from a long nap and started coughing up blood in the sink.
So I did what everybody does when they’re scared. I called my mom.
“Jed,” she said. “Call your trainer right now.”
“I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s past midnight.”
“I don’t care what time it is. Call your trainer. Right now.”
from Pat Hickey of the Montrteal Gazette,
The Canadiens’ all-world goaltender started throwing punches with his blocker after the Devils’ Kyle Palmieri crashed into him in the dying seconds of the first period.
“I got run on the first goal and I wasn’t going to take another one,” Price said after the Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils. “I got fired up, I guess. I’m going to stick up for myself now.”...
Price said running the goaltender has become common because the referees aren’t handing out penalties.
“It seems to be the nature of the league, to go hard to the net, run the goalie and score the goal,” said Price. “You have to stick up for yourself once in a while.”
Here is the goal where Price says he was run...
If you missed Price throwing some punches, watch here.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
When McDavid scored on a power play in the middle frame to make it 2-0, he skated towards Manning after a fist-pump celebration and the two exchanged some more words. After the game, McDavid let fly that the words he heard from Manning inferred that he’d smacked him into the boards on purpose last season....
“I did all I could defending him last year in the media. Everyone wanted to make a big deal saying he did it on purpose, and they wanted me to to say some comments today (morning) about what went on last year,” said McDavid, who shrugged it off after the morning skate as yesterday’s news.
But it was today’s news Thursday when they came together in the first period and words were coughed up.
“I thought it was one of the (most) classless things I’ve ever seen on the ice. He said some things. I guess we can put the whole if he did it on purpose thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that. Shows what kind of guy he is the way he doesn’t step up and fight some of our guys,” said McDavid, who had the power-play goal and helped set up Andrej Sekera’ shortie with some great board work in the second.
Manning was taken aback by McDavid’s not-so-friendly fire at him after the Oilers’ loss.
He firmly said last year’s violent crash with McDavid and himself was a hard play, gone wrong.
No malice intended.
“One hundred percent not. Anyone who’s seen the clip sees him catch an edge. I would never intentionally hurt someone. Anybody who knows me, knows I play a hard game, that’s the reason I’m in the NHL. I think I play an honest game,” said Manning.
Below, watch McDavid post-game, the Manning talk starts at the 1:00 mark...
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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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