Kukla's Korner Hockey
"I don't ask a lot of questions. I understand they want to get it right. And I don't blame them. This is a huge decision that is going to affect the NHL for years to come. But I'm not a patient guy by nature. However, I've learned to be patient. At least for this project.
"I don't want to upset the other owners because I want to be one of them one of these days, so I try to keep my mouth shut."
-Bill Foley, prospective owner of an NHL team in Las Vegas. More from Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
Unlike his fellow NHL players who tailor their game day meals with an eye on fuel and nutrition, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby follows his gut whenever he is scheduled to start. “It’s all based around what’s not going to make my stomach upset,” the current Vezina Trophy frontrunner says. “It’s something you have to think about.”
On the road, for instance, that means pasta and olive oil, plain with no meat sauce. Hotel kitchens have not yet earned Holtby's trust. Like every other goalie, he has good reason for dietary caution. As he and his peers will attest, the demands of their position create unique challenges when the old boiler starts rumbling and nature comes calling. First, netminders wear more equipment than any athlete in any major professional team sport. They are buried in pads, straps, hooks, knots, buckles and buttons, plus jerseys that are baggy enough to pitch as campsite tents. Goaltenders are also uniquely needed on the field of play for an entire game, a requirement to which only soccer players can relate. No sneaking away between shifts like skaters or ducking into the dugout bathroom between innings as baseball players do.
The very real possibility of an unfortunately time gastric event is why Holtby abandoned his usual pregame java during his minor-league visits to AHL Wilkes-Barre while playing for Hershey, switching to Diet Coke because the locker room coffee did not sit well there.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
From his first awkward moments as the team’s 18th captain to the brutal, bone-headed pinch on the first shift of his last game with the Leafs, Dion Phaneuf never had a chance.
Polarizing from the beginning of his captaincy, he never had a chance to live up to the great expectations Brian Burke and Ron Wilson heaped on him when they put the “C” on his sweater.
He never had a chance to win over a fan base desperate for a winner and strong leader when at the time he was a player who was tentative as a leader and tentative on the ice.
And finally, he never had a chance to live up to the big contract former general manager Dave Nonis “rewarded” him, a deal that became a burden to Toronto president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Lou Lamoriello.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
There were owners of the six original NHL franchises and League president Clarence Campbell on one side of the table. On the other side were owners from the NFL, famous entertainers and politicians. On the agenda was the matter of League expansion, and 50 years ago Tuesday it all came together in what was a momentous day in the history of the NHL.
On Feb. 9, 1966, the League doubled in size with the birth of the "Second Six," the Board of Governors awarding franchises to Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Minneapolis-St. Paul and St. Louis.
From Feb. 7-9, 1966, Campbell gathered the Board of Governors at the St. Regis hotel in Manhattan for three days of meetings that would feature plenty of intrigue. Among those present were Charles Adams of the Boston Bruins, James Norris of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bruce Norris of the Detroit Red Wings, David Molson of the Montreal Canadiens, William Jennings of the New York Rangers and Conn Smythe of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The most significant topic on the agenda was League expansion.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- For months now, Blues GM Doug Armstrong’s been saying he wants to see his team when healthy, and they just can’t get there.
Blue-line anchor Alex Pietrangelo is out at least three weeks, which takes St. Louis right to the deadline — just as Jaden Schwartz closes in on a return. The good news is the team is loaded on the right side, as Robert Bortuzzo can now play regularly behind Colton Parayko and Kevin Shattenkirk.
The question will be coach Ken Hitchcock’s deployment. Shattenkirk is first and Parayko second in offensive-zone starts among the defence. Pietrangelo was sixth. Bortuzzo is the only one lower, but played 26 fewer games.
At practice Monday, Hitchcock had Bouwmeester (Pietrangelo’s regular partner) with Shattenkirk. So it looks like that’s the new top pairing. I’m a Shattenkirk fan, and last year when he was hurt, teammates said it was so much harder exiting the zone.
- Had a funny conversation after the morning skate that day with Carlo Colaiacovo and Ryan O’Reilly.
Colaiacovo talked about getting to know O’Reilly and how hard he works. Then, he added, “And he’s a vegetarian. I don’t know how you can get the energy necessary to play without meat or chicken.” (This was when the centre joined in.) Do you go out for a steak dinner with the rest of the team? “Yes,” he answered. What do you have? A salad? “Well, two salads,” O’Reilly laughed.
He said he’s done a lot of reading on the subject and became a vegetarian two summers ago when the Avalanche told him he was going back to centre. “I wanted to lose eight-to-10 pounds.” His influence is growing. Zach Bogosian went vegetarian too, “although I did it just to see if I could,” he said.
added 11:11am, And there it is.
added 11:12am, headline changed to reflect trade.
added 11:15am, Ottawa press release is below...
added 11:27am, Toronto release is below too...
CROSBY CONTINUES TEAR AS PENGUINS STAY HOT
Sidney Crosby registered 2-2—4 to power the Penguins to their sixth victory in their past seven games overall as well as an 8-0-2 record in their last 10 outings at CONSOL Energy Center, including six straight wins.
* At 27-18-7 (61 points), the Penguins again leapfrogged the idle Islanders (27-18-6, 60 points) for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh owns the ROW tiebreaker (PIT: 26, NYI: 24), but New York holds one game in hand.
* Crosby posted his second four-point performance of the season – both in the past week (also Feb. 2 vs. OTT: 3-1—4) – to extend his point streak to 11 games (12-10—22), including goals in a career-high seven consecutive contests (10-6—16). That equals the longest goal streak by any player this season (also Patrick Kane, Nov. 2-15: 7-9—16 in 7 GP) and ranks as the third-longest point streak in 2015-16 (behind Kane, Oct. 17 – Dec. 13: 16-24—40 in 26 GP and Patrick Sharp, Dec. 19 – Jan. 9: 6-9—15 in 12 GP).
* Crosby shares fifth in the NHL with 24-29—53 overall this season, including 18-16—34 in his last 21 games dating to Dec. 18. He has recorded consecutive three-point performances (also Feb. 6 at FLA: 1-2—3) for the first time since Jan. 13-16, 2015 (2-4—6).
* Crosby also has scored in a career-high nine consecutive games at CONSOL Energy Center (14-6—20). Elias says that is the longest home goal streak by any player since Jan. 5 – Feb. 23, 1996, when Mario Lemieux set a Penguins record with goals in 11 straight games at Mellon Arena (16-15—31).
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Milan Lucic is a bear of man. Everything about him is oversized, from his 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame and the force of his personality to the way he plays hockey – mean and on the edge.
Some NHL players just fill space in a dressing room. When Lucic walks in, he radiates a natural ebullience, and it is contagious. And so the fit for Lucic – going from Boston, where he played the first eight seasons of his career, to the Los Angeles Kings – has been seamless.
Lucic makes his first return to Boston Tuesday, when the Kings start a season-high seven-game road trip. They’re comfortably atop the Pacific Division and plotting another long playoff run.
For Lucic, the timing really couldn’t be better. He’s been with the Kings for five months now, long enough to distance himself from his days in Boston, during which the Bruins won a memorable Stanley Cup in 2011. But he’s also looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friends and the Boston staff, many of whom he plans to see before the teams hit the ice.
His return to Beantown may be a big deal in hockey circles, but, as he says in an interview, “I never asked to get traded.”
from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
After a slow start, where Crosby managed five points in October, had a minus-11 rating in November and even had some questioning whether he belonged on Canada’s World Cup roster, the two-time league MVP has returned to his old self.
On Monday morning, Crosby was named the NHL's first star of the week after scoring five goals and eight points in three games. Following Monday night's game, he is now on an 11-game point streak, with 12 goals and 22 points during that stretch. And with 53 points in 51 games, he is once again amongst the top-10 in league scoring.
Simply put: Crosby is back. And the rest of the league is on notice.
“A lot of people will judge him just on his points,” said Rutherford. “But the last month or two, I really think he’s been the best complete player in the league, which is not a big statement because he is the best player in the league. He has been the best player for a while and he will be for quite a while going forward.
“He can just put the team on his back and take it.”
This no longer looks like the same team that couldn’t score on the power play, couldn’t string together more than two wins in a row and ended up firing the head coach in early December after stumbling out of the gate with a 15-10-2 record. With Mike Sullivan behind the bench and Crosby leading the offence, the Penguins have two regulation losses in their last 11 games.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Rangers’ workmanlike 2-1 victory over the Devils at the Garden on Monday cannot obscure how Ryan McDonagh’s concussion complicates matters for general manager Jeff Gorton as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches.
For the issue as it applies specifically to pending free agent Keith Yandle is no longer black and white in the aftermath of the grey matter rattled inside the captain’s skull as a result of the gloved sucker punch he took on the jaw from Wayne Simmonds in Philadelphia on Saturday.
There is no rule of thumb to apply to recovery time from brain injuries. The Rangers have not released any information regarding the severity of McDonagh’s symptoms, but they were bad enough that he did not make it to the rink at all Monday.
Is this going to be a long-term or short-term absence? It is folly to hazard a guess. But the injury clouds Gorton’s mandate. If McDonagh’s symptoms persist, the Rangers obviously cannot even think about dealing Yandle, who led the team in ice time both against the Flyers and the Devils, getting 27:33 and 25:19, respectively.
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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