Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s way too early to say if Nathan Horton is on the road to a full recovery from his debilitating back condition, the Blue Jackets cautioned.
But Horton’s presence at the morning skate on Thursday and his general outlook and attitude when he lunched with members of the front office this week have raised optimism that his career might not be finished.
Horton did not speak to the media on Thursday, and his agent, Paul Krepelka, said all comments on his situation would come through the Blue Jackets. President of hockey operations John Davidson said Horton had a “little light in his eye” when they had lunch with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
“There’s been some progress there. He is feeling a little better,” Davidson said. “I don’t know what that means in the big picture, but he’s better now than he was earlier this season. His whole attitude was different — better — than the last time we saw him.”
Coach Todd Richards chatted only briefly with Horton on Thursday, he said.
“In my heart, I’ve always believed he’s going to play again,” Richards said. “I still feel that way.”
A little over 2 1/2 minutes of highlights...
from the CP at NHL.com,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says advertisements could be included on jerseys at the World Cup of Hockey.
The league has so far resisted putting ads on the sweaters of its 30 teams, but Bettman said Friday that corporate logos on jerseys are possible for the tournament in 2016.
"World Cup, international competition, I don't know," Bettman said at a press conference at Rogers Arena. "We may take a look at it. It might be a valuable opportunity."
None of North America's four major professional sports leagues currently have ads on jerseys, but the practice is widespread elsewhere in the world.
Bettman said that won't be happening any time soon in the NHL.
We have five NHL games on the schedule tonight plus a few alternatives too...
from Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet,
Friday Night Hockey makes its way back to Kingston for an OHL tilt pitting the Erie Otters up against the Kingston Frontenacs. It’s also a match-up of world junior gold medalists Connor McDavid and Lawson Crouse.
Erie’s win-streak came to an end on Thursday when they dropped a 6-5 decision to the Peterborough Petes. The Otters have still won six of their past seven. The high-scoring trio of Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat got a boost when Remi Elie and Jake Marchment were brought in from Belleville to add depth to an already potent lineup.
continued and this game will be on the NHL Network US starting at 7:00pm ET tonight.
DETROIT – Olympia Entertainment has announced that tonight’s “Duel in the D” between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Joe Louis Arena is sold out. College hockey fans can catch all the action of tonight’s game between the inter-state rivals on FOX Sports Detroit at 7:30 p.m.
Michigan and Michigan State have met at least once per season at Joe Louis Arena since 1990, with the Wolverines holding the series advantage at The Joe with a 14-9-4 record.
by Mike Shackil,
In this day and age, we hear constantly about how athletes are breaking the rules and doing the wrong things. While there are plenty of athletes doing the wrong things, there are plenty of athletes who are also doing great charitable work in their communities. Sports figures such as Jim Valvano, Peyton Manning, and Walter Payton have set the standard for athletes and their charitable work.
PAQUETTE POWERS LIGHTNING BACK INTO FIRST PLACE . . .
Rookie Cedric Paquette recorded his first career hat trick to lead the Lightning to their franchise-record ninth consecutive victory at Amalie Arena dating to Dec. 11.
* At 31-15-4 (66 points), the Lightning leapfrogged the Red Wings (28-12-9, 65 points) to move back into first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
* The Lightning improved to 20-4-1 this season at Amalie Arena. Their 20 home wins and 41 home points pace the NHL.
* At 21 years old, Elias says Paquette became the fifth player in Lightning history – and second this season (also Nikita Kucherov on Oct. 28 vs. ARI) – to register a hat trick before his 22nd birthday. The others: Steven Stamkos (5x), Chris Gratton and Jason Wiemer.
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...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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