Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province,
There’s no other way to put it.
It would be insane for this to happen, but it could.
As first pointed out by the guys over at Jewels From the Crown, there’s a scenario where we find ourselves on the last day of the season and the Jets and Flames find themselves locked in battle, tied…only to stop trying with minutes to play and letting the game get to OT, because both teams earning loser points would mean the Kings get eliminated.
That’s quite the scene. Just imagine, in a season where negative play has become a much-discussed talking point, this would put a whole new twist on the concept of tanking.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Barring an unforeseen development over the next 48 hours, Martin St. Louis should return to the Rangers lineup Thursday night in Minnesota.
St. Louis will have missed eight games after he sits out Tuesday’s match here against the Jets because of the MCL sprain he suffered late in the March 15 Garden match against the Panthers.
“This is the first day I’ve skated with my teammates, and I think for me it’s a nice progression where it’s not the same intensity as a real practice and I can really control my pace a little bit better,” St. Louis said following the morning skate. “I’ve skated four or five times by myself. With a full practice [Wednesday], I think it will allow me to be ready to go on Thursday.”
St. Louis, who resumed skating last Thursday in Ottawa, appeared to skate freely and in full stride as he worked for nearly a half-hour after his teammates had left the ice. He had skated Thursday through Sunday before staying off the ice on Monday’s travel day.
original post was 3/30/15 at 2:00pm, just moving this back into view so all can see and participate.
We play another BoltDraft/KK free fantasy game on Tuesday and the winner once again will be $50 richer.
Use passcode kukla26 if this is your first time playing, then select one forward, one defenseman and one goalie from the 14 NHL teams in action on Tuesday.
Remember to submit your roster by 7:00pm ET on March 31st, then sit back and watch how the games play out.
Scoring rules are below and if you have any questions regarding the game, the Rules/FAQ page at BoltDraft should be of help.
Not your usual coach-talk...
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is on set with Hockey Central at Noon to talk about the battle for the lead in the Eastern Conference.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
No one gets under the skin of the Pittsburgh Penguins like the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I think honestly we take them out of their game,” Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds said several months ago. “I think they hate us so much that everyone’s blood is just boiling the whole game.”
Simmonds is injured and won’t play in Wednesday’s game, but the rest of the Flyers will try to continue to get in the Penguins’ heads. They’re artists at it the way captain Sidney Crosby is at piling up points, and to keep the latter from scoring at will, other opponents have begun following the Flyers’ lead.
“Obviously when you play against one of the best players in the world, you want to try and do something to stop him,” Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux said Tuesday. “Whatever it takes to get under his skin, I think we’re going to try to do.”
Care to take an educated guess on what team does not make the playoffs in the Western Conference?
Your choices are LA Kings, Calgary Flames or Winnipeg Jets.
"They are the least likable group of professional athletes I think I’ve ever been around. Just the way they play, outside of the arena, the way they come across – they come across as the opposite of plucky underdogs that are trying really hard even if they’re not quite good enough. This is talented guys who are getting paid enormous amounts of money who stopped trying a long time ago and are kind of laughing at everybody. That’s a bad vibe if you’re a consumer."
-Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet. Scott Lewis of Sportsnet has more.
LIGHTNING COMPLETE SWEEP OF CANADIENS, CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
Vladislav Namestnikov (2-1—3) recorded his first career multi-goal game and first career three-point performance to help the Lightning sweep their five-game season series with the Canadiens and clinch their eighth playoff berth in franchise history.
* At 47-23-7 (101 points), the Lightning moved within one point of the Canadiens (47-22-8, 102 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. They also set a franchise record with their 47th victory of the season, surpassing the previous mark of 46 achieved in 2003-04, 2010-11 and 2013-14.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Looks like that Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues playoff rematch is on.
When the Blues took over top spot in the Central Division while the Nashville Predators were going sideways for much of March it, looked like the Blues were going to be the team to beat in the ultra-competitive Central Divison, masters of their own destiny. Not so much now.
The Blues were dumped by Vancouver at home on Monday night by a 4-1 count, and St. Louis has now managed just one win in its last six games. Coupled with the Blackhawks' impressive win over the Los Angeles Kings, the loss puts the Blues just one point ahead of Chicago. So, not only could the two teams face each other in the first round for the second straight year, but the Blues are in danger of giving up home ice advantage as they bumble down the stretch.
Both teams have six games remaining, but the Blues' closing schedule is murderous with five of the six against teams currently in playoff positions. Best of all? The Blues and the Blackhawks play twice before the end of the regular season. Not sure that's good news for the slumping boys from St. Louis.
read on for more hockey tak including LeBrun on the Canadiens, Custance on the Blues and Strang on the Kings...
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