Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
There were some raised eyebrows on Canada Day when Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced he was bringing Alexander Radulov back to the NHL after a four-year absence.
But the gamble appears to be paying off, with Radulov earning the respect of his teammates and the adoration of the fans.
Radulov had a hand in all three Montreal goals Monday night as the Canadiens squeaked past the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at the Bell Centre.
Radulov’s last full season in the NHL was in 2007-08; a comeback in 2012, with Nashville in the playoffs that year, was aborted after he and Andrei Kostitsyn missed a curfew.
“When I was younger, I made mistakes and I don’t want to step in that again,” Radulov said. “Time flies and you learn. That’s why I give 100 per cent. It wasn’t easy for me to come to this league and I appreciate the GM gave me a chance and I can’t play bad.”
Below, watch Radulov post-game and also game highlights...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Every penalty feels like a goal against before the puck even drops. The confidence is completely shot. Even penalty-killing stalwarts such as Kruger and Duncan Keith are getting burned game after game after game.
If ever the Hawks were going to get their confidence — and maybe even their mojo — back, it was going to be Monday night against the Calgary Flames, who have been as awful on the power play as the Hawks have been on the PK. Yet the Flames, 1-of-25 with the man-advantage entering the game, scored 39 seconds into each of their first two power plays and went on to win 3-2 when Kris Versteeg scored the lone goal of a seven-round shootout.
At the point of the Flames’ second power-play goal of the night, the Hawks had given up an unconscionable 14 goals on 23 opposing power plays. For some perspective, that 2013 team gave up just 18 power-play goals in 141 chances.
“Just seems no matter what, it finds a way, a different way, every time,” Joel Quenneville said.
“It just seems to find its way to the back of the net if we just make one little mistake,”Jonathan Toews said.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Saturday’s 3-0 win in Dallas may have been the most complete game the Blue Jackets have played under coach John Tortorella. Or at least the most complete game at a point in the season when it still matters.
The Blue Jackets looked fast in Big D. They played off each other and looked cohesive. They found the perfect balance, Tortorella said, between carrying the puck through the neutral zone (making plays) and dumping it into the zone (fore-check!).
Now comes the next challenge: Tuesday's game vs. the Los Angeles Kings in Staples Center.
“I’m anxious to see if we get too high, or if we handle ourselves the right way, as far as our readiness for the next game,” Tortorella said. “We’ve had meetings on it already. We’ve discussed it. And now we’ll go play and see where we go.”
Tortorella has been trying to determine how much he can trust his players’ professionalism since he arrived in Columbus a year ago. He has a reputation as a demanding coach, but Tortorella grants as many off days as any other coach. And he prefers to not have mandatory game-day morning skates.
Home Team in Caps
MONTREAL 3, Philadelphia 1
Calgary 3, CHICAGO 2 (SO)
NEW ADDITIONS LEAD THE WAY
* Alexander Radulov (1-2—3) matched a career high with three points and Shea Weberposted 1-1—2 to help the Canadiens win their fourth straight game. Radulov, who signed as a free agent on July 1, earned three points in an NHL game for the first time since Jan. 21, 2008 (w/ NSH). Weber, acquired in an offseason trade with the Predators, has at least one point in five of his first six games with the Canadiens (2-5—7). Montreal, who began the 2015-16 campaign with a franchise-record nine straight wins, sits atop the NHL standings with 11 points this season (5-0-1).
* Brian Elliott made 31 saves and stopped all seven shootout attempts he faced, whileKris Versteeg netted the decisive marker to lead the Flames past the Blackhawks. Elliott, who was acquired on June 24 from St. Louis, picked up his first win with Calgary. Versteeg, a free agent signing on Oct. 11, scored his third career game-deciding goal; his other such tallies came with the Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2015.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars' injury problems continue to get worse, as Ales Hemsky reinjured his groin Saturday and is out for Tuesday's game, and Jason Spezza tweaked something in practice Monday and moves into "questionable" status.
Already out for Dallas are: Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee), Patrick Sharp (concussion), Patrick Eaves (lower body) and Jiri Hudler (flu). Eaves has been skating and might be available to play Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Hudler skated Monday, but is not expected to be available for Tuesday's game.
Jamie Benn missed practice for a maintenance day, but is expected to be ready to play Tuesday.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Tuukka Rask is hurting. Anton Khudobin, who woke up Monday feeling fine, is also injured. Every hockey season has its challenges, and only five games into 2016-17, the Bruins have a doozy.
By the time the Bruins finished their morning workout in Brighton, rookie Malcom Subban was the lone goalie standing, and he could be in net Tuesday night at the Garden to face the Wild for his second career start.
All in all, the “A” plan is on hold, the “B” plan is challenged, and the “C” plan (“Crisis?!”) is somewhere between “day-to-day’’ and batten down the hatches.
“We are in a situation here, we’ll see what happens,’’ said coach Claude Julien, unable or unwilling to share much about his goalie woes. “If [Subban] is going in goal, he’ll go in goal, as simple as that.’’
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The short-term increase in scoring this season is not simply a function of a power-play goal bonanza. In fact, there's only been one more power-play goal (16) scored in 80 games this year compared to the (15) first 80 of last season. There have been additional five shorthanded goals, from 10 to 15.
And there have been five fewer empty-net goals this season — 22 as opposed to 27 —compared to the same time period a year ago.
Goalies appear to be taking a beating. The league's overall save percentage has gone from .917 to .902. There were 13 shutouts in the first 80 games of 2015-16; there have been only six shutouts so far this season. Shots (4,725 to 4,756) and shot attempts (8,714 to 8,840) are up but only marginally.
So unless you're a goalie, or a coach who has been pulling out his hair because of the wild offensive ride we're on, it's all good.
I asked a half-dozen NHL head coaches what they make of what they've seen so far. I'm not identifying which coach said what — a little anonymity goes a long way in getting a more direct answer — but like a lot of us, they're wondering if this trend will continue for the rest of the season.
"Too soon to say," said one coach. "All I know is we're way too busy right now pulling pucks out of our net."
from Wes Gilbertson at the National Post,
Can the Flames snap out of this?
You might feel like you stumbled into a time-machine or somehow drifted back to last fall. The Flames are handing out Grade A scoring opportunities like Halloween treats. Again.
As a result, they rank among the NHL’s statistical cellar-dwellers in both goals against (4.33 per game) and team save percentage (.856). Again.
The special-teams stink, again, although the power play is now more offensive — not in a good way — than the penalty kill....
Who’s the go-to goaltender?
Gulutzan insisted last week there is no goaltending controversy at the Saddledome. But at the very least, it’s a goaltending conundrum.
Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson have split the workload so far: three games apiece. Elliott is expected to be back between the pipes in Chicago, but there were some eyebrows raised when Johnson received the starting nod for Saturday’s showdown with the Blues, with the man they call ‘Moose’ serving as backup in his first meeting against his former team....
NEW YORK (Oct. 24, 2016) – Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Greenhave been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 23.
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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