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Category: NHL-Teams

Sunday Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- As William Nylander scored Wednesday night against Colorado, I could hear Mike Babcock’s voice saying: “You’ve got a weapon, use it.” And that same night, Zach Hyman scored twice for Edmonton, almost three times had an offside goal not been called back. When no one saw Hyman as a Top 6 NHL forward, Babcock did. If you questioned him on it, he would tear you apart.

- Sam Pollock was the best GM in Habs history. Rarely if ever spoke French. Scotty Bowman is one of the best coaches in Montreal history. He could speak French but rarely did. Nobody in Montreal had a problem with Pollock managing the team or Bowman coaching it.

- The Leafs have to be hoping that Jack Campbell doesn’t get selected by Team USA, but how do they leave him off? You would think Campbell, Connor Hellebuyck, and John Gibson will be the American goalies. The Leafs would love to have Campbell resting during the 23-day Olympic break.

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Not The Right Time To Hire Patrick Roy In Montreal

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazzete,

You know the story. How Roy, facing the Detroit Red Wings at the Forum, gave up five goals on 17 shots in the first period. How petulant head coach Mario Tremblay (looking to humiliate his superstar in the latest chapter of their personal feud) left Roy in until he had given up nine goals before replacing him with Pat Jablonski. How Roy came off the ice and marched straight to team president Ronald Corey behind the Canadiens’ bench to declare that he had played his last game for Montreal. Four days later, on a tragic anniversary of a very different sort, Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

If there was a moment that marked the definitive end of the Canadiens’ dynasty, that was it. Ever since, it seems, we have been waiting for the return of Roy the saviour — and it seems we’re still waiting....

Asked about Roy at his presser, Gorton replied: “I’ve heard of him, yes.”

Gorton will need that sense of humour, because he will keep hearing of Roy. The one-time superstar made sure of that with a bit of unseemly public campaigning for the GM’s job.

“Since 1993, the team has been running in circles,” Roy said. “What do they have to lose by giving me a chance and seeing what I can do with this club?”

The short answer is: They have everything to lose. Roy is Roy. He is the greatest money goaltender who ever played the game. He is also incandescent, mercurial, hot-tempered, arrogant, abrasive, impatient, impetuous and impossible.

I have nothing but respect and affection for Roy. He is quick-witted and often brilliant. He offers something beyond the usual clichés. Once this team is ready to compete, I would consider Roy for the coaching job. His fiery temperament and ability to think outside the box could turn around an underachieving contender — but this is not the time.

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Video- Top Saves From November

It's a long one, 23+ minutes to watch.

 

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Jeff Gorton’s Role And Another Slew-Foot From P.K. Subban?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- If the Canadiens did not hire Gorton as GM because of his inability to communicate with the fan base in French, couldn’t they have hired an interpreter? Gorton never struck me as much of an administrator in New York. Glen Sather and then John Davidson had that responsibility with the Rangers while Gorton operated as GM.

But now that appears to be a large part of Gorton’s role in Montreal. He will be the conduit from hockey ops to ownership, a role he did not have with the Rangers. He will have responsibility for hiring the scouts and player-personnel people, duties he did not have in New York.

I’m not suggesting he won’t be successful in this role, only that he is untested in these areas, and in the areas he is tested, he won’t have final say.

Mais pourquoi?...

- Five times within two months, P.K. Subban has used his skates or legs to kick an opponent’s feet out from under him after the latest episode in Winnipeg on Friday night. The Devils defenseman took out the Jets’ Nikolaj Ehlers 1:17 into the third period, and there was nary a peep from the officials working the game or from the NHL’s hopelessly dysfunctional Department of Player Safety and its overmatched leader, George Parros.

Please do not insult me by telling me Subban’s latest escapade does not fit the rulebook definition of a slew-foot. In the first place, since when do NHL referees call games by the rulebook? Secondly, who cares? Subban is a menace. He is a recidivist who apparently cannot or will not control himself....

more on each of the above...

Below, watch the Subban incident...

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The Vancouver Canucks Boo’d At Home

from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,

If the Vancouver Canucks jersey that landed on the ice in protest late Saturday night came attached with a note, hopefully the fan who disavowed their team would have explained: “It’s not you, Bo, it’s everyone.”

The jersey had captain Bo Horvat’s name on it, and it was scooped up from the ice at Rogers Arena quickly and respectfully by Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brian Dumoulin, who returned it over the glass where it was claimed by a fan still willing to wear Canuck colours.

There are still plenty of those. But many who kept their shirts on still booed the home team towards the end of 4-1 loss to the Penguins, who outshot Vancouver 44-23 and extinguished what little momentum the Canucks generated this week by finishing a road trip with wins in Montreal and Ottawa against teams that are even worse than they are.

The trend of fans throwing away their jerseys is horrifying to every National Hockey League team, and was evidence Saturday that the unrest in Canucks Nation spills beyond just general manager Jim Benning and owner Francesco Aquilini.

“Not a good one, obviously,” Canucks winger Tyler Motte said when asked about the feeling of being jeered at home. “(But) the only way to get past this is to get through it. We've . . . got to continue to look ourselves in the mirror and find a way to be better because we owe it to more people than just ourselves.”

Later, he added: “We heard the frustration from the fans tonight. And again, we look ourselves a mirror and find a way, because we do owe it to more people than just ourselves to put a better product together.”

Horvat, fed to the media more than any other player to explain the Canucks’ spectacular shortcomings this season, said simply: “Fans want wins, and we're not giving it to them.”

continued

Find the game highlights below.

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NHL Short Notes

 Alex Ovechkin earned a number of notable accomplishments as he scored his 20th of the season, the 750th of his career and his 118th game-winning goal Saturday.

*  The Panthers (17-4-3, 37 points), Wild (17-6-1, 35 points) and Rangers (16-4-3, 35 points) all secured noteworthy wins at home.

 Jake Guentzel (3-1—4) became the first Penguins player to record a hat trick in Vancouver in nearly 35 years, when Mario Lemieux scored three on Jan. 23, 1987.

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Video- 32 Thoughts

via Sportsnet.

On this edition of 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discuss Mitch Marner's status, the Canadiens' interest in agent Kent Hughes, if the NHL will go back to taxi squads, Jake DeBrusk's trade value, and more.

 

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Pierre Dorion On The Ottawa Senators

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“Winning five of 21 games is not exactly where we wanted to be,” Dorion told reporters before facing the Colorado Avalanche Saturday at the Canadian Tire Centre. “It’s not what we foresaw, especially after the way we finished last year.

“The biggest thing is we’ve got to get this team back to its winning ways. We have made a few drastic decisions but we feel this team is going to get back to playing the hockey it’s capable of playing.”

Dorion knows the finger is pointed in his direction for the club sitting in 32nd overall and he understands why.

“I’m not going to lie to anyone here. I’ve had a few sleepless nights. I haven’t enjoyed this stretch by our team but it’s not for a lack of effort,” Dorion said.  “The players are playing hard, but sometimes players don’t play up to their potential, and they know it to.

“The buck stops with me and I’m not afraid to say that. We didn’t anticipate this and we’re going to battle through it. Last year, we had a tough stretch, battled through it and finished strong.There’s still 60 games left, the work ethic is there, the will to win is there and we’re going to continue.”

Before camp got under way, Dorion declared the “the rebuild is over” and “it’s time to start winning.”

read on

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Tuukka Rask Ready To Play

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

-“We have not hidden from that fact that if he indeed is healthy and wants to play,” Sweeney said, “he’s likely to be part of our group.”

The sides aren’t talking contracts yet, and Rask isn’t talking publicly. As he works out at Warrior Ice Arena — participating in goalie drills with Bruins assistant Bob Essensa, Swayman and Linus Ullmark — Rask has politely declined to chat.

“Tuukka is feeling better day by day,” his agent, Markus Lehto, wrote in an e-mail. “He will give more interviews once he is back in action.”

If he returns as the Rask of old, he would help. As of Wednesday, the Bruins had the fourth-worst save percentage (.908) at five on five, according to Natural Stat Trick. They rose six spots in the rankings (.915) after Swayman posted a 42-save shutout in Nashville....

Handing out a few quarter-mark superlatives:

Best rookie crop: Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, and Alex Nedeljkovic make the Red Wings a bit more watchable. Raymond had a freshman-best 10-12—22 in 24 games entering the weekend, ahead of Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras and Toronto’s Michael Bunting (each 6-11—17). Seider looks like Brandon Carlo with high-level offensive skills. Nedeljkovic, ditched by Carolina, has been a great fit in Motown.

more on Rask and the Bruins, plus many additional hockey topics...

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Video- Recap Of The NHL Games Played On Friday

1 1/2 minutes to watch.

 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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