In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Lysenkov for Sovetsky Sport, Nikita Kucherov offers a blunt analysis of why he had such a good season despite what he feels are failures by the Tampa Bay Lightning coaches and his teammates.
Sergey Demidova, NHL.com reporter for the Russian language version of the site, translated some of the biggest points of contention Kucherov spoke of during the interview.
Kucherov on the team after Steven Stamkos went out with a knee injury and decision(s) of who should play with Kucherov…
“We had great chemistry with Namestnikov and Stamkos at the start of the season. We understood each other really, really well. And then Stamkos was injured. I was very upset. I think those nine games were my best in the NHL.
“After that coaches started shuffling lines. Partners were changing like in kaleidoscope.
“It was very hard to used to it, because guys didn’t play at Stamkos level. It’s hard to explain how I played with them. We had lack of understanding each other, there were some problems. I was suffering torments all the season, because I couldn’t find perfect chemistry with other partners after Stamkos injury.
“We played with Jonathan Drouin once, and it was good, but coach didn’t put us together for some reason.”
File this away under ‘things you don’t see every day.’
Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart dressed for the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
After the anthems, the teams took their seats on the bench as usual, and that’s where Reinhart stayed for the entire sixty minutes of the game.
Look at his stat-line from the score sheet:
In his post-game media scrum, head coach Dan Bylsma commented on Reinhart.
Tonight was supposed to be the rematch of Carey Price versus the New Jersey Devils after the infamous ‘Price Pummels Palmieri’ incident.
Then Michel Therrien went and ruined all the fun and started Al Montoya. At least the Jersey faithful had some fun with Price during the warmup.
The rage monster that enveloped Price causing him to hammer away on Palmieri made it’s way down to Raleigh and possessed Cam Ward.
It was a really, really rough game for the Carolina Hurricanes to say the least. The pest that is Patrik Hornqvist was all up in Ward’s grill.
Before Carey Price would get to talking about his 250 career win, he had some ‘splainin’ to do about what happened the night before.
In Friday’s tilt versus the Sharks, Price was pulled by Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien after allowing four goals.
The Habs’ star netminder was none too pleased about getting the hook and showed his displeasure as he stormed off to the locker room; throwing a not so subtle stare down at his coach on his way.
He declined to speak with the media after the game.
Peter Holland wanted out of Toronto and on Friday he finally got his wish. The Maple Leafs have traded the center to the Arizona Coyotes. In exchange the ‘Yotes give up a 2018 conditional draft pick.
The relationship between the Toronto Maple Leafs and center Peter Holland had become seriously strained over the past two weeks.
From James Mirtle of The Athletic:
Holland, 25, was a healthy scratch in 17 of the Leafs first 25 games this season and played sparingly when in the lineup (less than 11 minutes a game). It was clear last season he was not a favourite of coach Mike Babcock, and it’s believed Holland requested a trade at some point in mid-November.
Part of what made a deal difficult is that Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello did not want a player in return, and Holland is making $1.3-million this season.
What Lou wants, Lou gets; hence the draft pick. Craig Morgan of AZ Sports is reporting it could be a conditional sixth rounder.
On Friday, the National Women’s Hockey League confirmed reports that the league was cutting player salaries in order to keep the league afloat for this season.
With few exceptions, a majority of the players in the league stayed relatively silent following the official announcement. Saturday a group of players released a list of demands from the NWHL.
Mostly legitimate questions raised by the players, especially the insurance one. The only slightly eyebrow raising demand is the audit of the books. Who is going to pay for that? Accountants don’t like to do comprehensive business audits for free.
After sustaining a foot injury in the semifinal round, Team Europe forward Marian Gaborik hobbled away from the World Cup of Hockey on crutches.
His injury is bad to the point it will keep him out at least eight weeks for the Los Angeles Kings. It also meant he would miss the final series against Team Canada. Perhaps that left him a bit surley.
Gaborik went from hockey player to hockey-fan-spitting-hawt-taeks Twitter in Game 2 of the final.
Like all puck heads, it starts positive.
It starts to go downhill on a disagreement over a call by the referees.
Throughout the Nashville Predators playoff run, Pekka Rinne has been a steadying force in the net. Calm, cool, and collected in even the toughest games.
… until Game 7 versus the San Jose Sharks.
Patrick Marleau scored a top shelf goal on a back and forth passing play with Logan Couture. With 16:06 left in the third period and the Sharks now leading 5-0, the goal was the cement on top of the dirt on top of the nail in the coffin.
Rinne looked calm at first and then he went nuts. Slamming his stick against the goal posts and flinging it behind him as he skated off to be replaced by Carter Hutton.