Luca Sbisa

Anaheim defenseman says Ducks are scared of winning

The Anaheim Ducks lost 4-2 to the Phoenix Coyotes last night. It was their 14th defeat in 16 games, pushing them to 6-11-4 and second from bottom in the Western Conference.

Needless to say, the team has problems. But Luca Sbisa thinks he knows what’s wrong.

“It seems like we’re scared of winning,” the Ducks defenseman told the OC Register. “We kind of forgot how to win. We have stretches were we play good hockey and we’re the team we’re supposed to be with the players in this room.

“As soon as we get a bad bounce or something or fall behind on the score, we kind of get scared. We stray away from the game plan.”

Before analyzing that quote, a quick note on Sbisa. His honesty is admirable, but should he really be the one to publicly opine about Anaheim’s fear of victory?

At 22, he’s one of the youngest players on the roster. Sure, there are youngsters in leadership roles throughout the NHL (Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Andrew Ladd) but come on — Sbisa is not one of those guys. It also seems really odd that a team featuring Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Toni Lydman, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry has been labeled as scared to win…by a 22-year-old Swiss kid with 136 games of NHL experience.

Anyway, back to Sbisa’s quote. One thing you can take from it is the sentiment that Anaheim’s struggles are about the players — not head coach Randy Carlyle. That’s something the Register’s Jeff Miller touched on earlier this week.

“Last spring, this same core group of players authored a staggering stretch to climb from out of the playoffs to the No. 4 seed in a deep, difficult Western Conference,” Miller writes. “And the Ducks did so without their All-Star goaltender. Know who else was there for that impressive surge? Carlyle, along with the same assistants he employs today.

“He wasn’t a detriment then, why is he suddenly one now?”

It’s a salient point. In August, the Ducks extended Carlyle’s contract through 2013-14 — which suggests he’s in for the long haul. I mean, nobody fires their coach just a few months after giving him a deal, right?

*cough* Tampa Bay Lightning *cough* Barry Melrose *cough*

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

Leave a comment

The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
AP
16 Comments

The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

16 Comments

The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

Leave a comment

Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: