Ilya Kovalchuk’s assessment of Devils PP: “embarrassing”


The New Jersey Devils have received six power play opportunities to just three for the Los Angeles Kings, but it hasn’t been a difference-maker in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals. Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t beat around the bush when he gave his assessment of the team’s man advantage, either, as Dave Lozo reports that he called it “embarrassing.”

The Devils went 0-for-4 in Game 2 after going 0-for-2 in Game 1. To be fair to New Jersey, the Kings’ man advantage went empty handed in the first duo of contests as well, although they received half the chances.

Yet for Kovalchuk (five power play goals) and the Devils, a wilting PP is a much bigger concern than for LA. While the Kings have been just about as productive offensively on the penalty kill as they’ve been on the power play, the Devils scored three PP goals against the Rangers, four against the Flyers and five against the Panthers.

That might not sound like much, but it’s the third-most in the 2012 playoffs behind Philly (a ridiculous 15) and the Rangers (13). The thing is, New Jersey’s consistently been strong in other areas – aside from some PK hiccups against Florida – so that PP advantage transformed a good team into a dangerous squad.

As strong as John Tortorella’s shot-blocking PK system can be, perhaps the Kings are just a different animal than the Devils are used to. It might just come down to Los Angeles being that good.

Still, the Devils’ PP needs to get more done in a series where goals are incredibly tough to come by. Again, five of Kovalchuk’s seven playoff goals have come on the PP, so he probably feels the deficit the most.

So can Kovalchuk and the Devils turn that – and perhaps the series – around?

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella
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Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.