Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On a steely cold December morning, Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook stumbled out of bed at 4:45 and quickly made his way to a TV station in downtown Chicago for a peculiar assignment: sharing a recipe for penne and chicken with pink vodka sauce – and winning new hockey converts.
The 22-year-old Seabrook has since appeared on the ABC affiliate station for a segment about New Year’s Eve fashions, while several of his teammates in recent weeks have been guests of a rival channel to tout holiday gift ideas.
“It’s pretty early, but that’s morning TV,” says Seabrook, in his third season with the Blackhawks. “I got a chance to sleep later in the day. Hey, it’s just nice being recognized around the city these days.”
That the networks would covet appearances by Seabrook and other Blackhawks players speaks to the team’s startling reversal of fortunes. Suddenly in Chicago, where, in recent years, news about the Blackhawks was relegated to the last page of the sports section when it was covered at all, the Blackhawks are surging both on and off the ice.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
This disaster, on the heels of the 6-1 loss at Chicago, gives coach Andy Murray and his staff plenty to work on as the team readies for the road.
“The message today was not to shun your responsibility, to take it seriously, acknowledge that you weren’t good enough today to get the job done,” Murray said. “Myself, as a coach, I have to acknowledge when my team doesn’t play as well as it needs to play. Then I have to take responsibility.
“It’s all about responsibility. We’ll go to work and prepare them for the next game in Nashville and review what we need to do better. We need to have their effort. We need to have a high determination level. We’re that type of team that cannot be successful if we’re not operating at full power.”
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
But why would a playoff-obsessed team such as Ottawa wish to renew ties with Hossa when they’ve witnessed his lack of post-season prowess first-hand?
During his tenure in the capital, Hossa’s playoff record displays little evidence of his typical regular-season flash-and-dash. The Slovak achieved double-digit totals in only two playoff runs (the most notable was 2002-03, with 16 points in 18 games—five goals and 11 assists). All other post-seasons he finished with a paltry four points or less, including 2003-04—his last season in a Sens jersey.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Who’s better? Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg? That’s like comparing a Porsche to a Mercedes, but one NHL coach, who shall go nameless because his team has to play against the Detroit Red Wings players, says Zetterberg gets the edge. “He’s grittier, more competitive. Zetterberg is a lot like Forsberg was in his heyday,” said the coach. “Datsyuk has really taken on a leadership role there, too. That’s good to see.”
read on for numerous NHL items…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Talk is finally starting to heat up with the trade deadline five weeks away. League sources say GMs are targeting the Kings, Lightning and Leafs to see if they’re ready to start unloading players. The word is Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been dangling W Ladislav Nagy and Ds Brad Stuart, Jaroslav Modry and Rob Blake to see what teams are willing to offer. For Blake to waive his no-trade clause, he’ll only accept a deal to a contender. Sources say Lombardi wants a player, a prospect and a No. 1 pick for Blake.
much more “talk”...
via the NY Post,
“I saw urgency and intensity in our game the last 25 games of last season, but I don’t see it now,” Sean Avery Sean Avery said after the Rangers’ 4-3 shootout-decided loss to the Bruins. “I wish I could say it was different, but it’s not. I love every guy in this room, I’d go through a wall for all of them, but as far as individuals go, we’re not pulling our weight. A lot of guys need to be better, including myself and our line. I’ve been saying it for a while, but we need to look in the mirror and hold ourselves accountable.
“Throw all that into the pot and we don’t have a winning team right now.”
added 8:44am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Standings aside, the real difference between Ken Holland and John Ferguson Jr. as NHL general managers: Next season, Henrik Zetterberg will be paid $2.7 million US and Tomas Holmstrom $2.25 million by the Red Wings. Next season, Mark Bell will be paid $2.5 million by the Maple Leafs.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You probably don’t know Haney, and she definitely doesn’t know much about hockey. The stay-athome mom from Clarence couldn’t remember Martin Biron’s name, referring to the goaltender as “that guy who used to be with us but is now in Philly” during an interview last week.
So how did she get tangled up in questions about Briere?
Sources said the Buffalo Sabres asked the NHL to look into whether Briere started negotiations with the Philadelphia Flyers before July 1, when he became an unrestricted free agent.
From On the Forecheck,
So who’s got the hardest and easiest rows to hoe as we come into the final half of the 2007-8 Regular Season? Instead of focusing on Opponent’s Win Percentage (which is horribly skewed by the standings point awarded for OT/SO Losses), I prefer to take the ratio of Opponents Goals For/Goals Against, as I believe that to be a better indicator of whether your favorite team is likely to fare well against that foe. For instance, Edmonton’s number of shootout wins helps them to a .490 Win Percentage, but their GF/GA is a lousy 0.83, tied for worst in the league with Tampa Bay; chances are, opponents are picking up at least a point each night against the Oilers. The following table reflects data for the games of January 19 through the end of the regular season…
Check out the Forechecker’s assessment based on the remaining schedule.
from the Sun-Sentinal via the Santa Barbara News Press,
Thursday night, in a conference room of a New Jersey hotel, Kelly met with his 28th team - the Panthers - for more than an hour and a half.
Afterward, he noted some of the issues that matter to players:
This is a ‘‘big issue’’ with them, Kelly said. Players would prefer to increase the number of regular-season games from 82 to 84 and play no more than five preseason games - the current limit is nine.
Players are concerned about poor ice conditions they say increase the chance of injury and affect scoring. And cities with warm climates aren’t the only ones struggling to maintain a quality surface - Calgary and Boston are among the worst, Kelly said.
Players want to see revenues continue to grow and there’s growing support of ‘‘globalization.’‘
Darryl Sutter was asked by Elliotte Friedman on HNIC if Alex Tanguay has agreed to waive his NTC. Suter said Tanguay has not asked him about NTC/trade but if they did trade him, it would have to be for a significant return, since he feels he is one of the top left wingers in the game.
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.
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