Kukla's Korner Hockey
From George Johnson at ESPN,
Iginla, the unquestioned emotional push behind the Flames, is thriving, while Kiprusoff, arguably the most spectacular goaltender in the game over the past three seasons, is nose-diving.
So the spirit is willing, but the flash has been weak.
As Iginla and Kiprusoff go, so go the Flames. And, right now, Calgary finds itself stuck on a treadmill to mediocrity, a game below .500 and a disquieting 1-5 stretch in what could hardly be described as a November to remember.
They’ve both been making headlines for altogether different reasons.
From Len Ziehm a the Chicago Sun-Times,
Toews was a minus-3 in a 4-2 loss at Columbus on Wednesday. The next night, he was a minus-2 in a 5-4 overtime loss at Nashville and won only one of 11 faceoffs. He was disconsolate in the locker room afterward. His teammates tried to cheer him up, but Toews wasn’t buying it.
‘‘They’d say that statistics don’t always represent how you’ve been playing, but I was on the ice for five goals-against, so obviously there’s something I’m not doing right,’’ Toews said.
On Friday he went through a video session with assistant coach Ryan Stewart designed to correct his recent mistakes, then got hit in the head with puck in practice at Joe Louis Arena. He’s now sporting a big lump and cut near his right eye, and tonight his line will play against fearsome Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
Welcome to the NHL, kid.
more… including some comments on Patrick Kane’s recent struggles as well
From Kevin Dupont at the Boston Globe,
It wasn’t the answer Manny Fernandez wanted.
“No, it wasn’t,” said the Bruins’ injured netminder yesterday, his knee woes making him a spectator for most of this season. “But at least we’ve reached a decision. We have a plan, and now we’ll go from here.”
The plan, in a nutshell: 1. get back on skates immediately; 2. build up leg strength through on-ice workouts and off-ice rehab; 3. hope for the best.
All of that, which Fernandez plans to begin as early as tomorrow in a late-morning workout, is in lieu of surgery.
From the Tampa Tribune,
It took Lightning defensemen 36 games last season to reach double figures in goals scored. It took them half as long, 18 games, to reach 10 goals collectively this season.
And that’s with 20-goal scorer Dan Boyle (left wrist surgery) out for all but four games.
What’s happened, with Boyle out of the picture, is that Coach John Tortorella’s blue liners have begun to become more conscious of trying to help scoring opportunities when they’re available.
“If you’re asking your forwards to play on the other side of the puck defensively,” Tortorella said Friday, “we ask our defensemen to play on the other side of the puck, offensively. We feel like we have the people. It’s just a matter of willingness to get up the ice and make it happen.”
from the Toronto Star,
They are the games that get fans talking. The ones circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out. The game that proves your team is – once and for all – better than your team’s bitter rival, until at least the two meet again.
Like when the Leafs face the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario or when Calgary faces their provincial rivals in Edmonton.
If you could pit one rivalry against another, which one would come out on top?
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Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, ottawa+senators, rivalries, toronto+maple+leafs
The Phoenix Coyotes have claimed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov off the waiver wire on Saturday and will likely get the start in goal tonight when the Coyotes visit the LA Kings.
From Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
Where exactly the Washington Capitals are in their negotiations with star Alexander Ovechkin, general manager George McPhee is not saying. He wants to keep contract talks as private as possible to avoid the daily questions and potential distractions. The Caps have enough on their plates on the ice, without any off-ice issues.
Bottom line is McPhee simply has to find a way to sign his star, who potentially could become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but the Caps are not likely to let that happen
From the Edmonton Journal,
Dustin Penner has been setting up shop in front of the net when the Oilers have had the man advantage, but he hasn’t been able to bang one in. He has one goal in his last 10 games.
“We need those to start going in for us,” MacTavish said. “We need that efficiency around the net.”
“It’s a matter of getting more hungry for the pucks, more tenacious,” said Penner. “You just have to have the mentality that the next shot is going in, that you’re due.”
Sorry for the posting delay today. We had an issue with a software upgrade but all should be fine now.
from the Toronto Star,
Yes, the Maple Leafs have lost their last three games.
Yes, the players acknowledge the quotient of fans abandoning all hope is growing exponentially with every loss.
No, the team is not giving up.
“You fight through the adversity you face,” said an impassioned Leafs head coach Paul Maurice.
“You’re going to have to believe during those times when nobody else will, when (critics) will look at the last two months and tie them into the last 41 years and say: `Well, things haven’t changed.’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org