Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY via Yahoo,
"The best thing that happened for most of these rookies is the lockout," Maguire says. "They got another year to mature away from the NHL. ... It made a huge difference for all of them." The NHL's rules changes also helped this class because the league is more about skill, quickness and creativity and less about hanging on to your opponent. "The guy who seems to be facing the most obstruction is Sidney Crosby," Maguire says. "He doesn't have the supporting cast to insulate him. It's unbelievable the beating he's taking." "This is great class, and a couple of these kids are just short of breathtaking," says Mighty Ducks of Anaheim general manager Brian Burke. "This has been a godsend for a league in a restart. And these are all kids with great personalities."more
from the Daily News Tribune,
More than two weeks after the start of the period to negotiate with their players slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, the B’s have had no substantial contact with top winger Sergei Samsonov. "I talked to Mike (O’Connell) briefly after New Year’s, just touching base, but (had) no discussion of a contract and no indication one way or another what’s going to happen," said Neil Abbott, the agent for the 27-year-old Russian. "Our doors are open. If they want to talk, we’ll talk. But we’re not asking. I think there are other things on his mind right now besides doing deals. The indications were that he’s going to get back to me. We’ll talk at some point, I think. But there’s been no request or proposals back and forth."
NBC producer David Neal talking about the NBC broadcasts of the NHL games last Saturday- "We had three games, and not a fight in any of them —amazing!" Is that a good or a bad thing?
via the LA Times (reg. req.),
Forward Pavol Demitra has nerve damage in his right leg, which could leave the Kings without their leading scorer for an extended period. Demitra skated briefly on Monday but did not take the ice Tuesday. He was believed to have a deep bruise in the leg, suffered late in a Jan. 5 game against Phoenix. Later tests determined the nerve damage. "We think Demitra will be back shortly," Coach Andy Murray said. Demitra was much less optimistic. "I'm not even close," he said. "The nerve damage is what is causing all the problems."
from the Denver Post,
Say hello to the first-place Avalanche. On Dec. 30, the Avs were in fourth place in the Northwest Division, two games above the .500 mark. Eight games later, after Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Pepsi Center, the Avs are in first by virtue of one more win (27) than Calgary and Vancouver. It's too soon to start blocking off dates for potential Eastern hotel stays in June, but all in all these are giddy times again for Avalanche fans.more
from the Contra Costa Times,
The Sharks said they went with Toskala as the starter and Nolan Schaefer as the backup in Monday's victory over Tampa Bay because Nabokov had a sore groin. But Nabokov declined to acknowledge an injury. After the game, he deferred all health questions to the coaching staff and said: "I feel fine." Wilson said Nabokov's stance was a product of his competitiveness and desire to play.read on
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets have won four of their past five games. They’re 6-3-1 over the past 10 and above .500 in their past 23. Can it be . . . the players are looking at the standings? "No, I don’t look at the standings," center Sergei Fedorov said. "I would know when we win 10 in a row. It’s not so much what (the standings) are worth and not worth, I just don’t want to get too excited before anything has happened. . . . I take sort of a different mental approach, to maintain focus, and just because I’m busy. Very busy." All of a sudden, there’s a little bit of interest," Denis said. "All of a sudden, we really do care where Chicago is, and we’re glad we picked up a point on Anaheim (Monday).more
from the OC Register,
It's getting a consistent, healthy goalie in front of the net that needs to jump to the front of Andy Murray's triage list. Be it a skilled butterfly man, a spilled wheelbarrow of bricks or an a Sumo wrestler who likes cold weather, the Kings have sorely missed someone to carry the healthy among them on his shoulder blades and skate blades through this pivotal time in the schedule. This is Garon's job to lose. With his health a question, LaBarbera could get an extended audition and show Murray and Kings goaltending consultant Andy Nowicki more than he had at the beginning of the season when he rotated starts with Garon.read on
via the AP,
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Ziggy Palffy will retire because of a lingering shoulder injury, a Slovak paper reported Wednesday. "I have agreed on all matters related to my retirement with the Pittsburgh management," Palffy told the Sport daily. "There is no point in suffering any longer." It was uncertain whether Palffy would retire immediately or at the end of the season. Neither the Penguins nor NHL officials would comment to the paper. Palffy, 33, was injured while playing for the Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim in January 2004, and had reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder twice, but the problems persisted. "I have talked to my doctor and he did not recommend a third operation," Palffy told the newspaper.
from the Washingotn Post (Wednesday edition),
By late yesterday afternoon -- after about a trillion replays around the world -- Washington Capitals rookie Alex Ovechkin's falling-backward, over-the-head, twisting goal Monday in Phoenix had entered NHL lore as one of the greatest plays in the history of the game. "We were in our [Outdoor Life Network] studio last night with our three analysts when word was passed down: 'Wait until you see this highlight. It may be the best goal this year.' Our jaws dropped," said Bill Clement, studio host for NBC's and OLN's NHL coverage. "Oh my god. It's one of the greatest goals of all time. We are starting to talk about him for the Hart Trophy, as the league [most valuable player]."read on (reg. req.)...a must read if you are a hockey fan...
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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