Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
In the most telling moment of a season already in crisis, the highest paid Maple Leaf skated behind his own goal Tuesday night and proceeded to trip over the net.
Maybe Bryan McCabe had done this before. Maybe not. But the symbol was clear and not at all comical.
This is the player John Ferguson has chosen to build his team around. This is his Chris Pronger, his Nick Lidstrom. Ferguson cannot trade McCabe, cannot send him to the minors, cannot place him on waivers, can probably not look at him the wrong way and cannot keep him on his feet.
From the AP via MSNBC,
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice said he expects to be suspended for cross-checking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face late in an 8-2 rout on Wednesday night.
The hit occurred with 5:41 left and the Flyers leading 7-2. After some pushing and shoving back and forth, Boulerice caught an unsuspecting Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, leaving the Canucks forward lying motionless on the ice. He eventually got up and skated to the bench on his own.
Boulerice’s coach agreed that a suspension is probably forthcoming.
*Video footage is here
The Hockey News is reporting that the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will drop the puck in Prague on a compressed schedule next season.
Sources have told the Hockey News that the season will be pushed back by about a week and will begin either October 9th or 10th. In order to accommodate the change, the league will further compress the schedule early in the season rather than late in the season to avoid the season running one week longer.
Scott Burnside at ESPN has a ranking of the NHL’s coaches:
With the new season under way, here’s a look at how the 30 coaches pan out:
1. Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks
Let’s see. Two years as an NHL coach, one surprise trip to the Western Conference finals, one Stanley Cup championship. Any questions?
Can’t argue with that. And #30 is a fun - albeit strange - choice, so I’m good with that, too. But I’m curious how the current Jack Adams winner sits down at #5…
from the Toronto Star,
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rob Ramage has been found guilty of being criminally responsible for causing the death of his friend in a horrific car crash.
A jury decided just after 4 p.m. today that Ramage was guilty of five charges, including impaired and dangerous driving, in the death of former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Magnuson.
Ramage showed no reaction when the verdict was rendered in a Newmarket courtroom
From Mike Heika’s blog at the Dallas Morning News,
Jeff Halpern is responsible for Mike Smith’s injury, but the Stars said it was not a fight. Halpern and Smith were playing ``the rebound game’’ after practice when the two started to get very competitive. Halpern then (they say) accidentally slashed Smith while going for a puck that was in the air. That led to a verbal confrontation which was very heated. I was in the locker room, so I didn’t see it.
Smith is listed as day to day, but the plan is for Turco to take the next four games. With the way the games are scheduled after that, Turco could actually play every game for the rest of October. A lot will depend upon how well he plays and how hurt Smith is.
And from the Stars, this announcement:
Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that the club has activated center Mike Ribeiro from the injured reserve list and placed goaltender Mike Smith on injured reserve, retro-active to October 9.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Are teams in the NHL business partners above all else? Or are they competitors first and foremost, and thus perfectly within their rights to take advantage of an opponent’s soft spots if they become evident?
This, really, is what the much-publicized Brian Burke versus Kevin Lowe verbal slap fight is all about.
Make no mistake about it, this is one entertaining confrontation, albeit one that has taken place mostly with Burke in California and Lowe in Edmonton, Alberta….
These days, if you take Burke at his word, he wouldn’t even speak to Lowe if the Edmonton GM walked into his office looking for a stapler. He wouldn’t stop for Lowe at the side of the road if Lowe’s motor vehicle were on fire.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
While it might appear Ray Emery is the odds-on favorite to regain the starter’s role once his wrist is healthy, there is every chance Martin Gerber will have used the time to stake a hold on the job that was his last season before he tanked it early in the year. In his first four games – all victories – Gerber has looked solid, if not outstanding.
There is no denying Emery saved the day last year. He picked up the ball when Gerber fumbled and carried it all the way to the Stanley Cup final.
But let us not forget, it wasn’t necessarily a smooth journey.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With only one real notable exception, most of the high-priced new help — in Toronto, New York, Washington or Colorado — is finding the going slow, getting used to new teams and new routines, new lines and new lives. No one could ever dispute the pedigrees of the Jason Blakes and Scott Gomezes and Ryan Smyths, all of whom established themselves as solid performers and citizens in their previous NHL stops.
But for whatever reason, the thinking that went into some of these free-agent acquisitions hasn’t translated into on-ice success, with the possible exception of Philadelphia, where Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne seem to have found their chemistry right away.
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
Ducks winger Todd Bertuzzi is questionable for tonight’s home opener against Boston because of a strained groin suffered in last week’s loss to Columbus.
Bertuzzi said the groin continued to bother him Saturday night in Pittsburgh, which was probably the reason he logged only 14:04 of ice time and was largely ineffective.
“Like anyone else with a groin injury, it limits your strength and your skating,” said Bertuzzi, who has a goal and an assist in five games. “Just came to a point where I couldn’t go anymore.”
*also, from CBC’s Around the League, “the Ducks are expecting both netminder J.S. Giguere and Samuel Pahlsson to return to the lineup tonight.”
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.
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