Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Lisa Dillman at the LA Times,
Hockey players sweat. So, tell us something we don’t know.
Except not all sweating athletes are created equal, and some perspire more than others. Put Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera squarely in that latter camp, which has created some interesting challenges for this season.
The new Reebok Edge uniform system may be too efficient in repelling sweat from jerseys, so much so that it is wreaking havoc with LaBarbera’s gloves. He said that he probably doesn’t shoot the puck quite as well at the end of the period because of his slippery hands.
“I sweat a lot. I’m kind of known for it,” LaBarbera said recently. “I’ve always been like that. I’ve noticed it more so in my gloves this year than anything. You can feel it dripping into your gloves.”
From Allen Panzeri at the Ottawa Citizen,
Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock never would have predicted that his team would zip through the first 10 games with a 9-1 record.
He won’t predict the pattern is going to continue, either. The Senators are not going to finish 72-10. The National Hockey League is just too good for any team to do that. However, if it did, if it continued to play at this opening level for the next 72 regular-season games, Paddock would be a happy man. After all, that’s the goal of any hockey team: to win every game it plays.
“If you’re not trying to be 82-0. “you’re not trying,” Paddock said yesterday. “Dany Heatley’s paid to score goals, yes, but, really, he’s paid to win, and so are all the players. That’s their job.”
From Jim Matheson at The Edmonton Journal,
The writing may be on the wall for Dick Tarnstrom, who has been beaten out of a regular defence spot, for now, by the inspired pairing of two young Edmonton Oilers puck-movers.
Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov were on the ice with two minutes left Sunday in Anaheim as coach Craig MacTavish tried to get a short-handed score that Andrew Cogliano provided.
Tarnstrom, who was signed to a one-year, $2-million contract, has sat out two of the last three games at a time when the Oilers are missing two of their top four defencemen—Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen—to injury.
From Len Ziehm at the Chicago Sun-Times,
Fights in his last two games left Koci with a broken nose and a deep gash between the eyes that required 10 stitches. He clearly was beaten by the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara on Thursday, but he insists he won’t be afraid to fight him again. He’ll just change his style.
‘‘Usually I’m a more defensive fighter, but my last two fights I tried to kill the guys,’’ Koci said. ‘‘I got confidence from my first couple fights, and I tried to be more aggressive. That’s not the way I usually fight, and that’s why I got hurt. You learn from your mistakes.’‘
Koci was the first opponent to take on Chara since he joined the Bruins more than a year ago.
From Jim Gintonio at The Arizona Republic,
Young team or not, losing is never easy to take, and Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky says it’s important that players not get caught up in a mode of frustration.
“They want to do well, they want to win, and you can get frustrated,” he said. “The worst thing that could happen for this team is that our older guys show that frustration because it bleeds through the hockey team. All of a sudden, you see a guy like (Daniel) Carcillo out there and being very frustrated.
“As I said to Shane (captain Shane Doan) … our older guys got to stay calm and relaxed. If they can stay calm and cool on the bench … it’s infectious to the younger guys, and it’s imperative that they stay focused.”
continued… (*Coyotes at 5 losses in first 6 home games)
From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,
After the game, Lightning coach John Tortorella didn’t hide his frustration with his team’s play in an expletive-laden, two-answer session with the media.
‘We were undisciplined, but up until then we had one player play, our goalie,’ Tortorella said. ‘Our goalie gives us a chance after two periods and we can’t put 20 minutes of disciplined hard hockey together, so we’re not even close tonight, not even close, so we don’t deserve anything. We spent more time looking at referees for calls ... moaning about it instead of playing, so we don’t deserve to win tonight.
‘It’s very frustrating to see one guy show up tonight and play, and that’s our goalie. That’s it.’
more… (*Lightning have lost all 4 of their road games this season)
From Mark Zwolinski at the Toronto Star,
Alex Ovechkin has become many things in Washington: a celebrity, a millionaire and a hero. Now he’s a mentor and role model.
The 22-year-old has opened up his home to newcomer Nicklas Backstrom, and is helping the Swedish rookie adapt to hockey and life in the U.S. capital.
“I remember being a rookie and Dainius Zubrus, he helped me, so I wanted to give back the way Dainius did for me,” said Ovechkin, whose two goals lifted the Capitals to a 7-1 win over the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
“OV (Ovechkin) has been very good for Nicklas, he takes him all over and kind of shows him around,” Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. “Dainius was great with him, and now it hasn’t taken him long to reciprocate.”
From Larry Brooks at the NYP,
“After Saturday, Jaromir and I sat in the locker room until 12 o’clock, talking about changing the power play, and then [Sunday] we practiced it,” said Shanahan. “Jaromir really takes it personally, being here, and winning.”
Lundqvist was outstanding again. Ryan Hollweg had a mighty fine game going up and down the wing. Chris Drury was more involved in the action than he’d been since the opener. The defense played a simple game. The Rangers got pucks in and pucks out and Jagr got a puck in the mouth.
Someone wanted to know whether Jagr lost his original teeth.
“A gentleman never tells,” he said, with a Jack-o-Lantern grin. “But I think if I paid $20,000 for them, they’re mine.”
From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
Folks, something is going to have to give here. Whether it’s a big trade or a management shakeup, it seems unthinkable that even MLSE and its barely engaged board of directors will simply allow another season to limp along with two wins here, a couple of blowout losses there, an overtime triumph and then a couple more defeats.
This is the last two non-playoff seasons being played over again one more time. This is Groundhog Day, the hockey version.
It was the fifth time in nine home games the Leafs have allowed five goals or more to the opposition, an outrageous record. They’ve only acquired eight of a possible 18 points so far at the ACC, a home mark that will guarantee another missed invitation to the Stanley Cup playoffs if it doesn’t turn around dramatically. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.
From Jeffrey Flanagan at the Kansas City Star,
If Kansas City does indeed ever land an NHL team, keep this in mind: The game has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
As enforcement of the instigator penalty has grown stricter in the NHL — the punishment is a minor penalty, a major penalty and a 10-minute misconduct — old-fashioned street brawls on the ice have all but vanished. And so has much of the game’s personality.
“Let’s face it: Fans do like to see the fighting,” said former Blades broadcaster Bob Kaser. “When you think about, what gets the crowd going more? Is it an end-to-end goal or is it seeing one of your team’s enforcers going at it with someone on the other team? It’s the fighting that gets the crowd on its feet in anticipation.
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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