Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
If you are interested in what is going on with Nashville, the Nashville Scene has a long editorial sub-titled…
A fishy deal-in-progress threatens to throw good money after bad.
From David Shoalts blog post at the Globe & Mail,
News that Kid Rock was given a Stanley Cup ring by Carolina Hurricanes owner Pete Karmanos, a fellow Detroit native, set off some discussion in the hockey world today.
On The Fan 590 in Toronto, John Garrett was appalled and rightly so that some pop star would get an exact replica of the ring given to the players when they won the 2006 Cup just because he’s a buddy of the owner. The Sportsnet commentator said his daughter got a ring when she was a staffer for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won in 2004, but it was a much simpler model than the one given to the players.
“You think of all the former players and the sweat they put in trying to win a ring,” Garrett said. “The ring has to stand for something.”
From the Puck-Rakers at The Columbus Dispatch,
Following morning skate on Wednesday, Gretzky offered his assessment of Nash:
“There are few guys in the league of that caliber at power forward. He goes to the net and sees the ice extremely well. Good goal scorers have one thing in common: They love to score, they can never score enough.
“Everyone likes to score, but good goals scorers love to score. There is no question (Nash) loves to score goals.
more comments from Gretzky
From Frank Deford at SI,
...the National Hockey League and the ice hockey federations of the United States and Canada should advise the IOC that after the 2010 Games in Vancouver, the U.S. and Canada will no longer compete in hockey in the Winter Olympics. It is perfectly ridiculous for major-league team sports to kowtow to the Olympics. [...]
What basketball and hockey ought to do is set up joint international tournaments for exactly this time of year—just as the NBA and NHL seasons begin. These world championships would be held every four years, in an odd-numbered year, like this one. I think 2011 would be a good start.
via Red Wings Corner,
Lingering pain above Dominik Hasek’s knee means that Chris Osgood will get his first start of the season tonight against Calgary.
Hasek will back-up Osgood.
via the Ottawa Citizen,
Hossa caught his skate in a rut at the end of practice on Monday and pulled a groin muscle. This morning, coach Bob Hartley ruled him out of tonight’s game against the Senators.
“He really wanted to play but this is not the case where we’re going to bring him back if he’s 80 per cent or 90 per cent,” said Hartley.
“We are all in agreement that he won’t come back until he’s 100 per cent.”
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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