Kukla's Korner Hockey
Let’s take a look at Adam Proteau’s “bubble teams” in the East…
9. Ottawa Senators
Always-Look-On-The-Bright-Side Adam Says: Jason Spezza + Daniel Alfredsson + Dany Heatley = Lots of goals. Even better: this guy has been banned from Scotiabank Place for good.
Always-Assume-The-Worst Adam Says: I understand there are Sens fans out there who will look at any prediction that puts their team out of the playoffs, raise the back of their hand to their forehead, and steady themselves with their free hand in an effort not to faint.
10. Florida Panthers
Always-Look-On-The-Bright-Side Adam Says: Did any goalie duo in the league last season do as quietly excellent of a job as Tomas Vokoun and Craig Anderson? Not if their NHL-best .922 combined save percentage is any indication. And they should be all the more stingy now that GM Jacques Martin has put one of the East’s best collection of defenders to protect them.
Always-Assume-The-Worst Adam Says: The Panthers ranked 20th overall in offense last season – and addressed that issue by bringing in…er, Cory Stillman?
more at the Hockey News, from 1-15 in the Eastern Conference.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
When I asked Brent Sutter today if he’s liked Fedor Fedorov’s effort in the two preseason games he’s played in so far, the Devils coach paused for a few seconds and looked up. That long pause was a clue to the answer that followed.
“At times, he’s been good. At times, he hasn’t,” Sutter said. “It’s been kind of a hit-and-miss thing. I mentioned this the other day. He’s got to learn things in his game. You have to play a certain way over here and, hopefully, he’ll pick it up as the games go on. I thought there were different times in both games there were shifts where he was fine and there were shifts that he wasn’t very good. I’m just being honest.
“It’s up to him how he wants to do it. He can do it the way it needs to be done and he can give himself a chance. Hopefully, he’s smart enough to pick that up as far as knowing what has to be done to give himself a chance to make the team.”
continue for more on the Devils…
From Mark McGee at the Nashville Daily News:
Predators coach Barry Trotz is giving [Jordin] Tootoo the chance to work on two of the top lines in training camp. He has been teamed with Jason Arnott and J.P Dumont and with David Legwand and Martin Erat.
“If you are going to be a top-six forward then you have to play with top players,” Trotz said. “I want to give him more time with the higher end offensive players and with the hard-working two way players like Scott Nichol and Vern Fiddler.
“He’s getting there. We know he can shoot. And he gets on the fore check hard. But he is a lot more poised with the puck. He has a lot of ability. We are just trying to reinforce that with him.”
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
And now this new rule will only put the refs under an even more magnified microscope lens.
“Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.”
This is how the league’s new rule reads. It sounds simple enough, but if two guys are skating beside one another towards the end boards, are the officials really going to call it if the players’ skate blades nick? Or what if the players’ shoulders nudge, while they are frantically trying to pick up speed? They haven’t got to the puck yet, so technically they aren’t playing it yet.
These are the types of calls that will get blurred together. One ref might call it one night, while another sees it as too ticky-tack (and rightfully so) the next.
As a KK reader suggested in a blog from David Lee of Red and Black Hockey, maybe we should do a poll. So we are… Do you like the new icing rule? Vote below…
from Kelli, the Panthers Ice Dancers Captain,
The girls and I had our annual initiation dinner a few weeks ago giving us the chance to take a break from all the hard work put in and really get to mingle with each other and get to know one another a little bit better.
read more from Kelli’s Korner and some pictures too.
“From an ownership level we look at the long term,” we want to be absolutely competitive, super competitive each and every year.
“If you asked us if you were to pay for a Stanley Cup team this year, but you were to be lousy for the next five years, would you do it? The answer from the ownership point of view, absolutely not.
-Leafs co-owner Larry Tanenbaum. More by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.
added 2:13pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Tanenbaum said Yzerman, a vice-president of the Red Wings who is learning the hockey business under general manager Ken Holland, need not apply. He said the Leafs will not be hiring a second consecutive rookie GM, given the team’s decline under John Ferguson, who was fired last January.
“Steve needs to be a general manager some place (else),” said Tanenbaum, who stopped by the Leafs’ practice on Thursday. “We don’t want a rookie.”
The NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City will celebrate its first anniversary and the start of the 2008-09 NHL season by hosting a free NHL Face-Off 2008 Fan Festival on Friday, October 10 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. As part of the celebration, Honda will give away a 2009 Honda Fit Sport automobile to one lucky fan on-site at the event, and the NHL will award a trip for two to the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago through an online contest.
from Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
I’m a basketball fan who hasn’t watched a whole lot of hockey, but I better brush up on power plays and such. As a professional bandwagon hopper, it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time with the Stars this winter.
That certainly doesn’t mean I’ll voluntarily stay out of the Mavericks’ locker room, but I sense a shifting of the local bandwagon fans from NBA to NHL.
The AP via Mlive reports Nick Lidstrom suffered a broken nose last night.
Update 2:44pm ET: Via TSN:
Nicklas Lidstrom suffered a broken nose on Wednesday night and the Red Wings expect him miss at least three games, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Head coach Mike Babcock spoke to the newspaper on Thursday morning regarding the injury to his captain.
“He’s got a broken nose, but everything’s fine,” Babcock told the Free Press. “I mean, he got hit in the head with a puck, and so he’s not feeling good today - he didn’t even come to the rink today; he’ll be back here tomorrow and then he’ll be rolling in no time.”
from James Murphy at NHL.com,
After a tumultuous first season in Toronto both on and off the ice, Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake has found a new lease on life and his career. Blake took time recently to discuss his up-and-down season, what he learned from the experience and how he plans on using these lessons both as a hockey player and a person.
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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