Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Once he had that treatment, he was faced with questions about his leadership abilities, brought on by some pointed criticisms from Rob Ray, the former Senator and longtime Buffalo Sabres heavyweight, during a session on the TSN program Off the Record.
“I don’t think he’s a stand up, rah, rah guy in the dressing room,” said Ray. “He’s a leader on the ice. That’s a big problem with this team ... even when I was there, there was no one person to stand up and take charge, and bat a head when it needed to happen. They’re all tight and very close friends. Alfie’s a great player when things are going easy ... he came alive against Buffalo (in Tuesday’s 6-3 win) when Buffalo eased off after being ahead 3-1, but where was he in the first two periods?”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
For all of his flaws—some real and some imagined by his detractors—Huselius is still arguably the most gifted offensive player on Calgary’s roster.
His passing skills are rivalled only by Alex Tanguay’s, but he’s much more willing to shoot the puck in scoring areas, so that makes Huselius very dangerous in the offensive zone, especially on the powerplay.
He’s more than capable of scoring that big goal at the right time, which is a big deal come playoff time.
As for those who say he disappears when the games get more physical, they’re dead wrong.
from the Star-Telegram,
As the Stars head into today’s matchup against the Los Angeles Kings, Hull said the team needs one aspect above all else: accountability.
“It’s totally up to the players to get it together,” Hull said. “[Steve] Ott needs to be accountable for [Mike] Modano, Modano for [Mark] Fistric. That’s what I think we’re lacking right now. We’ve got to have accountability for each other.”
Hull said he hasn’t seen a bad Stars team. He’s seen a team that’s “played horrendous for a few minutes each game, and it’s cost us.”
And the errors have been widespread.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washinton Post,
But now Fedorov is grateful for the change. He’s having more fun than he’s had in years, he said, reinvigorated by Boudreau’s up-tempo system and a roster filled with young and talented players that remind Fedorov of himself 15 years ago.
“Just getting the chance to play hockey the way it’s supposed to be played, which is using hockey sense, not robotic,” Fedorov said, referring to the Blue Jackets’ defense-first strategy. In Columbus “you had do things that didn’t require much skill. It’s much, much different here. That’s why it’s exciting and refreshing.”
read on (reg. req.)
from the Florida Panthers Blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
It has become quite clear in recent days that Jacques Martin and Olli Jokinen can’t co-exist beyond this season. One of them will be gone this summer, so now owner Alan Cohen has a tough decision to make.
—- He can’t have Martin step down has coach and remain as GM because the GM picks his coach and he’d likely pick someone with a personality similar to his, one that players both in Ottawa and Florida contend doesn’t relate well to them.
—- He either has to keep Martin in both positions or in neither.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
As the season winds down, it’s already time for some teams to start making plans for next year. One way to do that is to address holes in the lineup through free agency.
In this week’s edition of Backchecking, TSN.ca’s Scott Cullen takes a sneak peek at this summer’s free agent market.
We can assume, in the vast majority of cases, that teams will have some interest in their own free agents at a certain price, but there is always the risk that once a player reaches the open market, they can be lured away to a new team.
via the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
After a visit with a neurologist yesterday, Patrice Bergeron was not cleared for contact practice. Bergeron was told that he needs to regain his strength and return to working out off the ice at 100 percent before he can bump bodies in practice.
Bergeron estimated he will be re-evaluated in two weeks, ruling out a regular-season return.
Earlier today, the Pittsburgh Penguins made general manager Ray Shero available for a media conference call. The Penguins currently sit first overall in the Eastern Conference with 97 points, and six points ahead of New Jersey and the New York Rangers in the race for first place in the Atlantic division. They are looking to win their first divisional title since 1997-98.
Here is the transcript from the Q&A.
Q. Watching the game last night, you had Crosby with Dupuis and Hossa. What was the thinking in combining Dupuis because a lot of people would have thought he would have been a third or fourth line guy, and next thing is Crosby, first game back, talk about his soreness level or how he came out of the game, Hossa missing the third period.
Mike Valenti of 97.1 fm, the Wings flagship station… A caller asked what about Mac coming back, what will he do to help the Wings?
Valenti: “Nothing. Why did Calgary get rid of him, why did Atlanta get rid of him? You need to ask that question first! Enjoy your memories, because that is all you got. The guy don’t got nothing left.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trophy ballots for the NHL awards were delivered to members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association Thursday — earlier than usual by historical standards.
In the early 1980s, or the days of the Original 21, there were three voters per NHL city and they filled out paper as opposed to electronic ballots. That number eventually dropped to two, as the league expanded (and finding enough qualified voters in some markets proved difficult). More recently, the voter pool was expanded to include its largest number ever — up to 160 ballots could be cast this year — for the five trophies voted on by the PHWA: Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng and Calder.
continued and other NHL topics too…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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