Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
Barely one-third of the league’s 30 head coaches—the number grew from 10 to 11 two months ago—never played a shift in the NHL. And it’s worth noting that while seven of the last nine Stanley Cup-winning coaches were part of that group—led by now-retired Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman—12 of the 18 head coaching hires made since the lockout have been former players. Are team owners and decision-makers reluctant to break with tradition? Maybe so, at least indirectly.
from the Denver Post,
In the old NHL, with no salary cap, the Avs always were buyers at the deadline, ready to trade young prospects or draft choices for high-priced, star rental players. With the Avs in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since moving to Denver, some fans are screaming to make a big trade that gives hope of putting the team back in the playoff hunt.
Not so fast, say at least two NHL experts.
“I would stand pat,” said Keith Jones, a former Avalanche player and currently hockey analyst with the Versus network. “I really like their progression they’ve made with their young players. I would not mortgage any part of the future if I’m the GM. I’m amazed they’ve been able to hang on as long as they have to compete for a playoff spot, to be honest with you.”
from the Pioneer Press,
“I’ve seen a lot of goaltenders,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen a goalie with his demeanor.”
“You look at him, and he’s not rattled by anything,” said coach Jacques Lemaire. “He’s just a cool guy.”
With Manny Fernandez on the shelf for up to three more weeks with a knee injury, Backstrom becomes a key figure for the Wild. In his first two games as the No. 1 goaltender, he gave a decent performance in beating Colorado, then shut out Phoenix 1-0.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
The combination of his health issues and big contract makes Aucoin seemingly difficult for the Hawks to move as general manager Dale Tallon prepares to shed players before the Feb. 27 trade deadline. But Canadian sports network TSN has reported a possible deal that could make sense: Aucoin to the Montreal Canadiens for winger Sergei Samsonov and center Craig Rivet.
from the Toronto Star,
Thornton is revelling in hockey as pleasure as well as profession. His is very nearly an idyllic life these days – quite content with the team’s rare forays into the Eastern Conference, although friends and family back in St. Thomas, Ont., don’t see much of the Sharks except on a dish – sharing a home with girlfriend Tabea, a Swiss-born model he met while playing overseas during the lockout.
And he’s become, shall we say, a bit more sophisticated in his California mid-20s. Today’s junk food lunch notwithstanding, Thornton’s favourite food is sushi, most particularly the highly poisonous blowfish – a lethal delicacy if not expertly dissected. Takes guts to eat.
“Just like living dangerously, I guess.’‘
more on Joe…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Tom Renney is an ex emplary individual who treats everyone with respect. He’s a professional in the most pure sense. That and $76 will get him a 30-day subway pass. But it won’t get him into the playoffs….
This year, Renney has acted more like a caretaker than a coach. It’s baffling. He and his staff work as hard as ever, but that’s not the point. The point is, dealing with a team with more holes in the lineup than Alex Rodriguez had in his swing against the Tigers last October, Renney has not been proactive. His laissez-faire approach is not working.
from the Miami Herald:
In his six seasons with the Panthers, Olli Jokinen has seen his share of losing. On Saturday, he was part of the worst home loss in franchise history and is desperate to see some change.
Only, he doesn’t want out.
‘‘There’s a reason I signed a four-year deal,’’ said Jokinen, whose 613 games played without being in the playoffs is the most by an active NHL player.
‘‘I want to be in the playoffs here, wearing this jersey,’’ he said. ``Those reports aren’t true. They’re false. I don’t want to go anywhere, I want to stay here. If I wanted to go somewhere and didn’t believe in this program, I never would have signed that deal. I would have looked at other options in the summer.’‘
from the CP via TSN,
Crosby was high-sticked in the lip by Francis Bouillon late in the third period of the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The infraction went uncalled by referees Chris Rooney and Dave Jackson and Crosby took a long time getting up off the ice before slowly skating back to the Penguins bench.
Upon his arrival there, Canadiens enforcer Aaron Downey started yelling at the 19-year-old superstar while derisive chants of “Faker, Faker” rained down from the upper reaches of the Bell Centre.
from the Pioneer Press,
Goaltender Manny Fernandez no longer is considered day to day.
Now it’s more like week to week.
Fernandez’s ailing left knee underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Friday. The new prognosis, released Saturday, calls for a longer healing period. He is expected to remain sidelined for an additional one to three weeks.
Seven minutes into the third period, the puck was fired in past the opposition netminder, rebounding off the backboards on an awkward angle, right on Thamwongsin’s blade. Like any great goal scorer, he released the puck quickly.
It found the back of the net and the crowd erupted in jubilant celebration of the play.
The final score of the game was Kazakhstan 52 Thailand 1.
The match (or ‘out-match,’ if you wanted to be accurate) was part of the hockey portion of the Asian Winter Games, and must remind hockey historians of the early days of international hockey in the first couple of decades of the 20th century, when Canada would run up scores in the 20s, 30s and sometimes more.
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.
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