Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willis of the Vancover Province,
Markus Naslund is trying his damnedest to conform to Alain Vigneault's system but we'd trade the reliable, defensively-responsible Naslund in a heartbeat for the guy who used to score 40. There are a couple of problems, of course. Vigneault's emphasis on percentage hockey doesn't play to Naslund's strengths. Naslund misses Todd Bertuzzi's ability to play the give-and-go game and create space in the offensive zone. He hasn't found any chemistry with the 98 linemates he's had this season.read on
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
But the Capitals are climbing the ladder as a team in a way that few others are. While the lockout was debilitating for some franchises and confusing for others, the Capitals took advantage to build from within, which is just as well given that owner Ted Leonsis isn't about to spend much money after the Jaromir Jagr fiasco. Hanlon points to center Brian Sutherby, who has played with a significant portion of the team at a number of different levels in the past four or five years. "Brian Sutherby has been pretty much the captain of a group of younger players. They've established that, and it's a really neat relationship. These guys have been together in their summer camps and they've just been so close and so tight," Hanlon said.more
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
But now that shootouts are established and clearly here to stay, the expected response is evolving. Coaches and players are pushing the rules to the limit. Last week, the Minnesota Wild's Pierre-Marc Bouchard beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout with a goal that probably should have been disallowed. He roared in on Nik Khabibulin, did a 180-degree turn at the edge of the crease then backhanded the puck into the net. First of all, he interfered with Khabibulin, who had no chance to react with Bouchard leaning on him.read on
from the Ottawa Sun,
"It's not bad, I can skate at 70% without a problem," he said afterward. "I haven't tried starts or stops or sprinting or anything, but it's just nice to be out there." Alfredsson could only say "I hope so" when asked if he would be able to play on the current Senators' road trip, which has four stops and ends Saturday in Buffalo. "There's a possibility he could play by the end of the week," said coach Bryan Murray, who points at Alfredsson's ability to bounce back from a rib injury after just four games last season as an example of the Swede's toughness. "It's day-to-day, and it'll be his call."more
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
In the span of his first eight NHL games, Joe Pavelski has scored in his debut, put together a three-game goal-scoring streak and scored a game-winner in the final six seconds of regulation to give the Sharks a rare win in Detroit. He also has picked up the nickname "Little Joe", which might be his proudest achievement to date. Anytime a 22-year-old rookie can get linked to Joe Thornton that fast is impressive indeed. This Little Joe didn't come straight off the Ponderosa, but you can't blame the Sharks if they think they've struck a bonanza. "He's just a hockey player," general manager Doug Wilson said. "He can play anywhere, he can play with anybody. Hockey sense not only allows you to step in, but it allows you to play."more
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have signed forward Peter Bondra. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. “He’s a proven goal scorer,” said General Manager Dale Tallon. “He’s a tremendously fit athlete who will add more speed and skill to our lineup. He will help our power play and his experience will greatly help our younger players.”continued
from the Kanas City Star,
Sure, the KC hockey team would be popular the first few years simply because of the novelty. But for hockey to have success long-term, many Kansas Citians would have to embrace what is, to them, a foreign culture. But to Brian Dostal, 28, that culture might already exist in Kansas City. “I don’t think Kansas City is an NBA town,” Dostal says. “Hockey is more blue-collar. I see basketball as prima donna, for the East and West coasts. “You watch a Lakers game, and you see Jack Nicholson. Who do we have? I can’t see Kobe Bryant out on the town here. But I could be sitting right here at Willie’s, and a third-line defenseman could walk in, and you wouldn’t even know it.”more
from the CP,
The Montreal Canadiens hockey club is confirming that the woman swept off a Nova Scotia tall ship is the daughter of the club's executive vice-president, Bob Gainey. Laura Gainey, 25, was washed off a deck at the back of the vessel in a storm at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Dan Moreland, the senior captain of the Picton Castle, says she is a volunteer on the vessel who is known to be very fit, and is "a well loved crew member." Meanwhile, the U.S. coast guard says the search for the woman is in a crucial stage this morning. Spokeswoman Faith Wisinski says aircraft resumed searching at first light and a U.S. coast guard vessel has searched through the night for Gainey. However, she says that as of 9 a.m. this morning, Gainey has been in the water 30 hours. Wisinski says the water is warm in the area, but it's expected hypothermia would normally take a person's life after 36 hours.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Where broadcast time on their radio network is concerned, the Blue Jackets are learning that competition comes in many forms. In a survey of the 25 affiliates, The Dispatch found just five stations that expect to air more than half of the 82 scheduled games this season — and six stations planning to carry 20 or fewer. Affiliates cite several reasons for not transmitting more games: conflicts with highschool sports, the obscurity of hockey in some parts of Ohio and the Jackets’ poor on-ice performance.... "How many people in Marion are going to stay up till midnight to listen to a hockey game?" said Jeff Ruth, sports director of WMRN (106.9 FM) in Marion, which aired a talk-radio program Nov. 28 instead of a Blue Jackets game in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Maybe if they had gotten off to a great start, it would be different."read on
Last night on the Hot Stove on HNIC mentioned Peter Bondra may be heading to Chicago, Atlanta has interest in Conroy but want him closer to the trade deadline. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun (via the Edmonton Sun) has numerous trade scenarios...
Don't believe this stuff about the Canucks trying to trade LW Markus Naslund. An executive said the only players who could be on the move in Vancouver are C Brendan Morrison and LW Matt Cooke.read on added 11:15am, more trade and movement talk at Spector's Trade Rumours...
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