Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via Canada.com,
The Los Angeles Kings weren't ranked very high by most hockey prognosticators this season, and while it's still early, they are proving their doubters wrong with a 10-5-0 start that has them atop the Pacific Division. "I think most of the pre-season predictions had us certainly as an outsider in the playoffs, anywhere from 11th to the bottom in our conference," said Kings head coach Andy Murray. But Murray is also quick to point out his team has benefited from playing 10 of its first 15 games at home.
The "new" NHL could produce a scoring feat that has been locked in storage for 14 years. Fifty goals in 50 games -- one of the NHL's most glitzy scoring records -- could be challenged by five Eastern Conference players this season. At the start of this week, the Flyers' Simon Gagne (on pace for 63 goals in 50 games) and the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson (on pace for 54 in 50) were scoring at a clip that would have them join five hockey immortals who have accomplished the feat.
from the Globe and Mail, For starters,
Elliott, a fine hockey writer, is not, contrary to a headline in the L.A. Times yesterday, a Hall of Fame inductee. She received a plaque with her name on it. It hangs in the media section of the Hall. But she's not an honoured member. That designation is limited to players, referees and linesmen, and builders. "I think there's always going to be confusion about it," said USA Today's Kevin Allen, who is president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. "The Hall has made it clear there's a separation." That situation came about because of a move by Boston Bruins president Harry Sinden. In 2002, he objected when the Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont, whom he disliked, won the Ferguson award. Sinden, who had clout as a member of the selection committee and the Hall's board of directors, pressured officials to stipulate, or perhaps re-establish, that Dupont and other media types were not honoured members. The Hall acquiesced.
from the Mercury News,
Sharks Coach Ron Wilson taps his forehead with his index finger as he offers an explanation for the string of come-from-behind victories in the back-from-the-dead NHL this season. ``It's more what's going on between everybody's ears than what's actually happening on the ice,'' he said. New rules have made leads more difficult to protect, changing the mindset of players. ``There's a different feeling in your room now.'' There's also a different feeling in the arenas as fans, too, adapt to a changed game. It's only a month into the new season -- too soon, perhaps, for sweeping pronouncements -- but the NHL looks as if it is staging a successful comeback of its own from its labor problems.
from the Winnipeg Sun via Slam,
How quickly things can change in the new-look NHL. One moment, Barry Trotz's Nashville Predators are the hottest thing in hockey, Music City's No. 1 hit, with a perfect 8-0 record to start the season. Fast forward a week, and they're hurtin' as bad as any country song, losers of five in a row. It'd be enough to make a guy from Dauphin pull out his hair -- if he had any. "I could be better," Trotz, the Preds head coach, admitted from Nashville yesterday. "Things that were going well for us early are not falling the way we want them to."
from the boston Globe,
The Bruins know one thing for sure: goaltender Andrew Raycroft is ready to return from a hamstring injury he suffered Oct. 26 against Carolina. Whether center Alexei Zhamnov will join him in the lineup tonight against the Flyers in Philadelphia remains to be seen. Zhamnov, who was injured Oct. 1 in the final exhibition game against the Rangers, has yet to suit up for a regular-season game because of what the club has termed a bruised shoulder. But he has been making steady progress, and at practice yesterday, it appeared his conditioning was pretty much up to snuff. Coach Mike Sullivan said it would be a game-time decision, and Zhamnov sounded optimistic.
from the Journal News,
Nearly $6 million of the Devils' money is earmarked for the bank accounts of two underachieving defensemen. Dan McGillis is pocketing $2.2 million this season; Vladimir Malakhov is collecting $3.6 million. Steep prices, considering McGillis did not dress Saturday against the Rangers and Malakhov has turned the puck over at one inopportune time after another this autumn. Malakhov got called into Robinson's office yesterday after practice. It appears he will remain in the lineup, but could be on shaky footing.
from the Courier-Post,
Mike Knuble is the first to admit his career was stuck in the mud before he caught lightning in a bottle as a member of the Boston Bruins. A checking-line right wing who bounced from the Red Wings to the Rangers to the Bruins, Knuble was averaging 10 goals a season in Boston when an injury to Sergei Samsonov forced then-coach Robbie Ftorek to use him on the Bruins' top line alongside Joe Thornton and Glen Murray. Three years later, Knuble is patrolling another top line with Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne and has the Bruins to thank for the opportunity. Tonight, his past and his present will collide when the Bruins visit the Flyers at the Wachovia Center.
from the Globe & Mail,
Ted Leonsis, the upbeat majority owner of the Washington Capitals, swiftly alters his mood when outsiders suggest his club performs in a non-hockey market. A newspaper article suggested that candidates for a possible relocation included the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Capitals. "It's ludicrous to suggest that," Leonsis said. "Anybody who says we're moving is a liar and misinformed and they should stop trashing our fans. We have great fans and it's up to me to reactivate the interest in hockey in this wonderful city."
from the NY Times,
One month into his ballyhooed rookie season, Sidney Crosby has not disappointed. The 18-year-old Crosby, whom the Penguins selected with the No. 1 pick in this summer's draft, was named the first star last night in his Madison Square Garden debut after scoring the first goal in Pittsburgh's 3-2 victory over the Rangers. There was at least one person at the sold-out Garden, however, who was not gushing over Crosby. "To be honest, I think it's unfair to the older players who have given so much to hockey," said the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr, who won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh with Lemieux. "He might be a great player, but I would wait a little bit."
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com