Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Kukla’s blog at NHL.com,
Well, the e-mails have started. I heard the Senators are going to get Mats Sundin. Why do the Bruins want to move Glen Murray? Can Rob Blake still play? I was told the Hurricanes are going to move Eric Staal. Did Alex Ovechkin demand a trade? Will Jaromir Jagr play in Edmonton? Is Markus Naslund on his way out in Vancouver?
The time has come to tell every one of you to relax. The vast majority of the rumors you are hearing are just that – rumors, often made up to attract your interest! Maybe people are bored and want to “stir” the pot a bit. Maybe they really believe what they write. Maybe, just maybe, they are trying to draw you in.
from Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
While last season’s All-Star Game was billed as the League’s blinding future meshing with its phenomenal present, it’s obvious by the final tallies of the XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports, that this season is all about now.
Only one of the 12 starters announced today for the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta on Jan. 27 is making his first All-Star Game appearance. Last season six of the 12 starters made their inaugural All-Star appearance in Dallas.
Update 12:30pm ET
Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail says fans voted well, but for a couple of confusing choices:
About the only flaws in the voting took place down where it didn’t matter in the end anyway. The Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo, he of the 11-point first half, finished ahead of Marian Gaborik, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash and Paul Stastny among others in the balloting. The Kings’ Michael Cammalleri slumped badly after a 10 goals-in-10 games start, but he received almost 100,000 votes more than teammate Anze Kopitar, a much more deserving choice. Cammalleri finished fourth among forwards just behind Iginla, and received about 18,000 votes more than the Sharks’ Joe Thornton, who is in the midst of another fine year.
Update 2:11pm ET
Carroll Rogers at the AJC wonders at the omission of the NHL’s leading goal scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, from the starting lineup.
The silly season (the weeks leading up to the February trade deadline) are in full swing and that’s leading to a higher-than-normal number of silly rumours. Of course those who originate these speculations will defend themselves by claiming that the clubs involved in those rumours will naturally deny them as they’re not about to admit to the press what they’re up to. That’s true, they’re not about to admit to the press what they’re up to, so why would they then admit it to anonymous sources via the media or internet?
read on as teams respond to these ignorant internet rumors.
from David Amber at ESPN,
When he’s not busy moving hulking forwards from in front of the net, Andrew Ference is busy trying to change the world. The Bruins defenseman wears a helmet on the ice and many hats off it: political activist, environmental crusader and possibly future NHL commissioner.
In this edition of Facing Off, Ference tells us what it’s like to drop the gloves with Sid the Kid, how the Bruins can win back Beantown and how 10 days in Africa changed his life forever.
from the Calgary Sun,
“As a player, we all have our pride, and all have a certain way we want to play and a certain way we expect ourselves to play. It’s certainly not going all that great for me, but what can I do about it. I’ve just got to worry about the next game, and, hopefully, be better tomorrow.”
Heading into tonight’s clash with the Phoenix Coyotes, Tanguay has collected 10 goals and 33 points in 40 games. It’s behind the pace he’s set in recent campaigns, but that’s just the beginning of the cloud hovering over him.
While Kristian Huselius has flourished in the top-line left-winger—earning the NHL’s second star of the week honours with yet another prolific spell—Tanguay has been demoted to the second unit.
Compound it with the fact he’s not on the top powerplay unit, and Tanguay’s offensive totals have taken a hit.
from Lightning Strikes,
Let’s look long term here for a second because in that case, it seems to me like an argument could be made that it might not be the worst thing in the world for the team to miss the playoffs. Yes, there would be some short-term pain. Ticket sales might slump, fans will scream, etc. But for a team that seems to be in a quasi-rebuilding mode anyway—a talented young goaltender and a young defense learning the ropes and growing together is not a bad thing either—the benefits might outweigh the pain.
I’m talking the draft here.
from Terry Frei at All Things Avs,
...but I think it’s clear now that the Avs have a pair of backup goalies — at best. (I know a lot of fans believe Theodore is short of that.) For a long time, this has been the pattern: When they play solid games, the sort you expect from bona fide NHL goalies, many of us (including me) overreact, treating that showing as potential harbingers. And the next thing we know, the goalie in question looks in his next start as if he’s the weak link.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It was two days since Price had struggled through a 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, having sat Saturday almost inconsolable in the dressing room.
“It’s time to move on,” he told reporters after Monday’s Bell Centre practice, only his wet jersey peeled off. “You learn what you did wrong and take what you can out of it.”
But privately a half-hour later, Price said he’s not yet let go of the disappointment of his effort that earned him the wrath of the team’s proudly fickle fans.
“I won’t be over it until the next game,” he said. “It’s not going to drag me down for my next start, but I’ll be over it only when I play better.”
Update 12:15pm ET:
But Price’s next start won’t be today. From TSN,
With rookie netminder Carey Price battling the flu, the Montreal Canadiens have called up goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Hamilton of the American Hockey League.
The Slovakian netminder was recalled on Dec. 3 and played one game with Canadiens this season against the Carolina Hurricanes, allowing one goal and making six saves in 19:59 of action.
Update 3:38pm ET:
TSN has updated the previous story link to state that Price has now been demoted to the AHL.
from Peter King at Sports Illustrated,
I did, however, care about the New Year’s Day hockey game in Buffalo. Fantastic visuals, fun event, tremendous game capped by the best player in hockey scoring the winning goal in the last round of a shootout, with 71,000 riveted fans in the stadium. This was the best new sports-event idea I’ve seen in years, and I don’t say that because I draw a paycheck from NBC.
a little more from Peter and thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from the Buffalo News,
Vanek, Afinogenov and Stafford were supposed to be the team’s go-to guys. They’ve fallen badly. Vanek is on pace for 24 goals and 26 assists after getting 43 and 41 last year. Afinogenov had 61 points last season; he’s on pace for 36. Stafford provided 13 goals and 14 assists in just 41 games last year, and Ruff continually said in the preseason Stafford could replace the missing offense. But Stafford’s first full year projects to only 16 goals and 16 assists.
“We’re underachieving in both categories,” Vanek said, referring to himself and the team.
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