Kukla's Korner Hockey
At 11:38 a.m. Wednesday, Michael Peca was skating by himself on a pristine sheet of ice. He returned to the dressing room around noon and, not long past 1 p.m., he confirmed his regular season with the Toronto Maple Leafs had come to a close.
His recovery from a broken right leg will keep him on the sidelines until at least the first round of the playoffs. The 33-year-old centre had pledged, days after the injury occurred in December, that he would return before the end of the team’s regular season schedule.
from the Star-Tribune,
First, on the ice. He has become the team’s steadiest defenseman. Carney is a plus-21, which would be a franchise record. He plays heavy minutes and in all defensive situations.
“He’s a veteran,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. “He’s been in the playoffs, he knows what it takes to win. When you have that, you carry that at different times during the season—that energy that you need to have to win games.”
But there’s more. Carney is also a mentor to the defensive corps—most notably to Burns—Carney’s playing partner. They talk on the ice, of course. But after every shift they talk on the bench. Sometimes Carney will reinforce a good play. Sometimes Carney’s job is to calm down a young player who is struggling.
from the Toronto Sun,
Name: Frank Torpey
Occupation: To scare the bejesus out of NHL players so they won’t get it on with groupies.
I doubt that’s what it said on his business card, but yes, that was his job. Talk about fighting a losing battle. That’s like trying to sell Britney on the benefits of underwear.
Frank was an FBI agent who became the first chief of security for the NHL starting back in 1970. He died in 2001 at the age of 71, but is fondly remembered. When I asked Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice, and former Leaf Kris King if they remembered Frank, they immediately did their best impressions.
from Red Fisher at the Montreal Gazette,
As you’d expect, there will be an ‘A’ list attending tonight’s tribute to Jean Beliveau at the Bell Centre….
Gordie Howe is coming, and so are Johnny Bower, Ed Giacomin, Red Kelly, Rod Gilbert, Tony Esposito, Wayne Cashman, Doug Gilmour, Michel Goulet, Marian Stastny, Alain Cote and Stephen Finn.
And then, you can add this list of former distinguished Canadiens: Dickie Moore, Elmer Lach, Emile Bouchard, Senator Frank Mahovlich, Pete Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Yvon Lambert, Andre Pronovost, Bob Gainey, Dollard St. Laurent, Guy Carbonneau, Marcel Bonin, Phil Goyette, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bobby Rousseau, Stephane Quintal, Vincent Damphousse and, of course, Rejean Houle, who was deeply involved in the organization of this one-of-a-kind event.
more.. if only Montreal was closer to Detroit, I’d be there…
This time of year, teams are planning changes and trying to sign players to extensions.
Spector has a great wrap-up today of all the talk…
from the Montreal Gazette,
Cristobal Huet said it’s not his place to say when - or if - he will return to the Canadiens lineup, but the smart money says he will be in goal Saturday night when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Bell Centre.
Rookie Jaroslav Halak has carried the load for the Canadiens as they have moved into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference with five consecutive victories. But there are good reasons why Huet should get a start Saturday night even if Halak stands on his head and blanks the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
“I don’t think it’s right,” the Maple Leafs captain said. “I just don’t like that part of the system.”
Sundin isn’t talking about the Leafs’ forever-in-doubt playoff status. He isn’t talking about a league that awards more points for some games than others.
He is talking about the break of being in the Southeast Division, where a first-place team—as of yesterday afternoon it was the Atlanta Thrashers—get a choice spot in the playoff standings while more accomplished teams with more points, such as the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins, get pushed back.
“You should be seeded by how many points you get, not being in a (soft) division,” Sundin said.
via the Toronto Star,
Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray criticized minor hockey officials in western Quebec and defended the rights of his 8-year-old grand-nephew to play the game yesterday.
Jared Murray, the son of New York Rangers assistant director of player personnel Tim Murray, is at the centre of a controversy after the novice B player was ruled ineligible to compete in a regional tournament.
The 4-foot-9, 110-pound Grade 3 student was deemed to be ``bigger and stronger,” by Hockey Outaouais officials.
“I don’t think anybody should be discriminated against because of size,” Murray said. “It’s parents, it’s administrators of programs I suppose ... that have made this decision and I don’t understand it.”
from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,
Matvichuk has been able to practice with the team since November, but he has not been cleared to play. Although he is able to do everything that his teammates do in practice, his recovery has been slow. He said that full recovery from back surgery is difficult to predict.
“We’ll get him in before the end of the year, and he’ll play in a couple of games,” Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello said Tuesday.
Matvichuk remains on the long-term-injury list. Lamoriello said the Devils wanted to make sure he was strong enough to play before he actually returned to the lineup. They fear that if he is reinjured, he could miss the playoffs.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Because in Avery’s 24 games on Broadway since his Feb. 5 acquisition from Los Angeles in one of Glen Sather’s best deals (though no more constructive than exchanging Aaron Ward for Paul Mara), Avery has not only established himself as one of the Rangers’ go-to players on the ice and in the room, he has established himself as a forward who makes his linemates better.
That’s why Tom Renney faces a no-win situation as he ponders line changes and a lineup change for Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. For as the head coach considers who gets to play with Avery, he also has to decide who doesn’t. And, yes, it’s stipulated that Avery is not quite Adam Graves, either.
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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