Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets hoped it wouldn’t come to this; not so soon, anyway.
But tonight, when the Blue Jackets play the Dallas Stars in American Airlines Center, rookie center Derick Brassard will join the No. 1 line with wingers Rick Nash and Fredrik Modin….
Hitchcock, perhaps more than anybody else in the organization, is reluctant to put Brassard too high in the lineup.
It’s not so much the opposing centers Brassard will face—tonight, for instance, he will get to know Stars center Mike Modano—but the big, burly defensemen, who dine on young, smallish, inexperienced players such as Brassard.
from the London Free Press,
“I had the old gang and then I had the new gang,” Cournoyer, 64, said over lunch yesterday as the stars gathered before last night’s 52nd annual Rogers Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction at the London Convention Centre.
The old gang, Cournoyer said, included Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Claude Provost, Gump Worsley, Jacques Lapierre, Ralph Backstrom and John Ferguson….
The newbies included the likes of Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Ken Dryden, Mario Tremblay and Doug Risebrough.
Take ten minutes out of your day to watch a Legends of Hockey video on Cournoyer…
via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“One thing I told them … I don’t want to read in the paper tomorrow that you don’t have confidence,” Murray said. “You’re in the National Hockey League and you’re a part of the St. Louis Blues. You know how to play well. We need you to play well.
“If you don’t have confidence, which I don’t think that’s a word … it’s just an excuse word … if that’s how you feel, then come and tell me before the game because then I won’t play you. I put players on the ice in games that I believe in. I believe that our goalie is going to be good, I believe we’re going to be good on the power play. I believe in every single player that we put on the ice.
“Don’t give me an excuse word.”
from the Star-Telegram,
Nobody thought the Stars’ left wing would maintain that 82-goal pace—some reporters put it out there for fun—but it raised the possibility of a breakthrough season.
That possibility became reality Sunday when the 28-year-old scored his career-high 18th goal—and that’s with 31 regular-season games remaining. Last season, he set a career high with 17 goals. He scored two goals in the 5-2 victory over Anaheim, one short-handed and one into an empty net.
His continuing improvement shows how well the Stars made out when they acquired him from Florida in December 2005 for a seventh-round pick.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
How did it all end up going so wrong for John Ferguson Jr.?
It is a question he himself must address with some honesty and some distance if he hopes to work again as a National Hockey League general manager.
Ferguson’s run—five-years, one lockout and parts of four seasons—was long enough for him to have every opportunity to succeed with the Maple Leafs. But he stumbled in his introductory press conference and that foreshadowed the hockey seasons that would follow.
added 7:02am, from Howard Berger of Fan590,
And, though almost all of the momentum is on the side of Fletcher returning, the deal must clear some important hurdles. They include:
*A monetary provision that will allow Fletcher to virtually off-set the $300,000 salary he is still earning, this season and next, from the Phoenix Coyotes.
*A deal without the so-called ”interim” tag. Though every person hired by a hockey team is essentially on an interim arrangement, it is believed Fletcher has little enthusiasm for a short-term fix. He is looking to assume a presidential-type role, with full authority to hire the next general manager of the Maple Leafs.
from the ICEMAN Bloggeth at the Altanta Journal-Constitution,
Tonight in New York, the Thrashers face a HUGE test as they face the BEST TEAM IN THE NHL.
Uh-huh, that’s right…that’s what I said. The New York Rangers…tonight…are the BEST team the league has to offer! They are hot! They are fast! They score goals by the dozen and don’t even get me started on just how tough their defense is to get through.
Detroit? Chumps in comparison to these Broadway Bullies!
Ottawa? Weak and pathetic are they in light of the Blue Shirts!
The NHL standings show them at 22-21-6 overall and 2-6-2 in their last ten.
THAT’S A %$#@& LIE!!!
from the NY Post,
Last year the Blueshirts made a trade to shake things up, acquiring Sean Avery Sean Avery on Feb. 5 from the Kings, a move that sparked them to a 17-6-6 record down the stretch. Despite the positive impact a move at this point in the season had a year ago, coach Tom Renney would prefer to see no one moved off his roster this year.
“You don’t want to break up the guys you’ve committed to all year,” Renney said. “You’re asking for blood and guts from guys, and deep commitment and all that kind of stuff, and you’re offering that up yourself every day as best you can. . . . You want to do it with the group you brought to the dance, so if we didn’t move a single person, I won’t have a problem with that whatsoever.
“I believe this team can win.”
from The Good, The Bad, And The Duthie,
From the opening face-off, it looked like a couple of guys trying to show-off to win the same girl (Natalia maybe?) They were ridiculously dangerous on almost every shift. They went after each other, with Ovechkin trying to flatten Malkin in the Danger Zone (ask Dean McAmmond where that is), and then almost scrapping moments later. It was Anything You Can Do…translated in Russian.
Watch the attempted hit by Ovechkin on Malkin…
from Kevin Paul Dupont,
Life in the Regent Park section of Cabbage Town was without certainty or luxury, especially for Metropolit, who grew up with only pennies in his pocket and little more than the hockey stick and ball he carried in his hands.
“He took that stick and ball with him everywhere,” his mother recalled. “He’d be on the couch, and there were times I’d be, ‘OK, Glen, enough . . . put that stuff down!’ “
Today a key component of the Bruins’ offense, the 33-year-old Metropolit has carved a pro hockey career out of less than ice shavings. He grew up poor, never knew his biological father, spent portions of his early childhood with relatives and in foster homes, and only began to inch up the hockey ladder in his late teens when a neighborhood pal suggested he try out for the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Junior B squad. He made it, on the last cut, and has spent the last 15 or so years skating one stride ahead of the next cut.
Habs Inside/Out pointed to this video today, which was first posted last year on YouTube. A nice little demonstration of what stickhandling and accuracy looks like when Alex Kovalev shows off his skills.
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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