Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
The goal was clearly stated back in the summer of 2003. The Buffalo Sabres wanted to acquire a top-six forward, someone who’d fit on one of the top two lines. So they traded for Chris Drury.
They got more than they were asking for. Drury is no longer just a top-six forward on his own team. It could be argued he’s grown into one of the top six forwards in the Eastern Conference, if not the whole NHL.
Drury is getting better at every facet of the game. His offensive talent has long been recognized. He scored 20 or more goals in his first five seasons. He set a career high last year with 30.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The message seemed to be: Bring it on.
“The main thing is, we stick together,” Penguins center and NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby said yesterday. “As long as we keep that pack mentality, where everyone sticks up for each other, and we make sure that if they’re messing with one guy, they’re messing with the rest of the team, too, that makes us a tough team to play against.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Shanahan shouldn’t be blaming the referees. Instead, it lies with the blizzard of new rules in this new My NHL 2. Calls made on some nights aren’t called on others, and the biggest reason for it is that refereeing is difficult enough without having all of their calls assessed and often second-guessed on television monitors by a gang of hanging judges in Toronto.
Referees enter every game wearing cuffs - at least in their own minds - and it’s been that way ever since the two-referee system was introduced. Their jobs depend on it. At the very least, their calls dictate how far they’re allowed to work in the playoffs - if at all.
from the Edmonton Sun,
They’re in trouble and they know it. And they have to know now, if they didn’t before, that this team isn’t nearly as good as the ones that rallied from the grave before.
So deep are the mental wounds, so dire is the predicament, the coaching staff cancelled practice and shut the dressing room doors for the final team meeting of the year. I say final because if anything that happens between now and April dictates the need for another one, the season will already been lost.
If it’s not already.
“Just to clear the air and refocus,” captain Jason Smith said of the gathering, in which players and coaches all had their say. “It’s a crucial time right now.”
Some parts of North America are in a deep freeze. Tempature in Detroit right now is 6 degrees!!!
Stay warm, stay inside and watch hockey all day long.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Whether it’s Crosby or Koivu or New York Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr, the manner in which the game’s top players are treated is sure to become a focal point as the furious race for playoff positions intensifies.
Ranger teammate Brendan Shanahan believes Jagr isn’t getting his fair share of calls these days and said so. Loudly.
That’s one approach.
Carbonneau, meanwhile, admired Souray’s defence of Koivu even though, through the combination of power-play goals and the defenceman’s absence, it cost the Habs the game.
That’s another approach.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Anson Carter could barely find a job in the weeks leading up to training camp this year, but he’ll generate a lot of interest at the deadline. Surround him with talent and he could be a valuable rent-a-player.
“I guess when you’re on a one-year deal this kind of situation comes up, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it,” said Carter, adding Columbus has really grown on him. “When you’re in a place where you’re happy you think about those rumours a little more. It’s only human nature. If people involved in rumours say they don’t think about it, they’re lying.
continued... plus more NHL bits, including what to the Blues do…
from the Pioneer Press,
The puck skids into the corner or comes to rest along the boards, and the Wild’s Pierre-Marc Bouchard scoots after it. So does a mean-looking forward and a very large defenseman, both wearing the wrong-color jersey.
And right away we think: Well, that’s the end of Butch. It’s too bad, really, because he was a nice kid. Kind of quiet. Polite.
Bouchard is generously listed as 5 feet 10 and 162 pounds. In reality, I’ve been served sandwiches bigger than him. And every time he enters the land of the giants, the muscle guys’ realm along the boards, I figure he is a goner for sure. Sometimes I peek through my fingers, expecting to see a very small puddle where Bouchard once stood.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
With trade speculation building around the NHL, the Florida Panthers are quietly flying under the radar.
There is reason to believe the Panthers are contemplating a myriad of moves that include high-profile players Olli Jokinen and Todd Bertuzzi.
No trades are imminent, but the mere fact teams are inquiring and the Panthers are listening may lead to something that qualifies under the heading of ‘‘blockbuster.’‘
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
After Thursday’s loss to Vancouver ended the Oilers modest two-game winning streak, the defending Western Conference champions find themselves in fifth place in the division, 10th overall in the conference and a full six points behind the Minnesota Wild, who currently hold down the final playoff spot, through Friday morning.
The Oilers need something good to happen soon; the problem is that for a team where offence was supposed to be a given, they have had trouble finding the back of the net consistently this year. Petr Sykora was excellent in the first month, after signing as a free agent; but his totals have fallen way off of late.
more...plus a look at the Bruins and other NHL teams…
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.
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