Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit Free Press,
This is the last season of Steve Yzerman's career. The only question is whether he finishes it. Before you drop your coffee, grab your rifle and hunt me down, hear me out. Nobody is saying Yzerman should retire. He has earned the right to keep playing, and he still has value to the Red Wings. But that value is (at best) a 12-minute-a-night, third-line forward -- the kind of guy who often goes several games without having a major impact.read on
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Now that the Joe Thornton blockbuster is in the books, all eyes will be on the fallout, especially in Boston. For example, how is Jumbo Joe's good friend and former linemate Glen Murray going to react? Murray signed a four-year, $16.6 million deal in the summer for two reasons. One, it was more money than he would get anywhere else. Two, because he wanted to play alongside Thornton. Oops. Which way is his game going to go now? It's a critical question for the B's.read on
Jimmmy Howard interviewed by his old college newspaper...I broke down just the quotes, it appears Howard has his head on straight. from the Maine Campus, "Instead of 5,000 fans watching you play, there were 18,000 people in the stands and tons more watching on TV," he said. "You are playing with all-stars and future hall of famers. The speed of the game changed dramatically, the players are a lot faster, smarter and lot more skilled." "The fans here sell the arenas out and they are always in abundance whereever we go, similar to the UMaine fans." "Hockey is a lifestyle now; it's a job," said Howard. "There's no job security like there is in college. They can't send you anywhere. "Here, they can send you, trade you, release you any time they want. I could get a phone call right now and be traded." "My parents couldn't come on such short notice, but they watched on the television and I think my mom cried like three times. They are very supportive of me and the team supported me a lot also. I felt comfortable out there after the first five minutes," said Howard. "They cut down on hooking, so the forwards are taking liberties of going to the net hard and a lot of goalies are getting injured and getting concussions. Forwards are literally taking us out to score. I didn't get rushed at all, thank God," he said.
Of interest to Red Wing fans... from the AHL,
His coaches and teammates have taken to calling him Flip. And if you’ve seen the contorted positions opposing goaltenders are forced into when facing him on a breakaway, you know why Grand Rapids Griffins winger Valtteri Filppula has earned the nickname – as well as the attention and respect of those around him. His name is one that Detroit Red Wings fans should become very familiar with in years to come. Along with rising stars such as Jimmy Howard, Jiri Hudler, Brett Lebda and Kyle Quincey, Filppula promises to be a mainstay of the next generation of talent emerging from the Red Wings’ farm system.continued
via the CP,
Ottawa right-winger Daniel Alfredsson and Dallas goaltender Marty Turco are the NHL's players of the month for November. Alfredsson was named top offensive player after amassing 25 points - 13 goals and 12 assists - and posting a plus-14 on the plus-minus scale in 12 games. He helped the Senators to a league-best 11-1-0 record during the month. Ottawa's captain edged Atlanta Thrashers left-wing llya Kovalchuk (13-13), Los Angeles Kings centre Pavol Demitra (6-15) and Philadelphia Flyers left-winger Simon Gagne (13-7), who put up their numbers in 14 games. Turco was named top defensive player after leading all goalies in wins with a 10-2-0 record, 1.90 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Turco edged Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff (8-2-0, 1.77) and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph (7-3-0, 1.79) for the award.
Over at the Hockeyfights forum, they discovered a story in the Swedish paper Afton Bladet that Stephen Walkom is interested in finding the best officials in the world for the NHL and is trying to establish an academy of some sorts in Europe. I am all for it, find the best in the world, train them properly and the officiating will be better in the long run. The raw translation of the article can be found in the comment section of this post.
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
I knew the Broadway Blueshirts would be good the moment Sports Illustrated picked them to finish 30th - - as in dead last! - - out of the 30 NHL teams. Since SI is never right, figuring that the Rangers would be hot stuff came easy to me. Actually, there were many factors playing into my optimism over Tom Renney’s skaters. One litmus test is how well the Blueshirts play when Jaromir Jagr is off his ‘A’ game. Interestingly, they usually win because of hard work, grit and determination. Thinking Stanley Cup is not out of the question; providing Jagr and Lundqvist stay healthy – and happy!more
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Penguins led the way in increased November attendance among individual clubs, followed by Carolina (+26%), Calgary (+24%), Tampa Bay (+24%), Boston (+18%), Florida (+16%), Nashville (+16%) and San Jose (+13%).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Had Thornton been a little angrier, played with the kind of ferocity that one usually associates with a captain and one of the highest paid players in the league, there might have been legitimate Cup talk in Boston, not parting shots for a favored son. But that wasn't in Thornton's nature. Never was. In the end, it turned out to be a huge mistake on the part of the Bruins to believe he could be that player, like a Messier or a Stevens or an Yzerman. In fact, in an interview with ESPN.com shortly after signing Thornton to a three-year, $20-million deal this summer, O'Connell invoked those names, suggesting it was time for Thornton to assume that kind of leadership mantel in the Bruin dressing room.read on
from Terry Frei of ESPN,
As soon as I'm done with this, I will have to battle the irresistible urge to call one of the Boston sports-talk radio stations and whine. ("Long-time listener, first-time caller, thanks for taking my call, hey, I mean, I gotta tell ya, was Mike O'Connell getting consulting advice from Theo Epstein on this one since Theo doesn't have anything to do these days?") It comes down to this: The Bruins are blaming Joe Thornton.continued from the Daily News,
Most hockey folks thought that would mean one of these three options: fire head coach Mike Sullivan; fire general manager Mike O'Connell; or fire both Sullivan and O'Connell. Instead, the Bruins brass decided to deal away Thornton — the player they inked to a three-year, $20 million dollar contract just 113 days ago — and get what they could for him.more
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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