Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the St. Petersburg Times,
The Lightning's troubles got worse Sunday. Defending league MVP Marty St. Louis will miss two to four weeks after breaking his left ring finger during practice at the St. Pete Times Forum. St. Louis raced off the ice, dripping blood from his hand after being struck by a shot from defenseman Darryl Sydor during a power-play drill.
via the St. Louis Blues,
Each week Blues veteran defenseman Eric Weinrich will be sharing his thoughts and experiences from the NHL season with fans here at his online journal: In 1988, a young man from Gardiner,Maine, was working construction during the summer. Fresh off the Olympics in 1988, he was ready to return to college at the University of Maine for a third year. After two weeks of minimum wage and 5 a.m. alarms, he got a visit from an old teammate who had just turned pro. After the weekend with his friend, his life changed forever. That young man was me, of course, and here I am writing to you 17 years later. I am honored to have played with and against some of the greatest players who have ever played the game. Take Peter Statsny for example. He was a Slovakian who defected from his country to play in the NHL and became one of the greatest playmakers ever, as well as a hero to hockey players in his homeland.
from Fox Sports,
Given what he's done with one good eye, it's scary to think what Mats Sundin will be like when he no longer has blurred vision in his left eye. Sundin may not lead the hard-nosed way Doug Gilmour did, and he may not flatten people like Wendel Clark used to do, but the slick Swede leads in his own way. Sundin is also one of those few players in the NHL who can change the tempo of a game on one shift. He is an agile skater for a big man, he protects the puck along the wall, and he makes it hard for people to reach in without taking a penalty.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
So what happened to this Sharks team that is supposed to be so fast, so possessive of the puck it can play keep-away, dictate how games are played from the outset and dance to victory more often than not? What happened to the new rules being a perfect fit for this team? What happened to the power play, suffocating defense and consistent goaltending? Why are there more questions than answers 17 games into the season? The Sharks are asking these same questions as well.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Bryan Murray has been around the NHL for a lot of years -- 25 to be exact -- but he's getting a chance this season to see and experience some things for the first time. Having a player like forward Dany Heatley, for instance. "I don't know if I have had a power forward like him," said Murray, who invoked the name of Cam Neely, who defined the position and was inducted into the Hall of Fame Monday, when asked about Heatley. "Cam was different on the forecheck," said Murray of Neely, who played a much more physically punishing game than Heatley. "But there aren't many guys like (Heatley) in the NHL."
from the Boston Herald,
With nearly a quarter of their season completed, the Bruins are among the most disappointing teams in the NHL. So how in the world did a team that believed it was positioned better than almost any other franchise to deal with the “new” NHL – taking almost a smug attitude about its master plan – end up in such a revolting predicament? It was a series of miscalculations – understandable, but miscalculations nonetheless – that helped produce a team that so far has been deeply flawed. The B’s own a .500 record (7-7-5), have lost their last three games and won just four of their last 14. This is the new, improved version of a team that, at this point in 2003-04, was 11-2-3-3.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
During my weekend visit to Detroit, I often was asked about the Avalanche. Even the Red Wings players tended to be curious. Everyone involved seems to concede that the Colorado-Detroit rivalry has lost a bit of its steam and enmity. In fact, the Red Wings' Kirk Maltby jokingly said, "But the rivalry isn't the same anymore!" Yet in the early days under the new collective bargaining agreement and a $39 million salary cap, the two franchises - and even their fans - can identify with each other, up to a point. Nearly one-fourth of the way into the first season of the New NHL, I have been admitting to all who ask that I don't yet have a grasp for how good this team will be by playoff time - when it matters. Now? The Avalanche is good. Not anything close to great.
from the Globe and Mail,
Legendary Hall of Famer Yvan Cournoyer admitted over the weekend that his passion for hockey had dwindled not too long ago. Even though he could watch games in the wonderful Bell Centre atmosphere, Cournoyer no longer had the enthusiasm to attend National Hockey League games in 2003-04. "I only go to about half the games now, but I think I will start going to more," said Cournoyer, who along with Dickie Moore had their number 12s retired by the Canadiens in a pregame ceremony before the Leafs' 5-4 overtime victory. "Hockey is a wonderful game, but it hurt to watch the old game. Once a team got a lead two years ago, the game was over. But I think the game is exciting again. Teams can come back and win games."
from the Toronto Sun,
A schoolyard argument is brewing in the National Hockey League, with lots of boasting that: "My division is tougher than your's." Only three times since the Maple Leafs moved to the Northeast in 1998 has a divisions finished with nothing but .500 teams. This year, with every club on mostly equal footing because of the rules and salary cap, the Northeast, Northwest and Pacific have five teams either at, near or above the break-even point. "We talked about it in Buffalo on Friday," Leafs defenceman Alexander Khavanov said. "This is probably the toughest division in hockey right now. Looking at statistics is dull, but everyone is at .500 and you have to play them all eight times.
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
In the National Football League, it is a serious transgression to mislead the public with regard to injuries. In the National Hockey League, it's all but mandatory. You may remember, for instance, the 'flu attack that took Scott Stevens out of the New Jersey Devils lineup for a few days. Then a few weeks. Then a few months. Finally, Stevens retired. There never was any 'flu. He had a career-ending concussion. Last month, it took constant media grilling to get Leafs general manager John Ferguson to disclose any information about the nature of Mats Sundin's eye injury, even though it was obvious to everyone that this was more than a minor problem. In their defence, hockey people say they want to protect their players. But did Ferguson think that opponents would target Sundin's eye? The Philadelphia Flyers are refusing any comment about the status of Keith Primeau other than to say he has a concussion. Even Primeau himself, who usually is highly co-operative, is avoiding the media.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org