Kukla's Korner Hockey
This hot-and-cold argument has raged almost from the time composite sticks became popular, early in the 2002-03 season. It was very much a topic in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ dressing room Friday after defenceman Pavel Kubina’s stick disintegrated as he leaned into a wide-open slapshot in Tampa on Thursday, which might have provided the visitors with a last-minute victory.
Instead, the Lightning broke away on an odd-man rush and Vincent Lecavalier slapped in the decisive tally with 41.6 seconds left in regulation time.
“Yeah, a broken stick probably cost us a game the other night,” forward Matt Stajan said.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Once the Blackhawks winger found out Chicago was playing in Ottawa, he purchased a private box at Scotiabank Place for all his close buddies in the capital….
“It’s going to be special to come back there and play in my first game,” said Havlat, 26, the Senators’ top pick in 1999 with the No. 26 selection. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. There were so many good nights in that building, so many special moments and the thing I enjoyed the most was that we always had a team that made the playoffs.
“We always had a chance ever year. The winning, and having the chance to win, was always something I enjoyed. That’s what every hockey player wants to have in his career.”
Minutes after the Blue Jackets escaped with a 2-1 win over the last-place L.A. Kings, a Russian journalist approached coach Ken Hitchcock with a bizarre question.
Were the Blue Jackets about to trade Sergei Fedorov to the Montreal Canadiens? The reporter said this is what his sources in Moscow are telling him.
Hitchcock denied the rumor. Fedorov, a free agent at season’s end, might be traded but it seems a bit early for such a deal….
OK, here’s the other little nugget of the night. New York Rangers scout Rick Kehoe has been spotted here on three occasions in recent weeks. On Thursday, Jackets’ general manager Scott Howson watched the Rangers play in Minnesota. Hey, we can speculate, no?
from the Mercury News,
Just as the Sharks were supposed to begin practice Friday, they instead headed off the ice and right back to the locker room. And for two hours they talked.
At the prompting of General Manager Doug Wilson, the players held a closed-door, marathon meeting without the coaches present as they tried to sort out why a trendy pick to compete for the Stanley Cup continues to perform below expectations.
Consider this your official confirmation: Nobody is happy in Sharksland….
Nabokov and several other players declined to give specifics about what was said. But they indicated that Doug Wilson talked to the team first and then the floor was opened for the players to speak their minds about a team that has been inconsistent and sometimes lacked competitive fire.
read on (reg. may be req.)
from the News & Observer,
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams will have reconstructive knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will be out of action for four to six months, the team has announced.
Williams suffered the injury when he was hit in the offensive zone during the first period of Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
I just spoke with Wings general manager Ken Holland and he said Tomas Holmstrom won’t play Saturday at Minnesota because of an injured right knee. Holmstrom is flying back to Detroit and will have an MRI on Saturday morning….
“After the game we didn’t think it was anything significant,” Holland said. “He woke up this morning and it’s a little swollen and tender in some areas. He’s not playing tomorrow night.”
a little more...
via Lightning Strikes,
An update on center Craig MacDonald, who had to leave Thursday’s game after being hit in the mouth with a wrist shot from Maple Leafs defenseman Hal Gill.
The team said on Friday MacDonald lost nine teeth, five cleanly while four were shaved in half. He received numerous stitches to his tongue and the inside of his lower lip, and a few more on his chin.
As if that weren’t enough, Friday morning he needed three root canals.
Amazing that given all that damage he skated himself off the ice. He’s a hockey player.
from “The Scout” at Globe and Mail,
One of my contacts in the business is a Russian insider who grew up under the old Communist regime, who played for the Soviet Wings and worked for NHL teams . On the eve of the world juniors, I spoke with him to help us understand the Russian mentality these days….
Where do you see Russian hockey in five years? What has to be done to restore the glory?
Good coaches. There is a big change of coaches coming. Most of the coaches in the Elite league are over 60 years old. New guys will come. With their desire to create something, with their willingness to win, Russian hockey will step up and forward. It won’t take a long time and I am sure new Tarasovs and Tikhonovs are coming.
via Bruins Blog,
Glen Murray will most likely miss the next two games because of an injured hip flexor.
Murray didn’t practice today and Claude Julien said he will be re-evaluated after Christmas, making him unavailable tomorrow and Sunday against Pittsburgh. Murray left in the second period of last night’s game and didn’t return.
Peter Schaefer (bruised left foot) and Andrew Alberts (post-concussion syndrome symptoms) also didn’t practice and are questionable for tomorrow’s matinee against St. Louis.
In our “Friday Faceoff,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Is this season’s outdoor game a good or bad thing?
Damien: Actually, it’s endeavour. Not that you were born here in Canada or anything. The outdoor event? Oh sure, great idea. Well, great old idea. Or just old idea. Look, if people want to sit in a Buffalo snowdrift and “watch” an NHL game from 300 feet away, God bless ‘em. But don’t tell me this game should count in the standings. It makes a mockery of the game. You’ll have guys out there in toques playing on crappy ice hoping to get the wind for the third period.
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