Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Post,
Lamoriello confirmed that he will be a buyer, not a seller in this annual garage sale, but would not reveal his preferred positions to upgrade. Still, the Devils obviously have yet to fill the No. 1 center hole left by Scott Gomez’s departure.
One source suggests that Chicago’s Robert Lang may be Lamoriello’s rental quarry, unless, of course, he can pry Martin Havlat from the Hawks, although Havlat would not be a rental. Others who may be considered include Ladislav Nagy of the Kings, Olli Jokinen and Jozef Stumpel of the Panthers, Mats Sundin of Toronto, Marian Hossa of Atlanta, and the Tampa stars, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards. No-trade clauses cloud the picture, but Lang may be the one.
Lamoriello is surely intent on adding a Top Four defenseman, too.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Can somebody explain to me what’s been happening thus far in the new My NHL 3? I mean ... if you can find someone who suggested before the start of the season that the Canadiens would be sitting only three points out of first in the Eastern Conference with fewer than 30 games remaining in the regular-season schedule - well, introduce him to me.
Can you find even one person who imagined the Washington Capitals sitting on top of the Southeast Division awaiting tonight’s game with the visiting Carolina Hurricanes? Or Colorado, led by a fellow named José Theodore, in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase despite long-term injuries to Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny?
from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,
The face wash is a baiting tactic that has been around since gloves were invented, or, as the Devils television announcer Chico Resch said, “since hands were invented.”
“It’s a pride issue,” said Resch, a former goaltender, who played for the Islanders and the Devils during his 14-year N.H.L. career. “If I keep trying to rub my hands into your face, you’re going to get angry. The face is sort of an untouchable territory.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“Gary Bettman made it very clear that I was going to be one of the players watched with a second eye,” said Hollweg, whose suspension was automatic for having been assessed a third game-misconduct this season. “I know they have my number, I know I’m being watched, but what does that have to do with it when I get hit in the face by an elbow?
“It shouldn’t matter who it is. If I do something to another player or if another player does something to me, it should be judged on the same scale.”
from Slap Shot at the NYT,
Anaheim Ducks General Manager Brian Burke said he asked the Islanders for a credential for Pat LaFontaine, a former Islander and Hall of Famer, so he could sit with him on Tuesday night when the Ducks played at Nassau Coliseum. But the Islanders would not grant him one. Burke said he reiterated his request as a personal favor and was again refused.
From Howard Berger at the National Post,
Tucker has a no-trade provision in the four-year, US$12-million extension he signed last March, and he has been evasive when answering questions from reporters about his willingness to waive the clause. But, after the Leafs’ morning skate at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Thursday, Tucker opened up a bit, and he sounded like a man who is firmly entrenched in Toronto. “I believe in the organization and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs,” he said. “I signed here last year to stay. At that particular time in my career, I could have taken the option to explore free agency and I didn’t. Not only have the Maple Leafs been good to me, but I think my allegiance to this team has shown in the last eight years.” When asked about the prospect of changing his mind before Feb. 26, Tucker replied, “I don’t see myself changing that philosophy.”
“I have no intention of trading Adam Foote if we’re in a playoff race,” Howson said. “But I must do what is best for the franchise.”
What constitutes a “playoff race” in Howson’s eyes? He says there is no magic number of points behind or ahead of the final playoff spot when making such a call. Also, he won’t put a hard date on when to make a decision.
The trading deadline is Feb. 26.
Howson spelled out a four-point criteria he will use in determining whether the Jackets are a contender:
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
What’s happening to the Oilers isn’t bad management, it’s mostly bad luck, but it does illustrate the risks that come with signing young players to contracts based largely on what they are projected to do and the way injuries can rip apart a team….
All of this makes things difficult for Lowe, but fascinating for those who look at the Oilers without a rooting interest.
Will he accept his apparent fate and allow his team to go slowly into its goodnight, much the way he did last season, or will he become a buyer at the trade deadline like he did two seasons ago when the moves made paid off with a stunning run to the Stanley Cup final?
via the Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson, who hasn’t played since Dec. 22 because of abdominal inflammation, is “an option” for Thursday night’s game against the New York Rangers, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, but Pahlsson’s return appears more likely to come Friday night against the New Jersey Devils….
Barring a last-minute injury, illness or other unexpected occurrence, Pahlsson is not likely to play against the Rangers. Most likely, Carlyle does not want to put Pahlsson back in the lineup and test him immediately with a back-to-back challenge, given Friday’s assignment across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
from the Province,
The Canucks are 10th in the Western Conference with 59 points, but just five points back of division-leading Minnesota. They are also just two points up on Columbus and four ahead of St. Louis and Edmonton.
What does this all mean?
If you calculate that it’s going to take 95 points to secure a playoff position, then the Canucks will need to go on an 18-10 run the rest of the way. Daunting, but doable, according to captain Markus Naslund.
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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