Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
It's going to be up to Steve Yzerman to decide if he wants to suit up for Team Canada at the Olympics. While there's no hurry to make a decision, Team Canada associate coach Ken Hitchcock told the Sun yesterday the ball will be in the 41-year-old Yzerman's court to determine if he wants to play in Turin. Troubled by a nagging groin injury early this season, there has been speculation Yzerman might back out of playing for Canada to save himself for the playoffs for the Detroit Red Wings. Everybody on the Team Canada staff knows that Yzerman will do what's right for his country. "I think (executive director) Wayne (Gretzky) said it best: 'That's going to be up to Steve Yzerman to decide.' He's the only one who can make that decision," said Hitchcock prior to the Philadelphia Flyers' game against Ottawa last night.continued
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Alexander Perezhogin's elbow to the head of Keith Primeau apparently did more damage than the Flyers center initially realized. Primeau missed last night's game against the Ottawa Senators with concussion symptoms. He is out indefinitely. On Tuesday in Montreal, the Canadiens' Perezhogin elbowed Primeau, but no penalty was called. A day later, Primeau said he was relieved to be feeling pretty good. However, Primeau said he began fighting concussion symptoms before Friday's loss in Carolina, in which he was an uncustomary minus-3.
Who is your selection for offensive and defensive player of the month? To help you out, I recently added a 'Who's Hot/Not' link on the left sidebar of the 'Hockey Section' under 'Hockey Links'. My pick for offensive player is Eric Staal and the defensive award should go to Manny Legace.
from the CBC,
The beleaguered town of Stephenville got some good news this weekend, with its selection as host of the Hockey Day in Canada special in January. Stephenville was chosen as host for the CBC's sixth annual full-day hockey extravaganza, which this season will be held Jan. 7. Ron McLean and Don Cherry will be in Stephenville for all the festivities, which begin at noon ET, while CBC personalities will be on location at various sites around the country, providing a snapshot of Canada's arenas on any given Saturday. Hockey Day has become somewhat of an unofficial holiday for Canadian hockey fans. The 13.5-hour broadcast will take viewers on a journey across Canada to commemorate hockey's special place in all parts of the country.more
from the Asbury Park Press,
The obvious candidates in the early race for Rangers' MVP are right wing Jaromir Jagr and rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist. But left wing Martin Rucinsky has been just as good. Now Rucinsky's value to the team will be apparent through his absence. He will be sidelined two to four weeks after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the third period of the Rangers 5-2 win at Montreal on Saturday.
from the Long Beach Press-Telegram,
"I tell the team we need to play Mats Waltin hockey," Andy Murray said. What's that again? "I was a rookie coach in Switzerland and Mats Waltin was one of my players," Murray explained. "We would have a lead and I would be on the bench yelling, 'Get it in, shoot it in (the zone), don't let them get it." Finally Mats Waltin turned to me and said, 'Coach, just relax. Isn't it better if we just keep the puck and don't give it to them?" "So that's the key, is to have the puck and continue attacking."
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),
At this moment in time, is the NHLPA better served by anointing Saskin, with whom the league clearly has a close working relationship and whose candidacy Sixth Avenue clearly endorses, or is the union better served under the leadership of an independent counsel who will adopt a more traditionally adversarial approach with the overseers? If, as it now appears, the primary responsibility of the NHLPA is to prod the league into more aggressive and effective revenue-generating marketing campaigns, is it or is it not beneficial for the union to be led by an individual who's less likely to be a critical outside agitator? This, rather than simply the final escrow number — which a growing number of people on the union side now believe the league will find a way to tweak in order to keep to a single digit, thus aiding Saskin — is the underlying critical area for the players to consider.
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
So far, both the new rules and the new officiating approach are a roaring success. But like any radical departure from the norm, there are still a few rough edges to be worked out. Here are some suggestions, either for next season or sooner. Goalies are still too eager to freeze the puck. Fans want action. They didn't pay to see faceoffs. So, extend the anti-tedium crackdown to goalies who stop play when no attacker is within range. Furthermore, in cases where the puck is shot in from outside the blue line and the goalie is the first to touch it, he should be assessed a two-minute minor if he freezes it, whether the attacker is nearby or not. If the attacker is close to the crease by the time the goalie decides to fall on the puck, there was plenty of time to make a play.
from the Toronto Sun via the Edmontos Sun, These are the dark days for goons with fighting becoming a hollow exercise in the new-look NHL. "You don't need them," Detroit Red Wings senior vice-president Jimmy Devellano said of the tough guys. "All they do is get you penalties." If you scan NHL rosters, you'll find a deliberate trend. Fewer clubs see the need for someone whose sole function is to fight, including the Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche. The day of the goon "is over already," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "I still love physical players and I love having them in my lineup but if you can't skate, you can't even get involved in the play."
from the Boston Globe,
In The New Boston, the Bruins are a tough sell. Their only hope for salvation is to win, over and over and over, into the playoffs. Victories are their traction against the Sox and Pats. (Forget the Celtics. They're even further in the weeds.) Walk around Boston these days and listen for Bruins chatter. You won't hear any. They are simply not part of the vocabulary of this town in 2005. Part of the problem is the absence of a star. In this critical early period of the season -- Thursday's game was only the fourth at home since the season began on Oct. 5 -- a hero would help. The Bruins have none. Joe Thornton is a sputtering candle next to the klieg lights of Brady and Manny. They say Patrice Bergeron will be huge. Maybe.
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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