Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Washington Post,
“There’s no question: There’s desperation now, even though it’s not even 20 games yet,” Kolzig said after yesterday’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “Any time you go on a winless streak that we’ve been on, you’ve got to turn the tables and do the exact opposite to get back into it. For the good teams, the losing streaks never outlast the winning streaks.
“The bottom line is we have to put a streak together.”
Of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs last season, only Ottawa had as few as 13 points after as many games. But the talented and deep Senators won nine of their next 11 games and earned a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.
more (reg. req.)
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
How would Brett Hull the GM have handled the outspoken, larger-than-life Brett Hull as a player. His answer, word for word:
“You know what? That was the problem. Everyone tried to deal with him (Brett, speaking in the third person) instead of just letting him go out and play - or letting him be himself. If there was a Brett Hull out there right now, I would try to get him - because I know, he’s passionate about the game and brings a dynamic into my room…”.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
But the real-life Toronto NHL team has had more strange twists and turns this season than any Hollywood film — all before the 20-game mark, which the Leafs will hit when they visit the Boston Bruins tonight.
“My favourite movie is Shawshank Redemption,” Leafs forward Darcy Tucker said. “It’s a movie about an innocent man sent to prison. He has to crawl out, for the lack of a better [phrase], a tunnel of [expletive] in order to free himself. Maybe we have to go through something similar to become a better team.”
The strange but true happenings with the Leafs in the past six months are Harold Ballard-esque, and the eccentric former owner passed away more than 17 years ago.
from the Anaheim Ducks,
One day after getting back to the .500 mark with a thrilling shootout victory over rival Los Angeles, the Ducks continued to remain upbeat Wednesday with a double dose of good news.
First, the Ducks received word that Chris Pronger’s suspension from an instigating call against the Kings was rescinded by the NHL. Then, the team’s lone injured player, Todd Bertuzzi (concussion), returned to practice and participated in non-contact drills for over 30 minutes.
from Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider on AO contract talks…
Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he’s not sure when they might.
I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, “No.” Then he paused for a moment before saying, “Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don’t think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don’t start talking. We just wait. We still have time.”
This earlier today from Marty York at Metro News,
Two young NHL stars, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and forward Alexander Ovechkin, have rejected contract-extension proposals from the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals, respectively.
The Caps offered Ovechkin a five-year pact similar to the deal the Pittsburgh Penguins gave Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million a season), but the sniper is demanding more — between $9- and $10-million a year.
From Erik Boland at Newsday,
The quarterback for a power play that Islanders coach Ted Nolan said lacked power in Monday’s loss to Philadelphia expects to be back on the ice tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Bryan Berard took the point position on the power play during practice yesterday and said the injured groin that has kept him sidelined six straight games felt “100 percent.”
Berard has not played since leaving the Oct. 20 game against the Devils. “Today was probably the first day I felt 100 percent,” he said. “It’s been a little longer than I would have liked but I kind of got lucky enough where with our schedule, I haven’t missed that many games.”
from the St. Peterburg Times,
Here in the prime of Vincent Lecavalier, let it be agreed there is more to the man than any one of us had reason to suspect.
He is bigger than he has ever been. He is better. There is more strength to him than before, more character, more impact. He has blossomed into a man of a substance. He has developed into something special.
It is true of Lecavalier, player.
It is also true of Lecavalier, person.
from Game On,
Alive and well. Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez.
By a remarkable scheduling coincidence, they meet on Wednesday night at The Rock for the Rangers’ first trip to Newark’s fabulous Prudential Center.
In a sense, it’s a meeting of The Comeback Kids: both player-wise and team-wise.
from Blueland Blog,
Getting Ilya to talk about himself right now is like pulling teeth. When he was asked about his OT goal last night the first thing he said was that it was all about Todd White’s hard work. He’s deflecting attention from himself and heaping praise on his teammates at every opportunity. I’m convinced that if a reporter offered him $1,000 in cash to take credit for a goal he’d pass it up right now.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
If I am Brett Hull, I call Bob Gainey and ask him about patience as a GM. How developing and sticking with a game plan is better than always being on the lookout for a one-timer.
If I am Brett Hull, I call Ken Hitchcock and get him to thoroughly explain to me the value of teamwork, preparation and defensive play.
If I am Brett Hull, I call Lombardi and ask him how to build and guide a scouting staff.
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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