Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Sun,
The Leafs demoted Carlo Colaiacovo to the Marlies yesterday, a day after the Toronto native scored his first NHL goal. But far from being a callous move, it was designed as a cheaper parking space for the young defencemen until the weekend. "We had a day off and it didn't make fiscal sense to have him here," general manager John Ferguson told The Fan 590 last night. "We'll see how things look after practice (today)."
from Kevein DuPont of MSNBC,
.500 is a decent start for a team that has struggled in recent seasons. The Coyotes haven't been to the playoffs since the spring of '02 — predating the opening of their new arena, the start of the lockout, the signing of the new CBA, and even the brief appearance of Brett Hull in southwestern sweats. But coach of the year stuff? I don't think so. Not yet. Through those first 18 games, they were ranked ninth overall in the conference, which is just a hair out of the playoffs. If Gretz can nudge them, say, into a spot among the bottom 2-3 seeds in the West, then he'll at least have his name in the running. But just as it was in his playing days, No. 99 knows that everything is measured by playoff success, and there really is no success until the Coyotes at least qualify for games beyond mid-April. No doubt, there are some encouraging signs in the desert. A few that come to mind:
from the Ottawa Citizen,
For his part, Heatley couldn't have written a better first chapter for his new start in Ottawa. So far, it has been a fairy tale. "I didn't feel like the world was being lifted off my shoulders when I got traded, but it felt good to be back in Canada, and to be (in Ottawa)," he said yesterday. "And, with the lockout last year, I was champing at the bit. I wanted to get going. I was excited. So I guess it has been a combination of all that. "Obviously, any time you come to a new team, you want to get off to a fast start, and, with the lockout, with the things that were said, I just wanted to get back to playing the way I can play."
from the Toronto Star,
The Leafs, meanwhile, have been one of the biggest benefactors of the crackdown on obstruction and stick fouls so far. Of the 58 non-shootout goals the Leafs have scored so far this season, 26 have come on the power play. That accounts for 44.8 per cent of their goals this season, which puts them fourth in the NHL in that department behind the Atlanta Thrashers (52.4) Phoenix Coyotes (46.9) and Montreal Canadiens (47.0). Which makes it all the more perplexing why Leaf coach Pat Quinn railed against the new NHL earlier this season, a rant that earned him a $1,000 fine from the league. "It's a different game," Sundin said. "You can't take as many penalties the way we have been doing and we have to be better in our own end."
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
If there's a trend emerging in the early going of the NHL season, you have to look no further than New Jersey or Tampa Bay to see it. It's called tough love and NHL head coaches are demonstrating they're not afraid to employ it. Veteran star Alexander Mogilny, who's pulling down $3.5 million for the New Jersey Devils, was a healthy scratch against the New York Islanders Tuesday night.
from the Clanton Advertiser (Alabama),
In the midst of this football cornucopia, we actually have basketball and hockey games going on, too. That's right, hockey's back. By now you've probably seen one of the NHL's commercials broadcasting, as I said, that hockey is back. If you're anything like me, you just changed the channel. There were no (zero!) hockey games last year, and I never even noticed. I understand that there are NHL fans out there who scoff at me for being such a fool to avoid the "wonderful" sport of hockey, but I've got a couple of football games to watch, so you'll forgive me if I just don't listen. Has any league ever started (or in this case, started back) with less hoopla? Not having hockey highlights last year just made Sportscenter feel like a fresher, shorter, more analysis-based show. And I already miss that. I'd still rather listen to a 15-minute rant by Stephen A. Smith or Sean Salisbury than watch a hockey highlight.
from Elisha Cuthbert, special blogger of NHL.com,
My name is Elisha Cuthbert, born in Calgary, Alberta, but raised in Montreal, Quebec. Growing up in Canada opened my eyes to the world of hockey. My brother plays on two teams -- his school and city. My mother plays on a team as well. I, on the other hand, am just an actress who loves the sport and does not play -- but that doesn't mean I can't talk about it!continued
from Fox Sports,
Russian coach Vladimir Krikunov has been touring NHL arenas in the last while, feeling out players about whether they want to play in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. When Krikunov was asked whether player recruitment was Bure's job, he didn't exactly agree with that assessment. He said the title of GM is more like a figurehead title and saw Bure as some sort of an attache. "I think Bure will be more of an Olympic committee representative," Krikunov is quoted as saying. Sounds like the forces of divisiveness are at work again.
Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette was asked about the new NHL... via the Globe and Mail,
"It's ridiculous. You sit at a game now and you know there's going to be a steady parade of people going to the penalty box. You're almost assured of some team having a 5-on-3 late in the third period, and the other team is going to get a 5-on-3 even later in the third period. "What it comes down to is, the referees are deciding the outcomes of the games," Fisher said. "It's complete nonsense.Fisher should know, he has been covering hockey for 51 years.
Highlighting the 'Ugly" from Barry Melrose of ESPN,
Three veteran goalies have gotten off to ugly starts: Nikolai Khabibulin in Chicago, Rick DiPietro with the New York Islanders and Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. They are three of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but I don't think the trio is enjoying the new NHL. All three netminders are under .500, all are over 3.00 in GAA and all are under .900 in save percentage. Compare these three goalies, and money they make, to someone like Labarbera. Look at those numbers.
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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