Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit Free Press (Tuesday edition) via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
Now 34, Holmstrom’s saga reveals a player who is putting up career numbers on a regular basis, with 29 goals two seasons ago, 30 last season and on pace for 43 this season. Entering tonight’s game against St. Louis, Holmstrom is tied with linemate Pavel Datsyuk for second on the team in scoring with 16 points after 17 games.
The courage Holmstrom displays as he stands in the path of vulcanized rubber on a nightly basis has won him many admirers, from those who shoot at him to those who emulate him.
Nicklas Lidstrom, who almost always is on the ice at the same time as Holmstrom and his line with Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, exemplifies the former. Having Holmstrom in front of the net allows Lidstrom the freedom to miss the net on purpose at times.
‘‘You can see his stick, so you try to shoot it where Homer’s stick is,’’ Lidstrom said. ‘‘So sometimes you shoot it wide because you know he is going to try to get it or deflect it into the net.’‘
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail (Tuesday edition),
Hockey Night in Canada’s Hotstove panel on Saturday, composed of journalists for the first time this season, was provocative and entertaining — something it hasn’t been when retired players Scott Mellanby, Sean Burke and P.J. Stock made up the panel.
Al Strachan, who made his first appearance since 2005, when he was bounced from the show (some NHL club officials had complained to the CBC about the quality of his information), reported that TSN hockey analyst Glenn Healy is rumoured to be the leading candidate to replace Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson.
It seemed like a trip into fantasyland, but was it? Sources say the Maple Leafs wanted to hire Healy about a year ago as Ferguson’s assistant.
more hockey media talk…
The NHL is investigating an on-ice incident involving abrasive New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, according to the Canadian Press.
Avery, 27, shoved Jason Blake and got into a heated exchange with Darcy Tucker during the pre-game warmup prior to Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
“He has no sense of class,” Tucker told reporters following Monday’s skate.
Avery allegedly irked Tucker by saying something inappropriate to Blake, who revealed Oct. 8 that he is suffering from a rare but treatable form of leukemia (chronic myelogenous).
added 6:30am on 11/13/07, from the Globe and Mail,
The agent for New York Rangers forward Sean Avery was steaming mad that a radio report yesterday suggested that taunts made by his client during the pregame skate on Saturday evening were directed toward Toronto Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake, who is battling against cancer.
The FAN 590 in Toronto reported that an unnamed Rangers player said Avery ignited a scuffle with Leafs forward Darcy Tucker because of insensitive remarks.
Although Avery did not publicly comment yesterday on the radio station’s accusation, behind closed doors he and other Rangers said the remarks made by Avery were directed at Tucker and his family.
added 7:01am on 11/13/07, from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sean Avery is preparing to file a libel charge against a Toronto radio personality who reported yesterday that Saturday’s pregame skirmish between the Rangers’ winger and the Maple Leafs’ Darcy Tucker was incited by Avery referring to Jason Blake’s cancer condition, The Post has learned.
Advised by his attorney to decline public comment, Avery has privately denied the charge as broadcast by Howard Berger over The Fan 590.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When GM Darryl Sutter deposed Jim Playfair as coach after one season and installed Iron Mike, the thinking was that the Flames had to get back to the hard-nosed play that saw them advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. Sutter, whose relationship with Keenan extends back to their shared days in Chicago, believed the old task master was just the man to do the job.
Now, with the team in a free fall, there are questions about its preparation, focus, drive, energy and desire. Those are all of the things, the intangibles, Keenan was supposed to bring to the table. Those are coaching issues.
Fernando Pisani is planning on playing for the Edmonton Oilers this season.
The 30-year-old skated on Monday with some injured teammates to try and get himself back into game shape. Pisani has been out all season while battling ulcerative colitis.
“Just being out there with the guys is a lot of fun and now it’s time to get back to work and hopefully get out there soon,” said Pisani
Even more unexpected was the unveiling of a brand new XM satellite radio show hosted by – wait for it – Gary B. Bettman!
Even if it winds up being the hockey equivalent of The Chevy Chase Show, I sincerely hope Bettman’s program lasts long enough so he can get Ron MacLean as one of his guests; and I really sincerely hope he holds the Hockey Night In Canada host hostage live on air until MacLean agrees with Bettman’s philosophies on the game. Payback’s a bitch.
-Adam Proteau of the Hockey News
from the Palm Beach-Post,
It’s not like these guys are a bunch of losers. Jokinen and linemate Ville Peltonen won silver medals with Finland at the 2006 Olympics. Mike Van Ryn won a national championship at the University of Michigan. Ruslan Salei, Radek Dvorak and Steve Montador have all come within one win of a Stanley Cup. Nathan Horton won gold with Canada in the World Under-18 championships.
But collectively, there’s some mental bridge that has been impossible to cross. Not that there’s any shortage of thoughts on the subject.
“We just have to have the mental preparation and focus, even if it needs to be 30 seconds at a time,” Peltonen said. “Create that as a habit, do it as well as you can every time out there, and the result will come.”
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Captain Bill Guerin did not accompany the Islanders to Philadelphia for their game against the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers tonight at Wachovia Center. Guerin was hit in the eye by a puck in Saturday’s home win over the Devils and is suffering from a condition known as hyphema, which is bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.
When Guerin was hit by the puck, it caused a blood vessel to burst and essentially turned the eye red and made it difficult to see when he took two brief shifts at the start of the third period. The Islanders described Guerin’s condition as day-to-day while he waits for the swelling around the eye to subside and for his vision to clear.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Can Elias recover the skills that once elevated him to the upper echelon of forwards? One would like to think so; for his and the Devils’ sake. However, if he doesn’t emerge from his slough of scoring despond, Sutter’s fail-safe hope has to be Langenbrunner, champing at the bit to return.
Now wouldn’t it be something if Elias and Langenbrunner simultaneously began flashing the red light, along with Gionta, Zubrus, et. al.
Or is that as dreamy as a white Christmas?
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier, Phoenix Coyotes forward Steven Reinprecht and San Jose Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending November 11.
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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