Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“I need Thomas to play like he’s a $900,000 player because it seemed to do pretty good last year,” Ruff said with a laugh after this morning’s practice in HSBC Arena. “That’s my analogy. Just because you’re making more money doesn’t mean you have to change as a player. My expectations of him don’t change.”...
“If he can be consistent with last year, that would be a darn good year for Thomas,” Ruff said. “Is it realistic to think he can go from 25 [goals] to 44 to 70-something? I don’t think so. But if we can keep him in that consistent area and have him be that 40- to 50-goal scorer, that would be pretty good.”
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell is expected to be reinstated today, ending his indefinite suspension after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program last month.
Bell will now begin serving the additional 15 game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League and won’t make his Maple Leafs debut until November 6th in Ottawa.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Scenarios change so quickly, the starting job sometimes falls from the sky.
“You never know what the situation is,” Gerber says. “All I can do is put everything out there, try to work hard and everything else takes care of itself usually. You have to stay healthy. A lot of things play into it.”
The 34-year-old from Burgdorf, Switzerland, is more comfortable in his Canadian environment now, and more comfortable in the same old net. Known as a goaltending technician, Gerber has been working on the athletic side of his game - in particular, quickness and mobility.
Some predictions from me at my NHL.com blog today.
Feel free to come up with your own topics too!
Abel to Yzerman pointed out the Q & A interview the Wings braintrust did with the Detroit News. Here is another expert…
Ilitch: Oh, I do. I’ll speak up. I think we’ve got a good team, we got a good shot at the Cup. Last year we should’ve won the Cup. We were 2-2—and I’m gonna talk like a typical fan now—it was 2-2, and a minute and a half to go, and they called the cheapest penalty I’ve ever seen.
Devellano: Yeah, (expletive).
Bowman: Two-man system.
Ilitch: Now, and here’s the big tears coming out, but prior to that, Kenny brought it to the league’s attention, there was a flagrant penalty on Anaheim, right in front of the referee, and they didn’t call it. Then they turned around and called that (interference) penalty (on Datsyuk). We had that game won, and we’d have been up 3-2 in the series.
That same referee in 1994, when we were down 3-2 going into Toronto, we score four power-play goals, we come back to Detroit 3-3, and the referee did not call one penalty—not one—during the game or overtime. So you figure that one out. We lost, and that’s the same guy that made that call in this arena with a minute and a half to go.
from the Arizona Republic,
Two words this organization would like to forget, and with good reason: the worst record in the NHL’s Western Conference and the team’s poorest showing since moving to the Valley 11 seasons ago - 67 points (31-46-5), second fewest in the league.
“I definitely use it as a motivational tool,” defenseman Nick Boynton said. “We don’t want to harp on it, but, yeah, it’s embarrassing. You don’t want it to happen again. You’ve got to come out and prove it’s not going to be like that.”
But can things get better this time around?
from the News & Observer,
Commodore will make $1.3 million this season in the final year of a two-year contract. After that, if his progress continues, at age 28 he could find himself one of the top defensemen available on the market.
“I thought about it a little bit this summer, and it’s a little bit of motivation, I guess,” Commodore said. “Every summer you try and find something.
“Last year, my motivation was that I’m going to get a big opportunity to play, so I need to work a little harder in the weight room.
“This year, it’s a good opportunity for me to have another good year back-to-back and hopefully see where that takes me.”
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
Only 10 of the players who will start the season in Boston were on last year’s season-opening roster, reflecting the wholesale changes that have occurred in the last 12 months under general manager Peter Chiarelli.
“This is the group we’re going forward with as it stands (now),” Chiarelli said during a conference call. “But if there’s an area where we can improve and an opportunity to improve, we’re still going to look at it.”
The 13 new faces include winger Shawn Thornton, who was signed as a free agent this summer, and versatile forward Glen Metropolit, who made the team after being invited to camp without a contract. Chiarelli said he expects to have Metropolit signed within a day or two.
from the Windsor Star,
Can the Finn finish?
“I don’t think too much (about the increased expectations),” said Filppula, who had 10 goals and seven assists in limited playing time last season. “I think the biggest expectations are coming from myself.
“For me, what I’m expecting, is to continue what was going on at the end of last season. Getting more ice time and getting better and better. I think I improved my game as the season went on. “I haven’t really thought about the number of points I should be producing.”
A year ago, Filppula wasn’t even on the Red Wings’ opening night roster.
from the Edmonton Sun,
MacTavish said the players can sense there is something special happening here.
“It brings the optimism up, for sure,” he said of having four high-end skill players making the team together as toddlers.
He said the players can all sense “there’s the making of something real memorable here. If you get that skill with players willing to play hard and sacrifice, we’re going to have something special.”
He said there’s suddenly a foundation here which gives you that feeling of deja vu - “something we’ve seen here in the past when a young team comes together collectively.”
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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