Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Washington Times,
Did you run into Crosby at any point this summer?
“Yeah, I call him every day,” he said before rolling his eyes. “He’s Crosby, I’m Ovechkin. I am here. He’s over there. Why I have to call him in the summer and say, ‘Hey, what’s up buddy? What are you doing?’ “
Ovechkin’s smugness about the subject underscored the general theme from members of the Washington Capitals organization at practice yesterday
“We’re learning the lessons with our team that Buffalo learned five or six years ago,” Hitchcock said. “This team (the Sabres) never gets the credit for the work they put in. Yeah, they can finish (their chances), but it’s not like the other team gives them the puck and says, ‘Have a go at it.’
“They win all the races to the puck and do something with it. That’s why it looks like you get overwhelmed with their speed.
“That’s the kind of game we are learning how to play.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For those who understand what the Cubs mean to baseball, what the Bears mean to the NFL and what the Bulls came to mean to the NBA, it’s not too hard to comprehend that the disappearance of the Blackhawks as a successful team and popular drawing card at the same time the world of media has expanded and diversified has been a major, major problem for the NHL.
These days, there’s a least hope that change is on the way.
from the Mercury News,
But if the Sharks are to escape their early season doldrums, goalie Evgeni Nabokov said, that has to change.
“Everybody’s talking about how good we are, how talented we are, how fast we are, how big we are,” Nabokov said. “We have to put all of that aside and just start working hard. It’s wasting our skills if we don’t. Teams are learning how to defend us, so now we have to answer that by playing like a bunch of hungry guys.”
So far that has been easier said than done.
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
Recent history has proven that the teams usually left standing at the end, run, not stumble, out of the gate in the fall. Tampa Bay, winner in 2004, was 6-0-1 in October. Carolina, winner in 2006, was 8-2-1 the first month of the season. Anaheim, winner last season, started 9-0-3. The past 10 champions were a combined 78-17-14 in October. You get the idea.
Let’s examine the six Canadian teams and their starts and chances.
There certainly isn’t much to complain about, as the Senators contemplate heading to Muskoka for three days of relaxation next week, although they admit there have been nights when they won but still could have played better
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Get this: The Rangers have been shut out in 12 of the season’s 18 periods. They have scored 10 of their 13 total goals in three periods (four in the third period of the opener against the Panthers, three in the first period of last Friday’s victory over the Caps, and three in Thursday’s third period). They have scored seven goals at even strength, two in the five games since the opener.
Jagr, who has scored once, has been on the ice for one even-strength goal since the opener. Chris Drury hasn’t been on the ice for an even-strength goal since opening night.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
...But lurking beneath the bad and the ugly, the Flyers have also built a team that might be awfully good. From the rubble of last season, the Flyers have constructed a suddenly scary offense and a team, with a few exceptions, that is less reliant on the thuggery that brings flashbacks to the days of the notorious Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s.
“We like the direction we’re going,” Flyers Coach John Stevens said this week. “Our fans are excited. The crowds at home have been just terrific and people are saying we’re an exciting team to watch, and that means a lot. But if we are going to fly under the radar a little, that’s O.K., too.”
from the Toronton Star,
Time was that when you wanted to learn more about a player or the game itself, you were limited to traditional forms of media. And, unless you wanted to head down the arena to boo, it was one-way communication.
Now, your favourite player might post a blog, he might be reading messages on social networking websites or he might have his own website on which he entertains comments and queries.
“Fans feel free to email me, ask a question or tell me I suck,” said Wade Belak, who started his own website as a way to keep family and friends in western Canada up to speed.
from Bruce Garroch of the Ottawa Sun,
It was 2:30 a.m. yesterday by the time Foligno pulled into the driveway of his Sudbury home after the Wolves made their way back from a game in Brampton and his wife, Janis, had the VCR cued up so the father of Senators winger Nick Foligno could see his son in action.
The former NHLer had already heard Nick paid tribute to him by leaping in the air after scoring his first goal in the club’s 4-3 victory over the Canadiens on Thursday, but the elder Foligno couldn’t wait to see it….
“I really thought the jump was great. You know, I thought it was nice that the Senators allowed him to do that. They are such a class organization because they respect the tradition. I really think whenever somebody scores in the NHL, that’s the one time that you’re allowed to be a kid again.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“We’ve got confidence in Marc-Andre Fleury,” Therrien said. “He won a lot of games for us last year. We believe in the kid. He just needs to be himself.
“Right now, we’re not panicking. We know that he’s going to get better. It’s a matter of time. There’s nothing wrong with facing adversity for a player or as a team because you know that eventually it’s going to make you better.”
General manager Ray Shero also backs Fleury and denied a report by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that the Penguins are shopping for a veteran goaltender to back up and perhaps challenge Fleury.
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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