Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

USA Goaltenders- Down They Go

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With the start of the Olympic tournament just six weeks off and the U.S. goaltending picture getting uglier by the day, Buffalo Sabres rookie netminder Ryan Miller continues to be a painful reminder of an opportunity lost. Team USA general manager Don Waddell and the rest of the management team thought the broken thumb that cost Miller six weeks of his first NHL season and his relative inexperience were enough to push him down the U.S. depth chart and off the 23-man roster announced on Dec. 19. And who could blame them, really? But since the team was named, things have gotten progressively worse.
read on

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Spacek Supsended

Jaroslav Spacek suspended for two games and fined for the dive he took at Calgary's Byron Ritchie. See the artilce earlier in the day... update 2:05pm, via TSN,

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jaroslav Spacek has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of a clipping incident in Monday night's game against the Calgary Flames. Spacek was assessed a minor penalty for clipping against Flames player Byron Ritchie early in the third period of Chicago's 3-2 loss. The suspension will cost Spacek $22,959.18 in salary. Spacek will be able to rejoin the Blackhawks January 8th against Nashville.
no mention of any fine though, maybe it is just the loss of salary...

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NHL Power Brokers

from the CP via CJAD,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shot up 34 spots to sixth on the Sporting News' annual Power 100 ranking of the most influential people in sports. Bettman finished 40th on last year's list but made the dramatic jump after overseeing the lockout, negotiating a salary cap in the new collective bargaining agreement with players and implementing a series of rule changes that have helped improve the NHL game. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was 17th on the list while executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell was 32nd.
more...inlcuding Shanahan ranked 32nd.

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Wesley Out 4-6 Weeks

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee. Wesley suffered a second-degree sprain in his MCL during a 5-3 win versus Montreal on December 31st. He had 1 goal and 6 assists and was a +10 before his injury.

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The Man-Child

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

"He's the future of our league along with guys like Jarome Iginla and Brad Richards and Vinny Lecavalier," said New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. "He puts himself in good positions to make these moves. A lot of guys can make these moves, but he does it at a high speed. He's the future of our league. "There are a lot of young players in the league who want to be goal-scorers, but some don't want to pay the price. He'll do it. ... and what is so great about Rick Nash is he does is with a flair, with creativity for such a big man."
read on

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Stanley Cup Champs Visit Long Island…

...and a announced crowd of 10,912 shows up? Can it get any worse right now for the Islanders; the fire Stirling chant was heard loud and clear last night and Yashin is invisible. When your higest paid player get only 13 1/2 minutes of ice time, something is very wrong. Yashin is confused and states, "I wish I could help the team and I'm disappointed. I wish something would go right for me, personally, and for my line to give some success. I don't know how many scoring chances we had today. I just wish something would go in." Stirling rises to the top of my list for the next coach fired.

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Cheapshot

from Sportsnet,

A pair of hits Monday afternoon sent another pair of Calgary Flames to an increasingly crowded sick bay. And one hit in particular left GM/head coach Darryl Sutter fuming. Sutter pulled no punches when discussing Jaroslav Spacek's third-period submarine hit on Byron Ritchie in yesterday's 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. "That's a cheapshot," Sutter told the Calgary Sun. "That's the same as running someone from behind. It's a lack of respect, that's what that is."

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Scoring From The Paint

from the Edmonton Journal,

After 708 games with the Edmonton Oilers, hockey fans probably take Ryan Smyth for granted. There's that soggy mullet, the sloppy grin and the veteran forward's innate ability to drive opposing players nuts just to get the puck to the net. What fans are also seeing this season, however, is Smyth on track for 35 goals, which would be his best year since his first full National Hockey League season at age 20. ..."Over the course of a 40-second shift, yeah, I get worn down, but I try to keep it down by the net a lot E to either kill the clock or take it to the net. That's where everything happens,'' Smyth said. ``Either there's a rebound coming high into the slot or one in tight, and then you've got some havoc for the goalie to worry about. Plus, as everybody knows, I don't have a great shot. Ninety per cent of my goals are inside the paint (crease)."
more

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Around The League

-Winger Sean Avery was held out of the Kings' lineup Monday because of what was described as an upper-body injury, hockey code for anything from a concussion to a separated shoulder. He was to be examined Monday night, and Coach Andy Murray said Avery might return Thursday against Phoenix.- via the LA Times -Roenick said he's targeting a return Jan. 21 against San Jose, which would put him at the early end of a four- to six-week estimate for recovery after he underwent surgery on his left ring finger. "I feel really good," Roenick said Monday. "It's just frustrating when a finger keeps you out."- from the LA Daily News -Center Petr Nedved said he would play Thursday in Los Angeles against the Kings. Nedved has missed the past four-plus games because of a groin injury.- via the Arizona Republic -Esche has been recovering from a tear in the right side of his groin. He was expected to miss 10 to 14 days and has been out of the lineup for nine games, since the third period of the Dec. 15 game against Vancouver. "Jimmy McCrossin [the trainer] told me the other night on the plane ride that Esche is still sore," Clarke said. "We're bringing him back slowly. I don't know when he will start practicing with us. We were hoping [today], but it looks like it's going be a little longer now."- from the Philadelphia Inquirer -There is a growing belief that Lamoriello is biding his time until after the World Junior Championships. Team Canada's coach, Brent Sutter, is considered a leading candidate for the Devils' job.- via the LA Times

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Avs Glad To Be Home

from the Rocky Mountain News,

"Not to say it's an excuse, but we've had a very tough schedule the last month and a half, a lot of road trips and a lot of back-to-backs," defenseman John-Michael Liles said. "It's not easy playing that many games in that short amount of time. "We'll get a few days' rest this month and a lot of home games, and I think everybody is looking at this as a time we really need to put a good stretch together and get a good winning streak going. (Tonight) is hopefully going to be the start of it."
more

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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