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Stars Dmen Getting Closer To Return

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Neither Zubov nor Boucher has battled an injury this close to the playoffs, so they both are curious to see how they handle the balancing act of getting healthy and ramping up their intensity with the rest of the team.

“I don’t know how many games it will take, because I’ve never done this,” Zubov said. “I guess that’s the tough part.”

Boucher, about two weeks short of his 35th birthday, said he’s encouraged by the recent 38-game rehabilitation period that he used to get his left shoulder healthy. Boucher was out for almost half of the season and returned to play four games before injuring the right shoulder.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: philippe+boucher, sergei+zubov

Outlook Bright For Oilers

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

While the rebuilding pain still lies ahead in Toronto, the medicine has been swallowed and the needle suffered in Edmonton. The biggest ache - a two-year, injury-plagued hiatus from the playoffs - will soon be behind them. It is unlikely the drought will stretch to a third year next season.

“You feel it in the room,” Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said. “I feel it and sense it, and normally if the coach feels it ... you’re the last guy to feel the optimism of improvement.

“We’re pretty positive about the outlook, with the group that we have here.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

An Inspiring Story

from the Arizona Republic,

A lot of sports fans, especially youngsters who dream of a professional career, tend to identify with the star players or kids with the “can’t-miss” label.

True inspiration, however, can came from a journeyman player or one who has beaten the odds by battling for years at lower levels before making it to the big time.

One player who fits that niche is Craig Weller, the Coyotes’ 27-year-old rookie right wing. He spent seven years in the minors, signing as a free agent before training camp after four seasons in the AHL in the New York Rangers organization.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+weller

Foote Leaves Game

Adam Foote was able to join the Avalanche again tonight, after missing two games with a hip injury.  But he left the game against Atlanta, with an injury to the same hip.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote

Wings Sign Cleary

via the AP,

The Detroit Red Wings signed right wing Dan Cleary to a five-year contract on Tuesday, keeping a player who scored 20 goals for a second straight season for them.

update from FSN Detoit, 5 years, $14 million.

added 7:45pm, more from Ansar Khan at Mlive...

added 9:17pm, much more at Red Wings Corner on the signing and it looks like Lilja will have to wait until after the playoffs to talk contract again…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+cleary

Fans Love To Love

from Ted Montgomery of USA TODAY,

Love affairs. They can be thrilling, and they can be heartbreaking. In the NHL, they are often confusing. For example:...

What is behind this love affair between the Detroit media, brass and fans and Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby? I can’t think of another two players in the league whose skills have eroded so precipitously. Both players made key contributions to the cup-winning teams of 1997, ‘98 and 2002, but both are now just shadows of their former selves. Draper still has significant faceoff talents, but the things that distinguished both players in their primes — blazing speed and the ability to score timely goals — have long since abandoned them.

more and other love affairs too…

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The View From Above

from the CP via NHL.com,

It wasn’t so long ago that battling for first place was routine for the Montreal Canadiens.

But sitting near the top of the NHL’s Eastern Conference, as they are heading into the home stretch of the regular season, is an unfamiliar view for the current edition of the 24-time Stanley Cup championship club, which has had to fight tooth and nail just to try to secure a playoff spot every season since its last Cup victory in ‘93.

“Yeah, it’s different, but we’re still battling upwards,” winger Christopher Higgins said Tuesday as the Canadiens prepared to face the New Jersey Devils. “We’re in a race for first with three other teams and we still have that goal in mind if getting first place.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Plays Of The Week

ESPN gives us five and a half minutes of highlights from the last week.

Filed in: NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sabres Lose Spacek and Kalinin

From the CP via TSN,

Jaroslav Spacek could miss the rest of the regular season and Dmitri Kalinin will be out for weeks, leaving the Buffalo Sabres without two veteran defencemen for their final playoff push.

Spacek has a chest injury and will require more tests to determine when he could return, but coach Lindy Ruff said Tuesday, “It’s going to be a good period of time.”

As for Kalinin, Ruff said the player will miss up to two weeks with a shoulder injury.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dmitri+kalinen, injuries, jaroslav+spacek

Komisarek Takes His Hits

From Pat Hickey at The Gazette,

“It’s not a glamorous thing,” Komisarek said of his style. “It’s blocking shots, hitting guys, but it’s something I enjoy doing. Like I said, it’s not glamorous, but it’s effective and it’s something my team needs me to do.

“It’s using this body for trying to get in the way, breaking up plays, blocking shots. Making guys on the other team pay the price and taking away the will (from opponents) to play and compete.”

There’s a price for all this. While Komisarek has proved durable and hasn’t missed a game this season, he has collected more than his share of bumps, bruises and stitches. But “they sure hurt less when you win,” he said.

more… on Komisarek’s season and his family background

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

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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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