Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Edmonton Sun,
On the heels of two crushing defeats and a seven-game losing streak, MacTavish wheeled his players into a practice rink in Dallas and gave them a very public spanking. Longtime observers called it the most punishing bag skate they'd ever seen as MacTavish drilled his players into the ice for 50 straight minutes. "We have to smarten up and start winning some hockey games," said the coach, who'd finally seen enough after his club followed a 7-1 blowout loss to Colorado by giving up three goals in the final six minutes to lose the rematch 5-3.
via the Moscow News,
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has made former NHL star Pavel Bure an executive manager of the Russian Olympic ice hockey team, NTV TV channel reported. The player, known as the ’Russian Rocket’ for his blazing speed on ice, was initially offered the chance to lead the combined team a year ago, but he only accepted the invitation after ending his own playing career in the National Hockey League this year due to a knee injury.
That was the paid attendance in Buffalo tonight for their game against the Caps. They are now 6-3-0 so losing is not the problem. But what is, I always considered Buffalo to be a hockey town, but my opinion is changing quickly. Any ideas what is causing the lack of fan interest? They have been suffering low numbers all year! update 11:40pm, A reader recently remarked that the game was in Rochester, not Buffalo. So that may explain the attendance figure being so low. update 11:53pm, The Sabres mentioned they were a little disappointed with the crowd size in Rochester. Read about it in a story from WROC TV in Rochester.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Now that the NHL is fining coaches and GMs for making critical remarks about the game, the first reaction is to roll one's eyes and say the speech police are out in full force, so much for democracy. But the truth is it's long overdue. This is a painful thing for any member of the media to admit. Inflammatory comments are welcomed and even encouraged. The more pointed, the better, we say, because it makes our jobs more interesting. Easier, too. But it is fair to say no sport has consistently run its game into the ground on a more regular basis than the NHL.
from the CP via Sportsnet,
Players on both teams say there's nothing special about Todd Bertuzzi's first NHL game back in Denver since his attack on Steve Moore, but Colorado Avalanche fans aren't so willing to forgive or forget. Bertuzzi can expect a hostile reception Thursday night when the Vancouver Canucks face the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The two teams play again Saturday night in Denver. "You're going to have fans throwing stuff at him," said Avs fan Jeff Richards. "They're going to be spitting on him when he comes out."
via the Washington Capitals,
The Washington Capitals filed a complaint in U.S. District Court Wednesday against Alexander Semin’s agent, Mark Gandler, Gandler’s firm, International Sports Advisors Company, Inc. and Semin as part of the team’s efforts to compel all parties to allow the forward to return to Washington and honor his contract with the Capitals. Washington Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee made the following statement: “We have done everything we could to avoid this step, but we felt we had no choice but to now seek a legal remedy. This filing seeks to compel Alexander Semin’s agent and the Russian hockey team Lada Togliatti to return Alex to the Washington Capitals. We made a commitment to Alex when we signed him to a valid three-year contract in 2003, and he should not be playing hockey for another team. His new agent has told us that Alex is under a military obligation in Russia; however Alex is playing professional hockey. “We look forward to the resolution of this process so that we can welcome Alex back to the Capitals this season.”
Barry Melrose weekly articles on ESPN have a theme to them, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I suggest he change Ugly to Mullet, people would pick up on that quickly. This week's good, bad and mullet follows.
Players (Legace) and teams (Detroit) are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. As new rules are helping some players, they are also exposing franchises with poor special teams. Pittsburgh continues to be the most disappointing in this department. Many people thought the Penguins would have one of the best power plays in the league. The reality has been that they have one of the worst. Just Tuesday night, the Penguins couldn't convert on a chunk of 5-on-3 time.
via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg. req.),
For the last six games, Thrashers coach Bob Hartley has had nothing but kind words for his two rookie goalies, Adam Berkhoel and Michael Garnett. As he has done for the last few games, Hartley refused to name a starter until after tomorrow’s skate. Part of his reasoning for that is that his goalie is likely to be Steve Shields. The Thrashers have agreed in principle to a deal with Shields and while the contract needs to be approved by the league, he will likely start in net tomorrow against Pittsburgh.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
The biggest thing I came away with from the Wings-Blue Jackets game was how impressive the Red Wings looked. You can put the Wings back among the Western Conference elite. In fact, from what I've seen and considering their experience, I put the Wings as the favorite in the West. Mike Babcock has really tightened this team defensively. Sprinkle in creators up front and the beautiful-to-watch Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider on the back end, and the Wings are flying. They will probably deal for another defenseman, but overall, I think the Wings could get to the Stanley Cup with Manny Legace or whoever else in net.
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 email@example.com