Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Province,
With Mikko Koivu and Mattias Ohlund about to meet on the same sheet of ice for the first time since the Vancouver Canucks defenceman broke the leg of the Minnesota Wild centre with a timber-felling whack two months ago, tonight’s tilt isn’t just any old game.
No, according to the Wild, it’s Game 48 on the schedule.
That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Two important points against a divisional opponent up for grabs. A road trip to get off on the right foot against three Northwest teams in cities in which the Wild have yet to win this season.
Mattias Ohlund? Who’s he?
from the Toronto Star,
There is nothing carved in stone with that scenario – Fletcher, who was first approached by the Leafs early last week, vacationed in Mexico the past seven days. Some key figures on the board were also vacationing and when all parties are back in business mode, it’s expected a deal for Fletcher will be done.
It’s believed the board’s desire is to have Fletcher on board in time to establish a game plan for the trade deadline Feb.26.
He would then assess the current roster and prepare for the entry draft in June.
However, with the NHL all-star game and festivities slated this weekend, Ferguson should learn his fate within the next two days, if not sooner.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The marquee names up front were ineffective again. The defense gave away the puck under minimal pressure. The goaltender yielded yet another killer soft goal. The power play was miserable. What else is new?
Well how about this: Brendan Shanahan Brendan Shanahan was benched in the third period, with head coach Tom Renney saying he needed to protect the 20-year-veteran and his team in the final minutes of a dispiriting 3-1 loss at the Garden to the Bruins.
“This wasn’t so much a commentary on his play, but he’d played a lot, and there were diminishing returns,” said Renney, who gave Shanahan 1:43 of ice time in the third for a total of 11:46, and who seemed shaken by the defeat.
added 8:45am, from Stan Fischler at Game On,
If you’re not going to get your nose dirty,” says Renney, “and get chances from a second and third effort, then the shot total looks sexy, but it doesn’t mean a thing.”
For the second post-game chat in a row, there was talk about players “looking at themselves in the mirror.”
Sean Avery stressed it after the shootout loss in Boston.
On Sunday, Renney’s post mortem underlined the idea that all oars are failing to pull hard simultaneously and throughout the game.
“We’ve got different people working hard all of the time,” Tom concludes. “What we need is everybody working hard all of the time.”
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Normally, I like to think I’m above stirring things up with the kind of baseless trade rumors that permeate the hockey world. So I’m not doing that. Really.
What I’m about to do is mention two things. The first is something you probably don’t know, the second is something you might know – especially if you’re a stats geek, peruse every comment here or read the early edition of the Merc.
Here’s the first: Scouts from Montreal, Florida, Boston and the New York Rangers have been on the press box list for the past two games at HP Pavilion. And anyone who does hang out at various trade rumor web sites knows that at least two of those teams – Montreal and Florida – have been linked to the Sharks over the past couple months.
from the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
The rumour merchants? Well, let’s just say they’re batting under 1,000.
While one national media outlet claims the 28-year-old native of Ste-Justine, Que., has already agreed to waive his no-trade clause, Tanguay insists that is not so.
“It’s not coming from me, that’s for sure,” he said Sunday afternoon. “We haven’t talked about it.”
That jives with what Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter said Saturday night in Montreal, the latest stop in his week-long tour of Eastern Conference cities.
On the other hand, neither side is completely ruling out the possibility of movement before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Brendan Shanahan after losing to the Bruins today, via Rangers Report,
“Right now the biggest enemy is ourselves,” Shanahan said. “We repeat the same mistakes and it’s no one else’s fault. You don’t have to be Scotty Bowman to figure out what’s wrong with our team. We beat ourselves. So we have to fix it ourselves, and we can. It’s tough to be positive after a game like this. But it’s not like we’re playing our best hockey and we just can’t win. We’re playing as bad hockey since I’ve been here.”
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Well we must be getting close to the trading deadline because more rumors about Olli Jokinen’s unrest in South Florida have surfaced….
Olli is always reportedly going somewhere, yet he never does.
No sport loves its rumors more than hockey, no sport treats pure speculation as gospel more.
Everyone just needs to relax. Olli isn’t going anywhere, at least not in the near future. Not unless JM was offered the sun and the moon, and Olli really wants to leave. I just don’t think either side is all that desperate to make a move like this.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Time to play a little Devil’s advocate, in part to speculate on how to attract a few more Devils advocates…and Red Wings advocates…and Bruins advocates, etc.
Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp opined recently on why the hometown team was drawing well below its typical average when the club is so darned good on the ice.
Among his conclusions is the Wings need to reach out to their “traditional” fan base by constructing a roster with more spit and vinegar – the Darren McCartys of the world. While he isn’t suggesting a return to a goon era, it’s ostensibly a recommendation of increased violence. And it makes some sense, from a marketing perspective.
Steve Downie will be front and centre as the Philadelphia Flyers host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night….
“It’s just another game and we need the two points,” he said. “I’m not worried at all. It’s behind me and I’m leaving it there.”...
Ottawa enforcer Brian McGrattan said in September Downie would eventually pay for his hit on McAmmond but has since tempered his comments.
“If [Downie] is there and he has the puck, I’m going to hit him. I’m not going to jump him from behind and cause a huge melee,” McGrattan told the Ottawa Sun. “I don’t think we really need that.”
Feel free to join him around 12:15pm ET and check NHL.com for the TV broadcast schedule for today.
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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