Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...And then there are those players whose season begins with something more instinctual: the desire to prove they are healed. Broken bones have mended, twisted and torn ligaments have grown strong and swollen brains have returned to normal.
Every year, there are players like teammates Patrice Bergeron and Manny Fernandez, who must prove their injuries have not robbed them of their futures and their careers.
This is their story—or, at the very least, the first chapter of their journey back.
“I thought he was dead”
Patrice Bergeron is sitting outside the TD Banknorth Garden on a low stone wall talking about the uncertain convergence of his past and future.
from Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe,
NESN will launch a weekly show in December called “The Instigators,” which sounds like a perfect forum for former NHL coach/general manager-turned-analyst Mike Milbury. Milbury will team with a pair of competing analysts who will debate the hot topics in the NHL. He will moderate the debate and score how the guests fare on each topic. The winner will then debate Milbury at the end of the show
more on the Bruins from the broadcasting side of things…
from Mike Loftus of the Patriot Ledger,
While in a literal sense, signing Yelle was no big deal (it’s a one-year, $750,000 contract), those who know him best fully anticipate that Yelle will prove to be a major bargain.
“He’s big on (faceoffs), always good in his own end, blocks shots, brings a lot of experience to our penalty-killers,” said winger Chuck Kobasew, who spent nearly three seasons with Yelle in Calgary. “He does a lot of things. Most go unnoticed, but to his teammates, they’re big things.”
“He does what he has to, and he does what he does well,” said defenseman Andrew Ference, another ex-Flame and close friend of Yelle’s.
I usually stay away from game updates, etc., but this is great not only for the Bruins but for the NHL too…
from the CP via Yahoo,
It was a productive return to the NHL on Monday night for Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.
The 23-year-old, playing in his first game since suffering a severe concussion almost 11 months ago, had a goal and three assists as the Bruins pounded the Montreal Canadiens 8-3 in NHL preseason action before 7,792 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre.
Bergeron, the game’s first star, picked up a pair of assists early in the second period, then scored with 10 seconds left in the frame as he tipped home a shot from linemate Marco Sturm.
Always fun to see familiar faces among the Montreal press corps. Several were camped out at the Bruins’ hotel, waiting to speak with ex-Canadien Michael Ryder.
“How was Ryder?” I asked one of them.
“All smiles,” cracked one of the reporters. “He signed for $12 million after scoring 14 goals. He should be all smiles.”
—Fluto Shinzawa at Bruins Blog in the Boston Globe
from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
“Somewhere in there, right after the surgery, I hit my low point,” admitted (Manny) Fernandez, who is still bitter over being advised against surgery in Minnesota. “It was overwhelming — too much happening too fast.”
In all, Fernandez has dressed for only 15 of his teams’ last 108 games the past 20 months, and has played in just four of them — the bum knee being directly or indirectly responsible for all 93 missed games.
You can forget an awful lot in that time, but some of it is starting to come back as Fernandez prepares for the 2008-09 season.
“Every day, it seems like I make one save that kind of reminds me of what I used to be, so that’s good,” he said on Friday…
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
Of the more tangible goals, Julien wants his team to score more than it did last year without sacrificing the stringent team defense that became its hallmark. The B’s finished fourth in the Eastern Conference in goals-against with 215, 12th in goals scored with 206.
A healthy Bergeron should go a long way toward helping in that department. But perhaps even more titillating for Bruins fans was the performance of Phil Kessel [stats] in last year’s playoffs. After being benched for Games 2, 3 and 4 vs. Montreal, he was reinserted into the lineup and became a force.
Julien said he took no satisfaction in apparently pushing the right button with Kessel and gave the youngster credit for not sulking. But he wasn’t surprised by the authority with which he returned to the ice.
From Matt Kalman at the New England Hockey Journal,
Today after [Milan] Lucic and more than two dozen Bruins veterans, rookies and prospects took part in an hour-long captains’ practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, the rugged left winger explained how this year is different from last year.
“Obviously, it’s a little bit different because you kind of know what to expect going into your second season,” said Lucic, whose play in last year’s training camp forced the Bruins to make the decision not to send him back to junior hockey. “And I think, obviously, the first season went pretty well for me and you just want to build on it, try to get better and better. That’s a big thing for me, just to get better every day.”
“It all started when Peter came on board,” Jacobs said. “It was a tough change because Harry (Sinden) had been the GM and led this organization and bringing Peter in, and subsequently Cam, it’s gone from an old organization to a young vibrant organization. And it needed it. I’m so proud to see the rejuvenation I’m seeing here. The sixth game (against Montreal) was very reminiscent of the old building. And the identity is very much like the identity of the old Bruins. It’s something we’re going to build on.”
-Boston Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs at the Bruins Town Hall Meeting last night. Read more about the Bruins at the Boston Herald.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
(Tim) Thomas, Manny Fernandez, and Tuukka Rask are now all wearing white pads.
This summer, Thomas participated in a goalie group (Alex Auld was also there) in Toronto that discussed various issues. Later in the summer, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, and the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro were the representatives in the NHLPA’s goalie working group that collaborated with the NHL.
The issue of white pads was discussed, and according to Thomas, the notion was floated to ban them altogether if they provide netminders an advantage.
“That didn’t go over too well,” Thomas said.
Roberto Luongo has also made the switch to white.
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.
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