Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,
It was the 103rd shutout of Brodeur’s illustrious career, tying him with Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk, who accomplished the mark in 971 career games for the Red Wings, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Kings and Rangers.
“I think with the last few games, we had a couple going into the third with no goals,” said Brodeur, who had been waiting to tie the record since his last shutout on Oct. 17 against Carolina.
“When it was nine minutes left I was like, well let’s try to beat this, and then move on to five minutes and really think about it in the last five minutes. The guys played really well in front of me and made a big difference in why we were able to get a shutout, but especially a big win.”
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
t would be pretty much impossible for Tyler Myers to hide.
At 6-foot-8 — 6-foot-9? — the Buffalo Sabres blueliner is noticeable from the pre-game skate on at any NHL game involving the Sabres, but its time to understand that Myers is noteworthy for something beyond his unusual height.
So far, he’s the NHL’s best rookie this season on this scorecard, an early leader for the Calder Trophy.
Now, this is no easy award for a freshman defenceman to capture. Only one rearguard — Barrett Jackman in 2003 — has won the Calder in the past 11 years, and if the multi-talented Drew Doughty wasn’t good enough last year, you have to wonder what defender actually could be.
But watching Myers live in two games last week against the Canadiens and the Rangers convinced these eyes that he’s not just the real deal, but possibly shaping up into a better blueliner than anyone ever thought he would.
My suggestion is we wait until the 60 game mark before deciding the rookie of the year. Many young players seem to hit a wall about that time and those that can avoid a slump or downturn may just grab the award.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Here’s one to make all you Buffalo fans over 35 squirm a little: The greatest Sabre of them all is less than a year away from 60 and you can call him Grandpa Gil.
Here’s one that will make you smile: Gilbert Perreault likes what he sees from this year’s Sabres. A lot. Whereas Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is voicing all that needs fixing with the dysfunctional Bills, Perreault is able to sit back, relax and dream about what could be for his former team.
“They have a good chance to go all the way. I really think so,” Perreault told The Buffalo News over the weekend following an autograph signing in HSBC Arena. “I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on them but they have a very good team. There’s a lot of excitement to watching them.
“I just hope they keep going like that. I know it’s a long season. So far they’re having a great year. They have to stay away from the injuries. The goaltending is great, very hot so far.”
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Miller leads the NHL with a 1.84 goals-against average and an eye-popping .937 save percentage. Oddly enough, that’s the exact figure of Hasek’s NHL record set during the Sabres’ 1998-99 season that ended in the Stanley Cup finals. Miller has 15 wins, one off the league lead.
Just past the first quarter of the season, Miller would be a heavy favorite for the Vezina Trophy given to the league’s best goalie. And he’d be in the small circle of discussion for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s most valuable player.
Best in the world?
“That’s nice of them to say but there’s a lot of great goalies in the league,” Miller said after Tuesday’s optional practice in HSBC Arena. “We’re playing a game that really fits our style. Our system and the way we’re playing benefits the way I read plays and how I go out and play every night. The coaching staff took that into account.
from the Toronto Star,
Toronto Star photographer Steve Russell is used to shooting the story, not being shot at.
Midway through the third period of Monday night’s Leaf game, Russell took a shot off his right cheekbone from Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
Miller, clearing the puck, shot toward the glass. In a kind of million-to-one shot, the puck somehow went through a little cutout area in the glass where photographers aim their cameras.
“He wasn’t shooting it hard, he was just throwing it into the corner,” said Russell, whose camera was slightly lowered at the time while he followed the play. “If it was a hard shot, I would have got a lot more messed up. It went right straight through the hole and hit me square in the cheekbone.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Question: Considering that the Sabres missed the playoffs last season primarily because goaltender Ryan Miller was injured for a lengthy period, can we assume that having Miller healthy and performing at an elite level is key to the Sabres leading the Northeast?
Ruff: He has played very well, but I think the team has played very well in front of him. He can play aggressively in certain situations because of the confidence he has that he has protection around him. For us, it’s been a combination. We have played more solid defensively, and when we do break down, he has made key saves at the right time. That has given our team confidence.
TORONTO (November 28, 2009) – Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended for two games, without pay, for an incident in NHL game #356 against Philadelphia Flyers forward Jared Ross, Friday afternoon, the National Hockey League announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Kaleta will forfeit $5,414.50. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Kaleta was assessed a major penalty for boarding at 9:28 of the first period.
Head Coach Lindy Ruff had some good news to report on the injury front following Saturday’s morning skate, saying that captain Craig Rivet may not miss as much time as anticipated.
The defenseman was helped off the ice in the third period of Friday’s 4-2 win in Philadelphia after being hit by Flyers’ Arron Asham.
Although the news is good, Rivet will not be in the lineup tonight due to what Ruff classified as a “little bit of ankle, little bit of knee” injury.
Paul Gaustad, however, may miss a couple of weeks with a knee injury he suffered against the Flyers.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Just before the season, Lindy Ruff pulled his leaders aside and told them they needed to take over the Buffalo Sabres’ dressing room. He made it clear that he was finished barking after every poor performance. This was their team, he told them, and taking ownership was their responsibility.
It was as if Ruff recognized that his style had grown stale, that he knew adjustments were required if his team was going to go anywhere. He has said numerous times this season that the Sabres’ core is no longer a bunch of kids. They’re pros who know what’s needed to win and should be treated accordingly.
Ruff hasn’t undergone a total makeover, but the shift in his approach has been obvious all year. The little things don’t seem to bother him as much as they did in past seasons. He’s been quick to compliment his players in practice. He’s giving them more leeway rather than stand over them with a firm hand.
Brian Gionta thinks all he has to do is stuff the puck in the net, but Tim Thomas says not tonight.
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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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