Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Peter Maher at the Calgary Sun,
The first quarter is meaningful, but generally it’s in the second quarter that determines who’s real and who isn’t. The first quarter of an NHL season is about adrenalin rushes, adjusting, and sometimes the unusual.
History has shown that if teams, positive or negatively, perform the same way in the second set of 20 games, the remainder of the season usually follows that trend, although there have been exceptions.
The Flames were a game under .500 in the opening 20, and as defenceman Anders Eriksson admitted, “We are capable able of being much better than that.”
more and even though this is Flames specific, this could hold true for any team in the NHL…
from the Calgary Herald,
...the Flames GM has transformed a quick, young aggressive team in 2004 into an older club that is both expensive and sluggish. And with just $3 million US left under the salary cap and a farm system lacking impact players, his options for change are severely curtailed in both the short and medium term.
In particular, the evolution of Sutter’s defence begs the question of whether the former coach has being paying attention to the workings of the new NHL.
From George Johnson at ESPN,
Iginla, the unquestioned emotional push behind the Flames, is thriving, while Kiprusoff, arguably the most spectacular goaltender in the game over the past three seasons, is nose-diving.
So the spirit is willing, but the flash has been weak.
As Iginla and Kiprusoff go, so go the Flames. And, right now, Calgary finds itself stuck on a treadmill to mediocrity, a game below .500 and a disquieting 1-5 stretch in what could hardly be described as a November to remember.
They’ve both been making headlines for altogether different reasons.
from the Toronto Star,
They are the games that get fans talking. The ones circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out. The game that proves your team is – once and for all – better than your team’s bitter rival, until at least the two meet again.
Like when the Leafs face the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario or when Calgary faces their provincial rivals in Edmonton.
If you could pit one rivalry against another, which one would come out on top?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, ottawa+senators, rivalries, toronto+maple+leafs
from the Calgary Sun,
According to an eastern-based columnist, rising star defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his agent had rejected a contract proposal from the Flames.
Only one problem, said Phaneuf’s agent Don Meehan.
“We have never discussed a number,” he said yesterday.
from Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider on AO contract talks…
Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he’s not sure when they might.
I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, “No.” Then he paused for a moment before saying, “Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don’t think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don’t start talking. We just wait. We still have time.”
This earlier today from Marty York at Metro News,
Two young NHL stars, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and forward Alexander Ovechkin, have rejected contract-extension proposals from the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals, respectively.
The Caps offered Ovechkin a five-year pact similar to the deal the Pittsburgh Penguins gave Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million a season), but the sniper is demanding more — between $9- and $10-million a year.
from the Calgary Herald,
Following Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Keenan had been asked about his boys coughing up another two power-play goals.
The coach figuratively shoved his goalie to front and centre on a first-period tally by Robert Nilsson. His statement included the line: “It’s pretty difficult to criticize the people on the penalty-killing situation when your goaltender is not part of the solution.”
Damning stuff. Which Iron Mike took measures to clarify Monday.
“Well, first of all, the media has misconstrued the comments,” started Keenan.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When GM Darryl Sutter deposed Jim Playfair as coach after one season and installed Iron Mike, the thinking was that the Flames had to get back to the hard-nosed play that saw them advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. Sutter, whose relationship with Keenan extends back to their shared days in Chicago, believed the old task master was just the man to do the job.
Now, with the team in a free fall, there are questions about its preparation, focus, drive, energy and desire. Those are all of the things, the intangibles, Keenan was supposed to bring to the table. Those are coaching issues.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
As much as the lazy Sunday away from the horror house known as the Saddledome was a chance for the beleaguered players to clear their minds, rest assured there was plenty of introspection going on.
Certainly, there are plenty of reasons for the Flames, with their under-achieving 6-8-3 record, to consider.
They’ve frittered away a home-heavy schedule that had 11 of those 17 games at the ‘Dome, in which they’ve won only four times. They’ve frittered away half of an eight-game intra-division run.
They’re floundering like Brittany Spears’ career.
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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