Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
While top contenders like Boston and Washington struggle down the stretch, the Hurricanes finally discovered that extra gear, setting themselves up to be a team no one really wants to face in the first round.
No one should compare this group to the one that won the Stanley Cup in 2006, at least not yet, but there’s reason to believe it could enjoy a productive spring. For one, Cam Ward’s been magnificent, starting 22 straight and putting up the best numbers of his career.
“He was always technically sound, but I really like the way he battles,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “You can see his lateral movement has improved . . . [and so has] his rebound control. He’s not looked on as one of the real elite goalies because there’s nothing spectacular about his game. But, you know, he’s won it all before. That tells you all you need to know about his ability to compete.”
more and other hockey notes…
The NHL waived the blackout of the Hurricanes/Panthers game tonight and allowed it to be shown on Center Ice.
The audio source is coming from the Panthers radio network and there are no graphics on the screen. No score, no time, no commercials popping up, just a screen of hockey and it is actually refreshing to see the game like this.
added 8:10pm, Ha, I just noticed David’s post. I guess I am old school and remember fiddling with the rabbit ears to get a clear picture. It just brings back some great memories for me.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
But while 20 years in hockey can take its toll, while this season has had its ups and downs, Brind’Amour says there will be a 21st, that he hasn’t given any thought to retirement.
“It’s not a question of whether I’m going to play again,” Brind’Amour said. “I know I still love the game, and I still think I can play. And that’s the key.”
For Brind’Amour, this season has been more trying and taxing than any of the 19 before it. There were times he appeared slower than usual on the ice, when he couldn’t quite make plays, lost key faceoffs, turned the puck over.
from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,
Question: Before you were traded last summer, you spent the first six seasons of your career in Carolina. What was it like to spend time in a market that takes its hockey a little more seriously than Raleigh, N.C.?
Cole: It’s obviously different on a day-to-day basis. There’s a lot more media coverage. They tend to overanalyze things a little bit more than other markets. At the same, it was exciting. It keeps you focused on the details and you make sure you’re working hard up there because they’re pretty savvy and recognize when a player isn’t working hard every night.
from Mike Sundheim of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
A few weeks ago WTVD’s Kerith Burke contacted me with a unique idea for a fun little story. Essentially, she wanted to learn the ins and outs of fighting in hockey from Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. After some negotiating with Gleason (“I don’t want to hit a girl”), we managed to bring him on board for what I’m sure will be a must-see feature when Burke puts it together to air.
I snapped some shots of the proceedings with my BlackBerry. I think you can tell that it ended up being a lot of fun, even when the reporter got a little overzealous with her left hook. Tim spoke to Kerith about everything from how a fight starts to proper positioning (Keep that chin down).
According to TSN, Carolina’s Justin Williams goes to LA Kings for Patrick O’Sullivan. Carolina then traded O’Sullivan to the Edmonton Oilers for Erik Cole.
There are picks involved which will be updated later.
Update 4:07pm ET: A note from Sportsnet trade alerts (by email) indicates that the Oilers also got Ales Kotalik in the deal.
Update 4:21pm ET: As pointed out in the comments, Kotalik is (was) with Buffalo, which creates some confusion. I was simply noting the update we received from Sportsnet.ca at 4:07pm ET which read exactly like this—
Carolina Hurricanes get:
- LW Erik Cole
Edmonton Oilers get:
- LW Patrick O’Sullivan
- Ales Kotalik
As noted by Nate in the comments, Kotalik is apparently a feature of a separate transaction between the Oilers and Buffalo Sabres, exchanged for a 2nd round draft pick. [The Score]
via Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
It appears that Justin Williams’ recent bad luck with injuries has struck again.
The Hurricanes winger, who missed the team’s first 25 games with a ruptured Achilles tendon, is expected to miss at least a month after a slap shot broke a bone in his hand last night in Buffalo. A decision will be made on whether to perform surgery in the coming days.
“He walked on that bus last night and he looked about as low as a man can,” said Coach Paul Maurice of Williams. “The especially painful part is that over the last three or four games, his speed was coming back. He was skating last night and he was really moving, and I think he really felt that finally something positive [was happening]. To have that happen is going to be very difficult for him.”
from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
No matter what sport you pick, players with special defensive skills are often overlooked when it comes to Hall of Fame balloting. A defensive second baseman like Bill Mazeroski, regarded as the best glove man to play his position in baseball history, was overlooked for years by Hall voters for guys who couldn’t field at lick but belted homers or hit for average.
Same is true for NHL defensemen. Point men on the power play, who pile up gaudy offensive stats, often come away with the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
So, where does a player like Glen Wesley fit into his generation of defensemen?
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
RALEIGH, NC— Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired left wing Jussi Jokinen from Tampa Bay in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and Carolina’s fourth-round draft pick in 2009. Jokinen will be available for the Hurricanes’ game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ.
“Jussi is a skilled, two-positional player that can be used in all situations,” said Rutherford. “He will add depth to our team at an important time of the season.”
from SportsTicker via the National Post,
Due to an unspecified nagging injury, Carolina Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour returned home Wednesday and will miss the team’s upcoming games in San Jose and Phoenix.
The Hurricanes would not describe the specific nature of Brind’Amour’s problem, saying only that it was a lower body injury that has been bothering him for a number of days.
Carolina coach Paul Maurice did say the injury is not related to Brind’Amour’s knee problems….
The Hurricanes also announced Wednesday that right wing Scott Walker will be placed on injured reserve with an upper body injury.
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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