Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Mirtle,
It’s from this secret location, somewhere in northern California, where this strange creature spends his days pumping out all sorts of wacky hockey-related numbers for our perusal.
And it’s a good thing, too. Because, more and more, I’m stopping by his site to look at what certain players are up to.
Desjardins’s latest concoction is a look at shots on goal at even strength, something that tells us Alex Ovechkin leads the way with 103.
Talking about shots on goal… via the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche combined for 32 shots last night, with each team taking 16. That’s the lowest combined total in Blue Jackets franchise history. The previous record was 35 set twice.
from the Denver Post,
“There’s no question that people in Quebec still follow this team,” said Goulet, who retired as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1994 and joined the Avalanche front office shortly after team moved to Denver.
“There’s no doubt in my mind. I still receive letters and cards, and there still are fans in Quebec who follow whatever we do here. We’re here for a reason. There was a team in Quebec City. At the end, it was struggling a little bit, but we had a good franchise when it came here, and we’ve had a tradition for the last 12 years here.”
And now the franchise is at a mille victories and counting.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Some days, they’re in a playoff spot. Some days, they’re out of it, period.
“I think we’re a ways away from finding out how good we are,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said this week. “I don’t think we’ve had any consistency at the top of our game to clarify that identity and find out how good we can be. We’ve had some stretches where we’ve been good and sporadic games where we’ve been at our best. It’s still a motivation to be able to capture that at a consistent level.”
Some of the Avalanche’s problems, but not all of them, can be laid at the crease of goalies Jose Theodore and Peter Budaj, who have been so-so at best and often worse.
From the CP via TSN,
The Colorado Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from the injured reserve list Wednesday. He missed nine games after suffering a knee injury during a game on Nov. 11 against Minnesota.
*numerous other Avalanche players are still having injury/illness issues however, including Joe Sakic
from Inside the Kings,
I’ve never seen Crawford so upset as after this game. He was frustrated with the team’s play and also livid with Ryan Smyth. He wants Smyth’s play jabbing his stick into LaBarbera reviewed by the NHL. LaBarbera injured his ribs on the play.
There’s a team meeting scheduled before practice tomorrow. It probably won’t be pretty.
continued with player reaction on the Kings 5-2 loss to the Avs…
from Mark Spector of the National Post via Canada.com,
Today, in the third season after the lockout that changed so many facets of the game, the NHL finds its popularity waning in three of its gold star American markets: Detroit, Dallas and Colorado. There just may be a price to be paid after all, the league is learning, for the salary cap that has put millions into league coffers over the last three years….
While interest has increased in small markets, where teams now compete on an even economic plane, it seems people in the large markets preferred it when their team had the ability to outspend opponents.
All of the big U.S. markets include competition from the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball. There is an inherent battle for headlines and talk-show time that is being lost by NHL clubs that simply aren’t making news the way they used to under the old collective bargaining agreement.
from Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
A little birdie told me the Avs had scouts at the Penguins-Senators game the other night, so start your trade rumors from those locations.
Personally, I think the Avs might be considering getting Marc-Andre Fleury, the former first-round goalie pick who hasn’t been that great for the Pens. But that’s just a hunch, not based on big word of mouth. John-Michael Liles could be part of that mix, but again, just a hunch.
via the Calgary Flames,
Avalanche tough guy Scott Parker went out in the second period to do his thing—stir it up. He got it when he cross-checked Dion Phaneuf in the throat and then jabbed his stick at Phaneuf while he was on the ice.
In comes Eric Godard for the anticipated heavyweight bout, in which Parker gets the upper hand. Problem for Parker is he took a major for the crosscheck so it didn’t help his team in the power play department.
Word out of Denver was that Parker could face further discipline under the intent to injure rule for his crosscheck on Phaneuf.
The Flames also received the news that Godard would be suspended for two games because he received his third instigator penalty of the season.
Coincidentally, all three players were involved in a pushing and shoving session during the warm-up.
from the Denver Post,
Arnason is just one of several Avalanche forwards hoping to bust out of a slump. Joe Sakic hasn’t scored in 10 games, former Oiler Ryan Smyth hasn’t scored in four straight and has one goal in his past nine, and Paul Stastny is scoreless in his past four games.
“I don’t want to just look to Arnie for contributions in Edmonton, but he really does seem to have the special touch when we play them,” Avs coach Joel Quenneville said. “Whether it’s Arnie or someone else, we need more production than, obviously, the one goal a game.”
Just thought you’d like to know that Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is…
absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org