Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Denver Post,
Nobody with the Avalanche is getting self-satisfied right now, however. Not making the playoffs for the first time since 1994 still stings for many longtime personnel, and there are 65 more games needed to prove the Avs are playoff worthy this season.
But the Avs feel they have a solid foundation in place for another possible long succession of playoff runs. Not only do they have one of the brightest young stars in the league in Stastny, but youngsters such as Wolski, Liles, Peter Budaj and Marek Svatos already have had NHL success. Add veterans such as Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Andrew Brunette, Ian Laperriere and free-agent newcomers Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan, and the Avs again have one of the deepest teams in the league.
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?
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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