Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Some boos might have been intended for NHL officials, but the Blue Jackets thought they were at them Wednesday in Nationwide Arena.
Captain Adam Foote even made a plea to fans after the Blue Jackets came back to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4.
“I don’t think they should do that,” Foote said. “This is the first year they’ve had a consistent team, a winning team that’s not getting blown out of games. Maybe they’re frustrated from years past? I don’t know, but I don’t think they should do that.”
Tonight, the Avs had a 3-1 lead after two periods and the Jackets were playing like midgets. During the intermission, Ken Hitchcock said something to his players, and whatever it was, it worked.
“Basically, he said, ‘Wake up,’” Jody Shelley said.
Hitchcock would not get into detail about his message, he only hinted: “Let’s just say we don’t have many of those over the course of the season, but today was one of those. A heart-to-heart.”
One third of the way into the season, trade rumors and other forms of player movement seem to be picking up. Blue Jackets fans—a few of them, anyway—are clamoring for GM Scott Howson to make a move.
Our opinion: Read the play and show a little patience, as the best deals may be a couple of weeks (or months) away.
continued... Lecavlier, Jokinen and Stoll talk plus a little Recchi…
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP,
Only one division in the NHL can boast having every single team over the .500 mark. Surprisingly, it’s the Central.
Widely considered the weakest of the league’s six divisions over the last few years, where Detroit has captured six straight titles, the Central has some spine this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are vastly improved while the Nashville Predators have not tumbled badly as many had predicted.
“They’re all good teams,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press this week.
from Hockey Adventure,
HockeyAdventure.com: How about you? You’re unrestricted at the end of the year. How much longer would you like to play?
Sergei Fedorov: I don’t know. Hopefully a couple more years.
HockeyAdventure.com: Still hungry?
Sergei Fedorov: Yeah, I still love the game. I like the challenges and the communication with the younger guys. Obviously they have quite a few questions about what’s going on. It’s still fun for me.
more Q & A with Sergei…
Hitchcock was asked if he was planning to “go with Malarchuk” tonight against the Canucks:
“Hey, he wasn’t bad for a guy in the 1970s. I don’t think you’ll see him (Thursday night). It was hard enough to get him out there for practice. He kept holding out for a better deal. We didn’t get it done until right before practice.”
Now, it’s highly unlikely the deal in Tampa will go through. It’ll take a minor miracle for it all to get settled and go through before the end of the season. Thus, the Blue Jackets will have to keep on paying MacLean. The remainder they owe is about $450,000.
That money would come in handy right about now if general manager Scott Howson is eagerly working the trade market. Certainly, that would be some nice “play money” at the trade deadline.
A $450,000 chunk doesn’t sound like much. But if a $1.8 million player is acquired at the trade deadline, the salary he’s owed the rest of the season—about 1/4 of the way to go—is roughly $450,000. There are some pretty good $1.8M players out there.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott likely suffered yet another concussion Saturday, ruling him out of the club’s short-term plans and calling into question his NHL future.
The news yesterday was not good.
“We’ll wait for the doctors to tell us (what’s next),” general manager Scott Howson said. “But we have been told that he’s symptomatic.”
Detroit’s Niklas Kronvall slammed Westcott into the boards late in the game Saturday in Nationwide Arena.
Westcott’s head did not appear to be struck, but his body was jolted.
from the Edmonton Journal,
“You can get your workers to buy in every night,” Hitchcock said Monday. “But if you can get your skill guys to buy into that (defence-first system), that’s how you win.”
Nash readily admits he and his teammates have bought Hitchcock’s system, the one that drove sniper Brett Hull to distraction when he played under Hitchcock in Dallas.
And Hitchcock noted that, apart from his own tutelage, his charges have an ongoing living lab in how to play sound defence sitting right there atop the Central Division - the Detroit Red Wings.
“They’re the gold standard,” Hitchcock said of the Wings’ textbook all-around game. “(Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg - they all check.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire, whose early career has been dogged by leg injuries, left the game at 5:58 of the second period, complaining of a tight hamstring.
After the game, the Blue Jackets—from coach Ken Hitchcock to Leclaire himself—stressed that the injury was minor, that Leclaire might be out only a brief while, if he missed any time at all.
“We’ll see how it is (today),” Leclaire said. “But I don’t have any sharp pain or anything.
“It’s more like a tweak, but it’s not something I wanted to take a chance on.”
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 email@example.com