Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In a year when the Red Wings got bigger, tougher and stronger — Todd Bertuzzi, their latest acquisition, is scheduled to make his debut Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets — they took a calculated risk by bringing back Hasek for one last hurrah. So far, his brittle bones and problematic groins willing, it’s worked out.
“Spending last summer in Toronto, people were almost laughing at us,” recalled Kris Draper, the team’s veteran centre, about the Red Wings’ off-season moves. “I was taking the brunt of it in the summer over us signing Dom. People were saying, ‘what’s your team thinking?’ Everyone kind of forgot, until his injury at the Olympics, he was as good as any goalie in the league.
from the Calgary Sun,
Call this one a gift from one of the greats.
The Calgary Flames can thank Dominik Hasek’s tribute to Keanu Reeves last night for helping the hosts out of a tailspin that threatened their playoff chances….
While Hasek tried to defend his juvenile actions after the game by suggesting he was walloped by someone’s elbow as two players fought for goalmouth position, a furious coach Mike Babcock would have none of it.
“It wasn’t interference at all—our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” spat Babcock, who said he’s warned Hasek of such well-known hijinks in the past.
The Wings radio flagship station decided to talk some hockey before the game tonight. They would have been better off listening to their program director, who has told them to keep the hockey talk to a minimum because no one cares about it.
First, the host asks the listening audience, “Can the Wings Compete?”. Uh no, Mr. radio host, they win tonight, they are back on top of the NHL standings.
Then he decides to talk about Bertuzzi and mentioned he was schedule to return this Thursday, but won’t play until Saturday or next Monday (reports are Bert will play on Thursday night if his morning skate goes well).
He then stated he would try to get more information on the Wing injury status at the Joe tomorrow, if they practice.
If they practice?. Hey, they are playing in Calgary tonight, won’t arrive home until 3-4am, Babcock may whip them into to shape at times, but believe me, tomorrow will not be one of those days.
On air guys at the Wings radio flagship station, listen to your PD, you are embarrassing yourselves.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Tuesday edition) via the Santa Barbara News,
When Calder came to Detroit on Feb. 26, the night before the NHL trade deadline, he had just nine goals and 12 assists in 59 games with the Flyers, far and away the worst team in the NHL pretty much all season. On a team that stank, Calder retained a touch of noxious notoriety for having the worst plus-minus rating in the league at minus-31.
Since joining the Wings, he’s been a minus player in only two games. He has developed instant chemistry with linemate Robert Lang. Calder has, in short, started enjoying going to work again.
‘‘You feel rejuvenated,’’ he said Monday. ‘‘That’s what it is. It seems like so long ago now that I was in Philly, and the memories from there, there weren’t a lot of positive ones. When you play on a team that’s struggling, not a lot of things go right. To come here, with a different view and where every one is really upbeat, it’s just a good atmosphere. I just want to keep that going. This is a great team, good guys here, so that helps a lot.’‘
added 3/20, link to Detroit Free Press now available…
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
The Canucks look like they will be a force in the playoffs. I have a suspicion they might be the Oilers of 2006 or the Flames of 2004.
The Canucks have an all-world goalie in Roberto Luongo. (Now, really, did anyone think the Wings were going to rally from that 3-1 deficit after two periods Saturday?) It’s similar to what the Wings enjoy when Dominik Hasek is on his game.
It makes all the difference in the world when you have the confidence of knowing that your goalie will not surrender a lead in the third period.
a little more on the Nucks plus a little Wings talk…
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Bertuzzi’s addition can hardly be overestimated, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Henrik Zetterberg’s recovery from an inflamed disk. The Wings hope he will be able to resume playing before the regular season ends April 7.
In Zetterberg’s absence, Bertuzzi will reinforce the lineup. Whether he ends up playing with fellow big man Robert Lang, or with Pavel Datsyuk while Zetterberg is out, Bertuzzi will add size and bite. He is dangerous with the puck and ferocious without it; Chris Chelios, who has a colorful history of one-on-one battles him, tells a vivid story of one particularly run-in.
read on... and Pierre Lebrun of the CP mentioned last night Zetterberg has circled MArch 30th as his return date…
from the CP via Metro News,
“Every year at the start the experts make predictions, but I don’t think people in the game can even make those predictions,” Babcock said Friday from Vancouver. “They said the same thing about us last year at the start.”
And the Red Wings won the Presidents’ Trophy.
Even without the retired Steve Yzerman and the departed Brendan Shanahan, Detroit is doing it again. The Wings are the class of the NHL with 99 points in 71 games and are in position to finish first overall for the third straight time.
That says something to Babcock.
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
He thought his comeback might start this weekend but Todd Bertuzzi will have to wait until his new team returns from the West Coast….
“I don’t have any (expectations),” he said. “I’m just going out to work my tail off. I’m very fortunate to come into an organization like that and where they are in the standings.”
Bertuzzi agreed it’s a novel concept to be fresh heading into the grinder that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Peter (Forsberg did it) two years ago and just played playoffs and was the leading scorer, so obviously he was fresh and healthy,” said Bertuzzi, noting Forsberg’s 27 points after missing all of the 2001-02 regular season. “I’m hoping the same thing. I’m only four months out of my surgery and usually it’s five or six months, but I’m not going to pass up and opportunity like this.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Forsberg was acquired at such a high price to help push the Predators over the edge in the postseason. But the less he plays in the regular season, the greater the angst over whether he can deliver the goods once the stakes go up April 11. And of all the teams headed to the postseason, the Predators may face the highest stakes.
In some ways, the futures of Forsberg, the elite player, and Nashville, the emerging elite team, are tracking the same path—the future enticing, yet unknown.
Babcock would like to see Bertuzzi get in nine games, but it’s more likely going to be four or five and then it’ll be playoff time. He was not in Nashville on Tuesday and will not accompany the team on its two-game swing through Western Canada this weekend.
“He doesn’t have to be ‘the’ guy, just be one of the guys,” Babcock said of the big forward.
more on Peter & Todd…
I received an email today from a Nashville Predators backer, basically stating the Wings were lucky to win last night due to the fact the Preds have some major injuries.
I responded back, well, the Wings are not using the injury excuse, since they have a few key players out too.
The response back was, and I quote, “Zetterberg doesn’t compare with Forsberg and Hartnell is better than Bertuzzi”.
What do you think KK readers?
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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